Leandro Festival Photos
I always enjoy the Gilded Serpent's photo and text coverage of Bay
Area events. As I am not able to attend alot of events in the Bay
Area viewing the postings on the website are really a pleasure. Upon
viewing the photos from Tatseena's Fantasy Festival
I clearly remember my first impression of Parri's
photos. The backbend with the sword was a great moment captured on
film. Regarding the photo in question, my interpretation of her expression
was one of passion, and I felt that she was 'into' the inner strength
of her own dancing for herself as well as for her audience. It saddens
and shocks me that there is controversy and negativity swirling about
these photos and the intent of the Gilded Serpent in publishing them.
As for the other photos in the Fantasy Festival spread, I felt that
they were a realistic representation of the artists and attendees
pictured, depicting all ages, styles, and phases of the Festival.
Generally speaking, throughout an artist's performance, facial and
body expression changes rapidly and frequently, as a reflection of
the dance itself, the music, and through that special moment in time
experienced between the artist and the audience. Rather than skepticism
and accusations, I feel thank you is in order to the Gilded Serpent
for tireless effort, time and dedication to promoting the art of belly
dance to the public.
Leandro Festival Photos
You did a great
job of photography this time. I really liked how you included pictures
of the workshops and the candids of Tatseena, the check in and the
open floor. It made me feel like I was there. I was unable to go this
year, but it sure looked like fun.
RE: San Leandro Festival
I have forwarded this email which was sent to be by "a concerned
reader". This reader has brought it to my attention that you
have posted an "unflattering picture" of me on your website.
The picture is one in a series of pictures where I am performing with
a sword. I have attached the picture, so there is no confusion of
what picture is the subject. I don't understand why you would want
to post such an "unflattering picture", and I am not going
to try to figure it out. All I can say about this act is that it is
very unprofessional and childish. In fact, it upsets your readers.
Please remove the picture,
I saw your picture on the Gilded Serpent website from the San Leandro
event they had an article on. Are you going to let them keep that
unflattering picture of you up there! You'd think that they would
have had enough sense...you should make them take it off.
Just a concerned reader who found your website.
D. (firstname.lastname@example.org/ D. Lady )
This is the second request I am sending you regarding the publication
of my image on your website. After serious thought, I have decided
to request the removal of all the pictures you have published of me
on your website. I did not give you the permission to take these photographs
and/or publish them on your website, or in any other publication.
If all the photos are not take off your website, I will start seeking
I have concerns that you have published these negative pictures, to
cause detriment to my professional dancing career.
Parri / Patricia Kahangi
below about Satrinya's articles,
"Reflections on North Beach" by Satrinya Part
1, Part 2,
To the Editor,
probably spend the time getting my own Part II together, (but) I did
want to add a few points to the dispute of Satrinya
by Zeyna. What's in the initial rememberances articles
about Aida are actually pale to things I know or
have heard. Most of the representations of Aida are fairly accurate,
though having been on the inside of Bal Anat, I would definitely
contest the conclusion that Meta and Aida
were the top dancers. When I was "dismissed" in 1974, Niki,
Sonya, Kismet, Karma, Mish Mish, Anzelle, Samra and many
others were much better dancers. Within the following 2 year period
you can add on several others. There is a huge difference between
"knowing" moves and knowing how to move, saying one thing
in a class in the afternoon and dancing totally differently on stage
the same night, being stuck in your head and never being in touch
with your heart. Real dancers can always dance whether they know what's
going on or not. I always found Meta to be very nice though totally
wired, I knew Aida's sister from outside the world of belly dancing
and she was a really kind person, I only wish I had been closer to
her. Aida was off in her own world and was busy reinventing herself
and she could easily drive you nuts. (Why should this reflect negatively
on other admirable personality traits?) If you are going to put yourself
up as a queen or a diva or "master", then you must accept
the flack you deserve.
But take heart
Zeyna. I don't remember many of the things mentioned in the articles
the same (which I think would come back to me in spite of post concussion
syndrome). I am having trouble following some of Satrinya's timelines
but, as I have said, I was rather tunnel visioned into my own trip.
Some things that seem muddy are: The whole East Bay thing; George
Dubai, yes, a very good drummer with an interesting attitude,
started working at the Bagdad in the 2nd half of
the 70's, and the movement of dancers and musicians in and out of
the clubs seems skewed. And of course, Satrinya's premise that Aida
was ever the top dancer whether for Bal Anat or at the Casbah is incorrect;
also the dancer, Sonya, she mentions must have been a different Sonya.
This was all
about 30 years ago and hopefully some of us have grown wiser.
Tale of Two Faires
I was really interested to find the Tale of Two Faires piece on your
Web site recently.I've been going to the Renaissance Faires
since the early '70s, and I have to say, I totally agree with Mark
Bell's view that the Casa de Fruita faire was way too
commercial and lacked the intimacy and ambiance of the original Black
Point Faire. I ruled out going to the Casa de Fruita faire (put on
by the Renaissance Entertainment Corporation) this year, because last
year's faire at that location was a huge disappointment. It was the
first time I've ever felt completely let down after attending a Ren
faire. I took a 3-hour drive to the new Casa de Fruita location, only
to find this: Rather than being an historic recreation of the Elizabethan
era, the Casa de Fruita faire felt more like a Disneyland-style tourist
attraction, clearly designed to bring in the crowds. The location
seemed to attract a lot of passing tourists (as I think was the Corporation's
reason for selecting that spot) . Very few of those attending were
in costume and many were too busy with their cameras to participate.
The booth keepers were constantly chasing out would-be photographers
from their booths. There seemed to be no care taken to ensure the
Elizabethan character of the event was preserved. There was a gift
shop just inside the faire entrance where they had a stereo playing
contemporary pop music, and further on in the faire there was a man
with a ukelele playing 20th-century Hawaiian music! The joust, usually
one of my favorite events, was completely out of character: Rather
than a standoff between two knights, there were six jousters in the
arena all at once, riding standard-sized saddle horses (rather than
authentic draft horses), and pulling maneuvers you'd expect to see
in a rodeo, not a joust (one rider even wore cowboy boots). Even worse,
the announcers were using microphones and a loud speaker. The location
for the joust was also terrible: most of the audience had to stand
in the hot sun because seating was scarce, and the joust arena was
located way at the very back of the faire grounds with only one very
narrow passage leading to and from. This created a major bottleneck
for those trying to enter or leave the joust area. Throughout the
faire, the crowds were so thick that interaction with the entertainers
or booth keepers was impossible. I couldn't see anything because the
narrow paths were jammed with people. As a result many of the boothkeepers
and street entertainers seemed tired and irritable -- a far cry from
the jolly and conversant people I'd encountered at Black Point. Thanks
to your Web site for informing me about the As You Like It
Productions' faires. I'm overjoyed to find that As You Like
It Productions is now restoring the true nature and meaning of the
original Renaissance Faires with their faires in Marin and Santa Barbara.
