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Welcome to June's Zameena!

(Zameena, from Zara's Zouk, aims to share knowlage, empowerment and love of bellydance)
Summer sunshine is here and we are so happy and honoured to welcome a wonderful dancer, based in South Africa,
Thelma Rose!!

For quite some time now, I have been an admirer of Thelma (in photo above) and her passion for dance, and now I'm so very pleased to have her write for us and share her feelings and experiences of being a bellydancer in South Africa. There's a great tip on how to achieve your goals too. Don't miss it!

In Music Corner we have exciting news about Fifi and a great dance song by the amazing Bosy!

There's a double Info Spot with a look at Football and an informative read on how our dance came to be known as, Belly Dance.

Take a look at some fab new arrivals and re-stocked faves at Zara's Zouk

After an amazing month of workshops and performances here in the UK, Zara has returned to work, dancing in Cairo, but she'll be back for Celebrating Dance 2019 in October with some new, fun workshops. Hope to see you there!

Till then, you can meet Sandra with Zara's Zouk at some exciting summer events which we list for you. If you're there, please pop by the stall.

Now, please sit back, relax and enjoy, as we hand over to THELMA ROSE ...
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Thelma Rose: African Bellydancer

Hi sweet dancers!

My name is Thelma Rose and I am an oriental dancer based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I started dancing in 2007 as a way to establish balance with studying engineering.

At first, I was a bit sceptical as I had never seen a black belly dancer before, so I asked my instructor if it was possible for me to train to professional level.
It was from that very first class that I knew: this is what I want to do!

The first stage show I did was with Dancers of the Desert in 2008 and I noticed that I was the only black woman in about 100 ladies.

I remember choosing to see and use this as an advantage instead of as a daunting perspective.

In most dances, I made sure I was as far forward as possible, as this way, no one would forget that one, black, dancer.
My next break came when I was asked to do a solo at the Goddess Divine Festival with Samantha Emmanuel as the guest star.

This led to me being invited to more international festivals in South Africa and making the cover of Raks Africa  magazine as the new rising star.

Photo on right: (Thelma on cover of Raks Africa 2011) 
As a black dancer I have found most audiences tend to have mixed reactions to me personally and to my actual dancing.

I have had people, even Egyptians that live in South Africa, tell me they had never seen a black belly dancer and are genuinely looking forward to seeing me perform.

Also, I have been turned down quite often too, because some people are not interested in seeing a black belly dancer and that sometimes makes me sad.

However, the negative side of being a black dancer has never put me down for too long or made me want to quit because I always felt that at the end of the day, I am dancing for myself, for my personal expression, for my creative outlet and peace of mind.
When I started teaching belly dance I noticed that there was a lot of doubt and lack of confidence in me, like they thought I wasn’t good enough or didn’t know much.

I remember organising for my students to go to, participate in and watch one of the World Belly Dance Day charity shows, to expose them to the belly dance scene.
After the show my ladies came to tell me how amazing the dance was and I felt they appreciated me more as a teacher.

The more I learn of belly dance I find a lot of shared dance moves and expressions with African dances.

When I was invited to perform in Uganda we danced alongside a traditional Ugandan dance troupe and drummers. Backstage we taught each other a few moves and realised that some of them were identical.

I also see similar moves with the Congolese, Kwasa Kwasa dance, Tsongas in South Africa, Sega dancers in Mauritius and many more.
One of the most heart-warming experiences has been seeing black women saying they started attending belly dancing classes because they saw me on stage and that gave them the confidence to start.
This summer, I am looking forward to the Goddess Divine Festival in August 2019 here in Johannesburg where I, and 2 local stars, have been invited to judge the Miss Belly Dance South Africa competition alongside Sadie (USA) and Amar Lammar. It's exciting! Hope to see some of you there!
I started belly dancing as a personal journey, but in my small corner of the world, at the bottom of the planet, it has become something bigger than I expected.  I have had love and appreciation sent to me from all over the world in magnitudes I didn’t expect.

It has been a ride of mixed emotions, happy and sad; to be a black South African dancer and I don’t regret any of it.

