Feed the snake!

Jillina's Bellydance Evolution



Letters to the Editor
Page 19- Jan-Dec 2010

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12-15-10 Various Comments from our article pages

  • Anessa comments on Stasha's article about dancing with the famous rock band Queen
    " Wow what a thrilling story, with great images too!"
  • Barbara Grant on Surreyya's review of Neon's "Hard Candy"
    "The demo video contained in this review spoke volumes to me. What a brilliant choice of dancers, costumes, and most of all, movements. Nice work, ladies!"
  • Shelly Muzzy on Amina's article about Magana-
    " I am pleased to see an article about Magana Baptiste.  Several years ago my producer and I did a long taped interview with Magana at her house in SF and I was impressed by her grace and good humor.  She is an important dance pioneer in the US and her legacy lives on in our community.  Someday I hope to put our interviews out on DVD for everyone to see, but until then, I applaud Gilded Serpent and the amazing Amina (who we also have on film in an interview) for bringing her back to the spotlight."
  • Robyn Vandiver on Adriene's article about practice-
    " Fabulous article–and so true! Thanks for a refreshing perspective with an inspiring conclusion about each dancer’s capability and the vital necessity of a solid practice!!"
  • Andrea Lynn says regarding, "She's Got the Look"
    " This is a great article!  It definitely is a motivator to be the best you can be! 
    In addition to the physical aspects of becoming a professional, I would also add a social aspect of being professional to this list.  Which is – always be kind and generous to your fellow dancers and respect everyone’s time and effort, regardless of dance level. It is amazing how far your great attitude and respect for your peers will take you in this community. If you have the amazing costume, all the bling, all the makeup, beautiful hair and great body but treat others poorly and condescendingly, you will never be seen as a professional dancer."
  • Rachel regarding Pregnancy and Dance
    " Very glad this article was published.   Any discussion of women’s roles in society would be incomplete, I feel, without mention of the western stereotypes/archetypes of Virgin, Mother, Whore.  Pregnant bellydancers most certainly cross the lines between these, and trigger cultural confusion for sure.  It’s a pity."
  • Jasmine comments on Tasha's article about Fire Disasters-
    " Thanks for sharing your cautionary tales! Sorry to hear about your arm, though- sounds painful!
    I think a lot of people try to dance with fire without knowing the danger in it. A candle flame seems harmless, etc., etc., but it isn’t!
    Glad you posted this advice."
  • Isla on Giving Credit where Credit is Due-
    " Hi there,
    I just thought I’d share an instance where I made a HUGE rookie mistake similar to this. I had only been dancing 1.5 years and wanted to compete in an apprentice category at a Nationwide competition. I emailed a well known dancer and asked if I could use  a routine I had seen on youtube for my piece but only named the SONG. (In my newbie mind, the song was the name of the whole routine, not just the music) she said yes, and offered help etc, and I did credit her company with the choreography in my bio at the competion. However! It turned out she in no way felt she had been asked for or had given her permission to have her choreogrpahy used in a competition because she thought I had just asked to use the music and was just being extra sweet! AND  I actually placed in the competition! It was terrible… she was most kind but I was mortified and felt like I cheated or did something dishonest. Anyway, I did end up paying for the choreography, she explained how things work and it’s water under the bridge but oh my gosh was it awful to know that you have offended someone that you admire."


11-19-10 re:November SnakeByte
OMG!!! I can not believe I have been sitting here reading for over two hours!!! I was going to sit and cool down after my three mile jog, before my shower. Not like me, but can't help myself with all the interesting and informative articles. Thank you for being part of my life!! Keep it coming.

Cupertino, California


11-16-10 re: track #11 in review of Scott Wilson's Efendi by MaShuqa
You mention the nationality of all the pieces except this one, is it because it is Israeli? Scott and others like Rocquy work with folks from all nations of the mideast including Israel. I hope it is not a deliberate prejudice. Music unites us all and is hopefully a way to peace in a troubled area .

