of Troupe Ooh La La
first walked into the Belly dance studio July of 05. She was quiet,
shy, and a sincere student. She made the 1 1/2 hour drive from
Tracy, California weekly and soon appeared enthralled with the
dance form. Rhonda quickly became dedicated to Belly dance and
was an extraordinary person. Part of what made her extraordinary
was that she had to deal with the effects of severe asthma and
Lupus, and despite her physical limitations, she attended her
dance class every week—and worked hard at it.
With only a few months of training under her belt, she joined
troupe Ooh La La—even though she had limited dance experience
and many health problems. None of us could overlook her persistence
and dedication! She expected all of us to not treat her any differently
than we would treat any other girl in Ooh La La.
was strong, committed, and refused to be babied. If we contemplated
changing a move or choreography to better suit her physical
needs, she always said, "Don't change a thing; I can do
this!" Then, she would.
move, step, or zil pattern gave her difficulty, Baseema went home,
practiced, and returned the following week, dancing better than
ever. There were times she could barely walk due to a flare up
of Lupus, but she always came to rehearsal and gave a 110%--despite
the pain or trouble, she was going through that day. Rhonda soon
became the troupe mascot because of her courage and commitment.
"If Rhonda can do it, you can do it!"
became our motto. She was a great source of inspiration and motivation
for all members of Ooh La La.
When Rhonda was contemplating adopting a dance name, she decided
on Baseema, which means smiling in Arabic. When
she first started performing, she was very shy and had difficulty
smiling, but once she learned, she was unstoppable! Baseema’s
smile and facial expressions lighted any room, wherever she danced.
In 2006, Rhonda’s talents helped Ooh La La have one of our most
successful years. All the troupe members will greatly miss our
friend and her inspiration. She taught all of us the true meaning
of courage, and additionally, that we could achieve anything ,
if we believe in our ability to overcome hardship. We feel so
blessed and grateful to have had the opportunity to have her in
our llives and our dance.
Rest in Peace beautiful dance friend, Baseema; we already miss
December 28, 1973—March 1, 2007
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Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
Photos PAGE 2-Carnival
of Stars Photos by Michael Baxter
Sponsors Alexandria and Latifa November 11 & 12, 2006 Centennial
Hall, Hayward, California Rhonda Pictured
Queen of the Bay Bellydance
show and Competition June 17, 2006 Photos by Michael Baxter,
Event Sponsored by Shabnam and Maurice in Oakland, California.
Small photo of Rhonda
Morgana's Animal Magnetism, Interview
with Morgana of Madrid by Surreyya
seeing Morgana’s Serpent Dance, where she embodies the personality
of the serpent, I was hooked. Any snake lovers or snake dancers
will have a special appreciation for this piece.
by Michel Harris
wealth, along with social and political change, has threatened
Islamic culture and traditions. Therefore, many Muslim planners
and architects are reacting to this invasion of Western culture
by reasserting their Islamic heritage.
Belly Dance Workshops: Realistic
Expectations by Eleyda Negrón
difference between a Christmas gift and a workshop though, is
that in the worse case scenario, you can always return your gift
and change it for something else, but… What do you do with
a workshop that didn’t suit you? It can become a waste of
time and money for both ends.
Nakish- An inteview with "The Lady with the Eyes"
worked hardest for the dancers in San Francisco to wipe out the
discrimination factor and to make sure that all cultures were
included in the performance of this dance.