Archive for August, 2011

Lebanese Belly Dance – Dina Jamal – YouTube

Lebanese Belly Dance – Dina Jamal – YouTube.

After a late-night round of inspirational videos, I leave you with this.

I’ve seen this video several times over the years and have had mixed opinions each time I watch – but I can’t deny her effortless stage presence, grace, and beauty through simplicity. Go on with your bad self, Dina.


Bellydance Community Events

After speaking with dance affiliates in the area, I realized that some of the bellydance related events taking place in the states may be off the radar for our Canadian counterparts, and vice-versa.
I am updating a list of events I know of that are happening in the region (MI, OH, IL, WI, IN, PA, NY) and nearby Canadian cities during the next few months.
Please email  so I can add details, and/or events that aren’t listed. If I don’t get an event invite, chances are, I won’t know  it’s happening. This list is in chronological order and is a work in progress.
Fri, Feb 17th –  Blazing Belly Dance Benefit for Burners without Borders Detroit, MI
When: Friday, February 17th, 9:00PM – Saturday, February 18th, 1:30AM
Location: The Old Miami, 3930 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
Blazing Belly Dance is excited to host a benefit for an important local organization, Burners without Borders Detroit!
Doors open at 9:00 pm, show starts at 10:00 Donations of $5.00 will be collected at the door, and 100% proceeds go directly to
In addition to cash donations, we will also be collecting new men’s socks, gloves, and handwarmers for the Burner Backpack Project!
Feb 17-18th –  Workshops and Show with Onca of Mezmer Society and Kelly Holder – Ann Arbor, MI
Friday, February 17th, 7:00PM – Saturday, February 18th, 10:00PM
Hafla:Friday, February 17th,  7:00 pm
Passport Restaurant and Lounge
3776 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48108
All workshop attendees are welcome to perform in the Friday night hafla, to be held at the Passport Lounge in Ann Arbor. Performance spots are available on a first-come first-served basis, so register quickly to ensure your spot! (Please keep your hafla performance to under 3 minutes so we can include as many dancers as possible)
Saturday, February 18th
10:30 am- 12:00 pm Raqs Vaudevilla (cane) with Onça
1:00 – 2:30 pm Musicality with Onça
3:00 – 4:00 pm Romany Folk Dancing with Kelly Holder
Click Here For Workshop Descriptions –
All 3 Workshops: $90 EARLY REGISTRATION (registrations received before Jan. 31)
All 3 Workshops: $100 (registrations received after Jan. 31)Raqs Vaudevilla + Musicality: $75Raqs Vaudevilla + Romany Folk Dance: $65Musicality + Romany Folk Dance: $65Raqs Vaudevilla ONLY: $40Musicality ONLY: $40Romany Folk Dance ONLY: $30