Apparently, their focus is on recreating the historic period for all
to enjoy, rather than just making a lot of money. The Renaissance
Entertainment Corporation's Casa de Fruita faire is an event
I'll never want to revisit. But I'll make a point of attending the
As You Like It Productions' Marin faire next June!
on Broadway by Kalifa
i really enjyed the article by Kalifa who visits Carol Doda's place
encore= thnx= dave
Bawaba steals Amaya's
photo of Dina!
Thank you for
contacting Al Bawaba.
to your comments, please note that this is the Internet and even though
it may appear that we have taken this photo from your site, we have
actually taken it from one of our affiliate sites (who may have taken
from yours without your consent). Accordingly, please accept our apologies
for any confusion this may have caused you.
On another note,
I have visited your website and must congratulate you on the depth
of the content available. Should you (or any of your editors) wish
to contribute any material that you may find informative to our Middle
Eastern audience, we would be happy to publish giving the editor and
Gilded Serpent full attribution.
on Broadway by Kalifa
To Whom it Concerns,
I am not a dancer and have in fact never been to a belly dancing performance.
I wandered onto your site and read a few of the listed articles with
surprising interest. I was impressed with the piece by Kailifa dancing
with a Boa, drawn back to North beach in the early 70's. This writer
writes with such innocent aplomb; she
might have claimed to have danced on a tightrope strung over the Grand
Canyon and I would have been there, cringing, feeling it as I felt
the Boa in this article.
10-29-03 re: letter
below about Satrinya's articles
I read the "Real Zeyna's" letter that she
submitted in criticism to Satrinya's 3-part "Reflections
on North Beach". Touching indeed that she feels it necessary
to spring to her friend Aida El-Adawi's defense,
but Aida is a grown up, and it's time she told her own story! There
are lessons to be learned from Satrinya's references about Aida and
the mighty Jamila;
it's important for newer dancers to know where to draw the line with
a teacher/mentor who exerts way too much control over one's life.
I stood up to Jamila once (gasp!) when she chose me for a slot in
a show she was presenting, I said "thanks, but that dance just
isn't me" and she cut me from another number I auditioned for
in that show, even though I knew it stone-cold! Well, I have performed
that number many times since then in my dance career, after all, when
teachers "sell" their choreography in class, it belongs
to the dancer from then on. Directors and teachers make decisions
for whatever reasons, but dancers make decisions too, it's called
"free will." Let's face it, we were performing in North
Beach at a time, when, unlike the New York performing scene, dancers
just did not have agents to protect our job rights, health insurance
or even written dance contracts. So, given that, it should come as
no surprise that dancers sometimes relied too heavily on their relationships
in the dance world for support, and some got so burned out they either
left the area or retired from dancing. I made sure that I never depended
solely on dance for a living, so I could "exit stage left"
if a performing venue was not (ahem) in my best interests!
So, I think Aida should tell her own story in her own way; she was
one of my best teachers, and certainly such a talented, dedicated
performer will have a lot of valuable insights for newer dancers in
many areas. Aida introduced me and my best friend at the time, Marina
(aka Ebbtisaam) to Fadil
Shahin, as her students ready to audition to dance at the Casbah
in North Beach. She told Fadil, "these are my teddy bear students,
take good care of them". Marina and I worked at the Casbah, listened
to Aida's advice, had a great time dancing to fabulous live music,
and learned far more about performing than how to pin our belts to
I hope Gilded Serpent will continue to publish articles like Satrinya's
that reflect true life experiences of dancers careers, even if they
are stories that are hard to hear sometimes, so that the next generation
of dancers can see beyond the shimmies, glitz and fantasy so they
won't get burned out of the belly dance art form they love so much.
Yours in dance and still dancing after twenty years,
10-20-03 re: Reflections
on North Beach by Satrinya Part
1, Part 2,
A friend of mine
mailed me a copy on your (Reflections on North Beach) and I have to
tell you it angered me more then I have been in years. It was not
enlightening or informative, it was in fact offensive. If Satrinya
hasn't something nice to say she should close her big flapping mouth.
If you want to write about dancing in a way that is constructive or
just share a funny story about stage mishaps, that is great but half
or whole truths about someone's dirty laundry is malicious and UN.
called-for AND certainly doesn't belong on a web site. I have been
a personal friend of Aida's for some 25 years or
so, I haven't seen her in almost 20 but we still do talk, we worked
together when I was dancing in Detroit. How about that she was and
is a very loyal friend!!!!!!!!!! To ANYONE deserving of her friendship.
(She groveled!!!) I would love to crunch up that article and shove
it up Satrinyas ass. What ever her and Jamilas friendship
was, that was between them. What about her TOTAL commitment to the
art form and her dedication? Not to mention her enormous talent. Even
the fact that you would print such garbage enrages me and may I NEVER
see the name gilded serpent again. It is a gossip column that true
artists should have nothing to do with, good luck to your vindictive
bellyettes that will never in there wildest dreams touch Aida's class.
The real "Zeyna"
Dance and Healing from Sexual Trauma by Lucy Lipschitz
To the Gilded Serpent:
It has been an inspiration to read the article about Lucy's story
and relationship with belly dance. I think Lucy may have many sisters
who share similar stories of sexual healing. I know because I was
molested by my step-father at the age of eight and the effects upon
my personality have been far-reaching. I have been dancing for over
27 years and still find belly dance to continue to have a profound
effect upon my healing journey.
In my early career, I found that the dance was a two-edged sword,
being a source of intense joy and also discomfort because of the in-your-face
confrontation of self-esteem issues that working in night clubs brought
to me. I nearly quit when I was grossed-out by slimy customers or
sometimes worse club owners.
I think the one thing that lingers from the trauma of my abuse (despite
years of therapy) was the fear, distrust and overwhelming desire to
hide from the world lest they see the shame and guilt. Yes, guilt,
though I know it wasn't my fault. The joy and spirit of this dance
still drives me on to use it as a conduit for expressing my true self......powerful,
expressive and whole. I believe that belly dance allows us to be powerful
and sexy in a healing way.