Sent from my iPhone
Irv Robbins


10-27-10 re: Gigbag Check #22 with Cory Zamora
I have only been appearing at COS for 2 years . I was so shocked and touched that you asked me for the interview! I had no idea what was going on when you came up with the camera! thank you for the honor. ( I was a little scared about the clip.....but I have since lost that post surgery weight ). I so look forward to next year ..and yes, I will share some "stories"...I have a doozie about my first "G" string too !
Cory Zamora
Fresno, calif.


10-10-10 re: Nice letter from Barbara!
Dear Lynette,
I find that each time I start to do research on any aspect of bellydance Gilded Serpent is the place to start.  You really have put together an amazing resource for the community.

Thank-you for it,
Barbara Sellers-Young, Phd
Professor and Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts
York University, Toronto


9-29-10 re: To Berlin and Back by Jasmine June
Several statements in Jasmine June’s article “To Berlin and Back” were offensive to me. None of them had to do with, Zadiel, the dancer the article is about. I do not know him, but am sure that he is a wonderful dancer!

The first statement, “In San Francisco, the tribal scene had made belly dance avante garde and non-traditional.” is more annoying than offensive. I often hear that tribal dancers consider themselves to be more creative and artistic than the more traditional dancers, but in my experience this is not true. Many of the western dancers I know who have made the authentic or traditional style dance their passion have lead very unconventional, artistic lives that are way out of the mainstream.

What really offended me was Jasmine June’s statement ”In Berlin, belly dance was a business and didn’t often veer too far from its Middle Eastern origins. The stigma of being seen as a "slut" or "stripper" was also prevalent, as many of the clubs in which to perform were owned and frequented by clientele who came from countries in which a woman was considered naked if even her arms were showing.”

Berlin was my home from 1981 to 1995. Going there initially to study, I discovered Middle Eastern dance around 1983 and have been in love with it ever since. I earned my living by performing in these Turkish, Arab and Persian restaurants that Jasmine describes so condescendingly, as well as weddings and other celebrations. While I have no illusions about the status of professional dancers in the Middle East, (see my article Oriental dance: Myth and Reality), my experiences were invaluable. I would not trade them for anything in this world! It was performing in these venues that I learned about the music; how to differentiate between all the different types of music and know what goes with what, as well as learning all the classic songs that every dancer should know. Of course dancing several times a week with live music is a lesson in itself that cannot be taught in any dance class! I am convinced that I would not have had the knowledge to later on perform in Egypt and Morocco, as well as be able to record music in Egypt and Lebanon had I not spent years performing in all these ethnic venues first. In addition, I was for the most part treated very well by the people of these countries and have overwhelmingly positive memories of working with them.

I wish some of these tribal dancers who consider themselves so “avante garde” would finally realize what they are missing when they write off the richness the traditional dance world. Oh and by the way, the late master instructor Bert Balladine was already giving workshops in Berlin in the early 80s made the “whale” jokes back then.

Jalilah (producer of the “Jalilah’s Raks Sharki” CD series)
Ontario, Canada


8-3-10 re: "Fusion- How much is too much?" by Najia Marlyz
Hi Lynette,
I'm writing to respond to Sascha's letter [below] about Najia's article on "Fusion - How Much is Too Much?". I must respectfully disagree with Sascha's position on fusion. I've been belly dancing/performing for over 20 years now, and there is definitely a point where fusion becomes "too much". One can put their own "stamp" on traditional belly dance steps; in fact that is why it is so important for belly dance students to learn to improvise within the structure of the music and not always rely on set choreographies. After all, every one of the "Golden Age" of Egyptian belly dance stars prided themselves on expressing their own creativity and personality and they each developed their own style. When I went to the Dallas weekend workshop about 4 years ago where Lucy of Cairo taught all weekend, she answered a question from workshop attendees about "dance fusion" this way: "It is okay to bring other dance elements into Raks Sharqi (belly dance) as long as it is still primarily Raks Sharqi." There you have it, from a modern day mega-star of Cairo who is still performing every night for hours in her club, "La Parisienne". Najia was very clear in her article differentiating the natural evolution of dance as opposed to fusion of different dance forms making the end result unrecognizable as any belly dance style that is the issue. I can't say it better than Najia and of course, Lucy of Cairo!

