Thursday, September 27, 2007

Last chance!

Well- the speed at which my workshops have been booked up this month has wowed me. Nice to be so popular, Thank you all for your support and huge apologies to those who missed out (larger venue next time i promise!!!) !!!

All Edinburgh workshops/private class slots are now fully booked...

so if you want a chance to learn from me this time round you better make a day out to Dundee part of your plans!!! there are still spaces on the workshop there and also don't forget the party night the same day- a great reason to make a day of it!

workshop- Sunday 14th Oct. 12-3pm. £25. Open level (no complete beginners please!)
Dundee international sports centre.

Party/performance- Sunday 14th Oct. Hafla Layali. 7pm- late. £12 (includes buffet, bellydancers, Bizarre and chance to boogie!)
Dexters, Castle Street, Dundee

To book your ticket for either the workshop or Halfa (or both!) email ASAP, Caroline and Nova on

also remember i am performing everynight at Morocco restaurant until sat 13th Oct so maybe see you there...

and there is the Souk at Morocco on sunday 30th sept. 2.30-7.30pm, where i will be selling lots of lovely sparkly stuff!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Private Classes

There has been a high level of interest in Private classes with me while I am home.... so i have 4 days at the moment where i have time slots available for a class.

Thurs 27th sept (one slot available)
Sat 29th sept (one slot avaliable)
Sat 6th Oct (all times taken)
Tues 9th oct ( 3 slots available)

if you are interested at all please contact me asap via emial to arrange.

Stuff for Sale!!!!

Roll up , Roll up for Lorna's amazing
' staying in Cairo for at least another year' Souk!!!

Sunday 30th Sept
Morocco Restaurant, Dundas St, Edinburgh.

(also Sunday 14th Oct in Dundee, details TBC)

I just couldn't bring myself to do this before now, but needs must..... so..... for the 1st time ever I have decided to sell off some of my own costumes! Most of these have been worn maybe only 2 or 3 times- ie as good as new!!!! There are bra/belt sets and dresses too!

There will also be brand new stuff too! skirt/veil sets, coin belts, cygat, sticks, jewellery etc

and on special offer i have 5 copies only of Amr Diab's brand new CD 'El Lelady' at ONLY £8 per CD.

See you at the Souk!!!

Workshops with Lorna, Edinburgh and Dundee. Sept and Oct!

Its short notice.... but I am planning on teaching a few workshops over the next 3 weeks........

Sunday 30th Sept. (Fully Booked)+
Sunday 7th Oct.(Fully Booked)
Morocco Restaurant, Dundas st. Edinburgh.

Both these 2 hr workshops will cover Moves, Music and More from Current Cairo. As the ONLY British dancer CURRENTLY performing in Cairo I plan to give you a flavour of what it is like dancing in the Captial of Bellydance ! All levels welcome- but no complete beginners please! You have heard of 'Rhanda style' or 'Fifi Style'.... well these workshops will be LORNA STYLE!!!!!

Sunday 7th Oct. (Fully Booked)
Morocco Restaurant, Dundas st. Edinburgh.

Performance skills workshop. This workshop will be designed specifically for solo performers and teachers ( ie Advanced!) . Musical interpretation and putting 'you' into the dance. How to get the applause- Every time!!!!

Each of these 3 workshops will be Number limited to max 11 people per class, so 1st come 1st served!
To Book these Edinburgh Workshops email me URGENTLY for a booking form (esp as the 1st one is THIS COMING SUNDAY!)

Sunday 14th Oct. (still spaces!!!)
Dundee international sports centre.
Mains loan, Dundee.

3 hour workshop covering Moves, Music and More from Current Cairo. As the ONLY British dancer CURRENTLY performing in Cairo I plan to give you a flavour of what it is like dancing in Egypt! We will also be covering a little on 'performance skills' and 'feeling' the music! You have heard of 'Rhanda style' or 'Fifi Style'.... well these workshops will be LORNA STYLE!!!!!

