1964 New York City Supper Club
Ozel Turkbas was the first Belly Dancer I ever saw and she blew me away. She was beautiful, feminine, her nails were manicured and polished, and she was a Belly Dancer from Turkey! WOW! Her costumes were dazzling and absolutely gorgeous. I had never seen this before, but she took men on the stage and taught them to shake a little and the crowd went hysterical with laughter.
Hell, I was from Minnesota, what did I know? My start: I had been a customer at the Istanbul in New York on 8th Ave., getting up learning the Greek dances when the singer approached me and said that I should try and belly dance and she would make me a costume.
So now, back to 8th Ave. Greek Town U.S.A. The Istanbul Club: Dancing about two months, thinking I was hot shit. I wanted costumes like Ozel Turkbas, but I was clueless and none of the belly dancers brought men up on the stage. I would not have dared anyway. I thought to myself, it is time to check out all these other clubs and see what the other belly dancers were doing. After checking out all the other clubs and other belly dancers, I realized when the light bulb flashed that I knew crap about the art.
In the 60’s, there was not anything such as a belly dance school, so every night I had off, I lived in the other clubs, studying the moves of the other belly dancers and listening, really listening to the music and how and what they did and where. The more I learned the more I knew I didn’t know. However, thank God I had a natural ear and love for music. I understood the beats of music and I could hear and feel it. Big Thing for my start in the Belly Dancing World!
Love You, I will tell you more in my next BLOG. Zeyna!!