I learnt that the negativity can only delay me in achieving my goals and to focus on the positive.
And, that is the message I'd like to leave you with: focus on the positive! 

Enjoy your dance and good luck in achieving your goals!
Please Watch and Enjoy
Improvised Drum Solo 
Music: That's Freedom by Artem Uznov

A Great Big Zameena
Thelma Rose
for sharing her story with us.

It was an uplifting, motivating read!

Connect with Thelma Rose:
On Facebook
At Her Website
Your Body, Your Rules, 
Your Online Bellydance Shop

We also go mobile &
you can make an appointment to visit us in London UK

Call or text: 07854023948

Click on the pictures below for more info
Saiidi Stripes and other Folkloric Dresses 
Click on the picture below for more info

Check out these two lovely dancersJackie of Zingari Tribal in her
25 yard skirts and Ariya in her costume from Zara's Zouk 
Looking stunning! xx
with Zara Dance
BOOM! This month I am treating you to TWO NEW HITS
from the Egyptian Charts. The first is
 BIG NEWS ... ...
Hot off the press and only released in the last 72hrs
in Ramy Ayach's New Music Video! 

For those of you who know me or study with me you will know that Fifi is probably my favorite dancer of all time and here, at 66 years old, she is still going strong and performing in popular music videos!!

Still more interesting is that Ramy isn't even an Egyptian singer. He is Lebanese (though he sings in Egyptian dialect)  showing just how amazingly famous Fifi is across the whole Arab world. 

Second on our list is the latest song from a singer I really admire, Bosy.

You won't be disappointed. Her songs are always good to shimmy along to, so if you enjoy this one, check out her other music videos.

The song is from a film and the dancer is the lovely Anastasia.


Check out dresses like Bosy's and Anastasia's at Zara's Zouk!

For full song translations of these OR any song contact my friend Ahmed of Lighthouse Arabic Academy and quote Zameena for a discount. Click Here 
Info Spot 1

June is football month!
It is the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup (Come on England!!!) and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations 
(men's football tournament) starts later this month, hosted by Egypt!

I'm so excited because it's the perfect excuse for me to get out my football themed costume!
Whoop!  Whoop!

I'll be shouting loud for Egypt. (Can't wait to see Mohamed Salah play!)
What about you?
Will you be cheering for any of the 24 teams taking part? 

Egypt is the most successful nation having won the Cup seven times.
The last time was in 2010 so let's see how they do this year!

(Photo by Roxanne Grant, Costume designed/worn by Zara Dance and made by May)

Info Spot 2

Ever wondered how this amazing Middle Eastern /North African dance which we all love, came to be called, belly dance?

Well, Ainsley Hawthorn's 
academic paper on the history of the term has just 
been published in Dance Research.

The full article is available  

online here! 

Where to meet Zara's Zouk
The Arab Quarterly  

Sunday 30th June
at Jackson's Lane Theatre

Live Music with Hassan Mostafa, George Dergham, Emile Bassili and Elgamal Elkordy of The Arab Quarter Band

Fab Dancing with our wonderful host, 
 Melanie Norman
Tara Lee Oakley
with her whirling and 
Barbara Ölyüs 
plus More!

Buy tickets here

Jawahir Bellydance SUMMER SPECTACULAR 2019
Saturday, July 13th 1-5pm (Doors open 12.30pm)

3Sixty at Reading University. Shinfield Road, Reading, RG6 6UR

Raqs Sharqi Festival, London 19th - 21st July

Dance shows featuring top dancers including Randa and Assala

It's all happening at RICH MIX and you can
buy tickets for the show here
Thanks again to Thelma.
What a dance journey!
We so appreciate you sharing it with us. 

If you enjoyed reading, please share the love and tell your friends (links below).
If you are reading from an external link subscribe so you never miss an issue.

Until next time love and shimmies
Zara and Sandra xx 

the mother daughter team at 
Zara's Zouk,
(Photo by Sharif: Sandra and Zara by the Nile)
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Can't wait for next month? Then why not take a read of one of our past issues from the archive.........
Copyright © 2019 Zara's Zouk, All rights reserved.

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