Pacifica, California


7-29-10 re: Interview with Fred Elias by Artemis Mourat
Hi My name is Arthur Chingris. Fred and I go way back from the time of Mystical Temptations, Artist Mood for Dance Vol 1 and 2. I was in his ensemble for 15 years and had recorded the albums I mentioned. Also I had gone to Washington DC and worked with John Tatasopoulos for 6 years at the Astor Restaurant from 1981 to 1986

Arthur Chingris


7-22-10 re: Fusion- How much is too much? by Najia Marlyz
Hello, I read your article and I hear what you're saying but I have to disagree.Classic styles will always exist but it is so wonderful to have the chance to really see a dancers personality come out through dance when they can really put their own personal stamp on it. I think fusion dance really allows for creativity, insight, thought and dedication as it takes alot to take what you love and work with it to make it something special in a different way.

The nature of what we now know to be the traditional styles in themselves have elements of fusion since belly dance (at it's origins) was part of a gypsy lifestyle meaning the dance invariable changed and had things added or taken away based on where the dancer found herself. To be melodramatic, to say we should be purists in dance feels the same as saying people of different races or cultures shoudn't be together, that there should br no cross cultural unions. When you look at it like that you see how dangerous and narrow minded this idea of a fusionless dance world can be. To fuse styles is not watering them down nor does it mean they  "don't work" rather, when used correctly, it really enhances the styles being used .

Windhoek, Namibia


7-20-10 re: Queen of Denial by Rebaba
Dear Editor:
Rebaba's, (Rita Aderucci's) story is the best I have ever read in the Gilded Serpent. Candid, heartbreakingly honest, profoundly human--Rita shows a true talent for journalism. As a former professional dancer, I recall the intense scrutiny we were put through-- the demand to be glamorous, to have the perfect figure, the perfect face--in addition to our audience's expectation that we be outstanding performers--rhythmically tight, artistically superior, with a true understanding of the music and culture of the dance. Rita's story has encapsulated these times with color, humor, deep feeling and abandon.
Brava Rebaba!!!!

Kay Kostopoulos
Stanford Department of Drama


7-15-2010 re: Hallah Mustapha interview by Nicole
Dear Lynette,
I really enjoyed Nicole's article about Hallah Moustafa and wanted to share some of my personal experiences with and perspective on this wonderful artist.

I met Hallah back in the mid 1990s when she was producing a dance showcase at one of the top clubs in LA "Al Andalus". I was just beginning my bellydance career in the club scene and Hallah coached me not only on dance & movement, but also Arab culture & etiquette- vital information that I needed to succeed & survive in the dance scene as a performer and entertainer. I also had the opportunity to perform in some of her amazing couture costumes.

I am really happy to see how Hallah has continued with her successful costume business in Cairo in addition to coaching and mentoring upcoming dancers.

Hallah is still a great source of information on the Cairo scene, be sure to look her up on your next trip to Cairo.

Los Angeles, CA


A sampling of interesting comments on these article pages:
Najia's Teacher or Coach: What’s the Difference?

zeerebel- Although I am not a dancer but a martial arts instructor/coach, I found your article to be very insightful and will be adapting for my martial arts school website. I especially like how you describe the dance triage and the personal level a dancer will achieve when having coach Keep up the good work- Z

Barbara Grant- In my judgment, the most controversial statement in this piece was not highlighted but perhaps should have been. It is, “However, in order to withstand the process, dancers must have a real love for moving in an extemporaneous style of composition and must have outgrown the Western need to rely on a formal choreography.” That gets thumbs up from me; however, it seems to be an issue in dispute, no? What is the proper place (if there is one) for choreography in Oriental dance? I’d suspect that perceptions might differ depending upon (among other things) whose student a particular dancer was/is. I’ve seen some very strong statements against choreography expressed on GS (Cory Zamora comes immediately to mind) and with respect to coaching, the subject of this article, it seems possible if not highly likely that a dancer with a strong background in choreography will coach her/his clients toward detailed and exacting choreographic execution. Does that make her/him a less effective Oriental dance coach? Not sure, only asking…

Ashiya and Naajidah's There’s More To Being a Professsional?

