A Belly Dance Diary 2018
Zorba at Raks Santa Cruz
2001-2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 2017, 2018 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025
Herein is chronicled Zorba's on-going voyage of discovery into the magical realm of Belly Dancing. Sometimes major events, more often just baby steps along the way. Presented here in reverse chronological order.
17 December 2018
More videos from the ABDC fall hafla (6 October):
YouTube Video, Luna Habibi dancing "Op" (With Zorba).
YouTube Video, Luna Habibi skirt and Zill dances (With Zorba).
YouTube Video, Jenn's first ever veil solo!
15 December 2018
Video from my solo at the ABDC fall hafla (6 October): YouTube Video. Not the best camera placement, blah, blah, but I've seen worse!
8 December 2018
Christmas Hafla! Performance in West Melbourne at a Veteran's hall with a great group of gals!
I danced a total of 3 times: A solo to Tarkaan's "Kiss-kiss" playing my Zildjian Zills; then twice more with Luna Habibi, dancing our skirt dance, Zill dance and "Op".
Thank Goddess nobody did a routine to "Santa Baby", which was a nauseating staple at Xmas haflas in California. A couple of pictures now in the 2018 Gallery, plus a brief YouTube snippet.
2 December 2018
Pictures and video of the fall hafla AT LAST! Just a few pix, added to the 2018 Gallery.
I need to do some post processing on the video, but the entire 2+ hour long Hafla with ALL performers has already been uploaded to YouTube.
I need to split out the numbers I was in and get them posted.
17 November 2018
A "small performance" with Luna Habibi. We danced "Op" for a bunch of BallRoom Dancers! They liked it and us very much, even if I *did* make a rather large mistake, and forgot to Maia at one point and skipped ahead into the shimmy that comes after it. I just waited for the dance to catch up with me and carried on - nothing else to do at that point!
3 November 2018
Workshop! Hopefully the first in a series, this was "10 Songs Every Belly Dancer Should Know", taught by Nadirah Johara. Great workshop, knowledgeable old skool teacher! We studied Oum Kalthoum and danced to the classic song Laylet Hob.
6 October 2018
American Belly Dance Club Fall Hafla!
I Danced with Jenn's Luna Habibi troupe twice! First up was dancing with the "Baby Habibis" (new troupe members performing their very first time), performing "Op", the 2016 second place winner of "Simmy Mob" that I also danced (but not performed) in California. That was just wearing a vest and my cake stacks. Then I added a skirt to the same costume and danced a solo I hadn't done in a few years, I call it simply "Cabaret", its the only choreographed (by Janette) solo I do. I've seen the same piece of music danced a couple or three times since I arrived in Florida, and nobody does the Kaleegi section right! Unlike Janette though, I start the routine with wings instead of the veil Janette uses.
Then I completely changed costumes into my "Majida Dress" to dance with Luna Habibi once again, performing our Gypsy skirt dance, followed by - for the first time ever - a brand new troupe Zill dance where I played my Zildjian Zills. Each time I danced, I got hotter than I was the time before, so I added clothing - which makes zero sense, but was actually the best way to do it, despite the heat!
I seem to get more compliments from males here in Florida than I ever did in California, except one guy in the front row who obviously didn't know where to look, but he sure didn't want to look at me!
Last, but certainly not least, Jenn did a solo. A veil solo - with a 4 yard "fire veil" she borrowed from me. Despite a bit of initial nervousness, she did very, very well - a beautiful dance indeed!
I hope to have pix and video soon, I really miss Carl Sermon in California! He wasn't cheap, but dancers got top quality pictures in a timely manner. Here, there are no professional photographers at all, and the (often talented) amateurs can be like pulling teeth to get pictures from even when there's been some taken!
27 September 2018
I've known about this for several weeks - Didi has a really nasty stage 4 cancer - pancreatic - that is "holding" for now with chemo/radiation, but she also had a brain tumor (benign) that had to be removed and they've found another one behind her sinuses.
Any, and all prayers, rituals, well wishes, candles, incense, naked dances by moonlight (*very* appropriate for this gal!), 21 gun salutes, etc. would be very much appreciated by her, and would be considered a personal favor by myself. If anyone feels so inclined, her friend started a GoFundMe Page for Didi's Cancer Expenses.
You could NOT ask for a nicer person than Didi - this completely SUCKS. I'm really NOT wanting to fly back to California for any reason, much less a funeral...
17 September 2018
All good things must come to an end: I've received word that Janette has closed her studio. "After 47 years, I'm burnt out and need a break!" I had called her to tell her about the live music performance on the 14th, and she gave me the news. However, she'll be back much like Dunia is - and she knows this too. It was to her that I owe the vast majority of my dance education, and everything keeps coming back to what she taught me, including dancing to unknown live music!
