Friday, September 19, 2008

pics... and Video!

If you go to this link
you can see the photos taken during the fashion show at Ahlan we Sahlan this year... I was modelling Amera el Kattan designs..... some lovely costumes!

OK... it was bound to happen at some point......... somebody has filmed me on their mobile phone at a party I dance for at New Year in a club in Cairo 07/08 and stuck it on Utube. Its not the best recording ever... and its not the best dancing i have ever done (was pretty difficult to move actually with people crowding in on me on every side- I was supposed to have bouncers and they didn't appear so i am somewhat more restrained than i would normally of been...) but enough excuses... I decided after a fellow dancer ( Thanks Marte) brought it to my attention to stick the link on here.... so here goes- the 1st video of Lorna performing on her blog!!!

I guess now I'll have to get a recording of me on stage with my band and boys to show off what i can do with a bit more space! I have never done it before now because I am such a perfectionist that i am never happy with any film of me!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

all about me !

Normally this blog is me writing about my experiences and my thoughts on dance and life in general, but for a change, and because I was so overwhelmed by these responses,I thought I would include all the lovely feedback i got from the dancers in Leeds. To let you all know how wonderful people think I am!!!!

At a time when i am really having a crisis of confidence and questioning what I am doing with my life... these comments brought home to me that i am doing exactly what i should be doing!!!! Thank you girls for your glowing words- i am overwhelmed!!! Oh- and I have added in a few photos taken that weekend by the lovely Sabrina!

“I thought Lorna was a beautiful performer who knew how to get very close to the audience without being threatening. She looked like she was really enjoying herself as we all were. I loved the tartan and homage to Scotland - very funny!
I felt like I learnt a lot in just an hour with her - wish it had been longer! She explained stuff in a really useful way I could get my head around. Can't wait to see her perform again!”

Nicola Brown, Leeds

“I was so nervous when I finally said yes to a private session with Lorna. It was such a good introduction seeing her dance the night before - my fears were calmed - her performance was enchanting, I loved her skill of less quantity but huge quality in each move - such strength and impact - less is more as they say. She also bewitched us with her humour, her lovely sense of fun, beautiful smile and her ability to reach us all through her dance. And those shimmies layered over camels, hits, circles - wow!
I was surprisingly calm for my session - we seemed to be on the same wave length completely which was a great start and I understood exactly what she was getting at - and I hope vice versa. She was uncannily astute in her perception of me as a person and said some very spookily true things about my character which in turn helped me to interpret into my dance! I didn't feel embarrassed or self conscious - she danced very little but talked a lot - I was all over the studio like a woman possessed- I felt liberated and empowered at last with my dancing! No more retiring mouse for me - watch out on that dance floor! Lorna - you are a star!!! Can’t wait to see you at JoY 2009. Thank you”

Jane Coello, Leeds

“Lorna was just WOW had me drooling over those undulations!!”
Nicky Davis, Leeds

“I was given a private lesson with Lorna for my birthday (cool present huh!) after watching her perform the night before I was so excited about my lesson. I was sort of nervous too. Like most people who dance only for fun, I can be a bit self conscious - so I wasn't sure if it would be intimidating, with only two of us in the 'class' there would be no where to hide! I needn't have worried. Lorna is so warm and giving it all seemed totally natural. I wanted help with shimmies and what to do with my arms, as well as tips for feeling less shy dancing in front of others. After one (too short!) hour I felt Lorna had successfully covered all of this and more. I had some top tips and techniques to take away with me, and I honestly feel that my dancing is already the better for it.”
Nicola Wild, Leeds

“Lorna’s performance had me completely transfixed to the point that I found myself open-mouthed on more than one occasion! She was absolutely terrific and mesmerising to watch. I loved every minute of the show and I cannot wait to see her again – what a woman!

With regards to the private lesson I shared with my good friend Ellie, I was delighted that Lorna was able to give us an hour of her time for some very valuable, personal feedback. Everything that Lorna said I have taken on board and will aim to improve upon. I know that I’m not just speaking on behalf of myself when I say this, but Lorna was an inspiration and I hope to one day be half as good as she is.”

Beth Hallam, Leeds

“I really enjoyed watching Lorna perform on Saturday, she's such a great dancer and her personality and feeling for the music shone through her dancing. She is also a supportive and generous teacher and I found my lesson with her very inspirational.”
Helen Rix, Leeds

.............. and there was me worried about how a UK audience,who didn't know me,would respond! aaawwww shuks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Thats it.... its official. Once you learn how to bellydance you can never go to a club and dance 'normally' ever again!