Tourbeau-When dealing with illness, there is a fine line between “the show must go on” and “I don’t have enough sense to stay home in bed.”  Many times, dancers are hesitant to find a replacement for a gig because they don’t trust the new performer not to ruin, if not intentionally sabotage, future job possibilities for them (a different spin on the problem of unprofessionalism).  Consequently, they go out and perform when common sense dictates that they shouldn’t.  I understand the critical importance of upholding your obligations, but if I saw a dancer trying to perform while visibly exhibiting symptoms of sickness, I wouldn’t think she was a dedicated professional.  I’d think she was both the second coming of Typhoid Mary and a blooming idiot–neither of which are particularly “professional” impressions to leave on an audience. 

Aniseteph-Excellent article, but as an amateur I take issue with the phrase “behaving amateurishly” to describe the bad behaviours cited.Amateurish is a fair word to describe a performance that doesn’t come up to professional standards, but IMHO rude and disrespectful behaviour towards other dancers is just that, rude and disrespectful. Yes, it is totally unprofessional, but it isn’t anything to do with being an amateur either.

Beata and Horacio's Loyalty, a Virtue Out of Fashion

Jeanette Cool- Are we speaking of loyalty here or rather respecting those who molded our creative path in any art form. There are teachers who make it very clear that you are NOT to study with other teachers. This is not a creative path — it is important for students to experience the pedagogy of other instructors as well as continue with their core teacher(s) of choice. Why are there seminars, workshops and opportunities to study with source instructors from the MIddle East, for instance? To demand “loyalty” seems to lack vision. However, to pay homage to those instructors who have shaped your success is a natural response and is absolutely required.


Written 2-19-10, posted 5-28-10 (sorry Diane!) Re: Digital Dancer! Belly Dancing in Second Life by Caitlin McDonald
What will computers infect next?!!! It’s not enough that they have done away with jobs and personal interaction and now our lovely dance form is to be infested with technology. I used to be able to say that computers have not yet replaced the ability of humans to move in creative dance form, but it looks like they are rapidly doing so. And yes—let’s allow computers to replace teachers and pro dancers so that no one can make a living at anything anymore—not even dance! I’m very sorry to hear about this trend, and I do not look forward to what it will do with our art form. I can’t wait to see how many bad dancers are turned out from computer instruction!

Diane Adams
Company Mezza
Atlanta, GA


5-8-10 re: Rebaba's Queen of Denial
What a beautifully written, brave and astounding story! I really enjoyed this article, the quality was such that it could have been published in the New York Times. I complement Rebaba on her honesty in exposing such a vulnerable area of her being.

Rebaba was one of the dancers at the Greek Taverna in the mid-70s when I waitressed there. I remember the owner/bartender Steve Haramis once commented when she was performing that she had "identity." I often pondered that statement, because while her grace and beauty were apparent, I never quite knew how he could tell that she possessed such a personal and enigmatic attribute.

We all pass through many doors in this life, and like Rebaba, I too was plagued with addiction for much of my life. I read once that an addict lives in the "theater of his or her mind." We smoke, drink, pop pills or whatever and the show begins. It takes strength to face life's challenges and disappointments on a daily basis fully sober and it often takes years to make the adjustment. We have to be honest with ourselves and in our dealings with others and that is not always easy. Fortunately, the ability does sometimes come with maturity. It takes integrity and belief in life and one's ability to live fully sober in it to last.

