Belly Dance Classes for Fun, Fitness or Serious Study of Middle Eastern Dances

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Hey All,

All classes are online and continue for the foreseeable future. I’m doing basic beginning classes in 6 weeks sessions, with 2 weeks off in-between. You can do drop-in, but consider it a progressive series. meaning we build upon last weeks.

The higher-level classes are ongoing.  If you want more info, you can read about it here and if you want to sign up Questions?

If you want to dance, you know where I’m at!

Zar, Ritual and Meaning

MeRedritualZar, Ritual and Meaning.

I have adored spinning since early child hood. Do you remember the feeling of being outside and staring up at the sky spotting and spinning until you dropped in laughter? Maybe you don’t…or maybe the “Merry-Go-Round, Ring- Around the Rosies? …but I, can still feel that sensation of delight in my bones and am smiling with the feelings of that memory right now. Maybe with the change of seasons, I am being drawn to rituals that sustain and ground me, and movement and dance has always played a big part in my life in how to accomplish that sensation.

Many countries have rituals of movement and dance for medicine, self-help, connecting with the Divine, finding your divine or releasing demons of the mind. My favorites are the Zar, Sufi Spinning, and Tarantella, which I’ve had much less experience with, but feel a profound connection because of my Italian heritage.

Most of you may know the ayoob rhythm, but there are many rhythms that are used to induce trance..If you are so inclined might I suggest Yasmin Henkish’s workshops and if that’s not a possibility get her Zar CD, get a hard copy, not a digital download. The text accompanying the CD is a lesson unto itself and a important scholarly work for an inquisitive dancer. You can get that here.
Enjoy a little Inspiration

Shoo-Shoo Amin doing a Zar as part of her nightclub act. I think this is around the late “80’s in Egypt.

This documentary (please turn speakers down, as it loads immediately into a high-pitched sound) from Iran, I had always thought of Zar as an Egyptian phenomenon, and maybe it is an error of the producer of this video to call it as such, but this shows us the boundaries of geography are liquid and dynamic when it comes to ritual.

Whirling Dervish I was exposed to this form of spinning from one of my dance teachers who studied with the Mevlevi when they came to America, I think in the late ’70’s or early 80’s. Prior to that time no women were taught this or included in the ritual in its land of origin. This tongue in cheek essay, gives a good overview with instructions and video links for your enjoyment. Of course, if you ever get to Turkey, you must, must go to see them.

My little Ayoob. This was part of my nightclub show in the ’90’s, and is/was performed after the drum solo as a culmination or the finale  part of a 5-7 part show. I  can still remember the first time this was played for me, of course no rehearsal…not that you can really rehearse, well you can but it defeats the purpose!

Finding a movement ritual, done with intention and mindfulness, is a powerful tool and can give meaning to the mundane.

T

It’s all in the Music

DSC_0333Middle Eastern Dance aka Belly Dance..it’s all in the music!

I’ve often said to my students, unlike any other dance, our dance is intrinsically tied to the music. Learning music, theory and rhythms is a big part of a serious students journey.
Music facilitates our understanding of the movements. It’s that important. I’ve been very lucky to have had opportunities to work with amazing musicians for extended periods of time (like years) and that experience alone  expanded my understanding of the dance, comparable to the years of efforts spent in the dance studio.
This is why I like to offer live  music opportunities for students who choose the path of performance. For this reason, dances are made to explore music. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two.

Things to remember:

Even if you choreograph a dance to a recording, technical snafus occur. Including, but not limited to:
The DJ plays the wrong song
The electricity goes out
Poor sound system and it’s not loud enough or the applause from your audience is drowning out the music and all your well laid plans.
Your DJ is on the other side of a banquet room and you won’t be able to catch his eye and or he won’t understand your pantomime to go to the next song. If you are dancing right next to him, and he doesn’t understand your language.
Electricity goes out….you have zills right? Can you hum it? A beautiful moment happened a couple of years ago in Acapulco at a dance performance I was attending. The sound system was crap! It was interrupting almost every single dancer and group, some were so frustrated they left the stage, others kept dancing in hopes they could catch the musical cues when the music returned. The organizer of the event and her large dance ensemble  closed the set and of course the music tanked. The audience started humming the piece and the dancers finished the piece, it was magic!

