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.
Greek nightclubs were popping up all over the country and experienced dancers were in demand. John Angelou told me they needed a dancer in Cleveland and they were paying $40 dollars a night. A lot of dancers from the Ave. started coming back and forth from other cities and I thought I’d give it a shot.
“The Forty Thieves” was the first club I worked. Funny, I was in Cleveland but the club was on Detroit Ave. Karma? Fate? Who was the star there? OZEL TURKBAS! The very first dancer I had ever seen and she was so nice and pleasant to work with and a true pro. They did not have a drummer and she loved solo’s so thanks to Sabah and my experience’s in New York I was able to play for her show and give her a half ass ed solo. I then moved to the “Grecian Gardens” where I found out that I had to be a member of AGVA, American Guild of Variety Artists or, I could not work there, I joined. From there I went to “The Athenian”. When that job finished I got another offer to work another supper club called “Mr. Grapevines” but they were not AGVA. I needed the work, AGVA came in and told me I would be black balled if I took one step on the stage, I was black balled. After that I worked a number of American clubs, “The Red Carpet Inn” “The Thunderbird Lounge” and a few other places. Ever hear the expression “Break A Leg?” That comes from AGVA, because it was the only thing they paid for. They still exist!
One morning I got a call from Eddy Kochak. He wanted to know if I was available to work in Puerto Rico, the pay was $50 a night, free room in the hotel and half off anything I ate or drank. I was packed and on the next plane. A year in Cleveland
was enough. In this article they spelled Ozel and Zeyna wrong but hey, it was the
first time I was “in the news”
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.
Bottom left, another top Bouzouki player John Angelou, singer
I don’t remember but middle is famous Turkish dancer Princess Nyeela,
Far right famous clarinet Costas Stavastakis. I can’t swear to the correct spelling.( We SAT!)