I wish Rebaba much luck and success in her sobriety and her new life.

New York


4-17-10- Re: Shira's Article on Mass Media, Mass Stereotypes. Comment left below article--
What a fabulous article! The attitude of the Western world toward the Middle East and belly dance really has not evolved much since the late 1800's. How sad! I do remember laughing myself in apoplexy watching the "belly dancers" doing some twisted version of African dance in "The Scorpion King" a few years ago.

My twin daughters came home in tears one day when they were studying the Middle East in school. "Mom - you don't know what they think of the Middle East! You don't know what they think of belly dancers!" and they said kids were doing pretend belly dance moves and laughing about it. I wrote to the teacher with concern about the students' misunderstandings about the Middle East. I offered to bring in doumbek and sagat, some genuine Middle Eastern textiles and jewelry, and play some realy music (note: I did not offer to dance, and if I had I might have taught a debke or other folk dance). I also sent information on a wonderful Middle Eastern culture education program offered in Boston that could come to the school if they wanted something more official. I heard nothing from the teacher or the school.

People choose to remain in the 19th century when they think of the Middle East because it  seems romantic and exotic - which it can indeed be to us from the West - and the media has done little but encourage that stereotype. Fatima Mernissi's "Scheherazade Goes West" is a must read about this phenomena. I'm thrilled to see the lists you have linked to - I've always wanted a definitive list! Thank you so much for sharing - and I wish I could come to your lecture!!!!

comment on article page


4-17-2010 re: Intro to IBCC panel on Belly Dance and Feminism
Great article! I am very interested in that topic, and it was inspiring to read these opinions. Thank you.
Tamar Shaanan


4-7-2010 re: Mark's Gigbag Check
I love the gigbag checks! It's always interesting seeing what's in other dancers' bags. And concerning my own gigbag check, shortly after the IBCC conference I quit smoking for good.

Mark Balahadia
NYC and Northern NJ area


4-5-10 re: Not Last Year's Saiidi by Brigid [this is one of many comments on this article]
It would be just this side of blasphemous to do poi to Metkal Kenawi, but if you ar rocking out to Hakim, being creative may be appropriate.  What is alway important is that the audience know the difference between a traditional representation of the dance and crative license (a/k/a fusion)

Zada Al Gaziyeh


3-17-10 re: Taaj's review of CDs by Leila's Om al Dunya, Samy Farag and vintage album- Gift from Cairo
As a distributor for Leila’s Om al-Dunya I would like to reply to this review. It seems to me this reviewer is not familiar with Classical Egyptian music. Otherwise she would have seen the merit and heard the beauty of the 2 CDs she did not like and understood that the techno synthesized nature of Braham’s Hungarian ballet is not worthy of comparison to Abdel Halim Hafez, Warda, Sabah, Ahmed Adaweya, Sami Ali or Wadiya Safi.

The reviewer also did not understand that the intro to the mergenci is just that, an intro. No one is on stage at the moment. The music is only to whet the audience’s appetite. This mergenci, by the way, belongs to Aizza Sharif. I saw her perform to it in the 1980s. I have video of her doing it. The Sami Ali song was Sahar Hamdi’s signature piece. How can a purist NOT like these songs?

The older, third album reviewed, A Gift from Cairo, is a release by Hollywood Music - that is considered a classic for Egyptian dancers. It was recorded over 28 years ago in Cairo with a 20+ piece band. It is organized in set format, as is Om al-Dunya, not in random tracks. Samy Farag has produced some very good albums out of his Los Angeles studio, but this one - in my opinion - is NOT his best.

In the end it is up to the listener to make up their own minds. I am glad there was a link to a YouTube clip of Leila dancing to the music, so readers can hear it and decide for themselves.