Gala Show:
Saturday, February 18th 7:30 pm (doors at 7:00)
Greenhills School Theater featuring:
The Mezmer Society, Kelly Holder, and Unveiled Dance WSG:
The Lunatic Vagabonds, Mia, Kendra and Leilani, Raks Incendia, Boheme, Nomadic Jewels, Calliope, Amira Star, One Spirit, The Clapsaddles, and more!
A show not to be missed!! Get your tickets in advance for $10 at are The Clapsaddles, The Mezmer Society and Kelly Holder you ask? Check them out here:
Sat, Feb 25th – “Alf Laila wa Laila: One Thousand and One Nights” Show Toledo, OH –
Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9:00am – Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm
Location: Crowne Plaza Toledo, 444 N Summit St, Toledo, OH 43604
THE SHOW:In conjunction with Cassandra’s seminar instruction in Toledo, we will present a showcase of some of the best dancers in the area, including not only Belly dance/Middle Eastern Dance, but also Bollywood, Fusion, American Tribal style and African dance. The Saturday evening performance gala, “Alf Laila wa Laila: One Thousand and One Nights” will be presented courtesy of the Crown Plaza in Downtown Toledo, in the Grand Ballroom.Doors open at 7 pm, show from 8 to 10 pm, and there will be a short intermission; also, a cash bar and complimentary h’ors d’oevrs will be available. We will feature invited talent from (literally!) around the globe (Greece, India, Russia, Palestine, Senegal, Lebanon), with Cassandra as our guest and Master of Ceremonies.Performers Include:Leyla & Raq the Casbah: A World Cabaret!
Kay Louise & Mesmeric
Amira Star
Shyam Sachuk
Yasmina & The Habibi Dancers
Lapis Lazuli
ALMA Dance!
If you would like to buy tickets for the show please visit:www.leylabellydance.comand click on the “Cassandra in Toledo” link.You can purchase by Paypal here, find information on sending a check, or you can simply download this flyer now:….the last page has an order form for show tickets.
Please note show tickets are $20 in advance; $25 the day of show, and at the door. There is limited seating and we plan to sell out, so buy early if you plan to attend.Lastly, a reminder that the show is only PART of a wonderful dance opportunity here in Toledo, with Cassandra, an internationally recognized Middle Eastern (“Belly dance”) artist.
The links mentioned above will take you to the flier where you can read all about her; the seminar is open to ALL ages, sizes, and beginner to pro dancers so please consider attending the workshop as well, it is a rare opportunity, and honor, to have her in our city, not to mention a wonderful and healthy gift to give yourself (or someone else!) in this glorious New Year!
This program is presented in conjunction with Independent Advocates, a local organization focusing on legally championing battered women, and prevention of violence against women. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to IA. In addition, programming is made available as part of The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s continued support of performance art.
MAR 3rd – 4th – Lisa Zahiya Workshops and Show- Back to the Burgh! –
Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:00am until Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 1:00pm
Location: Pittsburgh Dance Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Janim and Katia of West of Cairo proudly present the triumphant return of Lisa Zahiya to Pittsburgh for a weekend jam packed with workshops and shows!Join us for three exciting workshops, guaranteed to get you moving!
Saturday, March 3rd, 10:-12:00:
Workshop 1: Hips of Fire, Technique and TrainingHipwork is the quintessential identifier of great bellydance, and Lisa is the master of hips. Polish and perfect your smooth and sharp hipwork in this physically challenging workshop.
Saturday, March 3rd, 1:30-3:30:
Workshop 2: Hips of Fire, The Choreography:A signature Lisa Zahiya Choreography integrating the hip movement learned in the Hips of Fire Technique workshop.
Sunday, March 4th, 10:00-1:00:
Workshop 3: Pop, Lock, and Undulate!Explore Lisa’s signature fun and funky bellydance style. Learn how to add spice to your performances by working on movement style, combinations, patterns and expression. 3 hours – dancing plus discussion.Take advantage of our early bird special and buy all three workshops for $110! Early bird special ends January 31st, 2012!

Lisa is a renowned performer and teacher and an inspiration to us all! She is an innovative, award-winning performer, in-demand instructor and successful studio owner. Working in the genres of bellydance, Indian dance (Bollywood & Bhangra) and hip-hop dance, Lisa travels nationally and internationally teaching and performing.
About Lisa: Lisa is a alumni of the University of Maryland Dance Team and has a background in musical theater, jazz and hip hop. In 2008, her strong powerful style earned her the title “2008 Tribal Fusion Bellydancer of the Universe” and she went on to win the Alternative Category at the Wiggles of the West bellydance competition in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lisa’s unique style and fusion dance forms has gained her recognition in the International bellydance community. She travels, teaching workshops, performing and developing curriculum. She is currently developing a fusion dance curriculum for a dance school in San Raphael, France.Lisa is also known for her work with children and women, using dance as a impitus for change. Lisa serves as a Resident Artist with the Lake Eden Arts Festival, working with 1st-8th graders in public housing communities and is also a Guest Dance Instructor with the Buncombe County School System. She has taught at two eating disorder recovery centers, helping women re-discover their bodies through movement, and teaches at the Swannanoa Correctional Facility for Women.
Sat, Mar 10th –  Tribal Fusion workshops with Jenabah and evening Hafla – New Baltimore, MI –

Saturday, January 28th, 12:00PM – 11:00PM
Czigany’s Oasis dance and Fitness
51026 Washington, New Baltimore, MI 48047
12-2pm Tribal Fusion Technique and Drills
3-5pm Tribal Fusion Combos
7-11pm Hafla Show followed by open dancingWorkshops $30 each or both for $55
Hafla $5Jennifer Giacomelli (Jenabah)Jenabah is the artistic director of Tree of Life Cultural Arts Studio in Chelsea, MI. She has been studying a variety of dance styles for over 25 years, and teaching to students of all ages for more than 15. At the age of 5, she began studying ballet and tap. Soon there after, her focus turned towards modern, jazz and hip-hop. In 1998 Jenabah performed and taught for Universal Dance Association, a dance company that travels nation wide teaching high school dance ensembles choreography, technique and more. She also taught for Creative Dance Arts, School of Dance in Tucson, AZ for 7 years. During this time, she was introduced to dance styles from different cultures while performing with Domba at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. Intrigued by music and dance of the African Diaspora and Tribal Style Belly dance, she began her path of studying world dance with master dance instructors from East and West Africa, Cuba, Brazil, as well as the United States. In 2006, Jenabah traveled abroad to study music and dance in Guinea, West Africa and later was afforded the opportunity to teach Tribal Style Belly dance workshops in Barcelona, Spain. Jenabah performed for 15 years at Renaissance Festivals in Michigan and Arizona where she was a principal dancer for Domba, Tribal Fusion Belly dance and Nommobugunte, a world drum and dance troupe founded by Jenabah and her husband Sundance. She also performed with Like Water Drum and Dance from 2003 – 2007 contributing her creative choreography and costume designs.
MAR 11th – Double Header Workshop with Joharah of BellyUp (Technique/Arms) – Kitchener, Ontario –
When: Sunday March 11, 2012
Down Hips Dance Studio
Kitchener Spectrum Centre
900 Guelph Street, Unit 105, Kitchener, ON