Live music snafus:

Music or songs are different versions than you know
The band played it differently than they did the last time
The arrangement is all wrong
The band doesn’t know it or doesn’t know the finale.
It’s Ramadan and the keyboard player doesn’t want to play for the dancer

No matter how many recordings of the song or music you listen to, or even if you have had the band play it for you dozens of times before, there is no guarantee that it will be played the same way again.

While I generally prefer live music, I’ve been dancing long enough to have had a few musical nightmares.  Really, kind of like, me wondering to myself….what possessed you to become a dancer???

I was working at a nightclub that my regular band and singer had brought me to work with them. It was kind of an interim place until we could get our show back into a club that seated more than 100 people. (The club where we had worked together for 10 years had closed.)
During the transition…I stayed at the old club, while the band went to the new one. Of course all the parties involved knew what we were doing, so there were efforts all around to keep both owners and audiences  happy.
Two weeks went by with fill in musicians I had worked with before. Fun shows, happy audiences and owners. Third week, not so much. In place of the four piece band was a keyboard player with an additional drum pad machine. Nowadays,  the keyboards have drum machines built into them. They are like computers and can be programmed…or so I’m told. This musician had a classical opening piece or majenci, taxim/takseem and a saidi piece programmed in. I was pretty impressed how well the music was going and we were all having a great time. Then he started playing Salamet Om Hassam….and kept playing it. I mean he kept playing the opening verses, over and over again. Over and over again. over and over again.

Over to another nightclub, different night, different keyboard player, who I have worked with before.  Beautiful opening music. I love dancing to the richness of the classical majenci…it’s really for me a show case of art, not just entertainment.  Well, I guess it also is for this particular keyboard player. In the takseem/taxim section of the opening piece, he elaborated. I mean taxim means solo and improvise literally, so I get that, but these are classics!  I didn’t know Korgs could play a jazz solo….His solo went on long enough for the drummer to leave the stage and go to the bathroom.Thankfully, there was a wedding party, where I could occupy myself with pictures and audience interaction.

Another night, different keyboard player. It’s Ramadan, no keyboard player for the show.

Another night club, different band, different state, keyboard player doesn’t show up.

All of these things can and more will happen. Rule number #1, don’t panic. Rule #2, keep dancing, or not!

 

 

 

 

17 Books For Serious Study of Middle Eastern Dance

glassesYes, I love to read and I read a lot.

Below is a list of books that have inspired me in different ways.  Some are primarily about Belly Dance, some the crafting of dances, others offer inspiration for creativity.

