Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Facebook advertising!

I spent all evening, with my feet up resting, and trying to get a facebook page organised... so i can seperate out my 'dance life' and my 'normal life' . I am not sure yet whether this is possible or not.......... as in, I'm not sure that i have a 'normal' life in anyway shape or form...!!!

So it's there now, a new facebook page;

Lorna of Cairo (aka BellyLorna!)

which sends out invites to my friends asking them if they would like to become a 'fan' of Lorna- I mean really - what sort of question is that??????? It feels totally wrong and big headed. Not Scottish at all. But anyway- it's done now.... so i am hoping i can get lots of 'fans' to join! (failing that- anyone interested in hearing more about my bellydance life is welcome- you don't have to class yourself as a 'fan' !!!!!)

I plan to update it (along with the blog of course!) with new of any workshops/performances etc etc and already there are a few photos up there too!

become a fan......................?

Lorna of Cairo (aka BellyLorna!)

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ra'asa Naemet Mokhtar

This dance had the most amazing backbend in the history of bellydance !!!!

and facial expressions too- the days before botox- LOVE IT !!!


'The show must go on'............

well, it did tonight....despite what happened.

I was on my final set of the night (4th, since 2 shows).. and dancing saaidi. It was going well- that is to say , the first 10 seconds went ok... then i spun on the stage over the part on the stage when the wood joins (or doesn't unfortunatly, which was the problem in this case) and cut my foot. It was a pain worse than the usual torn foot while dancing type of pain. It's a common occurance when you dance bare foot to cut them up occasionally, however......

as I said... the show must go on....

so, dripping blood all over the stage (now a lovely tie-dye effect floor), I continued to wow my very appreciative audience with my saaidi, baladi and , if i say so myself a very nice, drum solo.

HOWEVER... when i got back to my room, and the adrenaline from the show had subsided a little, I looked at the damage...

....... to discover that not only did i still have a splinter in my toe, a splinter the width of half a match stick at that.... but that it was all the way through- from the bottom of my toe to the top. I'll repeat that - ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Wood sticking out a hole in the bottom of the toe, and the same piece of wood sticking out through the top of the same toe.

Like a spear through my stomach, an arrow through my heart.... my toe was speared.

Quite frankly I am quite impressed that i didn't actually faint there and then. I have rarely seen anything quite so grotesque!

After some hysterics- i was in shock after all, I managed to limp my way to the nearest chemist (thank god they are open 24/7). 2 of my drummers joined me (bless them) and held my hand as the pharmacist, who was very impressed with my injury, covered my toe in anaestetic and antiseptic... then pulled the huge log (slight exaggeration allowed- it really felt like that!!) all the way through. He didn't let me see the offending article, because it had bits of me stuck to it, seemingly.....! YUCK!!!!

I was quite proud of myself when the drummers started discussing between themselves how if that had been anyone else they would have quit dancing straight away, or been on the ground in pain, but not Lorna, she's strong. I have to ask, is that a good thing????!!!

The toe is still numb, and I am hoping it will stay that way so I get a decent sleep tonight... but am dreading dancing tomorrow!

Other than the toe, life is going well......................

oh, but i forgot to tell you about last thursdays 'stage v's feet' experience....

Last week my place of work here in Cairo decided to repair the stage, which was hugely appreciated and much overdue. HOWEVER, they varnished it at 2pm..... The boat sails at 7pm. The floor was still totally wet when i went to dance, barefoot as normal! It was like dancing on glue. In fact it was so sticky that I left the top layer of my feet on the floor... it just ripped right off me- like a plaster! Very painful- every step. OUCH! I was worried about hurting my knees or something since once the feet were place, there was no pivoting allowed, the varnish held tight. I most uncomfortable dancing experience EVER! I got them to lay a carpet over it so i could dance the second sail that night, but OUCH, carpet burns on already raw feet. That whole night really was bad! The tannoura described trying to dance on it as jumping like a 'catcoot' (chicken) on a hot floor, and, then he forgot, and he lay down during one part of his show and his head stuck to the varnish!!!!!!!!!!! dancers feet and tannouras hair- sounds like a recipe for a witches brew.

so far the score is ; stage- 2 points, feet- nil !!! ...