Joy in Dance, thank you
Dance and Healing from Sexual Trauma by Lucy Lipschitz
Thank you so much for telling so clearly how dancing has helped you
to heal from the terrible trauma you endured. Sharing such an intimate
story only convinces me yet again that this form of expression is
one that gives great power and strength to a person to not only maintain
one's sanity but to prevail!
May heaven bless you and your students forever!
Luise Perenne aka Asfoor al Noor
Critic; Real Critics Don’t Mince Words by Najia
While I agree with Najia's sentiment that no-one can grow as a dancer
without criticism, I do take umbrage at her assumption that American
Tribal Dance is a place for dancers with no training to dance in public
and get accolades. She says:
we are unfortunate that they [ATS] have also led the public, and
worse, each other to believe (falsely) that choreographed troupe
dancing and follow-the-leader troupe dancing is automatically professional
quality dancing-or even an art-just because it has been costumed
This is so blatantly
a biased statement that it can not even count as the criticism of
which Najia is so fond. It is also false as well as biased -- Tribal
dancing is not about "letting everyone participate". It
is about growing in your dance through working with other like-minded
individuals on a regular basis. Fusion dancing, which I would call
a sister dance to Tribal, involves fusing classical belly dance moves
with moves from other dance cultures, such as hip-hop, flamenco, or
even jazz. Tribal and Fusion are very difficult and involve intense
muscular control. You learn to dance in a precision group (like the
Rockettes), which is much mroe difficult than it seems. This is not
for everyone, and many professional Tribal or Fusion groups discourage
"random" participants -- these troupes are dance companies
with high expectations, not an open forum.
Najia says that we are training the public and ourselves to view someone
as talented because they have the costume and some of the moves down.
We are not blind. There is an enormous difference between a talented
dancer, who is instantly recognizable as such, and an amateur or untalented
dancer, who is also instantly recognizable. Najia's critique is of
dancers who have received no criticism, and are therefore encouraged
to step out on stage and "perform" as professionals. These
dancers abound in any dance form. Leave tribal out of this.
Dance and Healing from Sexual Trauma by Lucy Lipschitz
I loved your article! It was truly inspiring as I read how you have
found joy and healing in belly dancing and in your family life. I
began taking belly dancing lesson this past Summer and I, too, have
found it to be such a joy, a celebration, a means to build self-confidence
and feel more comfortable living within my own body, and yes, it has
been a means of healing. For far, far too long I felt inferior concerning
my body and appearance and sexuality, because although I have an attractive
face and a good mind and a nice singing voice, I have struggled with
my self-image because of a weight problem since I was a teen. It is
very difficult to know you are smart, capable, creative, talented,
and reasonably attractive, yet are told that you are short, fat, and
ill proportioned. I have a smaller upper body, very curvy, with full
breasts, large thighs and calves, and full, round hips and buttocks.
It has taken me years to finally accept my healthy, strong, beautiful
body for the gift that it is. Now I want to enjoy it and use it to
move gracefully and creatively, to express my feelings, to celebrate
the great gifts of music and dance. Belly dancing has brought me new
and interesting friends and new, exciting experience. I'm so glad
I found the courage and time to pursue this interest. Many people
who have known me for years have noticed the difference my weight
loss (30 lbs.) a year ago combined with my new dance interest has
made in my personality, outlook, energy, and general attitude.
So, I celebrate
with you in your strength, determination, and ability to find happiness
after enduring the tragedy and health problems you've experienced.
May God continue to bless your life as you teach and inspire others
to find their true and joyous selves, and as you dance to heal your
/ Huntsville, AL
10-15-03 re: Festival
Fantasia in Sebastipol, California
This weekend I participated in the "Tenth and Last" Festival
Fantasia. It has been my pride and joy to have vended at every Festival
Fantasia, since it's inception, and in many, many other "Rose
Production" workshops, shows , and Flea Markets.
I thought Ellen made an astute observation when she
once said, (in reference to another fair), that sometimes fairs "run
their course", and then it becomes time to retire them. I don't
know if this applies to Festival Fantasia .... I think it's "retirement"
had to do with many factors, and I know it will be missed !
I wanted to say that, personally, I feel Ellen
Cruz deserves a full-length "tribute" article on Gilded
Serpent. She has done so much for the Belly Dance Community of Sonoma
She's the embodiment of charm, beauty, music, dance, tireless work
and creative vision. And I know she's going to kick me in the pants
for saying so, as, she's also unbelievably modest!
I treasure the friendship we've had for more than 20 years, and it's
been my great honor to work with (and study with) her through so many
of her visionary endeavors. I suspect there's more to come....
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la ! (zaghareet),
Coin Belts by Susie
10-13-03 re: Orient
House Istanbul by Justine Merrill
Just had to write and thank your for your article about Turkey on
the Guilded Serpent site. I went on to www.dancechristina.net and
read more about your visit. A very nice site, by the way! As a Turk
(born and raised in the U.S.) I am always thrilled when people discover
Turkey, and I am very grateful when visitors have a good time and
say nice things about the country and the people. Turks are very big
on family and I'm sure they were all pleased that you were there with
your mother and sister. I hope you'll have more opportunities to go
there again. Next time you might enjoy the Black Sea region. Not a
popular destination even for the Turks, but it is rich in history
and the people are especially gracious. They treat you like distinguished
visitors and are truly delighted that you travelled all that way just
to see them.
Leyla Konuk Matsueda
The REAL Nour
front page news blurb about the Russian dancer Nour fighting to
be able to dance in Cairo.
Hello dear editors...
I'm from Russia and a dear friend of a dancer Nour.... and also
I'm just 3 days from Cairo
the information in your article is right as far as I know only
the photo on the cover is not Nour who is actually fighting against
that law... I'm putting Nour's photo here and if you wish you
may place it instead the wrong one .... the situation with foreign
dancers is really bad now already 3 dancers have been withdrawn
now (actually not from Russia but i think from Norway, Brazil
and some other countries) other dancers are urgently marrying
Egyptian men to receive citizenship
Thanks a lot for your work
so who's this?-
10-4-03 re: Belly
Dance and Healing from Sexual Trauma by Lucy Lipschitz
I am saddened to read about the unspeakable things that have been
done to you through the unspeakable evil of others. I've always known
you are a strong lady, but now I am even more certain that you are
a tower of strength, toughened like a blacksmith forges metal in fire.