  • Badia Masabni the Legend by Jodette  This book is priceless in its accounts of the legend.
  • Daughter of Egypt by Marjorie A. Franklin  This is an important book for any serious student of Egyptian Dance. The legacy of Farida Fahmy and the Reda Troupe.
  • Oriental Belly Dance by Kemal Ozdemir  The history of Turkish  kocheks and chengi.
  • The Secrets of belly Dancing by Roman Balladine & Sula This little paperback stays part of my collection for its historical and sentimental value.
  • The Tribal Bible by Kajira Djoumahna The title says it, it really is a Bible!
  • Serpent of the Nile Wendy Buonaventura  A beautiful book, since its first edition, I know their have been some criticisms of the legitimacy of all that has been presented…but.
  • Dynamic Belly Dance by Ramona  I have yet to put this book to use as I rely on my music for inspiration for choreography. But this is a useful tool for fusion dancers etc and me and later date!
  • The Belly Dance Reader by The Editors of GildedSerpent A collection of essays from experts in the BD field. I particularly liked Alia Thabit’s and Venus Marilee Nugent’s offerings.
  • The Art of Making Dances Doris Humphrey The standard college level workbook, the essential nuts and bolts of making dances and staging.
  • Intimate Act of Choreography by Lynne Anne Blom & L. Tarin Chaplin  Inspiration for the Dance maker in you.
  • The Moment of Movement by the above authors Inspiration
  • Maps to Ecstasy by Gabrielle Roth I adore this book, and while it is no replacement for her work in person, it will have to suffice as she has passed away.
  • Doorway to Ecstasy by Sherry Brier Sherry reveals her story of growth as a dancer and offers a blueprint for your own discovery.
  • Dance of Psyche Rhythm of Consciousness by Dr. Christina Fragasso-Kolakouskus Campbell  An intimate look at her relationship and healing which emphasizes the unifying significance of music and dance in our culture today.
  • A Woman’s Book of Power by Karen Andes aka Aruna   uses Dance to Cultivate Energy and Health.
  • a big new free happy unusual life by Nina Wise  While Nina is not a dancer per say, she is a mover and offers big inspirations for dancers.
  • Dances with Veils A Journey to the Divine Feminine by Mezdulene Bliss Mezdulene weaves her own personal story within the context of Belly Dance in America’s timeline.

This is by no means meant to be a complete list, just what is in my pile today!  Any of my ongoing students who would like to borrow, feel free!  You know the drill; a book report when you are finished.

Magic Carpet Ride Checklist before Takeoff!

There have been all kinds of articles , how to’s and blogs about the art of performing belly dance. Read them! They are important! Someone may expose you to an idea that you may never have even thought of, or inspire you in a direction in your dance you may never have considered.

Fueled by your love of the dance you are learning and motivated by the dancers you have seen share their art, you want to too!

More than likely your first experiences will be dancing at community or dancer generated events. You know what I mean, haflas, recitals and festivals. You’ll be dancing for other dancers, among a long line up of other dancers.
You’ve worked really hard, taking regular classes and workshops.
You can step hip in a dozen different ways, snap your hips like no one’s business, undulate and figure 8 in a variety of ways. Your costume is well put together; skirts not to sheer, too long, too short, your belt stays in place and doesn’t limit your movements, your bra keeps your breast contained and stays on. You’ve got the grooming thing happening, hair, makeup, nails.

The Art of Middle Eastern, or Belly or Raks Sharqi is intrinsically tied to the music.  Ahh…dancer girl, this is the fuel for your magic carpet ride and one of the most important elements to your show being successful..You’ve been listening and studying the music, the classic composers, dance music, pop, tarab, shaabi. You can identify regional compositions and know your fusion from  Oriental.  You listen to it with your eyes closed, with headphones on, with the volume up loud and your windows rolled up while you are driving and you dance to it for your dance practice.
You know your music so well, you hear what it tells you to do and you have enough technique to instantly choose from a repertoire of appropriate movement.
“Oh, I’m going to do the choreography that I’ve been working on in class, it’ll be perfect”, you say. OK, you read that thing about the music, and enough technique? Good because you will need to remember that. Even in the best of conditions, enough space, music loud enough, appreciative audience, knowing your dance inside and out there are many variables that can and will happen eventually if you perform long enough.
You get to the event and realize it’s the size of a postage stamp with people all around you, or it’s in a bar, long and skinny or worse yet, no stage, just around tables. Yikes! The choreography your teacher made you is made for a big stage, has long sweeping phrases and staged for frontal viewing.

Think Fast! Adapt your dance to your conditions. This is when you have to use a different set of skills. You have to be that dancer who brings to life that music using your body as the canvas; like a painter who paints a picture.

Improvise! Remember all the technique and musical study you’ve been working on…this is how you apply it!

So that choreography, that you worked so hard on, will be a distant memory as it undergoes a metamorphosis as you dodge waiters, patrons going to the bathroom, or the wandering, enthusiastic, infant of the event hostess! That’s OK, because you know the music and before you know it you have made your own made in the moment dance!

