How well do you know your bellydancers... 
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DISPLAY IMAGES dont miss out

Just back from an amazing time in Trinidad with the wonderful Tara Lee Oakley! (On the left in photo above)
We were front-line dancers for the Utopia Mas (float) which was judged as the third best Mas in the parade!!  Utopia Mas had never been placed before so, of course, I put the win completely down to our dancing skills, lol !! 

You can catch Tara teaching and dancing in Kidlington   
Don't miss out - scroll down for details! 
It is providential that, being Mother's Day (UK) this month, we are reviewing a fantastic book written by a mother and daughter team, Sara and Poppy, along with their good friends and colleagues Dawn Devine and Alisha Westerfeld. Having read it, we feel this book is a must have for dancers of all levels from beginner student, to professional dancer, to teachers and anyone who loves bellydance.

In keeping with the mother/daughter theme it's worth mentioning that not only is Sara's daughter a bellydancer, but Sara's mum was a bellydancer too! Three generations in one family, how fab!

You may remember we last chatted to Sara for Zameena back in May 2014 about her book, Teaching Bellydance. If you want, you can check that edition out here. 

Also this month, Zameena readers have an opportunity to put their bellydancer knowledge to the test with a fun competition, with not one but two prizes on offer! There's more, so please, grab a cup of your favourite brew, sit back and enjoy!
Book Review by Zara:
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When I read the synopsis on the back of the book:
"Becoming a Belly Dancer From Student to Stage. The book that answers 1001 questions, provides theories and strategies for taking your dance to the next level. Brought to you by  four bellydance professionals.​"

My first thought was, "Wow that's a bold statement but will it live up to the promise?"
I can happily tell you that I was not disappointed! This book is a joy! It answered questions I didn't know I wanted or needed the answer to, reassured me in other areas and acted as jog to things I had become complacent about or had overlooked!

It's truly a comprehensive Belly Dance book and it's done so well! I'll mention a few areas to give you an idea. To start, there's good advice on choosing a teacher and staying motivated.There are easy to read pros and cons of all the different types of class, workshop, festival, intensive etc that you might attend. There are hints about getting 'the look' whether that be oriental or tribal from make up through to accessories. Etiquette and health and safety aren't forgotten either. If you are thinking of putting on an event there are strategies to just about guarantee  the smooth running you'd hope for. There are even ideas on different ways to increase your bellydance income! Where do I go next? Well, of course it's to where I consider the heart of the dance to be, and that's the chapter on music and it's full of what you need to know as a dancer. There are good etiquette tips for acknowledging the band members when dancing to live music. Using recorded music? Then there are tips on how to choose music for your set and how to put your playlist together, remembering things like volume and making a back up copy.
Again, Useful.
And there's a lot more.
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The content is a joy and inspiration!  
The four authors are Sara Shrapnell, Dawn Devine, Alisha Westerfeld and Sara's daughter, Poppy Maya. It is their diverse strengths, coming together in this publication, which make this book an absolute mine of information.  Even with four contributors, there is absolute continuity in the flow of writing and style.

The book is quite substantial; not one you would easily pop into your handbag to read on the journey to work.  It is ideal to keep at home on the coffee table or somewhere close to hand. You and your friends will be wanting to dip into it again and again. It is in black and white with a colourful paperback cover.  

I liked that I could dip in and turn to the subject which piqued my interest at that moment. It is an easy way to expand your knowledge base. You don't have to, but of course you can, read from the first page to the last.  The subject chapters are broken down into manageable chunks with subheadings and there are lots of amazing photos. The models are satisfyingly diverse as are the styles of bellydance portrayed and the photos are a visual delight! 

The clear page layout, of text and pictures, needs a mention as it really invites you in to look and read. These factors make this an easily accessible and enjoyable book and I am not usually an avid reader. The writing style is clear throughout; text is a good size and I found myself eager to keep reading more tips and insights! 
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There's a lot of good advice on measuring to know your bra size so you can snap up a bargain should you come across one on your bellydance travels.
It is too difficult for me to say which chapter, tip or strategy was my favourite because so much is so good! Before starting to read, it was my idea to share with you my favourite bits but there are just too many - no joke!  Finally, as this is in Zameena, I chose to share pages related to dance wear so the photos here come from the following chapters: The Five Layers of Personal Appearance, The Dancer's Wardrobe and from Costuming Projects. The'll give you an idea of the layout and look of the book.
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There really are some good tips here. I believe everyone will  find many things within the 400 pages to inspire and learn from. This is a book which will keep on giving well into the future.
In my opinion a 5 star read!
PS. For a look at the contents page, listing all the chapters, and a peak inside at a few pages click on the Amazon link below and "open" the book for a look inside.    ...... Oh, and you can buy the book there too! ......
For Yourself, for Mother's Day, Easter......
 "Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage"

by Sara ShrapnellDawn DevineAlisha Westerfeld and Poppy Maya.
Available from Amazon UK
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There are TWO prizes, each a lovely belt, as in photo above.

All you need to do is identify as many of the 12 amazing dancers pictured below as you can!

Email your answers to us by Mother's Day, 26th March.

Names of all correct entries  (or nearest to 12 correct)  will be put into a bag. Two names will be randomly drawn out. Both winners will be notified by email. Winners and answers will be given in next month's Zameena.

Here are the 12 dancers but what are their names?
Enter Here
Remember, email answers to us by Mother's Day UK,  26th March!

Enter Here To WIN!!!!
Please, don't forget Zara's  Zouk for anything bellydance.
Always ask as we have much more in stock than is on display.
We're online, mobile or arrange a visit to us at home!
New arrivals:  solid colours, marble tie dyes and more
Including a fab emerald - ideal for St Patrick's Day on 17th

Check them out here!
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Come and meet Zara's Zouk
1st April

Casbah Cafe Show
with Tara Lee Oakley
Don't miss this opportunity to learn from Tara and see her dance!
Click here for Info on Tara's  Workshops 
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Thank You for Reading!
We hope you enjoyed
To the mums of all us dancers, to all the dancing mums out there,
and to our bellydance teachers who are like our second mums: 


Best wishes from me, Zara, and Mum, Sandra xx
Copyright © 2017 Zara's Zouk, All rights reserved.

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