Category Archives: History

Phyllis Patterson (1932-2014)

We are saddened to learn that Phyllis Patterson passed away on May 18, 2014.  She was a passionate and artistic woman who conceived and created the modern Renaissance fair; and without her vision, the world of belly dance might be … Continue reading

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From Tap Dancing to Responsible Fusion

Last year, I wrote about my pop and locking work with Walter Freeman who went on to perform on Broadway for 10 years as an American tap dancer in Riverdance.  Walter and I attended many of the same tap classes … Continue reading

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Remembering John Compton

I was greatly saddened to hear the news that John Compton passed away this week.  He had a long and prosperous belly dance career, and I want to share my story of how I first knew him. John had seen … Continue reading

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Warda al-Jazairia (1939-2012), the Algerian Rose

Our dance world has suffered a major loss with the recent passing of Warda Al-Jazaairia (1939-2012) this past May.  She was an amazingly gifted singer.  She worked with several of the great Arab composers, and many of her songs are … Continue reading

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The Oakland Boogaloo & Walter “Sundance” Freeman

When I was in high school (it was probably 1982 or 83), I learned about a performance in Oakland featuring local tap dancers.  I was eager to attend, and I thought I might even see some of my fellow tap … Continue reading

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Popping, Locking & Belly Dance

In the early 1970s, new “funk style” dances were being developed by urban dancers in California.  Locking (created by Don Campbell in the late 1960s) and popping (created by Sam Solomon) were two of the first and most popular.  Others … Continue reading

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Importance of Improvisation to Live Middle Eastern Music

In the mid 1970s, Jamila sponsored a student night once a month at the Casbah, a belly dance night club in San Francisco. The Casbah was open seven nights a week with live musicians and dancers every night of the … Continue reading

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