Summer Belly Dance Classes

Hello Dancers!

Just a quick update this week to let everyone know that the Summer Session of belly dance classes at the South San Francisco Parks and Rec starts next Wednesday, June 20th.

Summer Belly Dance Classes.jpg

Beginning Bellydance is from 7 - 8 and Intermediate is from 8 - 9.  Classes go through Wednesday, July 25th and there is no class July 4th.  You can register online through the SSF Parks and Rec in plenty of time to join us for a fun summer session.  Let me know if you have any questions.

And then for something completely different :).  I got to perform at Al Masri last Sunday with Nazir Latouf and the Al Masri Passion Band and my lovely friend Joumana took a video so I thought I would share it here.  The musicians are Musa Sababa on keyboard, Nazir Latouf on the oud, Reda Darwish on tabla and Linda Grondahl on backup percussion.  The music is incredibly beautiful - we are so lucky to have these musicians in the Bay Area and I encourage everyone who loves belly dance and Arabic music to come out and enjoy one of these nights!

Al Masri Passion Band and Alisa Greer

I hope you all enjoy the music and I wish you a great week!

Samia Gamal

Hello Dancers!

I hope everyone has had a great couple weeks dancing!  I had the opportunity to check the Bay Area Belly Festival last weekend - I arrived in time for the live music set with Tahneen, a favorite local Arabic music band.  It was lovely to see all the dancers perform to their beautiful music.  If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for their mailing list to stay in the loop about next year's festival and other events planned by the amazing Sudeep.

I am thinking of starting a series on American-style belly dance and dancers which, as much as I love Egyptian-style dance, is also a huge source of inspiration for me.  So stay tuned for that and today we'll enjoy the most classic Egyptian style with Golden Era legend Samia Gamal.  I chose this clip because of the song, it's a classic Egyptian song that was popular with early American dancers because it is on a George Abdo album under the title Raks el Gezlan on the album the The Art of Belly Dancingwhich was one of the albums I grew up listening to!  More on all that in the weeks to come, for now let's enjoy the one and only Samia Gamal.

Samia Gamal- Golden Era Bellydancer from Legends of Bellydance DVD

There is another lovely clip of Samia dancing a drum solo here - this is a must see clip for learning about Egyptian style drum solos.

And just a few notes- I will be teaching this summer at SSF Parks and Rec for a 6 week session, I will get my Classes page updated this week with all the info.  Contact me if you have any questions!

And I will be performing at Al Masri on May 20th with Nazir Latouf and Band, at Tannourine on Friday June 1st with Khalil Abboud and Band and at Carnival of Stars Saturday, July 21st.  I will try to get my Shows page updated this week as well with all the details.

Happy Dancing!



SSF Classes Start Wednesday!

Hello Dancers,

One last reminder that our short Spring Session at the South San Francisco Parks & Rec starts this Wednesday, April 25th!

Beginning goes from 7-8PM and Intermediate goes from 8-9PM.  This is a quick 4 week session, so even if you've been busy, please consider joining us!!

You can register easily through the SSF online system - use class code 167428 for Beginning and Class Code 167429 for Intermediate. 

Complete class info is as always on my Classes Page.  See you Wednesday!

ps - until then, how about a little Monday Glamour:

Beautiful Egyptian belly dancer Samia Gamal

Beautiful Egyptian belly dancer Samia Gamal




Just the word Rakkasah makes the pulse of any belly dancer race!  Imagine immersing yourself in a world of belly dance for a full day or even the entire weekend!!  I look forward to it every year and this past weekend did not disappoint.

There are always many highlights - seeing old friends and greatly admired dancers, listening to beautiful music all day, being inspired by everyone's costumes and cover-ups, shopping and browsing for belly dance essentials and of course performing too!

This year my most favorite moment was getting to be a small part of a tribute to Elaine Arneson (Zelina), a dear friend and beloved Bay Area belly dancer who passed away earlier this year.  Truth be told, it was very difficult to know I would be going to my first Rakkasah without her radiant smile and matchless sense of humor to greet me.  But getting to be a part of her tribute meant the world to me.  I have danced with the troupe El Ashab once before, with Elaine, and it was so much fun.  Here is a photo with Elaine on the left.

El Ashab - Photo by Carl Sermon

El Ashab - Photo by Carl Sermon

I will look forward to sharing pictures and video from her tribute as soon as I have them.  In the meantime, it was wonderful to share memories of her with the other dancers yesterday.  She inspired us all and the best way to honor her is to never stop dancing, because she danced all the way through her life and it was such a privilege to know her.

That's all for this time.  I am working on updated the Classes page and I will post again when I have the new information ready.  SSF classes start on 4/25.