This page is intended for Khajulah's belly dance students. Of course, this page is open to anyone and you might find some interesting things...scroll down and down and down. This page is "invisible" to most unless you have click on the eye at the bottom of the CLASSES page.

YouTube Postings

History of Belly Dance
Belly Dance - Article in Time Magazine
Styles of Dance/Costume


YouTube Postings - Get your practice on!

Love Song Rakkasah 2013, extended version - Hotter than July 2012 (we will do an extended version with all)
Tribal Fusion Taqsim Rakkasah 2013 (at 4:48) - Rakkasah 2007

Aurora Borealis Veil Rakkasah 2013 with variation (at 7:15) - Carnival of Stars 2011 (at 3:58) - Rakkasah 2008
Drum Solo IV Rakkasah 2013 (at 12:00)
Break it Down Taqsim - (go to 3:16)Desert Dance Festival 2010
- Desert Dance Festival 2011 (at 4:09)
Egyptian Boogie - Desert Dance Festival 2011 - Carnival of Stars 2011 (at :09)
Zill Thrill
- Rakkasah 2011 (at :13)
Fast and Furious - Desert Dance Festival 2010, Sept10 - Carnival of Stars 2010, Aug10 - Rakkasah 2009, Mar09 -
Desert Dance Festival 2009, Sept09
Taffy Taqsim - (go to 3:01) Hotter than July 2012 - Rakkasah 2009 - Desert Dance Festival 2009

Drum Solo III - (go to 7:07) Hotter than July 2012
Happy Day Drum Solo (DS I)
- Desert Dance Festival 2011 (at 8:39) - Desert Dance Festival 2010, Sept10 - Rakkasah 2007
Yearning Veil - Rakkasah 2010
Dreamy Veil - Rakkasah 2010
Sassy Saidi - Rakkasah 2008
Drum Solo II - Carnival of Stars 2011 (at 8:30) - Rakkasah 2011 (at 12:25) - Carnival of Stars 2010 - Rakkasah 2008
Balady - Rakkasah 2011 (at 5:44) - Rakkasah 2010 - Rakkasah 2007
Raks Leyla - Rakkasah 2009 -
Desert Dance Festival 2009
Sword and Tray - Carnival of Stars 2010 - Rakkasah 2009
Mother Earth Taqsim - Rakkasah 2011 (at 8:34) - Rakkasah 2007
Pharaonics, part 1 and 2 - Carnival of Stars 2007


A cymbal upgrade is mandatory for the Beyond Beginners class or anyone who is ready for better sound. A good pair of cymbals will sound all the more better than the cheapie beginner ones. Here is the best maker and vendor of zills in our belly dance world. Buy direct and support them directly. Go for cymbals which are 2 3/8 - 2 1/2", heavier gauge, "Advanced - Professional", "Tribal" or "Specialty". Beginners, it's time to get some zills! Go for the beginners or go for a better grade and you won't have to re-buy them later (this is my recommendation).
Saroyan Mastercrafts:
Saroyan Mastercrafts is in its fourth decade of providing the finest Middle Eastern dance accessories and Finger Cymbals available. From our humble beginning on the U.S. East Coast, to our current international marketplace, Saroyan has been dedicated to serving you with the latest in technology, yet remaining true to tradition. Our leadership is consistently maintained by supplying the highest quality merchandise with exceptional service.


We will learn how to dance with a veil, so it may be a good idea to go out and get your own. I also have some for lend during class so you can get a feel for the kind you prefer.
I also have veils for sale, just ask me about it.
Another option is for you to go out and buy the fabric, give it to me and I will make your veil for $15. For the lowest fabric prices I recommend Fabrics R Us or the Berryessa Flea Market which is just a block or two from the Fabric store. Buy 3 yards of fabric (some sort of "flowy" material): silk, light weight lining material, test it out by unrolling a couple of yards and test the flowiness. Do not buy anything with stretch and chiffon is not recommended.
Fabrics R US: 1745 Berryessa Rd., San Jose, CA 95133-1129, (408) 929-4330
There are countless websites which have plenty to offer. Veils can be had online or at a handful of shops located nearby: Lunatic Fringe which is located in Sunnyvale. 


History of Belly Dance
The internet is packed with information about belly dance, do a search, cruise around and learn about the different aspects of the dance. Belly Dance has such ancient roots that no one can agree on the true roots of the dance. Below are some links to various sites where you can find information about the history of Belly Dance as well as a brief description of what's on each site. Check it out and/or do your own search and forward me any links you think would be useful to your fellow classmates.