I hit the town, in Edinburgh, on friday night with my friend Simone, and we danced til we dropped... but what was amazing was discovering how many different music types a shimmy and hip drop can fit into, and don't even mention the camels!!!! A great night and exactly the stress relief I need right now! My back didn't need it though- I managed to pull something by sneezing! thats what your body does to you when you dont dance for 5 days in a row ( well thats how my body repays me for ignoring it anyway!) Thank god for the pain relieving qualities of red wine!

I have been asked for private classes from so many students and feel so bad because I haven't yet done any since I am up to my armpits trying to spend quality time with my family. Finding it hard to revert to the UK time urgency lifestyle... still on Cairo 'take it easy' mode.... better get it together before I end up having to go home again!!!!!!!!!

oops- there- said it - 'home' being Cairo.

Of course, when in Cairo i write and talk about Edinburgh as being 'home' . So does that mean I am lucky to have 2 homes- or does it mean I never really feel at home wherever I am???????? Hmmmm

A quick note re workshops.... Dundee, Birmingham and Coventry and all beginning to book up well... so if you are interested in attending any of these get your bookings in asap before its too late. ...

The workshop in Birnam ( a new venue for me to teach in- but looks like a fabulous one) on sat 20th Sept needs your booking TODAY.... since, as a council led initative, if there aren't enough people booked in advance it will be cancelled... so if you were planning on coming and just haven't done anything about it- then contact the organisers ( see earlier post with details) NOW since Tuesday will be too late!!!!!

oh and finishing this post with good news......... Just managed to get a new workshop arranged in Penicuik for this month... Open level- NO complete beginners!

Tues 23rd Sept
The Townhall, Penicuik.

If you are interested in booking or to know more ( and remember I am not teaching in Edinburgh this trip- so this is the closest thing to it!!) then contact Cat asap on .

Monday, September 08, 2008

Great British Weather!

well- I have been back in Scotland for nearly a week now... busy catching up with business, and family and friends... I thought it would be no problem at all to get around all the people i want to see in a month, but at the speed i am going at I guess a month is nowhere near long enough to see everyone i want to see- panic! And then there is the shopping.... mum and I have already been checking out the sales.... 'Monsoon sale'- nothing beats it (although could do without the monsoon type weather which accompanied it!).

I took the train to Leeds on saturday to teach a weekend of private classes and to perform for the dance crowd down there. Unfortunatly there were huge floods and my 3 hour train journey became 7 and half hours!!!!!!!!!!!! Fields looked like lakes with so much water sitting on top of them... gardens flooded by overflowing river banks. I felt that God was giving me all the rain i had missed in the whole Cairo summer over the course of one day...........oh how I missed the Cairo sunshine... and as for the supposed classes that day, grrr..... didn't happen did it. Was interested to note though that I seemed a lot more patient than my fellow travellers- my 'waiting 'time in Cairo is already paying off in my temperment by the looks of things. I was much calmer and cheerier than i would have been before I moved to Cairo, thats for sure!

However - even despite the horrific journey- it was totally worth it, the crowd in Leeds were just wonderful. They have a lovely bar/indian restaurant called Spice where they have live bellydancing every thursday evening and they put on a special night for me going along on the saturday. They even supplied me with Adam for the evening- a fabulously talented and intuitive arabic drummer- we did a really spur of the moment drum solo which was shimmylicious- Thanks Adam!!!

Its funny how a dance crowd in UK that dont know you react when they 1st see you dance- a real mix- many girls smiling and cheering and shouting out even... but others looking at you in a serious, almost intimidating manner. As a performer its hard to know whether they are mentally critisising you, or busy concentrating trying to work out how the heck you just did that last move!!!! Even after all these years i still really appreciate the comments at the end of the show which help me know whether to feel happy or sad after a performance !!!!!!!!! So a tip for all you dancers out there- even if you are concentrating on working out the moves (bless you- thats me watching Rhanda!) - try and stick a smile on your face for the benefit of the performer!!!!!!! ;-)

The whole night was a total joy including the chat in the car and the pizza with champagne!!! ! What a fun and welcoming group of girls, a very well organised and planned weekend of events (Thanks Sabrina!) and some really stunning dancers too- looking forward to seeing them next year again, and also at the JOY festival in April! ( photos of the performance night to follow as soon as I receive them!)

Better get back to babysitting now.......... my nephew Sam is 2 and a half years old, and getting really cheeky and funny. A real character! He will make it really hard for me at the end of the month to want to leave Edinburgh and return to Cairo. Wish I had some Cairo sun so we could be out playing in the garden... rather than stuck indoors with a lousy head cold, but I am not really complaining..... just focusing on enjoying my time with him as much as possible. oops- he's waking up- better run.......................!