Baltimore, MD


3-16-10 re: Pauline's comments about Zorba's article- (see her note below)
Hi, Pauline, I’m not intending in any way to pounce on you for your remarks, yet I continue to have problems with some criticisms of Zorba. The skirt workshop he attended was open to all members of the community; and if he wishes to include what he learned in the seminar in his performance, why not? If the owners of the restaurant, or the leader of the troupe with which he performed, don’t like the “skirtman’s” appearance (or dancing) I’m sure he will be the first to receive immediate negative feedback. From what I read in the article, that hasn’t happened.
I am no expert on drag shows, having never seen one (except on TV and movies) but from what I understand, the male dancers in such shows do their utmost to appear as women. It is therefore difficult for me to believe that bearded Zorba is trying to do a drag show.
I appreciate your comments on taste and I believe that this is a subject that should be discussed further on GS. There are no standards on “taste” in this dance that have been objectively articulated, that I can see. Let’s have that discussion on taste and standards; in the mean time, I would not wish to minimize a male dancer for his costuming choices.
Very kind regards and with all respect, 
Barbara Grant
SF Bay Area


3-14-10 re: Yasmin's article about Shoo Shoo
Thanks so much for writing about Shoo Shoo! She has been one of my favorite Egyptian dancers from the 80’s even though there isn’t much footage about her.  But what I have seen just captivates me. Her style, power, fluidity are beautiful and inspiring.  The opportunity to learn from her sounds verrrry tempting……..
SF Bay Area


3-11-10 re: Yasmina's column #11
Comment on Question 3: I believe your response was well written, however I don’t feel that you truly touched on the REASON why students become obsessed with instructors, which will be beneficial for teachers to understand so that they can better handle the situation. I believe that students become obsessed because when preparing them for their first few performances, an instructor will spend MUCH more time than is the norm for say a more veteran student. In the process of spending a lot of time with the student, an intimate relationship is formed.  For the instructor this is business, however, the student comes to look at the instructor as this ALL KNOWING individual who gives much positive reinforcement and attention. When the performance is finished, to the instructor that much attentino is no longer needed to be given to the student. But the student doesn’t understand this and begins to resent the instructor for not giving all their time to them like before.


3-11-10 re: Zorba's article
It’s a free country, and anybody can do ’bout what they want. But if you’re going to dance orientale as  a man, then you need to dress like one. Wearing feminine crop tops, skirts, beads, veils, baring a too-large belly doesn’t come across well. It looks like drag and burlesque and buffoonery.   We still have such a problem with acceptance as a legitamite dance form, and when people don’t dress appropriately, it just becomes fodder for others to continue to demean our art form.    What is wrong with wearing a vest, shalwar with a waist wrap, like most other male dancers I’ve seen? Bobby Farrah, Bert Balladine, Tarik Aziz all danced in this kind of costuming and looked very masculine.
As Valerie Camille, a film and theater choreographer who used to work with Bobby Farrah said - “I don’t care who you take to bed, if you’re a man, then you dance and dress like a man”.  
  Now, I’m sure I’m going to have a lot of people pounce on me in the name of self-expression,  and how dare I say these things.  It’s one thing if you do this in your own home, and quite another when you’re taking it out there for all to see.   And proper presentation and costuming for one’s body habitus isn’t just limited to men. There are plenty of women who don’t do much better.  Many pictures on this site demonstrate that. Like Bobby used to say, “you can’t teach taste to some folks”.

Pauline Costianes
Ann Arbor MI


2-24-10 re: CK photos
Lynette, I was intrigued by the photos on CK posted by Lynette Harper and Rahma Haddad of Canada. “Dance + Storytelling” seems a very compelling combination, and after viewing their photos and description of the context, I want to know more about their performance. Will an article or longer description be forthcoming?
Barbara Grant
South S. F. Bay Area, CA