NOT a good week for feet. Lets hope this coming week is a good one for everything!!!!!!!

No photos of injured feet , you'll be glad to know, but thought I would add this photo taken of me by Michelle Dillon, in Edinburgh this month, chatting and stretching at the end of one of my workshops... you can see from the colour of them how much the , as well as everything else, had been working!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Scottish Tour success

It's nearing an end... only one more workshop tommorrow in Glasgow and then that's me flying back to the Nile!

Todays workshop in Edinburgh went really well... a really fun and talented group of dancers from all over Scotland joined me.............

and I enjoyed teaching so much i really could have gone on for a few more hours!!!!!!!! Not sure how the energy levels would have kept up though. In fact, by the end of the class I was lying on the floor..........

There are a few youtube entires of my performances at the 'Lorna of Cairo Hafla' here in Edinburgh last thursday night... All 3 costumes are by the wonderful Eman Zaki (who will be teaching at the Farha Festival in Luxor alongside me later this year!) you are, some dance footage from Edinburgh...

1st set- My new 'entrance piece' music called 'Hanan' :

2nd set- The 'Iskandarani' style dance to 'Edella alla Keyfaak' was popular- there are 2 different recordings here of the same performance!

3rd set- Hope you like the costume. It's the Egyptian flag! The set started with 'Ya habibty Ya Masr' which is essentially an unofficial national anthem of Egypt, and the song people sing in the street when Egypt win any football match. I then danced to 'Scotland the Brave'- least anyone should think I have changed allegience 100%, after all- I am still a 'bint el baladi' ! and then it was the drum solo.............. which didn't go to plan.........and was a lesson learned in making sure you rehearse with your drummer before you get on stage!... but we made the best out of it and had a giggle too...... here is just a tiny clip of it to show you the costume in action!!! :

There were also so many fantastic photos taken on this night, that i don't know where to even begin to choose which ones to add to the blog- so give me a few days to go through them all please!!! Huge thanks to all those talented people behind cameras!!!

Better go get some beauty sleep so I am ready for my Glasgow workshop and my photoshoot tomorrow!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunny Edinburgh

Yes the sun is shining in Scotland- and i went out for lunch with a friend who I haven't seen in ages and she was wearing a Linen skirt, Tshirt and no jacket!!!! I was wearing a t-shirt, under my jumper dress and scarf and jacket........... hmm- i don't think I have acclimatised!!!
I am kicking myself that i forgot about getting a group photo at the workshop in Dundee last weekend.... but i did remember to take one at the Edinburgh one the week before.....

There are still a few places on the workshop in Edinburgh this coming saturday... contact Elspeth for details and to book!! ( ) We will be covering different things from the last Edinburgh workshop, so if you want to do both, you'd be welcome and you won't be repeating yourself!!!

Don't you just love how Natalie's hand is cupping my face in the above photo? We couldn't have possibly arranged that if we had tried!!!!

Better get back to getting my music sorted for the 'Lorna of Cairo Hafla' tomorrow night! Oh and I have decided to dance 3 times so I get to wear all of my new Eman Zaki costumes!!!
( )

Monday, March 15, 2010

Edinburgh workshop 20th March

I can't believe the time here is going by so fast.

I taught a very successful and fun, workshop on the 6th in Edinburgh- and there was enough interest to warrent putting on an extra class this saturday, 20th. Just waiting for the bookings for that to come in.......

and Glasgow on sunday 21st too... goodie goodie!

Dundee workshop last saturday was sold out too... and was a lot oof fun.. so much for 'less is more' which was the topic. Granted I did give lots of ideas on how to pack more punch into your performance... but I gave lots and lots of moves too! In fact, the last 2 workshops have shown me that i know a lot more than I always think I do! I need to teach high level classes more often, it inspires me! I had written out a list of some techniques i had wanted to cover in each workshop... and i didn't even use the sheet, because i came up with (of my body did anyway- doesn't seem to go via the brain!) so many other things on the day!!! We had a lot of fun and was lovely to see so many fabulous women, some of whom I haven't seen for years! Last week it was my glutes that were feeling it- this week my stomach muscles!!!