Almaaz’s Home of Middle Eastern Dance
“Belly dance (aka Oriental Dance) is one of the most ancient forms of dance known to man. There are many theories about where, when and how the dance began, ranging from goddess worship in ancient Anatolia (modern day Turkey), to the use of undulations to ease the pain of childbirth, to gypsies traveling from India through Asia Minor and into Africa in the 10th Century. Elements of the dance are still seen in folk dances throughout Asia, Africa and Europe.”

The Art of Middle Eastern Dance
Visit this site for a list of links you can visit to learn more about the history of the dance.

Belly Dance, UK
“Raqs Sharqi (pronounced Roks Sharkee) literally translated means 'dance from the East', and has its roots in Middle Eastern fertility ceremonies - a dance performed by women for women. It was originally taught to girls from an early age in order to strengthen their abdominal muscles in preparation for childbirth. The muscle isolation techniques require practice and control, and the smaller the movement, the greater the control and the more the muscle is exercised. It's a fact that exercise mitigates pain. The women of the Middle East knew this, and so the dance was born through abdominal movements like pelvic rocking and belly roll.”
This site is packed with very useful information from the question of what is belly dance to styles.
Packed with loads of info....

Raks Sharqi – The Art of Egyptian Dance
“Raqs Sharqi translates from Arabic as "dance of the Orient" or "Oriental Dance". This is the oldest dance in the world. It derives from Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization…This Middle Eastern dance form was found in the goddess cults of Inanna, Ishtar, Tiamet, and Astarte. In Egypt, this dance was part of rituals to the Goddess Isis, Hathor, Neith and Maat. The ancient ritual of dancing at the social occasions of an engagement, wedding, and birth of a child has found expression in every culture of the Middle East. Egypt, Iraq (Babalonia), Turkey, Iran (Persia), Lebanon (Phoenicia), Syria (Assyria), Morroco, Tunisia, Algeria, Greece and the rest of Arabia have styles of this dance richly represented in their cultural history.”

Zara’s Emporium
“Though out recent history, in America, belly dancing has come and gone as a fad…Cultures are adapting and blending with each other and belly dancing has become an American cultural art. American women have adopted belly dancing and the current trend to fuse other dance forms into it has made it uniquely American, without losing the basic flavor of the art form. Belly dancing has come to mainstream America. We see it in jazz routines. We see it on MTV, in the movies and at beauty contests.  Belly dancing is no longer a Middle Eastern cultural dance, but a dance for all women, and women live all over the world.”

Want to learn more? Do your own web search, send me the link if you think it should be posted here. Thanks!

Article in Time Magazine 
From the Oct. 28, 2002 issue of TIME magazine
Shakin' All Over - Belly dancing has its roots in the ancient world, but its merits are being discovered by modern women. By MICHELE ORECKLIN

To understand why belly dancing is enjoying such popularity today, it's important to set aside certain preconceptions. Banish the image of nubile harem girls undulating under an Arabian moon for the amusement of sheiks. Envision instead women of expanding waistlines and advancing ages finding their inner goddess under fluorescent lights at the local Y.

In the current resurgence of belly dancing, its reputation as a seductive art is played down. Rather, it is promoted as a way for women of all shapes and ages not only to tone their obliques but also to deepen their souls. The success of this message explains why sales of videos by "belly twins" Neena and Veena are soaring and gyms in New York City and Los Angeles are scheduling belly-dancing classes during hours once reserved for Pilates. It's why dance studios from Omaha to Anchorage can't accommodate everyone seeking to enroll.

For many, belly dancing is chiefly notable as the one endeavor outside of a wedding in which women are encouraged to wear veils. But it has changed the life of Nebraskan Faith Erdei, 51, a mother of 12 who works at a nuclear-power plant. Every week she drives the 50 miles to Lincoln to attend class because it's the one place she can feel feminine. Roni Flory, 27, of Carrolton, Texas, says learning to express herself through belly dancing has made her more effective at her sales job by giving her the confidence to talk to anyone.

Improved self-esteem was probably not why belly dancing evolved thousands of years ago. Though its origins remain murky, it was probably first performed in the Middle East, then spread through that region and North Africa. The term belly dancing is a misnomer adopted in the West in the 19th century: in ancient Middle Eastern societies, women would have been forbidden to show their midriffs. Most modern practitioners contend that belly dancing was designed not for sexual enticement but as a fertility ritual or for birthing ceremonies for and among women. There has also been speculation that the rotating pelvic movements arose from the action of stirring soup.

It's much easier to pinpoint how and why belly dancing has caught on at this moment in the U.S. Following the 9/11 attacks, people began seeking knowledge about Middle Eastern society. Marta Schill, president of the 25-year-old Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association, says membership has grown more than 30%, to 1,000, over the past year. This desire to learn about Arab traditions coincided with the release of music videos by pop stars Shakira and Britney Spears, who bared their stomachs and belly danced with abandon, sparking the interest of teenagers and young adults.