To Book this Dundee Workshop contact Caroline or Nova ASAP on

Also I will be PERFORMING in Dundee.........

Sunday 14th Oct
Hafla Layali
7pm- late
£12 (includes buffet, bellydancers, Bizarre and chance to boogie!)
Dexters, Castle Street, Dundee

Usually all female events, this one has been opened up to welcome all - so drag your hubbie/boyfriend/brother/friend along too!

book your seat ASAP by emailing Caroline and Nova on

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Come see me dance in Morocco restaurant, Edinburgh

I'll be dancing in Morocco restaurant, Edinburgh on all these dates- starting THIS WEEK....


Fri 21st- LORNA
Sat 22nd- LORNA
Wed 26th- LORNA
Thurs 27th- LORNA
Fri 28th- LORNA
Sat 29th- LORNA


Wed 3rd- LORNA
Thurs 4th- LORNA
Fri 5th- LORNA
Sat 6th- LORNA


Fri 9th- LORNA
Thurs 15th- LORNA
Fri 16th- LORNA
Sat 17th- LORNA


Guess what..........

I'll be in Edinburgh for almost a month from Thursday this week!

Things feel through here with regards working during Ramadan...

so I am coming home to Edinburgh to see everyone- perform lots in Morocco Restaurant, maybe workshops if I can get some organised and teach lots of private classes....... so 1st come, 1st served!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

hate it

I really hate being treated like a mushroom- kept completely in the dark- as if it's all got nothing to do with me, told nothing about anything thats going on... then fed bits of information when I push for it......

can't say much more about it all right now...

but lets just say Ramadan work is not progressing as I was led to believe it would.

I don't know whether to cry, laugh or kill someone.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nice, busy day..

This morning I went to Maadi to teach my workshop- stopping on the way to buy up a few copies of the newest Amr Diab CD to sell at the class (my choroegraphy was to one of the tracks on it- and it really is a catchy cd all in- I recommend it!)

The workshop was full! 15 people. Fantastic. was very happy.... all ex pats, mainly British or American, with one Argintinian- Asmahan's sister! It was lovely to meet her and have her in my class- a lovely dancer who teaches in a studio on road nine in maadi. 3 hours was a long class- but just enough time for us to get through the entire routine I had made up and learn lots of technique in the process, without everyone passing out from exhaustion! Everyone who came says they want to do another one- so i am working out the next date- probably the end of Oct to do another one.

We had a lovely evening with many of us staying on having drinks and iftar on the balcony at Waleed and Anna louise's place- very hospitable of them both, and so nice to meet so many nice people!

My first iftar this ramadan (breaking the fast) To read more about ramadan, the religious background to it and how Cairo becomes affected by it etc you can read my entries all about it from last year- just look under the label 'Egyptian culture and customs' between end sept and mid Oct 06.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blog connections

this evening I sat in, being interviewed by a fellow blogger for an article she wants to write about me in her own blog.

Her name is Maryam and she is a friend of a good friend and lives in Morocco. Her blog is about her life there and how she and her family adapt to life there, from life in the US. I thought maybe some of you would be interested in reading about her experiences...........

check it out

She told me the article on my life in Cairo will be in over the next few days- so keep your eyes open for that (hope she writes nice things!!!!!!!!!!) The world is sooooo small isn't it?!

Ramadan- again.

today is the 2nd day of Ramadan... so 'Ramadan Kareem' and 'kollo sena wentu tayyibeen' ie peaceful ramadan to you all and may all your year be good!

What shocked me was on wednesday night- just before ramadan starts I had almost as much hassle in the street as I had on monday night walking home. cars curb crawling, comments from everyone and stones thrown not to mention firecrackers thrown at me! The night beofre the fast. What- they had to release all the testosterone left in them or what???

Last night I thought I would experiment, so a friend and i went out to see if we could find any bars/clubs etc open on the 1st night of Ramadan. We found one bar in the whole of cairo serving alcohol, to foreigners- not to Egyptians, but you weren't allowed to dance. Egyptians were served beer- but only if they were christian and only if they agreed to drink it out a tea cup- in case anyone came in! Oh and the bar manager thought nothing of flicking through pron channels on the TV while we were there too- I'll refrain from naming the bar in case it gets closed down- but you see what I mean about contraditions! Bizarre!!!!

