Enjoy the best Greek food in Dallas and Dallas’ favorite Belly Dancers, Neenah, Aliki and Aicha. The belly dancers and Stratos are great for every celebration. It is totally fun and festive. Every Friday and Saturday is great belly dancing entertainment with Neenah, Aliki and Aicha and every Thursday night, the Harem Jewels will make your evening a memorable one for your special event. Join us at Stratos and learn to Greek Folkdance and belly dance with the beautiful belly dancers of Dallas, Texas.
Love ruins a lot of things. When your hormones kick in your brain quits. Alas, I fell in love and left for Minnesota. Needless to say, they are a lot of stories between what I write here, so I went home to Mama and reflected a lot on what I had learned. New York was music, dance, costuming & cultures. Puerto Rico was real entertainment, costumes, makeup, public relations.
Still, looking back I have to reference a few personal opinions. I worked with many, many musicians and some absolutely excellent but for me during those years the best Oud player that I personally worked with that was helpful and kind and always kept my back was Dicky Barsamian. He is still working in New York and is on you tube and has some CD’s. His Cd (The Dick Barsamian Trio). Live at the Tripple Inn has the best “Karsilama” I ever heard. The taxim is incredible.
Another favorite musician is Sudan (or Souren) Baronian. An Armenian born in New Jersey that plays sax and clarinet or anything else he can put his lips to, A jazz lover that plays Mid Eastern rhythms to jazz. He is also on you tube. My favorite CD is (Taxim-It’s about time) Try dancing on it!
I called a talent agency and went on the road mostly around Wisconsin and Illinois working week-ends here and there that had night club acts. The pay was very good especially for those years, 2 nights, $200. I ended up finally in Chicago. I worked every club there at the time and had the honor of working with “Dahlena” and “Iklas ” (Iklas was a phenomenal
entertainer and the first dancer I saw using a cape. Iklas used (rock glasses, not shot glasses) during her act and —–When I started teaching Neenah, I told her I would teach her from my memories. Some things I couldn’t personally do, but I could explain and get her to do them. This is how we came up with the shot glass idea!). “Dahlena” and “Iklas” were the only 2 dancers that had impressed me since I left New York and both of them were beautiful ladies on and off stage.
There was a club “on the east side on 50th.” called The Round Table. I heard Morocco was dancing
there and wanted to see her. The club was very up scale, valet parking etc. Alright, I
saved some money and went. What ever———I walked out of there and felt like going
home and shooting myself. I had a great ear and sense of rhythm, no formal dance
back round, but I did pride myself on being a great gymnast. Jemela was introduced not
Morocco, I cannot remember anything after that, she blew my mind and confidence. Again!
Think about doing a back bend undulating all the way down, then kneeling on one leg, the
other extended, in a back bend and pivoting at the same time. GEEZZ! Do you have any idea what power that takes? I honestly do not remember if Morocco was there that night or not.
Jemela was classy, powerful powerful powerful. A lot of Ballet training and put my
gymnastic abilities under the carpet. What a woman, what a entertainer, such class.
She danced in Beirut, Lebanon and on Broadway in N.Y. She also traveled with the
Broadway show Zorba the Greek. She is a legion personified.
We are still friends and she is still absolutely powerfully beautiful.
The Egyptian Gardens was across the street from the other clubs and up a flight of stairs. It was also different in the fact that most musicians there were Turkish along with most of the dancers. It also did not have a pull out stage. The band did sit back on a smaller platform like the other clubs but the tables were situated around a huge dance floor.
Here performing was the famous Turkish singer and dancer Saliha. She was the only dancer “ever” to dance once a night, at midnight. Everyone else did two shows.
The Egyptian Gardens is where I really learned more about that 9/8 (Karshlama) that Sabah had whipped out for Athena. All the Turkish dancers used it. I never worked the Egyptian Gardens.
Then there was Soraya Melik “Turkish” who also sang. As beautiful as Saliha was, it was Soraya that caught my eye with that special something that I wanted to capture. Pure Class on stage with a sense of rhythm. Soraya Melic taught me how to cut skirts.
These are the dancers that did work there during my time in New York and they are the ones that I watched every chance I could.