... and the 'Lorna of Cairo' hafla this Thursday too... which of my 3 lovely new Eman costumes should I go for??? Hmmm.... you'll have to come along to find out!

I have started to catch up with friends this week.... last week was 100% family! I love having good friends that even though we may not have seen each other for up to 6 months, when we get together its like there hasn't been anytime apart!!! Tonight after a meal at one friend's house I am heading out to dance at 'Medina' which has some salsa and some world music playing!!! Tomorrow night I am inviting everyone who knows me... along to 'Empires' restaurant to have dinner and catch up... we may well end up hitting some club after too- the ones who don't have early work next day anyway!!! Hope to see lots of people out tonight and tomorrow!

next week will be the Cairo friends catch up!

love to all my friends, and students!!!!.... wherever in the world you might be!

PS remember to BOOK NOW for Thursdays Hafla and Saturday's workshop!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Vodaphone lessons learned!

I've been having issues sending and receiving text messages on my mobile phone, but only when i am on my UK sim. Between friday and yesterday I talked to about 7 different customer care advisors... and it has finally resolved. HOWEVER it did take over 2 solid hours on the phone to 2 operators (at the same time!) yesterday to solve the issue.

The ladies on the phone were very friendly and kept thanking me for my humour and patience throughout this... which they agreed was a nightmare for me. So I didn't have to say the same story twice i held the landline, and the mobile to each ear and told them the whole story... how the phone works totally fine with my Egyptian sim card in it etc etc..... they both asked me to repeat... and asked me why i used an Egyptian sim card. i explained thats because i live in Egypt. They then told me.... do you realise we are in Cairo... the call centre is based here!!! we all laughed and chatted in arabic... and they repeated how nice I was being with them and I told them why.

The truth is, if i had been in such a frustrating , time consuming position with a call centre 4 years ago- i would have probably been shouting and swearing long ago. But after 4 years of Cairo, and all the things you have to just be patient with, I have learned. i have become 'Egyptisnized!!!' . I have learned to laugh at the little things and become more accepting of fate. Less confrontational and demanding. (at least in my 'public life' !!!). They agreed i was different that the majority of their UK customers. It was all very culturally enlightening and bizarre!! Lovely ladies too- wish i had got their names so i could have met them for coffee when i got back!

On the dance front- My Dundee Workshop this saturday is now fully booked!!! which is great- unless you hoped to come and didn't get your name in fast enough! As far as I know there are still some spaces on the Edinburgh 20th and Glasgow 21st if you are interested get your names to Elspeth and Joanie fast..... But at this rate- this could be a sell out Scottish tour!!!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dancing with 'my gals' !

Miss Jean Brodie herself couldn't have been more proud of her 'gals' as i was today dancing with the Edinburgh dancers (and a few very welcome dancers came through from Glasgow too!). They were fabulous. "The creme de la creme"... as Jean would say!

We had a lot of fun, and the dance studio at Telford College is just lovely. Adam drummed for us- and we sweated a LOT- ok, I shouldn't speak for others- I sweated a lot!!! It felt great to be just going for it with the music! I never really realise how much my dancing has improved and changed until i get back to the homeland and dance with my old collegues and students in Scotland again. It's nice to seem them grow and improve in dance too. I feel very proud to know i have been one of the teachers who have helped Scotland to have such a high standards of dancers!