(Off the Wellington N/E cut off, Left on Riverbend, Left on to Guelph St. On the corner of Maple and Guelph St. (before Lancaster) Large red brick building)

Get back to basics: Fine tune and polish the fundamentals of Oriental Dance in this challenging 2hr workshop. Get a head start on the BellyUp vocabulary of movement for Oriental Dance.

Beautiful Arms & hand work breathes life into your dance! Bad Habits distract! Learn the ABCs of how to express yourself with the mot fluid and graceful arms, hands and gestures so essential to Oriental Dance

PRICE: $40 each, or $70 for both (includes hst)

** Registration with payment MUST be made in advance by emailing Or through Down Hips Dance Studio. (Cash, Cheque or EMT)

Space is limited! – Reserve your spot!
Spots are not held for those noted on Facebook as attending. You must email the studio.

MAR 24th – Aegela Presents 2012 Belly Flea Agora – Toledo, OH –
Aegela Center for Middle Eastern Dance Invites you to Belly Flea Agora.


Toledo Elks Lodge #53
3520 N. Holland-Sylvania Road
Toledo, OH 43615

Ample Parking, No stairs, Large Dance Floor, Non-smoking Facility

$10.00 admission (seniors, adults, dancers, non-dancers)
*due to open dance floor, children must be supervised at all times*

Join us for an afternoon of belly dancing fun, performances, socializing, flea swapping, shopping, selling. Clean out your closet, share a table with flea struck friends. Only a few things to sell? Consider the community consignment table.

Bring your flyers for a “Promoting You” table

***Henna Artist***

Zumba demo at 1:00 pm***Adult Hula Hooping demo at 2:00 pm
Never tried it? Here’s your chance. You just might like it.

SPECIAL GUESTS: Rune Palland & Katara (see below for details if you are interested in a drum workshop before the shopping starts 11:00 to 12:00)

Performance Time Slots Available ***Groups, Troupes, Soloists Welcome
12:00 noon – 3:00 pm – dance to your cd
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – dance to the music of Rune & Katara
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – open dancing with the band

Time limit: 7 min. solo & 10 min. group


Toledo Elks Lodge #53, 3520 N. Holland-Sylvania Road, Toledo, OH 43615

South Bound US 23: Exit 13, W. Central Avenue. Turn Right off the ramp (a cloverleaf) and go .5 mi. Turn Left onto N. Holland Sylvania. Elks Lodge is approximately .5 miles down on the right.

North Bound US 23: Exit 13, W. Central Avenue. Turn Right off the ramp and go .5 mi. Turn Left onto N. Holland Sylvania. Elks Lodge is approximately .5 miles down on the right.

Vendors and Performers: Payment for tables will be acknowledged via e-mail. Vendors can start setting up at 11:00. Vending fee includes admission for the vendor and 1 helper only. You will receive a badge at the door, so please include your helper’s name. Please bring your own cover for tables.

If you have any question, e-mail Registration accepted via PayPal to e mail above, or by check payable to “Aegela” and mail this form to:

Aegela, P O Box 350742, Toledo, OH 43635, (517) 918-9547

Please include: Name(Legal), Name(Dance), Address, Email Address,

IF YOU’D LIKE TO VEND, please include the following information:

Number of Tables _______ @ $15.00 each $__________

Number of Racks ________@ $ 5.00 each $__________ (vendor provides racks)

Total Enclosed $__________

TO PERFORM please include the following information:

Please indicate time slot you prefer for performance. Sign up will be acknowledged by e mail.