To think that you have internalized this for so many years is mind
boggling. Such events are like a hideous cancer that threatens to
destroys ones mind and body, and it would have done so to many others.
But you not only survived it, you are now my hero. You gathered your
strength around you and found the means to heal yourself through music
and dance, and also through gathering your true friends around you
so that you can heal with laughter and joy. I am so proud of being
part of your family. Your mother was wrong! I am part of your family
and I would never turn against you. Instead, I would yell from the
highest peak that I love you and I'm proud of you. I wish only that
I would find the same courage to face down my demons with the courage
that you have shown.
Love from your cousin, Iris.
New Age Adage for Performing Dancers by Najia
I just wanted to say that I loved Najia's article and totally agree
with her. She has put her finger on the pulse of dance and real dancers.
And she is such a skilled writer, too. Thanks for bringing really
important issues to the Gilded Serpent.
Dina in Dallas by Amaya
& Gilded Serpent Readers
I'm glad to read
I was missed. Wish I could've been there, dancing with you: I'm sure
it was a really great show because of who was in it. However, HOW
could I be "missing", since I *never* had a completed contract,
the sponsors & all you dancers knew Aug. 7 I would not be there
Sept. 5 *&* I was never mentioned on their website as being in
That sort of implies
I was a "no-show", which would *never* happen. When I give
my word to do something in return for specific promises/ terms &
considerations or have a contract, I am there, dead or alive.
As to the "public
dispute", it was, first, very unpublic & only to you fellow
dancers, as cautionary info. Only *after* the rumor mill started working
overtime + I got over 40 e-mails asking if I was going to be there
& if not, why not, that I told the true, gory story outside of
that small, pertinent circle.
Yours in mutual dance dementia,
9-22-05 re: Una's
At Desert Dance Festival during the Saturday Extravaganza Show, Dunia
announced a surprise performance from Una, who has decided to retire
from dancing. I just want to say that I have always thoroughly enjoyed
each and every of Una's performances over the years, and I learned
a lot from her veil workshops that I carried into my club performances.
So, it was with a HUGE lump in my throat that I watched this gifted
performer "one last time" take control of the stage with
her elegant and fiery style, melting the audience with her genuine
warmth. Una, you will be seriously missed but never forgotten, enjoy
your gardening and know that you have made a lasting impression in
the dance community, and God bless!
Yours in dance,
Dina in Dallas
Thanks to you
and Amaya for this review of what was a most fabulous night! Some
of your readers may find their pictures in my small online scrapbook
of this event:
I'd like to thank
Ahmad & Dee Dee Asad of LittleEgypt.com once more for bringing
such a shining star to the US. Come back again soon, Dina!
9-18-03 re: letter
from reader below regarding Fred's article
what an appalling reply that reader made to fred glick's fine article.
I would like to remind HIM that Israel is in contravention of many
UN resolutions, and may I add, what is the sole reason for the war
there, between Israel and Palestinians? It is this, Israel has ILLEGALLY
been in occupation of land that DOES NOT BELONG TO ISRAEL. (ie, west
bank and gaza), and despite being asked to stop building more and
more settlements it keeps on building on land that does not belong
to Israel, but is Palestinian land. I would say to that reader, you
should get your facts right before attacking someone who is trying
to tell the TRUTH.
Yours sincerely, Dolores
(an Oriental Dancer from London, England!!)
9-17-03 re: letter
below in June and The 30th Annual Belly
Dancer of the Year Pageant photos by Susie
I am surprised a little dismayed by the tone and demeanor of the both
the reviews and the letters regarding this competition. Expectations
for professional demeanor of reviewers include technical knowledge
and the ability to make assessments without the color of nastiness.
Note that vague
and improper labels such as "inappropriate" (especially
next to a picture) is a subjective term and would lead the reader
to make a judgements out of line with the intent of the article.
9-17-03 re: “Searching
for Your New Dance Teacher, The First Interview” by Najia El-Mouzayen
I am a dance
instructor and have been in the belly dancing business for 25 years.
I know many people who have traveled and even studied in the Middle
East who I would not recommend because they aren't good dancers or
teachers. While I have not been able to get to the Middle East, I
have studied with many credible teachers who have and I have also
studied with well known Middle Eastern dancers/choregraphers who have
been sponsored for seminars in this country. The actual travel to
a country is important, but so is extensive research and interviews
with people who have been there, knowing the country's history, past
and present, learning about a people's culture, the climate, etc.
These things you don't necessarily have to travel someplace to learn
about and they certainly won't make you any better of a dancer or
Better yet, instead
of galavanting around the world, why not spend some time learning
how to be a teacher.
...edited for length...
Also, look for
a teacher who has been belly dancing for no less than 10 years. Don't
think that someone with an extensive background in jazz, modern or
ballet is going to know what they are doing.
Director, Ethnic Dance Expressions Studio
9-17-03 re: Dance
Journey to Nepal part 2 by Daleela
hi.....my name is victoria, i would like to know what animals are
native to nepal? Are elephants? yaks? snakes?please reply asap
for Your New Dance Teacher, The First Interview” by Najia El-Mouzayen
Many thanks and
zagareets for your article, Najia!
The deep inner joy of dancing, sharing of graceful and emotional energy
with an audience and earning their enthusiastic response is that main
reason why I've kept wiggling away all these many years. The flamencos
have a saying: "bailar es vivir y vivir es bailar"
To dance is to live and to live is to dance!
continues below ...
Female Genital Mutilation My Journey in the Process by Lilly
Thank you for
including this thought-provoking article in your publication.It's
an emotionally painful thing to read. It tells of the darker aspects
of the cultural world from which such beautiful dance forms have sprung.
My first reaction when I first heard of this practice (many years
ago) was to curl up into fetal position and sob. I cannot imagine
what such an operation must feel like to the frightened young girl.
That such mutilation still continues to occur into the 21st Century
is terrifying and abhorrent.
It is reassuring that there are those like the author of this article
and many others who are working to teach and guide the practitioners
of this cruel cutting to give them alternative ways to attend and
care for young girls entering womanhood without such brutal trauma.
The idea of butchering a girl to "keep her chaste for marriage"
(and all the other traditional excuses for FGM) seems to cut out the
very heart of a woman's physical being before she even has a chance
to become whole and complete within her sexuality. Perhaps that's
why the practice started from the fear of female "power"
One can't help but wonder why they ever thought it even necessary
to reduce women folk to sensually-amputated baby factories? The thought
still gives me chills.