I really do find Ramadan the lonliest time of the year in Cairo- not enough work, no partying, salsa is cancelled, pool closes early (assuming you can find someone who will agree to go with you!) ,everyone is spending time with their families. It is the hardest time for me anyway! It's going to be a long month......................

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Street walking

Literally that is- NOT figuratively!!!

WHAT a day. I cannot believe the traffic today. The Egyptian schools went back yesterday, and Ramadan starts on a couple of days and why those 2 things should combine to make the worst traffic ever I don't know- but they did. I was due to teach in Golds Gym, Giza at 5pm. I left house just after 4.30pm- usually plenty time to grab a cab and get there- I stood on the street for ages without any taxi wanting to take me where I had to go.......They slow down- you shout your destination- and then they wiggle a finger at you and drive off! I tell you it is the most disheartening thing in the whole world!!!

Anyway- I ended up walking............. WALKING.......... to the gym. Over an hours walk- in the heat- not one taxi would take me. I even begged one- explaining how far I had walked etc etc. I don't understand why, when the traffic is standstill like that they seem to prefer to be sitting in an empty taxi, not earning money rather than have you in the back but getting some money out of you!!!!! I, of course, arrived 40mins late, so my class had been cancelled (I had been calling in my progress the whole way), I had blisters all over my feet and felt like crying. Thankfully everyone was very sympathetic.

From there I had to go down town. The journey- that normally would take MAX 20 mins- not even that- took over an hour and half (mainly cos my taxi driver didn't know his way around the one way system in the town centre at all (they don't have to sit 'the knowledge' here unfortunately!!!) That particular driver asked me why I didn't take the metro- since it would have been much quicker and when I explained it was because I didn't want to walk in the street to and from the metro he said ah- but that is easy- just wear the heejab and no one will bother you!!!!!!!! As if that is even true. GRrrr.

THEN- leaving my meeting downtown I asked about 15 taxis to take me home- NONE would- until I agreed to pay one more than double the normal fare.

Then tonight- walking home from a friend's house, she lives close by, I couldn't get a taxi- so I though- 10 min walk, main road, well lit- no problem............... WOW- BIG PROBLEM!!!! I have never seen curb crawling like it. Very scary in some ways but so pathetic I couldn't really be scared that much, until 2 cars followed me into my side street, calling out all sorts of things all the way- at which point I jumped into an open shop and chatted with the owners there for a while until they eventually drove off. Bless the wee old delivery man even offered to walk me to my door- but I couldn't say yes to that just in case that was asking for trouble too!!!!!!!! ok- my fault for looking so damn sexy (!!!) and walking alone at night perhaps.........but how sad and warped are those men that they don't realise how desperate they seem ( and are).

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR it's on days like these I really wish I had the guts to drive in this mad country- or could afford my own driver with AC'd car anyway!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Performing in Edinburgh- November 07

Just because I know a few of you may be interested in coming along to watch me dance- my nights I am due to perform this year in Morocco restaurant, Dundas street , Edinburgh are as follows;

Friday 9th Nov
Thurs 15th Nov
Fri 16h Nov
Sat 17th Nov

Call 0131 652 3764 to book.

I aim to be teaching workshops in Edinburgh on sat 17th and sun 18th Nov too- but dont as yet have a venue- so will let you know more when i do!

Not sure what my work commitments are liekly to be here in cairo over Christmas and New Year- so there is a good chance this will be the only chance to see me perform this year- unless you come to Cairo of course!

Performing Bellydance in Birmingham

I'll be teaching in Birmingham on sat 10th and sun 11th Nov this year- but also performing at the following event-

Charity Belly Dancing Party
See some dancers perform- Have a go, no experience necessary
Bring friends and some food or drink towards a shared supper

Saturday 10th November 7:00-10:00
Methodist Church, 1654 Bristol Rd South, B45 9TY

All welcome - £5 (limited seats)
Contact Nicola: 0121 680 5329 (Evenings only – or leave a message) for info on charity night or workshops...

