Sunday, October 25, 2009

Salsa in Egypt

I really am getting excited about the salsa congress here in Cairo, starting THIS friday- can hardly believe it!

For 3 days the TOP salsa teachers and dancers will be doing their thing at the Sofitel Gizerah hotel in Zamalek.

I'll be teaching and performing too ( Bellydance!!!- my salsa is ok- but nowhere close to these amazing teachers- although I doubt i'll be off the dancefloor once during the party nights!)

There is something for everyone... and people don't need to have a partner already to come. There are day passes, party passes, weekend passes etc etc. I have managed to get a few of my non dancer friends to sign up for the beginners course cos it sounds like the perfect way to learn to dance... in fact- Amanda ( the organiser of this amazing event) has written this for beginners....

Welcome to Salsa! :o) The full schedule, including Beginners' workshops is lsted at the top of the group wall. Beginners can attend everything, and you have your own special area of the main dance floor full of friendly people who are ...learning too.

Right now the full congress Beginners' ticket is only 500le - including 14 hours of beginners workshops with the world's top international teachers, and 30 hours of parties/shows/afterparties and a pool party. It all takes place in one of Cairo's premium 5-star hotels, The Sofitel Gezirah.

You do not need a partner, and right now numbers of men & women beginners are equal - please book now, as we might have to stop selling tickets later to balance the numbers of beginner guys and girls.

Please send me a PM to arrange to get your ticket/s - ahlan, ahlan, ahlan to Egypt's friendly Salsa community! :o)

So if anyone reading this in Egypt fancies trying out salsa- THIS is the time to do it! If anyone from abroad fancies it too- why not? Fly on over ( I have 3 friends staying with me from UK who are coming over just for it!)

Check out the website for more info and to see the amazing line up of teachers and to book!

Another video of me discovered on youtube!

Here's a video of me dancing on the Nile Pharoah boat in Cairo earlier this year... (thanks Sara for pointing it out to me- and Aleya for filming and posting it!)

It was really strange watching it from this angle! Give me an idea what my tabla player has to watch every night! You really can learn a LOT for video about what is good, and not in your own dance. i REALLY MUST record myself more often for improvement purposes!!!!! Although some things look better than I thought they would have!

Very Very busy these days- Lots of work and lots of visitors- especially in the coming week for the Egypt Salsa congress starting on the 30th!

If you are in Cairo this weekend- THIS is the place to be................

Thursday, October 15, 2009


what a couple of days I have had.

Yesterday- a bunch of flowers arrived at my door, with a card, but no name. I had NO idea who they might be from. Next day I got a text from someone i had met once, a friend of a friend, asking if I had thought about him the day before. The truth is i hadn't thought about him once since I met him- why would I ?It's not as though we had been chatting over the week or anything- I hadn't heard anything from him after we met at all, which was fine by me! Anyway- turns out he had eavesdropped while I was on the phone and caught my address... and then a week later decided to send me flowers....... creepy. I told him that my 'husband' was furious. That should send him running- i hope!

Then tonight.... i was in a taxi home from meeting friends for a meal, and a guy in the car next to us draws up alongside my taxi and shout 'hey bellydancer... I know you!' ...... then (unknown to me) proceeds to follow my taxi. My driver, bless him, noticed and drove like a maniac trying to lose him and only told me we were being followed when he hadn't succeeded in losing him. Then with my permission ( it was a white taxi and the meter was running!) He then started to turn into all the side streets he could, speeding up and turning again when we were out of sight and managed to lose the creep. Thankfully another friend was out and about close by and I had him deliver me there, just in case , rather than to home. Very greatful to that driver... if he hadn't been as observant as he was, who know what might have happened? (This is the way a lot of the prostitution happens in Cairo , seemingly... guys and girls make eye contact from car to car in certain areas of town and then someone will switch cars or follow the other to a 'meeting' place- yuck!)

They say things come in threes- i sincerely hope not...... 2 weirdos in 2 days is more than enough for me thanks!

Very excited about all my new costumes. 2 new saaidi ones from Amera el Kattan.... should be ready next week, and another 2 new ones from Eman Zaki, coming soon ( I hope!) . I realised just before ramadan that some of my costumes i have been performing in for nearly 3 years... so have been strict and managed to sell off at least 6 - so now I figure I HAVE to replace them all...... well it is legitimate work expenditure!!!

