Thursday, April 24, 2008


in half an hour the taxi will pick me up to take me to Cairo airport to travel, once more to Edinburgh.

BUT this time I am going for a holiday - not work!

I'll be going from 39 degrees here in Cairo to what.... 11/12 degrees in Edinburgh..... Hmmmmm.

Its been a frantic few weeks with Sooooooooooooooo much work that i ended up injurying myself (twisted ankle on stage- all better now!) and despite some friends coming over for 2 whole weeks- i hardly saw them! (Just as well they were busy attending the Nile Group festival!)

Tito was the highlight of the closing festival seemingly...................Lucy seems to have wowed some people (including her drummer- who is also my drummer) but also disappointed others- interested in your views.......... i was working so didn't make it along.

Oh and I went to see Suraya on monday night at the Marriot. I am so so so very envious of her orchestra. Her violin player is just to die for. They played Enta Omri and I thought I would cry. I didn't even want to watch her on that one- I just wanted to listen to the music! ( not that her dancing wasn't wonderful- she kills me with those shimmys- and she's getting more and more snaky too!)

oh- and talking Om Kaltsoum- after she had finished and the after band came on... a lots of the girls in the audience danced- some on stage- some beside their tables... our table (with 5 dancers!) did no less... although I was determined, having just finished work and trying still to rest that I wouldn't dance..... but as they played O.K. (Om Kaltsoum) I just couldn't resist. As a professional dancer- sometimes it is eay to forget that complete loss of self when you dance totally inside the music- I got it back that night- I shut my eyes, and just danced........... unfortunatly I had just been sitting twisted, in stong AC for 3 hours- so my back was very unapreciative of my efforts- but although my body complained- my soul felt revived. I really thought I was a bit stupid to feel this way- and I mentioned to a singer and she instantly understood why I just couldn't help myslef- 'ah - yes.... you were 'in' om kaltoum- i understand!) so - its not just me!

apologies for my lack of blog entries recently.... just way too busy to even get through a fraction of my outstanding emails never mind type up interesting quirky cairo happenings.......

However, I was in a car tonight with someone who had a baseball bat at the side of him- SCARY!!!! Dont think I'll be doing that again!

off to airport now.....

Friday, April 18, 2008

some pics... of me!

A friend of mine Richard Fusniak, aka fuzzy ( his website is - came along to watch me dance a few weeks ago and came up with these shots... some nice ones- and you can just spy the tartan ties on my band on some!

I chose to include this next one purely for the tartan effect- not for the elegant dance pose!!!!!!!!!

It couldn't last!!!!!!

of course.... my body objected to being worked every single night- so on wed night, at the end of my show, I went over my ankle on stage. It went a very impressive blue balloon shape but thankfully, ibuprofen, ice,arnica cream, support and REST have done it wonders and it looks fairly normal now.... apologies to anyone who went along to the Golden Pharoah last night or tonight to see me dance- I was licking my wounds (ok- not literally- yuck!) Fingers crossed- all back to normal by tomorrow. The look of disgust on the chemist's face when I didnt' know what size my ankle was when I went in to buy a support bandage was very amusing- tell me honestly- does ANYONE reading this KNOW what width their ankle measures??????????

However I have decided to take a complete rest from dance when home this trip to Scotland- so not even having the one night i had planned at Morocco anymore- so you'll have to either wait til Sept to see me in action- or come to Cairo! Sorry for anyone who had booked because of me........

I did manage to hobble along to the Nile Maxim last night to watch Rhanda perform. It was my friend Hannah's birthday and we had a lovely evening, birthday song and cake by Rhanda and her band! Rhanda has so much energy- considering that was her 3rd show of the night- very impressive!!!!!!!

Also limping to the cafe next door afterwards, instead of the usual sexual remarks from guys passing by i heard the 'alf selema' ( a thousand get wells....) a very nice change! Once the ankle heals, I might have to fake a limp in future anytime I have to walk anywhere!!!

Have also decided that this time of year in Cairo is sent as a curse to the Sinuses! There is so much dirt in the air that you can't help getting an infection of some sort. My supply of menthal chrystals from uk have now run out- more shopping to do next week!

ok- thats my moans over for today..................