14 September 2018
Another performance at Middle Eastern Aromas restaurant.
This was a very eventful performance for me. I have danced numerous times in the past to live music, and really enjoy it. However, I always knew what the band was going to play and was already familiar with the music. Just walking onstage and dancing to "whatever" scared the crap out of me. Janette and I had often talked about this and what I needed to learn in order to be able to dance to unknown music.
Well, I "done did it!". I was planning on performing "Mary Jane's Dance" at this event, but about halfway through, an Arabic musician showed up unlooked for! We were given the option of performing to our CDs, or having the musician play for us. I decided "Its time.". Great "one man orchestra" with a Korg keyboard, and he'd sing too! I didn't know the song, but I found that I sure could dance to it anyway, and play my Zildjian Zills along with it!
I won't say I set the house on fire, but I did do better than I expected for myself being this was the first time I've ever done this - but it won't be the last!
25 August 2018
And yet another-another "Sagheer Hafla", where once again I did "Routine-2, super short" with a brand new burgundy organza veil and Zildjian Zills. This went very well if I say so myself, and the audience was stellar!
4 August 2018
And yet another "Sagheer Hafla", like last time I performed "Routine-2, super short" with my "moon and stars" veil and Zildjian Zills. Other than a minor problem with my veil, my performance went well, but strange and wonderful things were going on; thanx to, no doubt, the current ongoing Mercury retrograde. A couple of dancers called in sick, the emcee bailed at the last minute, the sound wonked out on the 1st performer, etc, etc...
20 July 2018
FINALLY! Video of my double veil performance at the spring Hafla is now on YouTube.
And it just came to my attention that although I had added it to the Video Page, I had not noted the video of Luna Habibi's spring Hafla performance here: YouTube video. A bit fuzzy but watchable.
Another video of Luna Habibi's spring Hafla performance slightly better video quality: YouTube video.
And a video of my teacher, Jenn Lane: YouTube video.
The video is a bit blown out, but watchable.
14 July 2018
Video from the Hafla Sagheer performance of 9 June is now up at: YouTube.
16 June 2018
A hafla held at an interesting store in Melbourne called "The Love Hut", which is NOT a strip club, adult novelty store, or porno shop despite what its name might lead one to believe! Its actually a rather nice new age type store.
This event was organized by the same gal who hosted the Middle Eastern Aromas event 16 February last, and it might become a monthly event!
I went in with the intent to perform my old "Raks Africa" number - and I did, eventually. More and more venues are asking for music in MP3 format, but the computer decided that it was going to take its sweet time installing a driver for a "Geek Stick", so a bunch of drummers who were present starting drumming, and I started dancing!
Although I've performed to live music a number of times, I've never performed to live drumming (only), nor to something I didn't know ahead of time! I guess I was ready, I sure enjoyed it, and played my Zildjian Zills right along with the drums. Then my music was finally ready, so I finished with Raks Africa, also playing my Zills!
Thanx to my dance sisters, there are some pix in the 2018 Gallery.
9 June 2018
Another "Sagheer Hafla", this time I performed "Routine-2, super short" with my "moon and stars" veil and Zildjian Zills. My grandaughter was in attendance, first time she'd been to one of my performances since 11 May 2013 when she was at Santa Cruz's "Crepe Place" restaurant at age 3 weeks! She was enthralled by all the dancers, and even took a few pictures with my wife's phone, some of which are now in the 2018 Gallery.
28 April 2018
American Belly Dance Club Spring Hafla!
My second year, this is a fun and well organized event. Danced with Jenn's Luna Habibi troupe, doing our cane dance. That has already been posted as a YouTube Video, a bit fuzzy and horrid sound, but watchable. Then I danced an old favorite, "Goddess Dance", my "classic" double veil routine that I haven't done in quite a few years. In fact, I haven't performed double veil since 1 August 2015 (to a different tune) that was a catastrophe due to my forgetting my contacts at that performance. Fortunately, this performance went very well, the veils behaved themselves, and I received lots of compliments including from Tambil who was present in the audience but couldn't dance because of prior commitments.
I also was complimented by a guy who told me his wife is a dancer since 1985, and teaches double veil, and that he'd never seen better! That made my evening.
Last, but certainly not least, Jenn did a solo. She does not like soloing on a big stage such as this venue is (F.I.T.'s Gleason Auditorium), but did one anyway. She was beautiful - she has a natural ease and joy that I'll probably never have (although I'm improving), I'm very glad for, and proud of, her!
7 April 2018
A workshop with an incredibly talented Tribal Fusion gal from Venezuela, Akzara! Much of her style reminds me of Didi, but she has her own twist on things. Very enjoyable class, impressive instructor!
21 March 2018
Only peripherally related to Belly Dance, none the less, a special page showing the relocation and reinstallation of Dunia's Aughkstra (Stained Glass Window).