The Art of Belly Dance unlike other dance forms and particularly in this setting (small) is interactive.

It’s going to be three-way between you, your music (even if it is canned) and the audience. “Oh, that’s OK, I’m dancing just for myself”. Well, if you are dancing for yourself, it’s easier to stay at home and do that! Acknowledge your audience! They are sharing this special occasion with you and granting you their attention. This doesn’t mean you have to go around and shake people’s hands (although I have) as you enter, but a smile and eye contact goes a long way in connecting you with your audience.

Don’t forget when that magic carpet ride is over and you are disembarking, to thank your passengers (your audience)! So that they may remember the ride fondly!

You are ready for take off on a magic carpet ride!

Next up….refueling with unleaded, leaded or diesel, refreshments, side trips, checking your passenger manifest and decorating on that magic carpet ride!

This is a very expensive carpet ride...don't worry those white spots are just the flash....this is my 25K ride.

Angst, anxiety, nervous, uptight, hyper…

I’m reminded of a blog post that I read from a well-respected dancer, who made the statement that students of dance often make the mistake that their teachers are also their career counselors, marriage and family counselors or life coaches. At the time I thought what a really healthy way to distinguish my boundaries as an instructor. I’m thinking of this post as I reflect on the many times that I’ve observed student’s anxiety interfering with their growth as a dancer. Whether it is the physical consequences of prolonged stress and anxiety that are displaying themselves in her body habits and posture which limit their ability to reap the sheer pleasure of movements in class, or it’s the emotional consequences that have robbed her of any joy, and have only fueled self despair or loathing at her inability to “get it”. So as the years go by, I’m finding this really isn’t working for me. It’s not a very organic or holistic approach to teaching. As some of my students are staying with me for years and yes some decades, I feel like I’m not being a good teacher, (and that gives me anxiety)! if it’s not addressed. Like the police officer whose empathy was captured on video this week giving the barefoot, homeless man a pair of boots. I can’t continue to stand by and witness so much struggle without offering a hand. Anxiety makes everything harder! Ever try to parallel park, when the car behind you is beeping their horn at you, radio’s a blaring, you’re late to an appointment…you get my drift. I’m not talking about that feeling of excitement pre performance that can fuel your dance, or the anticipation of an upcoming event…well maybe I am!! It’s essentially the same thing, except in a tiny way…..those feelings haven’t physically hijacked your body! You are able to use that experience to your advantage. When I say hijacked, I mean that the feelings you have, have stimulated an onslaught of body responses that can sabotage (physically and emotionally) any attempts you might make at engaging or completing a task that you set out to do. I think the problem might lie, that we are all coming from a place of low-level anxiety, that we never give “it”/ us an opportunity to shut down. So it is easily ignited into a state of “fight or flight” or “my emotions got the best of me” state. It’s well documented what anxiety can do initially and what happens to our bodies when it is a chronic state. Increased blood pressure, shallow respiration, increased muscle tension, increase in cortisol, poor concentration etc. occurs immediately, in the long-term it contributes to heart disease and cancer. This statement is so broad, it’s almost misleading and dismissive, I don’t want to list all the ways it can display itself…stress/anxiety can be observed in every cell of our beings. If you think of the science of it…every cell…yea it can be seen by a microscope…No wonder it can affect you so profoundly! In the dance studio, anxiety reveals itself in the frustration you might feel, because you are unable to release the muscle habits and body responses that are a result of a chronic anxiety or stress or of profound concentration. Those body responses and habituations that interfere with a centered, balanced, responsive dancer body. Unlikely, that the anxiety exists only in your head, left unchecked, it will reveal itself in some physical way. It’s the body’s way. So, if you haven’t developed a practice of mindfulness along with your other dance practices, consider it. A practice that combines a mindful breath to keep you centered emotionally can lead to a physical equanimity. A practice of self-examination and observation from the inside out, free from the burden of a critical judgment, can release you from your angst and quiet those inner voices. Taking this practice of observation, free from harshness, clearing out your emotional debris, can free you up for the physical challenges of dance. Starting you on the path of allowing your body to be more aligned with the forces of gravity. So start with your breath, keep yourself connected to your breath… Middendorf or holotropic breath work deeply explore the breath, and are intense studies of their own. Yoga integrates breath with movement. Simple mindful, deep abdominal breathing, is a practice you can put in your pocket and go! My ideal practice combines a lot of those elements. It connects me to my spine, my diaphragm, pelvic floor….my inner vessel. Where my movements originate from. A breath that elongates my spine with inhalation….an exhalation whose destination is my belly and pelvis, reminding me of my base of gravity, initiating the strength of my pelvic floor. A breath that allows me to expand my rib cage without disturbing my upper torso stability…unless I want it to….only if I want to send the pulse of the movement there…in all directions without excessive muscle tension and keep my connection to my inner vessel. A breath that allows my clavicles to broaden, and scapula to slide down to my waist, softening my neck muscles along with it. A breath that allows my sacrum to sink with heaviness towards my heels and the earth. A breath that releases excessive muscular activity in my legs, calves and feet. A breath that allows me to receive the force of the earth up through my arches into my leg bones, relying on their density to support my vessel as it transmits that energy into my pelvis and torso, where my strength emanates from. Here are a couple of links to get you started on the fundamentals of breathing.