Performer/Troupe Name: ______________________________________________________

12:30 1:30 2:30 3:00
(NOTE: 3:00 slot for performing with band only)

BELLY FLEA AGORA 2012 presents…

All Levels Welcome

RUNE PALLAND – 24 March 2012

11:00 pm – 12:00 pm
Cost: $15

Toledo Elks Lodge 53
3520 N. Holland-Sylvania Road
Toledo, OH 43615


This class will cover the fundamentals of playing the drum (darbuka/derbeki/doumbek/tabla) and will present several playing methods, primarily the Arabic Classical method. It will begin with producing basic tones and move to traditional rhythms that you can play specifically for Belly Dancers. The level of instruction will be adjusted according to the skill levels of participants. Beginning drummers will learn at least two rhythms and advanced students will learn combinations and variations on traditional rhythms.
Rune and his band, Katara, are accomplished musicians whose talents have been shared at area festivals, Ren Faires and at Pennsic. They will also play for us at the Belly Flea Agora.

***Note: Complimentary passes to Belly Flea Agora will be given to all workshop participants.

If you have any questions e-mail Registration accepted via PayPal to e mail above or by check payable to “Aegela” and mail this form to:

Aegela, P O Box 350742, Toledo, OH 43635, (517) 918-9547

Please include: Name, Address, City/State/Zip, Email Address,& Phone,
Number of Students

MAR 31st – APR 1st – Amira’s Birthday Bash with Aziza – Swanton, OH –
Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 9:00am – Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 5:00pm
Location: Valleywood Golf Club, Swanton, OH
Created By: Tiffany Adamski
More Info:
Another amazing weekend of workshops, incredible show, and plenty of fun for all. What kind of mischief can we get into this year?
Special Reunion fun Friday March 30th for the Pro weeklong gals!
Everyone else the party begins Saturday morning!!!
Do not miss this incredible opportunity to take from another of the most sought after Bellydance instructors in the world: Aziza !!

Saturday morning we will “Focus on Fluidity” Slow and slinky seemless transitions, posture, body lines all come together in this drill and combination’s class. Special attention paid to hands and arms. (all levels)

Saturday afternoon; “Glamorous Veil Technique” You Know you LOVE Aziza veil dances. Tame your Veil!
Sunday morning; “Lower Body Blast” Hip articulation, shimmy technique, figure 8’s, traveling steps and combination’s all focused on bringing out the best of your lower body.

Sunday afternoon; “Drum Solo Drama” Now put the technique into practice with improvisation excersizes and a short “out of the box” choreography! We will finish the weekend with a comprehensive reveiw of all the workshop content.
Aziza is coming to Toledo!!! March 2012! More details coming!!
Mar 3rd – A Night of Art, Wine, and Dance! – Royal Oak, MI –
7:00pm – 9:00pm
325 E. Fourth St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
A gallery showcasing of artwork by Kameron Kilgo, live entertainment belly dancing with Lauren Jalbert, and the sampling wine from the proprietors of Vintner’s Cellar.
Fri, Mar 13th – Carnivale for Haiti – Windsor, Ontario –
2175 Parent Avenue, Windsor, ON
Shringara World Fusion Bellydance invites you to come and celebrate the culture of Haiti in a “Carnivale” atmosphere.

Doors open at 6pm for a pasta dinner and entertainment involving dance, music, acrobatics, spoken word, and more. There will also be door prizes, raffles and a 50/50 draw throughout the evening.

All proceeds will feed, house, and educate a group of girls in Haiti through the Kay Nou (Our House) project of Hearts Together for Haiti.

Advance ticket sales only!

Tickets are $20 and will be available at Taloola Cafe and Eastside Yoga starting Feb 12th.
Tables of 10 includes a free ticket, so you are only paying for 9!

There is also an early bird draw for tickets purchased before April 1st. So don’t delay, get your tickets today!!

Contact Jeanelle at 519.972.3374 or for tickets or table seating.

APR 27-29th – Weekend Workshops and Show with Artemis Mourat – Macomb County, MI –
Friday, 8 – 11pm – Location TBD
Gala show featuring the amazing Artemis Mourat. Full show line-up and location will be announced as details are finalized.

Saturday, April 28, 2012
10-12 Finger Cymbals A-Z $40
1-3 Drum Solo – including understanding the structure of a drum solo and the elements of a great drum solo $40
Both for $75

Sunday, April 29, 2012
10-12 Turkish Oriental and Turkish Romany $40
1-3 Turkish Oriental and Turkish Romany continued $40
Both for $75

Learn step combinations and get a clear understanding of how Turkish Romany dance is the mother of Turkish Oriental dance and how the two differ and merge.

Saturday and Sunday all workshops $140
Register early as space is limited.