The struggle must continue!
Luise Perenne BFA
aka Luise of the Phoenix
re:And Back in the Holy
Land... by Fred Glick
You are either
pathetically ignorant or incredibly feeble minded. Last thing I checked,
Israel has been in and out of war with the wonderfully, open minded
and embracing Arabs for the past some odd 50 years. So when you talk
about what Israel has done to plunder the rights of the Palestinians.
I can only cringe at your naivete. When the Palestinians and their
Arab brethren cherish their children’s lives more than they
seek the destruction and murder of their Jewish counterparts then
their will be peace.
Mark P. Feinberg DMD
Female Genital Mutilation My Journey in the Process by Lilly
Keep up your wonderful work which fights against useless pain and
illness without being moralizing or culturally insensitive!
First Presentation in the New Symposium Series, by World Arts West
"What is Belly Dance?" by Sadira
Thank you for covering so thoroughly the San Francisco Ethnic Dance
Festival 's symposium, "What is Belly Dance, Anyway?" on
June 10th this year which was held in conjunction with our 25th anniversary
season. I think it was important to start the dialogue and hopefully
bring together artists who find such power and expression in the genre
of Middle East dance.
The Festival over the years has struggled with the many forms of belly
dance that have proliferated. It has been a learning process for all
involved: producers, audiences and artists. I hope that those artists
who continue their study and performance of the art form will respect
source material while adding their own individuality. My comments
regarding the dance form as an evolving hybrid can be true of any
other cultural dance form as well. Dance evolves and changes.
We live in a marvelously "open" enviornment where expression
can be limitless. It is not always appropriate to portray oneself
as a middle eastern dancer without some real soul searching about
the messages we communicate. My cautiousness comes from how we may
sprinkle the form with our own " fantasies" which ultimately
can be insulting to the indigenous dancers themselves.
There are so many wonderful exponents of the form and I hope that
the Ethnic Dance Festival can expose Bay Area audiences to more! Please
check our website to find out about auditions in January 2004!
San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival
First Presentation in the New Symposium Series, by World Arts West
"What is Belly Dance?" by Sadira
hi i read your letter and here are my comments. first i admire fat
chance for calling it american unlike alot of other belly dance teachers
who take these stage names (this i find to be a turn off) Belly dancing
itself is not a pure middle eastern art as most arabs are misgenated.
I often find the african influences of belly dance are often left
out as arabs were invaders into egypt and other african countrys.
The western influence on the dance was done a long time ago early
1900's with the style of dress, the veil ect....recently i saw a young
lady doing a persian performance she said they had no hip movement
in there dance until there contact with africans??? so ME dance is
mixed...... i do wish to see some politacalization at the festival
obout the issues of our current occupation...that info should be on
this web site as well..
from the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival June 10-17, Cairo, Egypt. The Opening
Dear all at gilded serpent, I am waiting with bated breath for more
photos from the ahlan wa sahlan dance fest 2003, will there be any
more, as promised? Please let me know if u get a moment. I LOVE YOUR
WEBSITE. Best wishes, Dolores.
8-16-03 re: Act
Your Age? NOTES FROM A MIDDLE AGED BELLY DANCER by Karen Andes
I just wanted to comment on the "Act Your Age" article by
Karen Andes. I, too, am shocked sometimes when I realize my age (just
turned 42)...I still feel like a 20-year-old!...those extra pounds
that have crept up on me (decided to have another baby at 38, and
it's tough getting rid of all the weight I gained!) sometimes make
me feel self-conscious...especially when being compared to my gorgeous,
perfect-body, almost 19 year old daughter (who happens to be a fabulous
dancer). I chuckled to myself looking at the photos of the slender,
toned body of Karen, who at 47, has the physique of a young woman...I
am impressed with her, thoroughly enjoyed reading her article and
found her photos positively inspiring! I have a friend in her mid-seventies
who began bellydancing in her forties, and she only looks like a woman
in her mid-forties today! She attributes this to the exercise, joy,
and fulfillment found in bellydance! Sadly, another dancer I know
who is in her sixties, and is beautiful, with a sexy, wonderful body,
and who dances with grace and elegance, now feels she is too "old"
to perform and should restrict herself to teaching. What a loss!
Babs "Noora" Flowers
Just wanted to
say two things. One, I've been really enjoying your website. What
a great deal of work has gone into it! So much for me to learn from
it. Two, the one thing that would make it so much more valuable (to
least) would be to have links to some actual soundclips of the musicians,
where possible. Or links to other sites that might have sound clips.
In any case, thanks
for hosting such a neat site!
Your recent news articles have been fascinating and refreshing. I
read every word, and am amazed to see the articles coming from everywhere
around the globe. Your article on women's parties in Iran took me
surprise. I was fascinated to hear of the Canadian film-maker using
her humor to enlighten non-Moslems about her culture in a quirky way.
And Argentinean men belly dancing? Ahhh, how delightful.
Keep up the excellant
Zaharr A. Hayatti
---your devoted fan---
Hi Gilded Serpent,
I've posted a
link to your site, and a bit of info for my flamenco readers to learn
about you. I'm very impressed with you operation and it's infrastructure.
Perhaps my site will evolve in similar ways (but for now, i'm a one
30th Annual Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant photos by Susie
Thank you for showing my belly-beads in most interesting view!!! My
"beads" were costume made for me by one of my students',
and she'll go to her grave with the secret! They are glass beads of
differnt sizes. I love the responces when I start to "roll them.
A long story how they came to be......later.
Baraka has always impressed
me as a lovely dancer and a gracious person. Her courage and strength
in the face of misfortune is phenomenal. Whatever comes to her in
the future is bound to be positive and in harmony with who she is
in present time. What an inspiration!
I truly enjoyed
the article, "Dance Journey
to Nepal". What a fabulous trip! I thought it fascinating
how Daleela connected to belly dance in a deep way through her travel
to Nepal. I would have never thought.
I especially enjoyed
her sharing her wonderful adventures in the jungle and Kathmandu.
