Aziza!'s Bio, Aziza!'s Costuming Video, Aziza!'s Articles on Gilded Serpent


The Gilded Serpent presents...


Aziza! has been a professional belly dancer since 1966, when she debuted at the legendary Bagdad Cabaret in San Francisco. She worked there, and later at other Middle Eastern and Greek clubs and restaurants in the area many years, during the periods when she was not performing on road tours. Aziza! went on the road several times, taking with her a band and a singer, and she headlined in cities across the country, and two Canadian provinces. In many of these places, she was the first belly dancer the customers had ever seen! Aziza! was one of the original members of Jamila's prestigious Bal Anat dance troupe, and a member of the Greater Bay Area Teachers' Guild. She has been a judge of the Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant since 1979. Aziza! taught the bellydance for many years, and had her own troupe, the infamous Zelzeleh. Knee problems ended Aziza's dancing career, and she is now better known for her costumes, which are worn by dancers in many counties around the world. You can see a selection of my work on my website

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Aziza!

aziza video offer Aziza! has made an instructional video
"A Practical Guide to Making a Belly Dance Bra and Belt, by Aziza!"
This is a 90 minute video. It has easy to follow, detailed instructions with tips and techniques to help save you time and money in creating a professional costume!

Order by mail from:
Costuming by Aziza!,
5811 Forest Lake Road,
Diamond Springs, CA 95619

or phone your order at:
The video is $34.95
(+4.50 sh/h: CA residents add $2.53 tax per video.)
Wholesale information is available.

azizaJeanna Driver, of San Antonio, has reviewed the video for her newsletter. She says: "I've finished writing the review.I've decided I can't live without the video. The explanation about the elastic in the back is work it, alone."

Jenee wrote in her review for "Wiggle Hips"

I have recommended this video to many beginning and relatively inexperienced sewers. The reason being it is a step by step how to do it video. She does not talk over the head of a beginner. She walks you through every step, including what is available, such as fringes, jewels, coins, trims, etc. and how you might use these different materials. Then she takes you through the actual construction from pattern design of a basic belt or girdle to the best type of bra and why.

The basics covered, she actually demonstrates each step with the camera looking over her shoulder. This is pure genius in my opinion. It is hard enough to do something like this for the first time, but to try and figure it out head on like in a classroom makes it even tougher. Personally I learned nothing in Home Economics classes, I learned all my sewing looking over the shoulder of my Mother and Granny. So the novice can watch the tape while they are doing the same thing and hit pause and what is in front of them will be the same as on their TV. You have to see it to realize how easy this makes it.

Now don't you advanced sewers and costume makers believe for a second that you can't learn a thing from such a practical video. I have been making my own clothes since I was in high school (and that has been many moons, let me tell you) and I learned a few new tricks. In fact I just finished a new belt and bra using Aziza!'s methods and it went together easier and maybe even a little quicker. I am very glad to have this video as part of my library and I think you will be glad when you buy it too.

One last thing, the best part of all is Aziza! Her personality shines through. She is real, no facade, and always herself. And this makes for very easy watching, even with repeated viewing as you work on that new belt and bra. You can do it yourself and make your costume really yours.

A history of bellydancing in (and out of) the San Francisco area

  • North Bay Bellydance Bazaar
    There were workshops all day (taught by Theresea, Susu Pampanin, Magidah and Hannah Romanza), a large bazaar, all-day dancing performances and an evening gala show. Everything a dancer could want.
  • Rakkasah From a Vendor’s Viewpoint
    Ah, Rakkasah! For many years the highlight of my vending year! A wonderful idea that has gradually faded over time….
  • The Traveling Costumer
    More customers! New horizons! Travel! That’s what we needed!
  • My Costuming Roots
    Soon, however, it became obvious that I couldn’t do three shows a night, on and on, with only one costume! And Yousef, owner of the Bagdad, supported this realization by telling me that if I didn’t get some more costumes, I was fired.
  • Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant
    The contestants were limited to ten, and all danced to the same music, though they were permitted any props they wanted.
  • A Period of Innovations
    In the late 1970s, there were two events produced for the belly dance community that were different from things that had happened before – events that began and paved the way for so many that were to happen later.
  • Friends Are Where You Find Them
    Some people thought that we were partners, as we were so close, but that wasn’t the case, either.
  • Zelzeleh, My Troupe Adventures
    The first thing that I discovered was that I hated to design or perform choreography – it was like having my teeth pulled - and I wasn’t too hot at it, truth to tell.
  • Moving to Santa Rosa
    So I married a Greek, and for a while it was okay with him that I continued to dance...
  • The Taverna Athena
    I didn’t see just how it happened, but evidently a couple of brothers from Cyprus were hired to put the Taverna out of business.
  • Zorba’s in Walnut Creek
    ...and I could tell that the Greeks wanted to see more of that, so the job was in the bag!
  • North and South
    Also, we were not allowed to lock the office door
  • At the Egyptian Gardens
    “You insult me in the street and apologize in a corner.”
  • Back in the Bay Area zils flew off into the audience, and George stopped playing, went down into the audience...Was I embarrassed!
  • On the Road
    She was the fiery “Bedouin” who argued with the band in apparent Arabic and seemed so real and dramatic.
  • The Birth of Bal Anat and Other Adventures
    belly dance will continue to evolve into things new and strange, limited only by dancers' imaginations.
  • Club Dates and Casuals
    "Don't worry, honey, " said the stripper, "I've got a gun!"
  • Out of Town in Oregon
    One of the things that the owner insisted on was fancy hair - he considered straight, hanging hair to be "hippie hair".
  • Out of Town in Fresno
    You can't wear that vest on stage - we're not running a Sunday school here!
  • Dancers I Have Known by Aziza!
    Over the course of my approximately thirty-year professional career, I have known and worked with some of the most interesting dancers in the business
  • The Music and Musicians
    I was very lucky to have danced to live music almost exclusively throughout my career.
  • Jamila and Yousef
    Even though we were recognizably taught by Jamila, we were not the cookie-cutter girls she turned out later.
  • Working at the Bagdad the early days, had to have accents when we talked to the customers, to carry out the non-girl-next-door thing.
  • The Beginning
    When she came out to dance in the audience, I thought to myself, "She better not get too near to my husband!"

North Beach Part 1