Jodette is originally from the Middle East and began performing there as a very-much-in-demand dancer and singer from a very early age. She held us spellbound with her tales from that time and her encounters with the great artists of the day, including names very familiar to belly dancers, like Badia Masabni and Farid Al Atriche. Sausan taped the interview, so I will share a link to it once that has posted, because hearing the stories in the charming way Jodette shared them from memory is truly part of the magic.
I was so touched by Jodette's warm welcome and friendly way. She had a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and a lovely smile for all of us, even those of us she had never met. She was so generous with her life experience and her wisdom gleaned from a lifetime as a performer, daughter, wife and mother. She was very open about both the good and the bad things that she has gone through, it was an absolute honor to be in her presence. She also has a fantastic shop and studio filled with treasures and beautiful photos from her performance career.
Sausan is organizing another trip to visit her for Thursday, March 10th. You can sign up by calling Sausan directly at 415-867-6754. I would encourage anyone to take this opportunity to meet a gracious and gorgeous living link to the roots of our beloved dance.
For more information on Jodette's life and career, there is this wonderful article by Sausan on the Gilded Serpent.