SAT May 26th – For Love of Isis 2012 – Windsor, Ontario –

Join us to celebrate with Valerie and her friends, and support the Humane Society in their efforts to find love and shelter for all the homeless animals of this area.
Featuring talents including: Sherena (of Project Bellydance), Lana Mini, Leilani, Audra Simmons, Shringara, Aiyanna Bellissima, Bailey Soulliere, Ishra, Invoketress, Shakti, Ioana, Jodi/Vanessa, Chantal, Kiara, Meera, Celine, Isisraks, Almeh, Tribe MayaFire, Roberta, Hipnotique, (let me know you want in!!!)

Dance/fitness-related workshops throughout the day FOLLOWED BY a 3-Course Dinner and Show with an amazing line-up of performers of all genres.

The Scottish Club of Windsor
1340 Tecumseh Road East
Windsor, Ontario

May 26, 2012
Workshops will be held again – Details TBA.
Instructor: Sherena of Project Bellydance!!! (

Doors for the show open at 5:00 p.m.
Please arrive prior to 6:00 in order to allow the meal to begin on time.
Some extra interactive fun at intermission (about half-way through)
Expected to run until about 11:00-ish. (It’ll depend on how the hafla goes.)

Workshops $30 each
* for details visit event website at:

Dinner: $40 per ticket. Cash bar.

JUN 16-17th – Ava Fleming Workshops (and Gala Show) Pittsburgh, PA –
Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 10:00am – Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 4:00pm
Location: Arena’s Performing Arts Center, 995 Brodhead Rd., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
8 full hours of instruction for the incredible price of $110 Super Duper Early Bird Special. (only full weekend workshop and show pricing available at this time. Check back later for individual day and show pricing!)
Saturday Workshops include:
The Nitty Gritty I: Fine tune your dance and pick up a little of what makes a dancer look good. Discussing dance “lines,” dancing “tall,” body positioning and those little tweaks that make a professional look so great.
From the Top! : Focusing on the upper body, we’ll explore chest, arm and torso accents. From smooth and slinky to pops and locks, this workshop will include combos with fantastical upper body accents.
Sunday Workshops include:
Shimmy Drills and Layering:
Drill down your shimmies and learn techniques to layer hips, chest, arms and traveling! Includes weeble wobbles.
Control Freak:
Learn how to isolate those muscles and pop and lock them into the smallest, sharpest movements possible. Next time someone calls you a control freak, you can really show them what that means!
Saturday Night Gala Performance to include the top belly dancers from the tri-state region and of course, a spectacular performance by Ava Fleming.
OCT 27th – NOV 3rd – 2012 Belly Dancing At Sea Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean – Miami, FL –
Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 4:00pm – Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 8:00am
Location: The Carnival Liberty, Port of Miami, Miami, Florida
Created By: Darkwinter Page, Yvette Willis Newell, Alishah Kier
Early Bird Deposit ONLY $75pp DUE BY 09/30/11
Call Our Travel Agent – Alishah 770-485-8065 or email her at
Yvette Newell-Willis & Darkwinter (Rebecca) Blake –Cruise Coordinators
…cordially invite you to join their 2012 Belly Dancing at Sea!~!
7 Night Cruise visiting the Bahamas, St Thomas, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos
No Date Port & Activities Arrive Depart
1 Sat, 10/27/12 Miami, Florida Belly Dancers Pool Party 9PM 4 PM
2 Sun, 10/28/12 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas – Private Island & Group Photo Night 9 AM 5 PM
4 Tue, 10/30/12 Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas – Swim with the Turtles Visit the island of St John 8 AM 5 PM
5 Wed, 10/31/12 San Juan, Puerto Rico – San Juan City Tour and Bacardi Rum Distillery 8 AM 3 PM
6 Thu, 11/01/12 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos – Grand Turk City Tour, Snorkel and Scuba Dive
10 AM 6 PM
7 Fri, 11/02/12 BELLY DANCE PERFORMANCE at Our “All White” Cocktail Party
8 Sat, 11/03/12 Miami, Florida 8 AM
Call Our Travel Agent – Alishah 770-485-8065
Early Bird Deposit ONLY $75pp DUE BY 09/30/11
Monthly Payments on the 30th of each month 10/30/11-07/30/12
Interior $52.13 per person each month 10/30/11-07/30/12
Oceanview $60.14 per person each month 10/30/11-07/30/12
Balcony $75.13 per person each month 10/30/11-10/30/12
Call Our Travel Agent – Alishah 770-485-8065 or

I’ve officially started a “blog”

I decided to have a go at it, so here it is. Entry 1 of the dancer’s blog. Currently, I’m boiling fresh ginger, with lemon wedges, and local raw honey, as a stimulating and anti-allergen base for decaf mango tea. Exciting? Maybe not. Not all of these are going to be winners. In the meantime, visit until I think of something clever to publish.

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