It was inspiring to read about her desire to spread her love for the
dance in her travels. I was tickled reading about Daleela's attempts
to teach Santa, the Nepalese guide how to belly dance. Thanks for
publishing such great stories.
an aspiring belly
Thank you so much for the article
on Baraka. I have been a fan of hers ever since I saw her interpretation
of Raks Dina on her video, The Best of Baraka--So Far. A
couple of days prior to reading her article, I watched her dance the
routine on video again, as I do every so often when I want to inspire
myself to excel with the wonderful dance form, and I decided to search
the net for her to see if she had any instructional videos. Of course,
I could find nothing. Then, the article appeared, and I was so devastated
to learn about all she has been through. I am sure I speak for all
of us in the dance community when I say all our good thoughts and
love go with her.
Thank you for the wonderful photos
of the SF Ethnic Dance Festival! It's wonderful to see all the
many types of music/dance/culture being preserved in this remarkable
It reminds me of the Concerts at the Band Rotunda in Golden Gate Park
in which I participated as a dancer in Jose Ramon's Spanish Flamenco
Thank you for bringing back the thoughts of such wonderful times.
Luise Perenne BFA
7-14-03 re: previous
letters refering to the review of the
Belly Dancer of the Year contest
Gosh, what's with the Sarrayah defense group? Have all her friends
started a letter writing campaign? It is obvious just from the photo
that her upper body stance, as well as her
hands and arms, are not professional enough to 'place' her in a contest.
She's a beautiful girl who looks great in a costume...
read "A Problem Solved"
and so happy about it for a number of reasons. Not only is it a blessing
for Bay Area/West Coast dancers and vendors that we can attend both
events, but a wonderful model for positive communication, and a head's
up to other event holders. It is so important to be conscious of your
event's timing and take the time to do the research, network, and
plan accordingly! Thanks
so much for posting this!
Tempest & Keith of MedDevi Ink
I just read your story about
Zorbas in Walnut Creek, and I saw Ulysses & Useless on there.
Ulysses (Sam Stamas who died in a truck accident) was my uncle and
Useless (Manuel Stamas) is my dad. I remember my dad telling me about
them dancing at Zorbas in Walnut
Creek. I remember my dad saying how Zorbas was the first place where
they danced the table dance. It first started with Ulysses. Then Useless
came in the picture. My Grandmothers Father was the one to teach them
how to do it. I think it was that my great grandfather did it in Greece.
Thank you for publishing Daleela's
wonderful article. Her vivid and descriptive account of this trip
to Nepal made me feel like I was right there with her! Her appreciation
of the Nepalese people and the the land itself was heartwarming, and
her strong devotion to belly dancing was apparent, as always. Daleela,
thanks for sharing your story, and next time you plan a trip to Nepal,
take me with you!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Daleelah's
article on her travels in Asia. I am also inspired not only to
travel to the orient, but also to explore the spiritual link dance
provides to nature.
Daleelah has taught belly-dancing to my daughter Freya, so I am well
aware of her talent in this realm. It is a new discovery, however,
to learn of her ability to communicate so beautifully through words.
Thank you so much for publishing this article.
in Sacramento, California
greatly enjoyed the recent article on Salome
and dancing in the Bible. I have done some research on the subject
on my own, and have found similar evidence for the argument Qan-Tuppim
presents in her piece. If scholarly articles such as this one find
heir way outside of
our little belly dance community, it may be possible for us to finally
find the respect that we seek as dancers.
Thank you again,
Hi, I attended this
show last September, and I have to wonder how other ethnic groups
would feel if Amara produced the same type show, but called it by
another ethnic group? i.e. an a evening of Expiramental Latin Dance
, Evening of Expiramental Celtic Dance, or an Evening of Expiramental
Asian Dance, etc . etc. Why is it ok that she choose the ethnic group
of Middle Eastern people,? I am Greek and Albanian , I was raised
with Middle Eastern music, it's my passion, and there was nothing
"Middle Eastern" about the show! I've studied Middle Eastern
dance for a couple of years now with teachers in Los Angeles, brilliant
dancers that have dedicated years and their lives to the dance and
music of the Middle East. In honor of all the dancers and musicians
that have dedicated their lives to this beautiful and ancient art
form, I strongly feel the words "Middle Eastern" should
be removed from this show, Nadia Gamal will live forever!
My friends and I attended the BDY pageant,
hoping to see some really good belly dancers at the top of their craft.
But instead we left disappointed, scratching our heads and wanting
our money back. There where some mediocre, good and downright "wow!"
performances, and the most professional "WOW!" performance
of the day didnt even place! If this was supposed to be a 'dance'
competition why did the best dancers not place and the mediocre ones
win? Would love to see an article on the politics involved for these
'pageants', because after watching what happened at the BDY I dont
think I want attend anymore of these superficial events. Myra 'Mystikal'
Hello dear editor,
Hello from Russia
Thank you very much for the work you're doing with your magazine.
It was very curious to read your old article on Cairo's Festival "Raqia
Hassan's Dance Festival (Ahlan Wa Sahlan 2000)" by Latifa.
We were very pleased to read your kind words about our Nour - Russian
dancer in Cairo who is by the way sitting right near me.
But maybe it'll be interesting for you to know that Nour
was never a pupil of Raqia Hassan. For Nour it wasn't
difficult to enter belly dance because she has a very reach background
of ballet, stage folk dance, Uzbek Tajik Azerbaijan and even Indian
classic and folkloric dances. So it was a real pleasure for Nour to
enter the "free style" of belly dance.
But of course Raqia Hassan did a great job with this festival and
Nour always admires her as a teacher and choreographer and always
advertises Raqia Hassan in Russia. Thank you very much for the interesting
information you give on your site. Best regards and sorry for my English
Ekaterina and Nour.
I enjoyed the article on the Belly
Dancer of the Year Pageant, however, I did feel that some of the
comments that accompanied the photos were not professional. All the
dancers who performed were beautiful whether the writer felt moves
were inappropriate or the performance was exhausting or not, it should
not have been noted next to the pictures of dancer themselves. If
the writer wanted to write comments in general regarding their point
of view on the show, then a paragraph or two preceding the photos
would have been sufficient.
Dear all at gildedserpent, greetings from an oriental dancer in London,
uk, I just have to say what a fantastic site you have, with excellent
articles in particular I have enjoyed najia's
pieces enormously, and it's a thrill looking at all the
rakkasah photos. An excellent piece on ahlan
wa sahlan , I just wish I had the money to go there. I'm writing
this quickly to let you know how impressed I am with some of the American
sites, when I have more time would like to contribute some articles
and pix. Good wishes to all,
I attended the pageant and enjoyed
it tremendously but thought the comments under the contestants were
a little harsh. I thought that Sarayyah looked very
classy and ladylike and not looking like a cheerleader. She had a
lot of class which some contestants lack.
