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.
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.
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”