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.
Even though I had worked my first Arabic Club with “Iklas” in Chicago, I was not use to an all Arabic band. Detroit would change that. It was certainly different from the Greeks, Armenians and Turkish that I was accustomed to. I always had a great sense of timing, a natural “beat” It was easy to feel and pick up. This kind of music allowed me to grow and again watching how the dancers there interpreted it. It was still cabaret, but not. The dancers used the same kind of costuming as in New York but the ambiance was completely different and of course the culture. I was a quick study. Although I didn’t think I could be impressed any more, I was wrong. The two best dancers in my opinion at that time, in Detroit, and still are the amazing “SHEBA” and “NOORA.” Since that time when schools started popping up they were giving names to certain movements. “The Choo Choo?” Like a train. Anyway, if you are in the business you know the movement. Let me tell you, Sheba had that down pat and was doing it back in the 60’s and the only dancer I had ever see do it ever, not even in New York. And she did as easy as we walk. She also had unbelievable stomach muscle control making half her stomach roll up separately and then down the other side simultaneously. Bitch, I love her! She was glamorous, refined, beautiful and a classic with a heart of gold. Noora, ahh, Noora did the best Belady on the face of the earth. Some movements cannot be duplicated. Some styles stand by them self. Noora on Belady was the instrument, the music. Belady and Noora are one composition. She out-shined the music. To watch her dance Belady was hearing the song for the first time. My two beloved life time friends. Unfortunately I have no pictures of Sheba, only a old video and a oil painting that Noora did of her that I will share.
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”
Before I leave my story and move on to Cleveland, I have to give note to another dancer that I worked with on 8th Ave. before and during my time there. Yildiz and I were friends and probably the sweetest of them all and a strong dancer.
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.