Alia Thabit Traditional and Avant-Garde Belly Dance

Belly Dance Soul Archives - Alia Thabit

What Dina Said

This past May I attended Yasmina Ramzy’s final Belly Dance Blossom festival. I was fortunate to be on the panel Raqs Sharqi as Revolutionary, with Christine Sahin and Amara of NYC. It was fabulous, as are all of Yasmina’s events. But the main attraction was Dina Talaat (yes, THE Dina). Dina taught a workshop each […]

Why Belly Dance is like–the Matrix?! (and how to get your red pill)

In the iconic film, The Matrix, Neo is offered a choice: The blue pill or the red pill? The blue pill lets you stay in the cave, living an illusion of life. The red pill–ah, that’s another story. The red pill means opening your eyes to hidden things. It changes your life. Awakens you. Frees […]

Why belly dance is like hummus ( and how to make it right)

It’s a funny thing about food, especially ethnic food. However your grandmother made something, that’s the way it’s supposed to taste. Unless you never met your grandmother, or she couldn’t cook worth a damn, of course. That happens, and I’m sorry. But for most of us, she’s the heaven to which we aspire, the yardstick […]

How to empower authenticity in performance

Last week, the toilet in my house backed up. It wasn’t the toilet, exactly, but some obstruction between it and the septic tank. Which hadn’t been pumped in over twenty-five years. Which is generally a Bad Thing, but it has worked perfectly all this time. The simple solution was to open the tank and snake backwards from there to break […]

Why Belly Dance is like Narnia (and how we get through the wardrobe)

Why Belly Dance is like Narnia (and how we get through the wardrobe) The Narnia Chronicles, a classic fantasy series by CS Lewis, begins when a little girl named Lucy accidentally tumbles through an old wardrobe (a closet on legs) to discover the magical land of Narnia. Narnia is peopled by fauns, dwarves, and talking […]

How to transmit wonder with your dance

In our secret hearts, we come to this dance for transformation. We seek a magic carpet ride to our true self, our inner goddess, femme fatale, power and glory. We want this so hard it hurts. We cry at night for the loss of the beauty, freedom, mystery and adventure with which we were born. Life […]

How thankfulness in dance brings joy and peace into our lives

In the USA, we have this powerful myth of the first Thanksgiving. The first pilgrims came to the shores of this country, escaping religious differences in England. The ingenious peoples kindly took pity on them and invited them to a feast. The pilgrims were so grateful for this kindness that they commemorated the feast as […]

What is Belly Dance? Part IV

What is Belly Dance? Part IV Read Part I here Read part II here Read Part III here   It’s pretty clear by now that belly dance is much more than a sparkly little toy. It’s much more than a sexy treat for the male gaze, a fun way of getting exercise, or a dress-up […]

What is belly dance part III

What is belly dance? Part III Read Part I here Read part II here Of course, there are specific folkloric dances that have nothing to do with belly dance—no one is arguing about that. But there are others that have been adopted. They are not belly dance as such (Sa’idi stick dance, for example, or […]

What is belly dance? (and why is that a question?)

What is belly dance? (and why is that a question?) Back in the early 70’s, when I was a baby dancer, I worked as a figure model for art classes, mostly at the Brooklyn Museum art school (sadly, long gone), and at Pratt Institute. There was one prof at Pratt whom I liked a lot, and I […]