2-15-10 re: Mentions of the Haramis brothers in articles by Elaine and by Aziza!
Hi, Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your web site.   I recently learned that I am directly related to the Haramis family, so it is with great interest that I read about the Haramis brothers.
Salt Lake City, Utah


comments from below these articles

2-15-10 re: Photos from Tat's Fantasy Fest by Carl Sermon
Lovely photos. Just a quick note on the captions. In the UNMATA photo, the one in the middle is Kari, not Terry.
Also, the dancer in the photo captioned "Kalia of ?" I believe she's Kalila from Sacramento, Ca.
Erica D
Sacramento?, CA

re: Bellydancer in 21 days
2-5-10 What a fabulous experience for you to have!  You seem to be a lovely, intelligent young woman and I’m impressed by your dedication and chutzpah.  Best of luck to you in all your future pursuits!
Zaynah Cantara

2-5-10 How old did Averill say she was?  She shows a wisdom far beyond her age.  I know of dancers who’ve performed for years who don’t know what the most inspiring parts of dance are, but Averill does!  I’m confident she will succeed at what ever she chooses to pursue.  Contratulations to Averill.  Very well-written article.
Leyla Janan

re: Behind the IBCC
1-27-10Thank you Yasmina for hosting the conference!  Both years were amazing and I am looking forward to the next one!  What I cherish the most  was the atmosphere of sharing and friendship.  The presenters, instructors and performers were so willling to share their knowledge and wisdom with everyone.  I met a lot of great people and learned so much.  Thank you!
Beth Syrnyk

re: Is Bellydancing Provacative
1-26-10 Well, the  problem that nobody wants to address, is that if we keep calling this dance by the name we were stuck with in 1893  “belly dance”, than what chance do we have to be taken seriously? I follow the school of thought espoused by Ibrahim (Bobby) Farrah. He detested the term “bellydance” for obvious reasons. It is  silly, buffoonish, and doesn’t give the art it’s due. Better to have to explain that “Oriental Dance” doesn’t mean Asian, and that it’s the proper translation of “Raks Sharki”, which is what the Arabs themselves call it, than to continue propagating this foolishness.
Pauline Costianes

1-27-10 Changing the name will not change the attitudes. We must as bellydancers take out art seriously ourselves first, then others will do so as well.  There are still far too many woman out there who beleive this is a dance of seduction and promote it as such.  When we all take our dance as seriously as ballet dancers do and put the time, effort and practice into it perhaps then it will be seen in a new light.
Beth Syrnyk


1-18-10 re: The Habibi Index Project
Dear Lynnette:
It's hard to express how pleased I am to see the Habibi Magazine Index project. Little did I know that keeping those old Habibi, Belly Dancer, Arabesque Magazine collections for all those many years would come to such fruition in your hands in such a wonderful way so many years later! I'm so glad you bought that collection from me all those years ago at that belly dance swap meet and flea market. I'm even more glad to see how you are sharing that information with the world with this archiving project. Many thanks to you and to all the contributors for creating such legacies for the belly dance community (and others) with your great work at The Gilded Serpent.
Best regards,
Teresa (Tera) Jean Rich,
Vancouver, WA,


1-11-10 re: The Original Mish Mish, Interview by Kamala
Mish Mish didn't brag and neither did the interviewer....but Mish Mish was/is an incredible costumer. I bought several of her costumes in the 90's before she left for Alaska.  They have been bought and sold several times and still gorgeous and have held up beautifully.  Excellent workmanship! My Best to you Mish Mish!

Terry Del Giorno
San Rafael, CA



Click a link below for the previous letters.

Older Letters  

Archived Letters Page 19- 2010 you are here

Archived Letters Page 18- 2009

Archives Pg 17- January through December 2008
What's in a name, self acceptance, Men in Belly dance, Yasmina's new column, MECDA Ellections, Tajikistan, AWS fest, Arabic Idioms, Professional Presence, Suhaila in Phoenix, Music recording, Vegas IBDC, Egyptian Code, Jodette, Journey to Womanhood, New York Dance Scene, Amy Sigil, Tito Seif, Arab Defamation, Gothla, Neon's Keeping your mouth shut, Valizan Ozgen, Toronto IBCC, Burlesque, DVD purchasing, God Bellydanced, North Beach Memories, Princess Farhana fan article, Cabaret to DJ by Nina, Raqia Hassan, Serpentessa, Cover-ups, Criticism, John Bilezikjian, Certificaation, BDSS, East too West?, Vendor's View, Lynn Zalot & Habibi,

