Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ever Hear of Mid East Summer Madness?

Did you know that I produced a show in August 1996 that was titled Mid East Summer Madness? It was the precursor to The Awards of Belly Dance Shows that started in 1997. And it was just before I formed IAMED.

It was held at a beautiful little theatre that was located at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, California. Delilah was the headliner and the show also featured Sultana, Siwa, Sabrina, Veena, Neena and others. Plus we had the live music of John Bilezikjian on oud and Souhail Kaspar on tabla.

I remember Fahtiem attended as well as my friends Sue Turner and Eileen Carhart. I emceed the show and threw in tidbits of humor and gave away silly prizes. My boyfriend at the time, Terry ran sound. My friend John was the video photographer. During the day Delilah taught a couple of workshops. They were well attended.

Mid East Summer Madness was a test run for IAMED and my future ventures in producing events.

I look back on this show with fond memories and I feel fortunate that I was able to get such great talent. I believe anyone that attended the show also felt fortunate that they attended the show. Even more so because while we taped the show, it has never been released on video.

Mid East Summer Madness was the beginning of great things!

Suzy Evans

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Level of Belly Dance Are You Really At?

It's important to be realistic regarding the level you are at in the dance. In the end, if you are not realistic, you're only retarding your own growth as a dancer.

There is no such thing as an instant belly dancer. At least not a good one you would want to watch. It takes years of study and practicing to be a good, competent dancer. If it was really that easy all of us would be mega stars of the dance, touring the world with thousands of fans.

Over a period of time, I will write often about going back to the basics. If you were a ballet or modern dancer you do the basics everyday. It should be no different with belly dancing.

If you are just starting, don't try to take short cuts or circumnavigate the learning curve. Take your time and practice, practice, practice the basics. Only then start building on your movements. To be a graceful belly dancer you have to practice.

I can't tell you how many dancers I have seen, talked to, received their video in the mail and so on... that are delusional about the level of dance they are at. Heck, I get phone calls from dancers and I can tell by talking to them that they are at best a beginner. Most seem to think they are at the advanced or pro level. This has happened because they quickly skipped through the beginning and intermediate classes. Not good. Take your time and enjoy the experience of learning.

I would tell any of these dancers if they want to be a truly great dancer then they need to take belly dance more seriously as if they were taking ballet or modern dance. Take a step back and reexamine where you are at. Practice at least 4 times a week. Take at least one lesson a week - forever.

Never stop learning. Take lessons, workshops, private classes & buy instructional videos. You will never know it all. A professional dancer never stops learning.

I want to see you as the best belly dancer you can be!

Suzy Evans

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The History of

In a previous post I talked about the anniversary of our website It went on line in January 1999. But we have been on the internet before that. It was common back in the earlier days of the internet to be a part of another website - because there were few websites on the internet and most people did not have their own domain name.

I don't remember the exact date we went on line but I believe we were on the net at least 1 year before So that would have been 1997/1998. I believe the site was called and we had some pages connected to that site.

Over the years the website has undergone numerous design changes and all were quite beautiful and unique. Although in the beginning is a bit amateur looking compared to what websites look like now. Initially there was no store program that came later. The store part of the website has also been re-designed and has had various looks and upgraded to make shopping and checkout easier. We've added video clips of all IAMED videos, which to date is now more than 60. The clips were important to give people an idea of the content of the full length DVD.

The site has added articles, photos, events page, history of belly dance, and hire a belly dancer page. One of the more recent additions is the IAMED stars of belly dancers page. It features photos and articles about the stars of the dance.

The latest news is our store is currently undergoing an upgrade which should be complete within a month. It will offer some new features. I will keep you posted when it is finished.

To view Click Here

Suzy Evans

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Arabic Rhythms - A Must Have Belly Dance Video

I get emails from belly dancers all the time about what instructional DVDs I would recommend if say they could only afford 1 or a few.

One of our videos that always comes to mind is Arabic Rhythms with Tamra-henna. This is a must have for all belly dancers at all levels, beginner to advanced/professional.

What it boils down to is this: It's all about the music. Belly dancing is all about the music. If don't "get" the music, you can't possibly be a good dancer. Period. If you visit Egypt and go see the Egyptian dancers perform or see them on video you'll know what I mean.

I've seen too many dancers run roughshod over the music, as if the music matters not. And guess what, the audience does notice it and not in a positive way.

Tamra-henna's video on understanding the music and rhythms will give you the foundation you need to be a great belly dancer.

As an insider on the making of this video I can tell you this: This video was a real bear to produce. We probably put in more time, money and energy on this video than any other instructional video that we've ever made. To say that Tamra-henna put in over time on this one would be a gross understatement. The pre-production was long and very detailed. We ran overtime on the day of shooting. This one video took the equivalent time in editing of about 3 videos. This project was truly a labor of love. I felt the information was too important, not to produce it and make it available for dancers.

There is a 2nd volume of Arabic Rhythms in post production. I hope to release it by the end of the year.

Click Here for more information about the video and to purchase.

Suzy Evans