Demara V Williams
Can I just say how much I enjoy Aziza's
columns? What great memories and what great stories!
hi Shelley and Lynette,
just a note to
thank you both for
the review of my book on the Gilded Serpent site! I finally found
it, don't know how I missed it when I first looked.... (Lynette's
right, I'm pretty "disconnected from the online world!"
Anyway, I thought
it was fair and will probably use a quote or two from it in future
promo, with proper credits of course.
I think it says
a lot when one gets an overall positive review from a publication
with a rep for being as tough and honest as yours, so I'm pleased
However, I was
surprised that Shelley had a difficult time interpreting the "'Gypsy'
This and 'Gypsy' That" chapter, as it wasn't about misconceptions
by the public, it was about mislabeling by the dance community. What
struck me as funny about this one comment that I think you two ladies
could also appreciate when you think about it, is that was the only
chapter I had outside editors for (wouldn't ya know it?), and two
of 'em at that. Just in hopes of clarity! LOL!!!! Oh well!
But thanks again.
I appreciate the overall positiveness and the thoughtfulness in regards
to things like cost of publication and the work involved in getting
the photos and quotes.
You guys rock!
(pretty much!!! ;-D)
Frankly, I think, while your opinion on Saryyah's
performance is of course your opinion. I think it was mean spirited
to praise almost, without exception, everyone else and put her down.
Having seen both days of competition, I believe that she was utterly
theatrical and entertaining. Perhaps her use of the cane during a
drum solo was "traditionally" inappropriate but if you recall
correctly she was the only (and I stress only) person in the competition
to use a cane for the solo BDY competition. What she brought to this
competition was life, vitality, and spirit. You comment on her cheerleader
like moves and yet the girl who won the competition pranced around
like a pony and prodded the audience to clap and applaud. Sarrayah's
performance was classy innovative and entertaining. I feel that you
have singled her out and posted this comment in an extremely irresponsible
fashion. Quite frankly I'm disgusted that you would take something
that is supposed to be entertaining and fun as well as a learning
experience and turn it into what seems to be a completely unwarranted
And I guess in the long run, a good enough number of judges don't
agree with you anyway so...
You should consider being a little more graceful in your opinions.
Dear Gilded Serpent,
Thank you so much
for Shira's thoughtful
article on venders in the Belly Dance Community. Many may not
be aware of the time, effort, costs and heart that go into these businesses.
As owner of Urban Nomad, I know firsthand what hours
and hard work goes into providing our customers with enjoyable and
useful products. I remember the sadness I felt when I discovered an
elaborately adorned antique Bedouin veil I had found in the Egyptian
Desert from an elderly Bedouin woman, was shoplifted at Rakkasah once.
A piece like this is not easily found and one does feel violated to
have it secretly taken.
I would like to add that the great majority of cusotmers are fabulous,
and wonderful people, which keeps us coming!
Thank you again for your article.
Love the photos, but have to disagree
with your critique. Although all of the finalist's performances
were credible, some better than others, the 'Belly Dancer of the Year'
title should have gone to Shabnam.
Her dancing abilities had us in awe and for the judges to exclude
such an amazing performance was outrageous.
I was surprised to find your
article! My name in dance has also been Shahrazad for about 23
years. I am from Holland originally and living in Cologne Germany.
Maybe you want to check my web page a little and I hope we`ll meet
Thank you for posting Susie’s pictures as well as the comments
regarding the various performances in the 2003
Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant. While I agree with just about
all of your insights, I feel the need to share my thoughts about your
comment regarding Sarayyah’s performance.
Artists draw from
life experiences, as well as other disciplines, when creating new
work or extending existing boundaries. Sarayyah’s performance
did just this, and I found her dance to be bold and interesting, and
very much enjoyed her departure from the expected competition routine.
I was delighted the judges felt she deserved to place in the top three.
Hi everyone! I just want to thank you for having this picture of Grace
and I included in your page of
Tribal Fest III. We definitely had a great time there. This is
the first time I get to take a look of this site and it is just wow!.
Congratulations on all you published here. I will sure save it under
Lots of love,
Hi Susie and Lynette,
Hey, thank you so much for the great
pictures of our trio on the web site! I do agree that that the
trio and duet catagory this year was fierce!
We had a very
positive pagent experience meeting other contestants and seeing different
dancer's interpretations of music and costuming. (its always interesting)
to you for the coverage!
Patrisha/Director Troupe Shamilla
Wow! I very much enjoyed seeing Ginger's
Art and reading the various artist's statements accompanying the
examples. Being an artist/costumier/dancer myself I appreciate her
particular talents being used so well. The drawings of her daughter
dancing are exquisite.
Thank you for a wonderful issue!
Luise Perenne aka
Asfoor al Noor
Well-said, one of my dearest of teachers ! It's great to read
your feelings and realizations and know again how privileged I
was to study dance with both you and Bert away back when. They are
some of my fondest memories, and I cherish them.
Dear Gilded Serpent,
I left the United
States in 1981 and returned in 1997. It was a shock to me to discover
that "Belly Dance" had become such big business, but not
as shocking as the idea of dancers competing against each other for
titles such as "Belly Dancer of
the Year'", "Belly Dancer of the Universe", etc.
When I was dancing on Broadway
in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, all the dancers worked together and a feeling
of sister hood generally prevailed.
Why this idea
now, of competing against each other? I cannot imagine that it fosters
a sense of sister hood among the dancers who compete against each
other, and it truly makes me sad to see so much energy and excitement
generated around these competitions.
As one dancer
told me, when trying to explain it, "This is an opportunity for
dancers to get together who don't normally see each other during the
then, why not have a "Belly
Dancers Festival" or a "Belly
Dancers Extravaganza" if people want to get together and
do something fun and exciting?
Somehow, the news
of these competitions, which I will NEVER attend, makes me feel very
sad for the girls who tried and lost. No one should "Lose"
as a dancer. And how is one dancer judged better than another? We
are all different and unique and have something to contribute FOR
each other and not against each other.I
am extremely disappointed to see that this kind of event exists. My
only question is "Why"?
with loving grace
for all dancers, all over the world,
Zaharr Anastasia Hayatti
I am one of Rhea's
OLD students from the Bay area. I had a student in those days that
didn't want to shave her armpits either. She, as had many others of
the time, thought that the natural state of the pit was the way that
it would be done in the middle east. When Rhea brought Aisha Ali to
San Francisco she cleared that up real fast by telling the story about
how the Gawhazee couldn't even stand her hairy arms so they held her
down and removed ALL of her body hair, even her eyebrows. One of my
*just* discovered what an
amazing dancer Aziza is? Yasmela,
I think it's time for you come out of your cave and reconnect with
the Pacific Northwest dance scene. I don't understand how someone
can consider herself a critical authority on bellydance when she
does not even keep current on what's happening in her own backyard,
much less on a national level.
