The Gilded Serpent presents...


Lorraine Zamora Chamas

Jalilah (Lorraine Zamora Chamas) was lead by her passion for Raks Sharki or Oriental dance to thoroughly investigate the many aspects of this art. By traveling to various Middle Eastern and North African countries and through research, observation and practice, she assimilated the different styles of traditional dance, which are closely related to Raks Sharki.

Contributor to the Belly Dance Reader Volumn 1

Her experience, notably with the Ghawazee of Upper Egypt, gained her the honor of performing with the singer Metqal Qenawi and the group The Musicians of the Nile with whom she has toured Europe (Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Slovania, Austria , Sweden, Denmark and Germany) regularly since 1990. She also performed regularly, from 1987 to 1995 along with musicians, folklore dancers and other artists from Morocco in various Europian cities (Copenhagen, Madrid, Vienna, Helsinki, Geneva, Berlin, Lisbon, and more) at galas evenings promoting tourism in Morocco which were sponsored by Royal Air Maroc, the Moroccan Airlines. In addition to innumerable performances throughout Europe, Jalilah has had extensive engagements in Egypt in the 5 star Hotel Meridian Heliopolis in Cairo, in The 5 star nightclub Veniza in Alexandria, and in Agadir, Morocco at the Hotel Amadil Atlas. Jalilah was featured in two television documentaries on Oriental dance, which were filmed while she was working in Cairo, Egypt. They were both aired in Germany as well as several television films, which she danced in.

jalilah's family Her extensive experience in working with a variety of musicians and performing with live music enabled Jalilah to produce a series of six CDs of belly dance music entitled Jalilah’s Raks Sharki for the recording label Piranha of Berlin, Germany. This entailed selecting a combination of traditional songs and new compositions, arranging them for dance routines, and then hiring and working with highly reputed musicians in Cairo and Beirut in the recording studios. The Jalilah’s Raks Sharki series is held in high esteem by dancers worldwide.

In 1996 Jalilah began shifting her focus to teaching dance. With the goal of healing through movement, she centered her attention on proper body alignment. In 2003 she certified with Coredynamics Pilates, a comprehensive teacher-training program based in New Mexico. She began to apply her Pilates’ knowledge of correct and safe body mechanics, posture, breath, and therapeutic movement to traditional belly dance.

She has taught in Holland, Germany, France and Italy. She made her debut in The United States August 2000, instructing and performing in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the “Shake and Bake International Festival” sponsored by the Amaya. Since then Jalilah has taught advanced seminars all over Canada, including The Festival of the Nile in Calgary sponsored by Hadia. Residing in Ottawa, Ontario since 2005, Jalilah now teaches weekly classes at Studio Oasis run by the Egyptian dancer Denise Enan.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Jalilah

At Shake & Bake, Summer 2000
Alburqueque, New Mexico

  • Badia Masabny, Star Maker of Cairo
    Due to the performance of a Hitler parody, however, Masabny was placed on Hitler's list of people to be executed once he took over Egypt. Fortunately, the Germans never made it to Cairo!
  • Words of Wisdom: Interview with Hadia
    Unfortunately, this hyper-saturation, along with the current international economic crisis, has led to a self-initiated devaluation of both dancers and teachers, as they compete for contracts and students in an extremely competitive market.
  • “In a Beirut Mood”: Jalilah's Raks Sharki 6
    I found the selections included make exciting listening. Each selection is a beautiful arrangement and a good mix. Best of all: each musical selection is useful and conducive for dance
  • Oriental Dance: Myth and Reality, The Harem Slaves
    To say so would be like saying that playing music, singing, and reciting poetry are also only the occupations of slaves.
  • Living in Yemen, Part I - Tafruta
    A simple question was all they needed to get them into motion!
  • Dancing in Yemen, Part 2: El Arous
    I had been to many Middle Eastern weddings before, but none were as visually
    impressive as the ones I attended in Sanaa, Yemen.