Of to bed to dream of car chases around the back streets of mohandiseen!!!!!!!!!..................

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

sleep deprived...

all I can say is thank god I don't have to get up early in the morning!

i went to bed with my foot on ice, then slept about oh, less than an hour ago........... only to be awaken by something biting me in a place I'd rather not mention- lets just say these bites will hurt when I sit down! Arms and legs too- bitten to bits. I am hoping to god its just mosquitoes and not something that has come off the blanket (unused all summer) that I was raising my foot on!

so now ( at 4.35am) i am wide awake, covered in stinky repellant, trying to sleep on my sofa while the spray I have smothered my bedroom with, settles enough for me to sleep in there again....

and then starts the call to prayer.......... and all the cats in the neighbourhood, and we have a LOT of cats round here, decide that they too want to join in the morning sing song..........

they however have more staying power than the chap in the mosque and are still at it.............

i love Cairo I love Cairo I love Cairo........................

Monday, October 12, 2009

Singing Duck

I'm not sure if Cairo has had this effect on me- or if because my brain is rubbish that Cairo suits me... but I have the worst memory out of anyone I know!

I start one thing, then get distracted onto another and forget all about the 1st thing. To that end i have 'killed' 3 kettles since I have been in Cairo... they boil away forgotten until they burn out! So- I now have a beautiful kettle you sit on the gas which looks like a duck, and when it boils makes a loud sound which is not dissimilar to bagpipes starting up!!!!!!!! You fairly run to the kitchen when it boils I'll tell you! No more forgotten cups of tea for me!!!

Last night i went out with a friend to a lovely new place ( well, new for me!) Its the Nile Zamalek Hotel on sharia el maahad el swiesri, and on the roof they have a terrace which serves wine and beer and sheesha and the most stunning thai food, and the best bit is that there is a lovely view over the Nile. It was a little windy last night, so got a bit cold- but I am looking forward to going there for a sunshine lunch one day when i am off work!!!

My challenge tonight will be dancing with a swollen ankle. Was wearing high heels last night and walked between 2 cars and didn't see the big hole I was stepping into - thankfully didn't fall... but woke up to discover my ankle is rather swollen. Nothing broken- i can still wiggle it etc so fingers crossed there is only one show tonight( with lots of ibuprofen!!!!)

Sunday, October 11, 2009


why or why don't journalists do the one simple thing I suggest to them in interview?

Nafoura magazine ( has just used a photo of me as their cover girl and written a 3 page article about me. There are LOTS of mistakes though.......... which if I had been given a chance to read it before the published I could have easily remedied!

-i was NOT born in Inverness, but in Edinburgh, then lived In inverness til I was 10.
-my teacher in Cairo was Raqia Hassan not someone called 'hassam'?
-i wish I had a female singer, as well as the male one I have- but I dont ( and don't know WHERE that came from!)
-i do other stuff in my workshops- not just the one thing mentioned!
-i love Rhanda Kamel and have no idea who Ramda is!
-oh and do tell- why would you even ask me if I would ever return to live in ENGLAND- since I have never ever lived there in the 1st place???

Other than that, I think I caught everything there, it wasn't a bad article.... although doesn't say too much about my life now- just how I got into it! But then I guess my blog tells all about my life now. Some nice photos- and a horrible one of me being interviewed!!!

anyway- check it out- there are some other interesting articles in there too!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More pix of Edinburgh hafla

ok... some photos of ME this time.... hehe... Thanks again Violet for the great shots!

Here's me getting all emotional- for a change! fact it was hard to choose which photo cos I seem to screw my face up a lot while I am dancing... this seems to work really well when being filmed or watched- but it NOT good at photo time!

This is my fav pic....... energy, joy, power and a bit cheeky too.

Then there is a pic thats not so flattering of me.... but has to be added cos its got my good friend Elsepth, who organised my workshops and hafla, in it and we both look so happy (and a bit crazy)! And no- I haven't a clue what I am saying here!!!

Oh and something completely different. A good friend, and lovely dancer from London, Eshta has recently moved to Goa to become a professional dancer over there. In 'BellyLorna tradition' she is writing a blog about her experiences there..... if you are interested check out Its an interesting read!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Photos from Edinburgh hafla 5th sept 09

I might be back in Cairo now- but only just getting a chance to go through some of the photos people took at the Edinburgh hafla and there are some corkers! Here's a selection of pics that are not me , for a change! all taken by the fantastically talented Violet Shears!