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I seem to be spending all my time running from place to place these days... mainly since I have guests- who are buying costumes... o its trips to the Khan, and the various designers for fittings etc etc.... so lots of time spent in taxi's. And of course- running to work every night... Its all go... if you are in Cairo and want to see me dance over next week these are my dates...

Golden pharoah- wed 16th, thurs 17th, fri 18th, sat 19th and sun 20th
Nile Pharoah- mon 21st, tues 22nd, wed 23rd

then I am off to Scotland for a short holiday!!!! I'll need it - that will have been 27 nights in a row performing without a break. My body feels fit- but oh so very tired!

had the best show of my life so far last night.... people were screaming and standing and dancing on chairs.... completely mad, even the women in neqab- and there were a lot- were all smiling and dancing with their hands and very very supportive- it felt wonderful- and was a HUGE amount of fun!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nile Group festival 2008- opening night

Last night was the opening night at the Pyramisa hotel of the dance festival here in Cairo run by a group of dnacers and teachers who go by the collective name Nile group. Oh- and I'll apologise now- no photos- unless I can steal some from the girls who were there with cameras !!!

I missed the 1st dancer's performance (Dalia) since I was still at work. I had to perform for a birthday party for a new born baby- very bizarre experience- dancing in front of a pram with the baby google eyes at all the sparkles form the sequins- and from the noise of the music too probably!!!) Full video camera in the face too! There is a special name for the party they have for a new born- sebo3 ( the 3 is written for a letter we don't have in english- 'ain' and the word itself derives from the word for 7- since the party is held 7 days after the baby is born....)

anyway- The 1st dancer I saw at the opening ceremony last night was Liza. She worn this most fabulous costume made by Hallah.... all from assuit material- but a bedla, with some turquoise threaded into it. really really nice! She does a step touch move around the stage which is very impressive and I especially liked her baladi number. My students who are here for the festival and saw her for the 1st time were really captured by her energy and enthusiasm.

Leila danced next. Stunning. Simply stunning. Her, her costumes and her dancing. WOW. She really impressed me- it's nice to see that having a little time out, and having a baby can only help to improve your skill on stage! I saw more influence from dancers like Dina and Rhanda in her style than I have seen before- which worked well. very well done.

Hayem danced too- she is the other dancer currently working on the same boat at me, the Nile Pharoah. Her 1st costume was very pretty elegant yellow swishy number... and she has a lovely cute smile the whole time she dances... although, forgive me Hayem for writing it- but the lime green jumpsuit at the end, which showed everything, was a little too much for my taste.

Asmahan... sorry that should read AS - MA - HAN !!!!!! A 2 HOUR SHOW. !!!!!!!!!!! Yes really- 2 hours!!! complete showmanship. Her entrance was seated on a pharoanic chair, with trumpeters announcing her arrival, dressed with the full pharoah head dress and costumes.... very sexy, very powerful, very impressive. Her next entrance was in full 1950's style puffy ball gown.. dancing a waltz on stage- to have that stripped off her to reveal a VERY shiny silver with gold buckles bedla (which she looked like she strugged to keep on!!!) some slow slinky moves to die for. Oh- must mention the muscley male dancers too!!!!!!!! Then the saaidi /shaabi number- with a purple 70's style swirl patter galabaya- very clingy very funky. She created such a hyper atmosphere with lots of people up on the stage dancing... very fun. The sheer number of stage support she had was something else too- a good 12 support dancers/actors musicians who helped create the atmosphere of a big stage production. Then the Zar- which was a little bizarre- her dancing boys dressed and devils and attacking her- then the incense man and the zar rhythms to release the evil spirits and again the white plain covering dress was stipped form her to reveal a sugar pink, short tutu style bedla!!! not long into the last dance she pulled on the skirt and low and behold it became full length! AMAZING drum solo- as always- earthquake shimmys that really did threaten to bring the house down! well worth staying awake til 3am to watch!!!!!

