Monday, December 04, 2006


I have just had two lovely evenings that I have to tell you about…

On Friday I was asked to teach a group of women (mainly American and mainly wives of men who work for the American Oil company Apache) how to bellydance- at a private party- in the nicest villa you can imagine- every room looked like something you'd expect to see in an art gallery with many paintings by the lady of the house, a talented artist herself and many items of furniture that looked like pieces of art rather than pieces of furniture! Anyway- I performed a short dance… then I taught this group a small, beginners workshop – where we had a lot of fun- especially the yes/no hands for hip circles…. But anyway… then we had a questions and answers session about bellydance (and about me and why I am here in Cairo!)- That took the most time but was probably more educational about the dance, and entertaining, than even the workshop had been! It was a very enjoyable and interesting evening- both for myself and from the feedback I received back from the ladies on the night- and from word of mouth a few days later!!! One woman came and tugged my arm while I was leaving- 'look over there'…. She said… 'Look at the effect you've had'! And sure enough there were 3 women, standing in a corner; trying to get to grips with some of the new moves they had been taught. Fantastic! It reminded me again how much I miss my students back home!!!

Tonight (Monday) - the women from Friday night had decided that their men had to get a chance to see me dance too………… so I was invited- as a guest, to dance at their annual dinner, in Mena House Hotel. LOVELY! Really. I have performed there once before, at Raqia Hassan's 'Ahlan we Sahlan' festival last year… and that was an experience and a half- very nerve wrecking dancing in front of your peers………. But this time round it was a pure pleasure dancing for such an appreciative audience. Often at these types of events, the hardest people to get on your side are the women- they all seem to think you are after their men or something like that…. But of course- since I had met the vast majority of the women already and they had invited me- they knew I was 'safe' and were pushing their men to watch! Lovely atmosphere and lovely people……. It was a dream come true performing in that hotel too! If even half the women come to my class next term who say they will… the classes in Maadi at least will be fully booked before term even starts!!! For those of you who have never seen inside Mena House- it’s a palace………. Gold walls, rich red carpets, Chandeliers that were larger than any of the rooms in my flat at home!!! Just a beautiful venue to be in, never mind dance in! Oh- and I have never had such clean feet after performing anywhere in the world, EVER!

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