11 March 2018
Workshop! Taught by yours truly - "When Good Veils go bad, Overcoming Veil-Phobia" to a group of 5 eager students. I really enjoy teaching this workshop - what to do when things don't go right with your veil, how to deal with "veil diasters" of all kinds!
24 February 2018
FINALLY! A 2018 Gallery, and a few more pix in the 2017 Gallery as well. I'm still missing pictures from the fall hafla 2017 - hope to get some "soon"...
In addition the "Dangerous Curves" folks are always great about getting videos to their performers, here is a video of the 10 February performance: YouTube Video. In my "Sacrificial Virgin" costume!
16 February 2018
Yet another new-to-me venue! A local dancer hosts the occasional showcase at Middle Eastern Aromas restaurant. Better yet, I was able to perform a "normal" length (7 minutes these days) set instead of the super short 3 ½ to four minute limits that are all too common here in Florida. So I did the same routine I did at Hafla Sagheer, mainly because Jenn, who was there and also performed, hadn't seen it yet. That would be "Mambo/veil/kiss" Playing my Zildjian zills and my black organza veil with gold stars/suns/moons which is my favorite veil to use when I'm doing veilwork whilst wearing zills.
This just in: I now have pictures from a couple of different performances. I'll need to create a 2018 gallery, as well as add a few pix to the 2017 version. A video from "Dangerous Curves" has also surfaced. I'll get this stuff posted ASAP, watch this space...
10 February 2018
Another "Dangerous Curves" hafla in St. Petersburg. Rode over to it with "Missy", wore my "Sacrificial Virgin" white and gold costume. Performed the routine I developed in Sese's soloist showcase class. A good time was had by all!
21 January, 27 January, and 3 February 2018
A series of Luna Habibi performances at Brevard's Renaissance Fair! Since all 3 performance days were very similar, I've grouped them together under one diary entry. We had three 30 minute performances each day: 12 noon, 2:15 PM, and a final one at 4:30 PM. With the exception of the 4:30 PM slot on 3 Feb - which was just before closing time on the last day of the Fair - we had good audiences throughout. If there weren't many people around when we started, they came trouping over to our "Gypsy Stage" pronto!
The troupe performed: Short drum solo, cane dance, Zill solo by Zorba (me, with Zildjian Zills), skirt dance, veil dance, and (longer) drum solo followed by audience participation. I didn't do the "Short drum solo" as I felt I didn't know it well enough, both the cane dance and the skirt dance were new dances to the troupe, and I had enough problems learning those with my slow choreography learning curve (especially the cane dance).
The performances were a LOT of fun, but grueling at the same time. We had the routine dialed in though: Do the 12 noon performance, go get some pizza and a Coke, wander about for awhile (And take in the other Belly Dance troupe, "Hips of Destruction"); do the 2:15 performance, go get some ice cream and a Coke, wander about for awhile, then finish up with the 4:30 appearance. Good times!
Met a number of foks in our various audiences, including several out-of-town Belly Dancers who obviously knew our music, and even a gal all decked out pretty in "Lolita Fashion" which was nice to see (See my own foray into the fascinating world of Lolita Fashion in my 2014 Gallery). We had several children join us during the audience participation portion of our shows, including one little girl at that very last sparsely attended performance who was about 2 feet in front of the stage the entire time and was so joyous when I invited her onstage!
NOTE: I am having a heck of a time getting pictures here in Florida, even when I know some have been taken. I'm still waiting for pictures from last year's two big haflas, as well as smaller performances I've done. There will be a 2018 Gallery, as well as some additional updates to the 2017 version - SOON I HOPE!
13 January 2018
First performance of the year! A "new type" of hafla ("Hafla Sagheer") for the American Belly Dance Club - fewer dancers, longer sets. I did 2 appearances, the first was my current favorite of "Mambo/veil/kiss" which is a "normal" 7 minutes, then I re-appeared and did Mary Jane's dance at just over 5 minutes. Playing my Zildjian zills and my black organza veil with gold stars/suns/moons. The performance went well, there was another dance sister who is also new to this area, who did a spectacular Raks Assaya. We had a free dance afterwards, I went scurrying backstage to grab my zills, but the Zildjians had disappeared into the bottom of my dance bag. However, the Saroyan "Fahtiem" zills were at hand, so I played those instead! I was also the only dancer who played Zills during their performance, although a couple of others played during the free dancing.
The only hitch was I couldn't find my bobby pins - I wanted to wear my EyeScream Jewelry headpiece, but don't know what happened to the bobby pins! I managed to borrow one from a dance sister, and found another one on the dressing room floor, so I was able to make it work, but I need to get some more!
More Haflas Sagheer are planned, I'll try to dust off a couple of my 12 or 15 minute sets that I haven't been able to dance for years - if I can survive the process!!