Proceeds to Solihull Leisure Opportunities – supporting people with learning difficulties to pursue leisure activities

Monthly Bellydance Workshops in Cairo with Lorna

Starting with basic beginners level and working up from there...something for everyone! I aim to make hese workshops will be informative, fairly energetic and fun. Open to all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. Ladies only.

The studio is lovely with natural light and mirrors and views over Maadi. Spaces are limited so early booking is recommended.

1st workshop

Date: Saturday 15th Sept 07
Time: 1-4pm
Cost: 150le if booked in advance. 200le on the door.

Venue: Studio in the Sky, top floor, building 5, road 215, Maadi.
to book contact Anna Louise or Shams on or 010 150 0902 or check out their new website

ps- please bring a scarf to tie round your hips. We dance barefoot. oh- and remember to bring your sense of humour with you!!!!! see you there!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Rhanda and lunch time show!

Last night, straight from work, I went to see Rhanda perform at the Marriot again. She didn't start til after 2.30am!!!! was after 5am by time I got home. Worth it though. Didn't have my camera, so sorry- no pics this time. But she has lost weight- I guess all the dancing she has been doing this summer- and was looking strong- if a little distracted somehow. Maybe because she had to start her show an hour later than she was supposed to! Still inspirational!

After she danced Caroline (dancer from australia who lives and works here) and I got up to dance with the band who were on after Rhanda- it was fun. The manager joked he should emply her and I to do a duet- so we let him know we did have the required papers in case he was serious about that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, after teaching, and performing all night I still wanted to be up dancing- it really is addictive!

just as well I love it- today was hellish. I was in the street, with my girl, Yasmeen, about to get a taxi to go look at some costumes (seemingly she knows somewhere good but much cheaper than I usually get- will keep you posted if i ever get there!!!) and my singer calls me wanting me to be at the boat to perform in half an hours time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not enough time to get the band there- so bring CD. now that was the problem (apart from having to rush home, pack costumes, grab make up, etc I then had to find CD's which worked- only to discover computer playing up and not playing CD's for me so can't check what music I have- sooooooooooooo frustrating!!!)

Anyway- Yasmeen and I get there late (of course traffic hellish so journey alone takes half an hour!) have have to go on the launch to the pharoah which is already half way through its sail (launch is small power boat- going very fast through Nile to work- felt great!!!!) anyway- manageress tells me- on stage now- no time for make up or anything- so there was me- barefaced, dancing one song upstairs and 2 downstairs- totally rushed, for a boat load of British tourists feeling very embarressed cos the set was so short and the music not ideal.................. anyway- they all loved it, and was for sure the quickest I have ever worked! An interesting experience, but hopefully they will give me a little notice next time!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My life since Fifi..........

Work has been up and down recently. With 5 dancers working the boats (and only 2 can work any one night) that means there is more time Off than On. Not good financially- or from a fitness perspective either. Plus I have changed my drummer- so learning about the new one is challenging and fun.

On wed night I did the best performance so far of my life. It was the table solo (pretty much the 1st with this new guy) and the audience was really lively and cheering and clapping and shouting throughout my whole set (in a good way!). So when it came to the solo they were already on their feet ( a few literally!) .

I had one part in the table solo, where i did a one hip shimmy- and suddenly the room went dead- completely silent- all these Egyptians and Arabs who had been cheering and shouting etc etc suddenly -nothing. I put in my head Fifi and kept the shimmy- not altering it, not trying to do anything fancy, not even looking at people- looking at my hip that was shaking ........... and held that silence for ages until I suddenly went into hip drops and the audience went crazy again. I swear- I have never had that sort of feeling in my life before - ever! I felt like the most powerful woman on the planet. Amazing. Thanks Fifi for the inspiration!