http://anxieties.com/gad-step3a.php

 http://ezinearticles.com/?Anxiety-Relaxation-Techniques—An-Abdominal-Breathing-Technique-For-Relaxation&id=3331194

Saudi Dance Khaleegy Resources and Refernces

I first was first exposed to this dance in the nightclubs. Yes, the clubs I performed at. I learned how to do it by watching the men initially, as there was a large Saudi population in SF Bay area in the early 80’s. Later in the 90’s after the Gulf War had the Saudi’s leaving America, I would see many  Yemenis in the clubs, again primarily men. So, in that decade of observing the men dance, I was also able to study and observe dancers a generation before me who had integrated the dance into their oriental routines or as part of their folkloric section. I was seeing an authentic acknowledgment of the rhythm in the majenci…yes some majencis have a saudi section…Set elHosen, Marhajen (depending on who was in the audience) it was either played as an ayoob or a khaleegy. During this time computers became common….can you imagine not having one today!! And I was able to view the traditional dances on-line. I also have had the fortune to study with some great instructors who have lived over there and disseminated the dance for me.
Recently, I worked with a musician who complimented me on my “authentic” Saudi dance during my show…. Ooookaaay, I’m thinking……LOL……time to revisit it, refine in the studio for my dancer friends. I’ve really been in love with some of the Iraqi dances I’ve seen online: but they are performed by non natives and I as much as enjoy them, they are not traditional or authentic. (of note, Iraq is not considered a gulf state, even though it has a coast line, I believe this delineation was made by the oil industry)…
Here’s a little cheat sheet for you dear students , with some well-respected resources.

First check out a map of the region on a map!! These dances are from the gulf region of the Middle East, and each country has something a bit different to say about this dance…
Shira.Net….I tell you this is one of the best resources…. Do a search for Saudi Dance and Khaleegy…you will get song samples, talk about the thobe etc.

Please check out Kay Hardy Campbell at http://www.kayhardycampbell.com/blog.htm.She is a well-respected Middle East specialist, whose work I admire greatly, and you should take advantage of her offerings. Wonderful clips of Saudi dance!
A must read is Amina Goodyear’s Blog describing Hussein’s understanding of Qawliya …very insightful!  http://aswandancers.org/baolekeh5.12.htm

Check out Yana Tsehotskaya on YouTube…lovely Ukrainian dancer I met last year, who does an amazing version of Khaleegy and Iraqi…adapted for stage.

Happy Dancing!

Don’t Try This at Home!