A VERY good night. Hope I'll be inspired when I perform tonight on the Nile pharoah!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Busy busy

I guess the most exciting thing about this week is that my friends Hannah, Natalie, Sara and Laura have arrived in town! I love showing people my Cairo! we have been daily costume shopping.... ah the joys!!!! Today we went to Hanan- tried on lots and going back on thursday to order something lovely!!!! The girls came to see me dance last night and despite there being a very small audience, it was a nice night.

All busy too over the next week- since it's the Nile Group festival at the Pyramisa hotel... lots of dancers coming from all over to do workshops with lots of top teachers- wonderful! I had a dancer from London , and another one from Canada come to see me tonight on the boat- they were just lovely. Had a dancer from Norway along the other night too- she is a lovely dancer and I had fun putting her up on the stage!¬ It's scary dancing for other dancers- my peers- but great!

oh- and I danced for the president of Ukraine on wed night. That was an interesting experience! all the body guards... and protocol! wasn't allowed to have my saaidi guys on stage with their sticks- i guess in case one of the decided to take a whack at him!!!!

all go- and all fun!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Just Because.........

Women in Egypt die of Breast cancer on a daily basis - just because it isn't detected and therefore treated early enough....

Just Because... is a registered charity aiming to raise funds and promote awareness, prevention and early detection of breast cancer for women in Egypt.

It is a charity set up by UK bellydancers who want to make a difference to the lives of women in Egypt- the home of Bellydance.

Bellydancers have been raising funds to purchase a mobile mammography unit in Egypt so that women even in the most rural, poorest areas in the country have access to live saving knowledge..... and treatment.

The money raised so far has come from fundraising haflas, workshops, sponsered dances, personal donations, raffles etc etc etc - there are many fun ways to help give back to the women who have given us the dance we love so much!

YOU can make a difference too....

Have a look at their website to read more about it and see how you and your bellydance community can become involved.

please forward this onto any bellydancers you know, friends, teachers, students... anyone who might be interested in helping organise an event to do some good for the women of Egypt.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Huge thanks

wow- thats the largest response I have ever had to any of my blog entries...........

Thank you all sooooooo much for your advice and suggestions re fixing my problem with my website name!

I have contacted the host of my domain name, and the host of the porn users...... hopefully something will get sorted by them very soon (although STILL waiting for a reply!!!) - in the meantime please don't go into until further notice that it is all ok!!!

On the up side.... my curtains on my balcony are finished- it looks like I am having a party. The material I have used (photo to follow!) is the same they use for tents for all celebrations- so I guess at Lorna's house there is a moulid every day from now on!!! That and a wonderful dance room! very happy!

Oh the other thing is that if you are likely to be in Cairo over the next 2 weeks , there is NO excuse not to see me dance......... I am performing at the Nile and Golden Pharoah EVERY night for the next 15 days ( ie. 1st- 15th April) . Not really sure if thats a good or a bad thing- for sure I'll be exhausted by the end.... but great re money. Definatly not complaining- i much prefer too much work rather than too little!!!!!!!!!!!

My band look great in their Tartan ties- still need to get a photo in here to show you!

Last night i enjoyed work.... really responsive audience... and afterwards I had a really lovely conversation with one egyptian woman who couldn't understand why I was working the boat rather than a top hotel. I told her I was there because at least there the managers at the boat didn't want anything else from me, unlike at the hotels... her opinion was that, even though it is a notoriously bad industry i am in, as long as I behaved well, others would behave well towards me. Nice Idea- wish it was fact!

Lovely to talk so frankly with her though. Seems like such a small thing, hardly worth comment, but I find it hard to have conversations with any weight to them with women i meet here...... opinions seem to be fixed in stone and seldom open to discussion....... I guess thats partly down to the schooling system which still teaches by rote rather than learn through exploration of ideas etc.

Another complex thing about Egyptian culture for me to learn recently was you cannot say to someone

'IF 'something' , THEN 'something will happen'

the concept is alien to them- because everything is in the hands of Allah.... so nothing is fixed or certain. To say the 'if' in the 1st place implies that thing is definate, rather than hypothetical. It's all very confusing to me and I am still not sure I understand it. But I can understand more and more why there are so many issues to get through in order to fit in here!