Another part I enjoyed was when i do chonks down into a crouching position- which usually goes faily fast- but the new drummer follwos me, rather than the other way around, so I was able to play my audience much more effectivly and take my time and half way they started to applaud so I did the hand signal to them to wait (lissa) ie there is still more just wait, and they all laughed with me and voiced what my hand signal had meant etc etc and when i got to the bottom I rested my chin on my hands- a couple started to tentitively clap and i gave them the all clear and they went crazy again.................. wow.............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really felt Like I was doing what I should be doing in my life, and in the dance.

One woman who had been there that night, came back to the boat on friday night and spoke to Otti who was dancing that night and the girl who helps dress me, saying she felt my body was '100% sharqi'- ie I was truely an oriental dancer. I felt so chuffed to hear that- although to be honest, the feeling I got from the audience was enough for me!

I danced again last night- and again had a good crowd... not the same... but fun and challenging and the show went down really well- I find I am 'finding' new moves (or maybe old ones that I had forgotten) because of my new drummer...............

life is good- I am having so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fifi Abdou

This week I went to the theatre to see a show in which Fifi Abdou was the star.

It was a 4 hour long production called 'Rawaiya' and was held in the 'musr el a'yn' in the area of Manial. The theatre is a lovely place- where all the seats are on the bank of the Nile and the stage is actually floating on the Nile...... so insect repelant is a must!

The story of the play was as follows- dancer Rawaiya (fifi) owns theatre/circus where they pay an old man protection money so nothing happens to it. They get fed up of this and throw him out and refuse to pay- so he arranges for the places to be burnt down. Fifi is distraught and a rich friend (who is in love with her) offers to help her raise the money to rebuild by taking her on a dancing tour around the world. She becomes famous- returns to cairo and rebuilds the theatre and has the old man who burned it down arrested.

The acting is interesting- I have never seen an Egyptian play before and I would say the word pantomine describes it better than a play. when the 'star' actors come onto stage the audience applaud and the acting stops so they can take a bow, then they carry on. If something happens in audience- they comment on it and include it in the show... eg when I was there a cat ran across the stage so they made all kinds of jokes about that. (yes- a cat really did run accross the stage- zig zag style- very amusing!)

anyway- for me there were 2 parts in the whole thing that I liked. one was a shouting swearing scene between fifi and the henchman of the old man. It was so funny- because it is a family show- and there were lots of kids in the audience- they couldn't actually swear- but what they did was overact miming swearing - so if you could lip read you would know exactly what they were saying............ it was as though they were dubbing themselves- very amusing!

the second thing I liked was of course the dance scene where you got to see Fifi doing her thing with a full, large, orchestra. She danced a few different styles but of course the one she was best at- and where she looked most comfortable was when she got on the galabeya and shimmyed her was through song after song, baladi style. I counted about 4 different moves in all- but considering she is not physiclaly as she used to be- she still had the presence and power of charater to have me open jawed at those! I was less than arms width away from her when she came froward to take her bow and she winked at me... all a bit surreal really. To hold the audience with dance the way she still can is my ambition for when i get to her age!

Great Book

part of the reason I haven't written here for over a week is because I have been engrossed in a great book.

'Nine parts of Desire' (The hidden world of Islamic women) by Geraldine Brooks

The author is an australian journalist who has access to and contact with some very interesting groups of women over a very interesting time period- Iran at the death of khomeini, Iraq, Palestine, Cairo, Jordan (ear to the Queen Nour). In reading this book I felt i had an education into middle eastern politics as well as into these womens lives. Some of it is scary- some of it enlightening. All very easy to read. The particularly interesting parts for me were where there was debate as to what the prophet meant when he said such and such- and how different groups of people have interpreted the Koran in many different ways.................. There is even a chapter about the bellydances of cairo taking the veil..........So for understanding more what fundamentalism menas and were it comes from to challenging stereotypes re women veiling its worth a read!

The only down side I felt was that as it was published in 1994- so much of the world has changed since then and i wish she had a book which talks about the period from then til now- that would be even more interesting!!