I’m a big believer in homeopathics and natural remedys , some days, I have to pull out the big guns!  When you’ve got a terrible bug and you have to, just have to be there…You know when the “show must go on”…..Well today and tonight is one of those days…1) Food 1st…whether I feel like it or not, can’t take all those pills on an empty stomach. 2) Lots of water...more than usual.  I have a head cold so I’m breathing through my mouth alot.  3) 2 Extra strength Tylenol, 2 Advil, I like the gel caps, they dissolve faster, 2 Sudafed PE, non stimulating, it still opens your sinuses , Zyrtec, this is my favored antihistamine….it slows down all that mucous production. Yea, I know that was 7 pills, but  a girls got to do what a  girls got to do.  Of course, I need a little caffeine, if you can’t deal with that…have something hot, it will melt all those pills.  A packet or 2 of Emergen C can’t hurt either.
Then I have to stretch, stretch all my major muscle groups, all my deep ones too.  The ones that shortened up  like a dried rubber bands on the way home from the last gig.  Not a very good image….but while I’m doing it…I try to visualize soft supple taffy..ooh! feels better already.  Of course, I’m rolling and releasing on my balls and noodle.
Next step, pick my self up, freshen up my makeup, hit the road and do another show.
This really is not for the faint of heart….I don’t recommend this unless there are large amounts of $ involved or excessive amounts of passion or dedication to your dance.
If you have existing health problems with your liver or kidneys….forget it!  If you are on a MAOI,  forget about it, if you have heart problems…just don’t.  I recommend hot broth and CSI New York reruns.
That’s exactly what I’m going to do when I get home tonight.

She Dancing through Time

I call her She.  Just like captains of sea going vessels name their boats, or guys name their cars a feminine. I just call her She. She has been with me since before puberty.

I’m a life long dancer. What does that mean? Well, I’ve been making dances for myself and my friends since I was a small girl. When I say small, I mean even before I started school. I was one of those little girls who danced through her house, backyard and everywhere in between and when I stopped long enough to answer the question; “what do you want to be when you grow up”…a ballerina I would scream as danced away!

Well, I didn’t become a”ballerina”, (but took regular classes for 3 years straight in college),which is a good thing, as I would have been long retired now, and my joints wouldn’t be in as good a shape as they are! Through my childhood and adolescence I studied Hula, Tahitian (I lived in Hawaii for a couple of years), jazz and pre-hiphop….don’t what else to call it! I was a cheerleader and a gymnast. By the time puberty rolled around it was becoming obvious I didn’t have a “ballerina” body and was fast losing upper body strength to whip myself around those parallel bars. Didn’t matter, I still loved to dance and continued to study many dance forms throughout the years. In high school, I took a belly dance class, and I was hooked. My first teacher, Lynette  was a partner of Bert Balladine. (No, it’s not Lynette of Gilded Serpent), but they both had a beautiful head of long, blond, big curly hair! Enchanted with her and the dance, I took twice weekly classes from her for 2 years, until she retired. Thirty plus years have passed and I still wonder about her. She then referred me to DeAnn of Dream Dancers and Light Rain fame. Another blond, long, haired beauty! I had the fortune of performing with her troupe for many years and DeAnn was always very encouraging of my continued study even after the troupe disbanded and she quit teaching. She supported me so and encouraged my teaching. DeAnn has been gone since 1998, RIP friend and dancer extraordinaire. So today, I can say that I have taught for over 20 years (and still going strong, Thank You very Much)! I have had the honor of teaching hundreds of lovely women and a few men and some of them have been with me almost all that time!

So, today, I can also say that I have had an amazing performing career! Just imagine, when I started performing, there were no CD’s…we barely had any good cassette tapes. When I mean good…the whole set or side had to be good, to play all the way through. The technology to make a good set via cassette wasn’t easily available. When I started doing private parties, we didn’t have cell phones or a computer for that matter!!! No Google maps, I had paper maps! With no computers, all dance work was word of mouth, or they saw me dancing at a club or a wedding somewhere.