"When the room is packed, I say, 'Thank you, Shakira and MTV,'" says Mesmera, who teaches belly dancing in Los Angeles. Mesmera (real name: Laurie Rose) began belly dancing 27 years ago and in recent months has seen her class sizes swell. She says she doesn't care what brings people in; she's just happy to get out the message that belly dancing "gives you a stronger sense of self," even if that self doesn't look like Shakira. "We're all different shapes and sizes, but Mesmera makes everybody feel beautiful," says Monica, a high school teacher. Echoes Suzy Roan, 44, a divorced bartender who teaches belly dancing in a
suburb of Anchorage: "It's one of the few dancing arts where it's
totally acceptable to be yourself. If you're plump, it's O.K."

Mesmera's classes resemble those taught nationwide. Even in a beginners' class, most of the 20 students wear flowing skirts in cotton or gauze and scarves adorned with coins tied low on their hips. After breathing exercises, the students are instructed to twist their hips slowly in a figure 8 while extending their arms to the side. Later come side-to-side hip sways, pelvic thrusts and serpentine torso waves done to a rhythmic drumbeat. Occasionally classes are accompanied by live percussionists, and women play finger cymbals called zills, though CDs with Middle Eastern music and singing are often used.

Belly dancing can be an effective cardiovascular exercise that helps strengthen muscles by isolating different parts of the body, but the moves are gentle, not pounding like other forms of dance or aerobics. Diana Stone, 54, an instructor in Asheville, N.C., explains, "This dance feels right for the body of a woman."

Feeling feminine but not weak is a strong draw for Barbara Sorenson, 55, who teaches in Lincoln, Neb. She says belly dancing indulges her desire to wear jewelry, makeup and billowing fabrics, to be "female but also strong and feminist." Sorenson says the style she teaches, Tribal Fusion, is "a dance of attitude, strength, beauty and the celebration of a woman's spirit." (Despite the emphasis on femininity, some men do belly dancing but with sharper, less rolling moves.)

Americans tend to treat ancient rituals like new cars, customizing them for convenience, then trading them in when something more exciting comes along. But that isn't the way belly dancing is seen by people like Don Gold, president of StudioWorks, a Thousand Oaks, Calif., video distributor whose parent company gave the world Tae-Bo. Gold just signed a deal with belly-dance instructor Dolphina, who teaches in Los Angeles, to distribute her Goddess Workout Fitness Video series because "we think we're ahead of the curve of a new revolution." It's possible that the practice will become classic, like yoga, but there's always the danger that it could end up in the used-trend lot, discarded and rusting like step aerobics.

— With reporting by Esther Chapman/Omaha, Constance E.
Richards/Asheville and Sonja Steptoe/Los Angeles


Styles of Belly Dance
The art of Belly Dance in the US has many different fusions of dance and costume styles. Today, Belly Dancing is a mixture of many dance styles from the Middle East, Central Asia, Northern Africa and others. Some belly dancers are even mixing it up even more, by including hip hop, modern dance, and a bit of burlesque in their dance, our dance is evolving all the time and there are many styles of Belly Dance. Below are some examples and links:

Tribal Fusion
"...the marriage of choreographed and improvisational forms, specifically with significant emphasis given to what would be considered "American Nightclub" or "Cabaret" styles of bellydance; but can also refer to emphases on specific ethnic dance influences, such as "Indian Fusion", "Flamenco Fusion", "African Fusion", and the like.






American Tribal Style
Dance style is "improvisational" with rehearsed transitional steps in between moves. Turbaned head dresses, Indian cholis, full skirts and pantaloons, lots of the dancers are tattooed. The dance style is more "earthy" or flat footed, it is proud.
Fat Chance Belly Dance



Note the added look of shells (a fertility symbol and once used for monetary exchange) an African influence. The American Tribal Style of dance is highly controversial and some do not accept it as a true belly dance form.
Black Sheep Belly Dance / United We Dance






The dance style and dress is traditional and follows the culture of the Middle East. Note how the dress style is more subdued. Use of the basket as a prop for dances which depict the every day life of the market place.
Hala Dance Company



Egytian, Cabaret and Indian Fusion This style is said to be influenced by Hollywood and the glam and glitz. Lots of beads and sequins are used on the costumes. The dance style is on the toes a lot and is very interpretive to the music.
Lots of Belly Dancers also fuse the dance styles, using costume and moves from different cultures, such as Afrobelly (a blend of African dance and belly dance), Gypsy (Romani) style or the influence of Indian dances as above.


Tribal Folkloric: These costumes is made of assuit which is fabric with metal pounded and worked in patterns. The dance style is traditional of Bedouin tribes who roamed the Arabian deserts, a very "earthy" dance. 
Hahbi 'Ru