Here's Natalie- an elegant graceful dancer I am glad to say is both a friend and student. She had me speechless because her dancing was so beautiful that night!

Jenny used to be in the African dance group I used to perform with a long time ago, Afridonia. Great energy and joy!

Tigerlily is only young... but had phenomenal stage presence, energy, skill and humour. Loved her.

Simone and Suzie did a fab duet and I loved the interplay between the 2...

Caroline's dance was filled with emotion and power. Stunning.

'mad' Margaret did a fabulous 'Mustafa Kamel' to Tarkan's kiss kiss song! She is some kinda wonderful!!!! If you are ever down- Margaret is THE one to cheer you up again!

Monday, October 05, 2009

balcony and boring night....

I just spent a LOVELY couple of hours on my neighbours balcony eating my dinner and chatting. I love having them just across the street!

The bizarre thing was when they asked how was work tonight I said oh boring- nothing special....... then I started to talk about my night- and realised it was anything but!

1st- I got in a taxi... and he got us nearly there... and asked permission to ask me a question... he asked ' are you the 'star' on the pharoah boat', when i smiled and said yes.. he got all excited cos he had seen me there before and thought my dancing was wonderful and where did I learn etc etc etc... in the end- he didn't want to accept any fare for the taxi ride!!!!!!! I got recognised!!!! so chuffed!

2nd- I was sitting about after my one show tonight chatting with the dresser and the tannoura and we were all laughing and joking... and then I realised- i was chatting and laughing and joking 'in arabic' ! And they were laughing at my jokes, not because I said something wrongly or in a funny way!

So although nothing untowards happened on stage... or no friends were in the audience... it was far from being a 'boring! night! Amazing what can become normal until you stop and think about it!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

October in Cairo

Its 36 deg C here in Cairo today......... in October. Just thought I would comment!

I've had lots of work this week... and a little going out too!

Salsa at the Hard Rock Cafe on a wed was packed last week... a really good night ( esp since ladies get in free!!!) It was a white night (hence everyone in white!!! but I wasn't planning to go cos i didn't think i would be able to get away from work so early!!!)

Thursday night was quite an experience after work I went to Africana club on sharia Haram.... i had an AMAZING time. But then I do have a bit of a passion for R&B and hip hop and all that sort of music... so I just boogied the night away ( its open til 5.30am!).

Work was great on friday night (despite a dodgy stomach!) since my friends came in a big group to see me dance and I just LOVE dancing for people i know! 4 eventful shows....

The 1st sail i had a guy there with a group who had read my blog so i met him in person which was a bit strange, but nice, and they were a lovely group and one of them danced with me too.

Upstairs we had one of the football teams who are in town just now... an African country ( I didn't ask from where cos i didn't realise til after that they were a team!!!) anyway the world under 20's football competition is being held here in Cairo just now- and they were a fabulous audience- lots of 'ooohs' and 'ahhs' and 'wows' when I did certain moves!!! was very rewarding as a performer!!!

My friends who came to the 2nd sail enjoyed the show too and gave me lovely feedback.The main comments being surprise, many of them are Egyptians and they did NOT expect a foreigner to dance as well!!! Here's a photo of some of us!

and then there was a wedding on the last show where all the old hyjabbed ladies were clucking over me which is always a great feeling and people got up and danced. a good night

I was shattered after and we went out to Mojitos (on top of what is now called the Nile hotel) and is a 200le min charge!!Its a lovely view- but a heck of a lot to pay if you are not planning on drinking alcohol!!!

last night something REALLY strange happened to me...... I finished work really early (10pm) and then i turned down invites to go out!!!!! ( for those who know me they know this in itself is worthy of note!!) and then I came home and did 4 hours of housework!!!!!!!including an hour of ironing !!!!!!!! I have NO IDEA what pocessed me. Maybe because I haven't really been home alone for over a year now (what with the renting out my spare rooms going so well) But for some bizarre reason the bleaching of my dishcloths took top priority!!!!!!!! I felt like I was being driven (even had to disinfect the doors and buttons on my lift!!!!). Its the sort of behaviour you expect from a woman about to give birth- and believe me- that's NOT the case here!!!!! strange.

anyway- just to get back into 'normal' mode again- before work, i'm off to get my nails done... 'dahling' :-)