I’ve had the pleasure of entertaining foreign dignitaries, movie stars, and royalty. I’ve had the pleasure of working with my band for over 10 yrs. Yes, they were my band…I didn’t have to rotate or share my nights! I was in what I call the ‘tween generation.  In between Casbah and Baghdad days, where there were several dancers a night doing 40-50 minute sets.  My era, was after that! A lot of club owners were trying to clean house a little after and during all the debauchery of the times! I was lucky enough to work in an era of time where clubs had house dancers. Where my boss would always make sure I was fed, yes dinner and refreshments or even to go containers included.  And safe from any unwanted elements!!It was an era when musicians also had an interest in the music and making a dynamic show for a dancer, after all it was their show too; and if I looked good they did too! When each club closed and another opened (due to economic times) the band, singer and I would be hired by the management. Working with live music in a nightclub environment for appreciative Arab audiences was one of my preferred venue. Even today, I will see some of those customers and out comes the smart phone, where they have downloaded their daughter’s wedding video with me dancing!

At some point, I started to embrace the digital age. Hasn’t been easy! For a couple of years I was thinking I wasn’t smart enough for a smart phone! My mailing lists are now digital, I have a huge digital musical library that gets bigger and bigger. I’ve finally learned how to convert videos for YouTube, have converted most of my cassettes to digital form and have clients prepay via PayPal. I even have  Skype and Face-time students!

Today, five years after I’ve stopped performing regularly (at clubs; there are none left) I still can’t get to bed before 2 am on the weekends! I continue to teach regular classes, choreograph and dance with my student troupe, RaksTerayz and do at a few parties. In addition to my day gig (health care), I teach therapeutic movement (Lebed) to chronically ill patients and my form of “Body Lessons” that I have developed for myself and share my dances for anyone who wants them.

This is a chapter in the story of a little girl who dreamed of becoming  a ballerina and became a life long dancer instead.

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/109337595837918809083


Dangerous Beauties Fusion Belly Dance!

Don’t let the name fool you, these women are drop dead beauties! Straight from their website…. Embodying the characters of real world femme fatales, this living history belly dance performance tells the unique story of the world’s most powerful women, often too enchanting to be understood and too wild to be bound by love, social hierarchies and rules.  An all-star cast of award-winning international belly dance performers resurrect the nuances of the art of seduction and honor the power of femininity while capturing the essence of historical costuming and dance forms as they define each woman.  Mata Hari, Cleopatra, Salome, Sirens, Elizabeth Bathory, Lillith and others leap of the pages of history books, paintings, and tin types and reach into your heart.
Founding members Surreyya Hada and Nyla Crystal, originally proposed this idea to me several years ago.  Like the “seasoned professional”  I am (read in between the lines)!!  I heaped praises for their idea and heaped encouragement.  Many ambitious  ideas have been presented to me, by students (them), musicians, videographers, concert promoters….I usually just take the “let’s wait and see attitude”.  all the while, I’m thinking, they want me to be someone else!! OMG!  I’ve spent the bulk of my puberty and all my adult life dancing and trying to be more comfortable in my own skin…and I’m supposed to portray someone else…YIKES!!!
Well, I had the pleasure of performing with these lovelies on local turf and had a blast!  Then on the road to Aqaba in January 2012, I broke my bow (whole another tale) and when the ideas of bus rides came to be…well, I bailed!  Despite getting generous reviews, I realized I’d like to milk my creative juices in other ways.  I’ve had this music in mind for many years, and the Dangerous Beauties are the perfect group to bring my choreography to life!!  So while the Beauties are on tour, I’m hanging close to home and making a dance for them, just for them! I kind of fancy myself the private choreographer to the Beauties!  And as soon as they stay in one place long enough, we’ll put this dance together.  In the mean time, Go see this awesome show!! Check out their site, follow on Facebook, read their reviews….They are Dangerous!  Uhh,  yea…so are my breasts hanging out of that costume! Dangerous, I mean!

http://www.dangerousbeautiesbellydance.com/