The workshop was a sell out.. and we had to turn so many people away.. that Elspeth (the organiser) and myself have decided to run a second Edinburgh workshop on Saturday 20th March (times TBC) !!!! so......... if you couldn't make today, or if there wasn't space for you today, or if you were there and fancy MORE of Lorna then contact Elspeth to get your name on her list ASAP. We'll be doing a lot of technique, and some musical interpretation, and generally dancing Cairo style! Theme being 'Less is more, Sassy and sexy!' Hope you can join us!

so- my diary for the rest of the Scottish tour;

Dundee Workshop- Sat 13th March

Edinburgh Hafla- Thurs 18th March

Edinburgh back by popular demand Workshop- NEW!- Sat 20th March

Glasgow Workshop- Sun 21st March

It might be cold, well, it IS cold, never mind the 'might'!!! but It's good to be back!

The rest of the week is going to be spent with mum... and i am hoping for sunshine so we can get lots of fresh air. After getting used to the pollution of Cairo I can literally feel my lungs expand with oxygen here!!! The smell of woodland and burning pine.. ah.. bliss!

All that fresh air and exercise today however has worn me out.. so I plan to try to sleep before 11.30pm (the time i usually only finish work and go out in Cairo- but it's a different life here).

.... and so ,

" To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep ".....
..... I'll probably even dream of dance!!!

(wow- a literary blog from me today! both Muriel Spark and Shakespeare quoted in one entry!!!)

and... since the workshop went so well today i guess i can quote;

"I am a teacher! First, last, always! "

and the fact that it went SO well that we are organising a follow up one I think I'll even add....

"I am truly in my Prime"

Monday, March 01, 2010


yes- thats right
we had HAILSTONES in Cairo on thursday last week.....! and rain like I've never seen- despite living all my life in Scotland (well- until Egypt that is!)

It was the night of the celebrations for the prophets birthday... so it was going to be crowded in the streets anyway- but a bit of rain, ok, a LOT of rain, and HAIL... (did i mention HAIL!) then the streets become locked. The problem is the lack of drainage which means the roads turn into stream or puddles...! Seemingly thats only the 2nd time in 16 years that they have had any type of white stuff fall from the sky. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't actually held a melting ice pellet in my hand... unfortunatly I was sitting in a taxi at the time... who's windows wouldn't close... which is why the hail landed on my lap! seemingly the staff at Mena Hotel hotel were out taking photos of the grass inthe grounds, because it turned white.. I very rare occurance here!

I've had some great nights at work... with audiences ranging from entire groups of egyptian woman (a LOT of fun) to a group of japanese who looked on stony eyed throughout the whole show and then joyously danced with me as I went round to do the photos... to a crowd of Indians who also sat looking miserable the entire performance... but never took their eyes off me and were up dancing and loving it by the end. Cultural differences are so strange , for example, Last night, just before going on stage I got the 'oh Lorna, you've got fat!'.............. the LAST thing a girl needs to hear before stepping onto stage. Even though she then insisted she meant it in a good way(???!!!) I wasn't amused! hmmm anyway- i then went on to do 2 of my best shows ever i suspect... so maybe it was my way of saying ... 'something not very nice' to the girl who had said that to me!

Yesterday i did a photo shoot for Pharonics costumes again... a lot of fun, just me, and 2 other local dancers. looking forward to those pictures coming out online (although since the website is barred from Egypt to protect the costume designs.. I wil have to rely on you guys telling me when you see the website changed!!!!)

Today i taught 5 lovely Australian women (part of the Silk Caravan troupe). We had a good time and covered everything from arms to shimmys to saaidi to oh you name it- it was mentioned...! Now I'm off the Eman Zaki's to see if my new costumes are going to be ready before I travel (hope so because I want to wear them to the Halfa in Edinburgh on 18th March!). Then i have 2 sails at work (so anything between 2-4 shows) and the Australians are coming along to cheer for me! Looking forward to that- love dancing for friends!

Busy life, busy days...

...and looking forward to seeing everyone on Scotland very soon (workshops; 6th Edinburgh, 13th Dundee and 21st Glasgow. Hafla in Edinburgh 18th)

PS- that was written this afternoon... now i am back home, after costume shops (very excited about my new ones!) and after getting a taxi to work, being told that the 1st sail of the night is cancelled- GRRRR- so had to get taxi all the way home again or wait in the cold for nearly 3 hours! welcome to the downside of Cairo life ( one of them!)