Najia El-Mouzayen's article
made me think about a pet peeve of mine. When you go to a performance
of any other dance form, if there is introduction, it's about the
dance which is about to be preformed, but most belly dancer's introductions
are only about how wonderful they are.
I LOVED YOUR ARTICLE OF BD
DISASTERS... all i have to say is amen sister!
i went to a winterfestival here in maryland, usa and was all excited
to see a belly dancer, she had on an ok outfit, but for her performance
she changed into jeans and a fishnet shirt . i wanted to go grab
her and beat her for such an act. a total disaster. i was in utter
disbelief.. bd costumes are so awesome why sabatoge them!
so great artile i enjoyed it alot because i can relate ;)
I am really enjoying The Gilded Serpent. I recently enjoyed Dancing
with Shelties; I like to dance around the kitchen while I cook,
too, and the animals and kids watch and think I'm loco. That's where
I find time to practice without even thinking about it as "practice"
because I'm just having my fun. Miren, who is now 6, sometimes likes
to come in and show me her stuff, but usually says, "Stop Mom,
you're embarrassing me!".
I'm heading up to Portland in a couple weeks for business and fun,
and I found a couple of clubs I want to check out while we're there
to see some dancers.
Thanks for the web-'zine. It keeps me in touch with this wonderful
article on snowboarding/belly
read your article about snowboarding and belly dancing with complete
astonishment! And I have to say... YAHOO! I was an competing snowboarder
long before I ever became a belly dancer. During the summer of 1993,
I decided to "try" belly dancing for the first time to
fill up my "sans snow" days. I instantly fell in love
with this ancient art but even more to my surprise... I couldn't
believe how much my snowboarding had improved by the next season.
My body and every movement felt great; totally in sync with what
the ground and my board was doing. I was flying through those hills
and half-pipe with complete ease. It is very rare for me to come
across another women who does both. I applaude you and your article...
as I have met with some skepticism that we can do both. I now tell
my students how much belly dancing compliments other physical activities...
even the more rugged sports... and their general ability and stamina
will greatly improve. Thank you!
Welcome to Fusion Dance!
Well, it's about time!
Ages ago I began performing a combination of Flamenco and Middle
Eastern styles, sort of an Andalusian version of the traditional
Dance Oriental to take advantage of the many years of Spanish Dance
I'd done, of which my specialty was the Zambra or Danza Mora, a
dance I could envision being performed in the gardens of La Alhambra
in Granada before the Moors were driven from southern Spain. I received
a lot of criticism from "purists" about the integration
of the two dance forms. In fact, I still do whenever I perform solos
for the Dance Classes I attend.
Now that there is an official category for such combinations of
styles in the competition, I sincerely hope that such carping about
whether such fusion techniques are acceptable, will be reduced to
a minimum in the future. Such narrow-mindedness reminds me of the
uproar heard in the world of Irish Step Dance when Michael Flattely
incorporated arm gestures into his choreography for "RiverDance",
which finally meant Irish Dancers could do something more expressive
with their arms than keeping them glued to their sides! Yours for
greater freedom of dance expression and joy!
Luise Perenne aka Asfoor al Noor/Asfoor al Nar
to Rhea's Article
She said what
I've been thinking and feeling as I'm approaching what some misguided
persons call "the dreaded six-ohh" birthdate. I agree
with her wholeheartedly! Why should only the youngsters have all
the fun?!? Although I haven't danced professionally in a long while,
I'm still dancing and currently studying with Angelika Nemeth.
Because one is never too old to dance and to learn, but mostly I
greatly enjoy being in the company of dancers of any age.
I say keep on dancing until the music stops!
Luise Perenne aka Asfoor al Noor (Bird of Light)
or Asfoor el Nar (Bird of Hell)
am so inspired by Rhea, the mother of my teacher, Piper.
I began bellydancing at 40 to satisfy the inner yearning of my soul
to dance - not the dance of my youth, ballet, but one more spiritual
and fulfilling. I learned quickly, but about a year later I began
to wonder, how much longer can I do this? What will people say about
a 50 year old dancer? Then I met Rhea and my doubts were blown away.
I dance to rejoice in and feed my own internal feminine rhythm and
try not to worry about what others think. And for that, I have quite
a cheering section in my own family and my circle of women friends.
I am grateful to know such wonderful women as Rhea and Piper, who
have inspired and motivated me beyond any place I ever thought I'd
be at 42.
responses to the critiquing articles - especially about Najia's
article. I knew there would be strong reaction to her statements,
and I agree with the writer who expressed a high level of disappointment
with Najia's view that "overweight" dancers should not
perform in public! I don't however, agree with the "shame on
you for publishing" comment; seems to me that Gilded Serpent
is providing a valuable service to the belly dance community by
allowing differing opinions to be expressed. That is the only way
that change happens, we are thankfully in a free society where it
is a basic premise that dissenting opinions result in healthy change
and growth. To blame a journalistic venue for providing the means
for this process is highly innappropriate; it is up to the dance
community ourselves to be vocal and be "change agents"
about issues we care about!
Yours in dance,
P.S. You may publish this if you like or not - I just had to express
Ah, Rhea, you have soul in
spades and more. Thank you so much for the reminder of who I am!
I read your article "Critic."
I agree with everything you said in that article, but one thing
stood out and really rang true for me.
One dancer in the troupe who stands out. Don't get attached to her,
That paragraph really hit home for me. I feel it so strongly right
now. It is so frustrating. You walk in, and it's like you are not
there, or you are at a show, and people are crowding around to talk
to or get pictures with you, and there aren't as many people talking
to the others or none at all. The looks you get because of that
are terrible. I sometimes feel like hiding in the back so no one
will come and talk to me, or telling people to go away.
Please, tell me, how would you handle this situation? Do you just
leave, and go start your own classes, etc., or do you stay, and
deal with it?
Thank you so much for your time, and have a great day.