Archives Pg 16 -June 2007 through December 2007
Tatseena's Belly Bully piece, Amina's writing, IBCC coverage, Review on Tirbal DVD's, Barbary Coast and Bellyqueen, Cover-ups, Non-Profits, lifting the Veil by Yasmina,
Mona Said's letter, Music Copyrights, Ethics of Fusion, Egyptians being too Western?

Archives Pg 15- December 2006 through June 2007
Interview with Nakish, Sashi-kabob, How to charge what yo'ure worth,Tribute to Rhonda, Marliza Pons, Party booking, George Elias, "I dance you follow". Ethics of Fusion
Archives Pg 14- June 2006 through December 2006
Ethics of Fusion, Queen of the Bay, Territorialism Undermines Event Sponsor's Efforts, Greek Flavor, What ME Audiences Expect , Taxsim, Gothic Dance, Gyspy Dance, Sashi Kabob, Wierd Rituals

Archives Pg 13- November 2005 through May 2006
BDSS, Burlesque, Gig rates, Sashi's piercings, Sex shows on Rakkasah Fest stage, God Bellydanced, Sima Bina, Devi Ja's passing, Jamie Miller's Passing, BDSS reviews and Mile's reponse, Michelle and Sandra's Adventures, Turkish Baths, Muslim Cartoons, Working together, Review of Shareen El Safy's DVD, Spokane's Festival Coverage, Articles by Keti, Michael Baxter, Zar article and racism, WHEW!

Archives Pg 12- May 2005 up through October 2005
BDSS, Burlesque, Gig rates, Competing Cairo Fests, Israel Fest, Untaught Teacher

Archives Pg 11- December 2004 up through April 2005
Copeland, BDSS film and auditions, GS kicked out of Rakkasah, Zaheea's dancing for the blind, Christian dancer, the THONG, Luxor club review, Miles vs Horacio

Archives Pg 10- May 2004 through November 2004
Mena in Iraq, AWSF, Desert Dance Festival 2004, Biblical Accounts of Bellydance in Ancient Near East, Bellydance in Israel, Festival of the Nile review, Suhaila’s Sheherezade review


Archives Pg 9- December 2003 Through April 2004
Myopic view of BD by Sadira, Belly Bus, Queen of Dance Contest, Rakkasah West photo teaser, Comparing and Contrasting, Jillina DVD review, Dancing inside out

Archives Pg 8- May 2003 - November 2003
San Leandro Fest photos, Reflections on North Beach, BD and healing from sexual trauma, Dina in Dallas, Searching for your new dance teacher, BDY pageant

Archives Pg 7- October 2002 - April 2003
Najia’s Real Critic article, Back in the Holy Land, Glass dancing, Casbah and Bagdad Club, Reflections on North Beach

Archives Pg 6- March 2002 to September 2002
Vendors, Dance certification, BD and strippers, Jamila Al Wahid video review

Archives Pg 5- March 2001 - March 2002
My uncle Yousef, BDY pagent 2001, Dancer attitudes - BD gossip and back biting

Archives Pg 4- November 2000 - March 2001
Criticizing and reviewing events, “Where’s the hook when we need it?” Desert Dance Festival review

Archives Pg 3- March 2000 - October 2000
Entertainment or art? Sicilian bellydancers, Rhea, Review of Giza Academy Awards

Archives Pg 2- November 1999 - Febuary 2000
Living Goddess review, Fred Glick travel, Fanana of Bellydance

Archives Pg 1- Febuary 1999- September 1999
Shira’s advice to “Offended”, North Beach memory, George Elias & Bagdad Cafe


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