Arabic Music Listening Exercise

It’s a new year and I couldn’t be happier! January is always an exciting time, especially if you are excited by goals, resolutions and new office supplies like me…truly I am still on the hunt for a stylish weekly whiteboard for my office. I find myself trying out new activities to satisfy my resolutions. Last year, it was new ways to organize and inspiration boards.

This year, it is journaling and writing. I’ve found myself diving into blog posts, journals and collages. I’m writing a…

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The Music of Suhaila Salimpour’s Enta Omri

Hi all! The Atlanta debut of Suhaila Salimpour’s Enta Omri is just around the corner. One of the things that makes me so excited about this show is that it features classical Arabic music. Now, while that excites this Arabic music nerd, Arabic music is not something many people are very familiar with. I’d like to help bridge that gap with some preparation. Yes, many of these pieces are long, deep with meaning and every changing Arabic maqam (musical modes). I’d like to try to simplify some of these concepts for you in…

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Why I Chose the Salimpour Certification Program

Hi all, today’s blog post is personal. I wanted to talk about why I chose to certify in the Salimpour School of Dance. This past week there has been a lot of conversation around belly dance burn out and the change of the industry, which has made me reflect on my study and what I bring to my students. I’m not comparing or contrasting this program to others, this is my own personal experience and I hope it helps you think about this program as well!

My first Suhaila…

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Tips for Performing with a Live Band

Performing with a live band is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a performer. As a dancer and a musician, it’s what I live for. I’ve often joked that if someone approached me with a gig to perform with a professional Arabic band 5 nights I week, I’d drop my entire life to do it. Interaction with live musicians is an experience I hope all…

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Now Accepting Students for Private Sessions

I’m not currently offering weekly classes, but I would like to extend the opportunity for students to schedule private sessions with me. First lesson includes a 30 minute dance consultation – let’s figure out what you want to do and how you want to do it – and then we’ll dive into your hour session.

These sessions will help you get on the right track for your dance aspirations. I don’t teach…

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The Integrity of Dance: Choreography and Expression

It’s 6:45 PM on a Saturday and I’m getting ready for a show. We’re at a local workshop show filled with local dancers performing. This is the first time we are performing one of our pieces with four dancers instead of three. The pinnacle of the piece involves a complicated Cross and Box pattern where we flip flop from one to the other. I’m not too worried about it since The back stage area is actually another ballroom that allows us plenty of space to rehearse our piece one more time before going on stage.

“Make sure to…

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Drum Solo Construction

This past week I taught a drum solo workshop in Orlando, and I had a great time creating a workshop based on “how to construct a drum solo.” I know from personal experience, creating a drum solo that is memorable, show-stopping, and awe-inspiring is a daunting task. What I did notice while researching drum solos, however, is that most Middle Eastern drum solos have common elements if made for a belly dancer, more specifically they will probably have the following elements: Entrance, Answer and call, Pop/slap, Beledi resolution, Shimmy section (could also be finale), Finale punch line.

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My new apartment!

After months of broken promises from the American University regarding its very unsuccessful move to the new campus, the majority of international students have decided to move out of the temporary housing – before they move us to yet another location. My friends and I have found an amazing apartment in Zamalek, 5 minutes from the corniche, and right above a grocery store. What more could you ask for?

In other news, this week the AUC folkloric dance troupe started rehearsal. We are currently learning a beledi routine that is 10 minutes long. This is a…

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Lots of wonderful things have happened – I visited Alexandria, went to the pyrmaids again, survived my Arabic survival course, classes started on the new campus and oh! I had a private with Raqia Hassan…


My computer is dead, the internet is down in the hotel, and internet is barely running on campus, so a more detailed account of Alexandria and taking from Raqia will come soon.

Tonight I go to my first Arab music ensemble class, very excited about that.

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