Ghosts of Dancers Past


I had a dream recently about my first bellydance teacher, Scheherazade. It’s been 35 years since she passed away and it’s been nearly that long since I remember having any dreams about her.

As I woke, I desperately tried to remember what the dream was about, but most of the images faded faster than I could grab the pad and pencil on the night stand by the bed.

I spent the morning going through boxes of memorabilia –looking for a photo of her. Finally locating the perfect one, I felt a little ashamed the beautiful photo was buried with old flyers, pressed, crumbling roses from past shows and yellowed newspaper clippings. Finding the vintage photo of her draped in coins and pearls was like uncovering buried treasure.

I stared at the photo for along time trying to remember the dream. The contrasts, shadows and depth of the black and white image made her look so alive, maybe I thought she would speak to me.

I realized the right thing to do was to immediately scan the precious photo, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it till now. I even shared the gem on Facebook for all my friends to see, maybe a little bit out of guilt for burying it for so long. I was proud of my cyber accomplishment, but then the photo started haunting me again. What was she trying to say?

The last 35 years has taken me on an amazing journey. I’ve traveled, studied and worked with legendary dance artists from all over the world. I’ve worked very hard, forging ahead, nose to the grindstone, constantly striving to take my art to new heights, always learning and sharing with my students.

Scheherazade would never believe the global phenomenon oriental dance has become today, all the amazing resources at our fingertips would blow her mind. The internet didn’t even exist when she was alive, but there she is, or her image rather, floating in cyber space for the world to see.

After contemplating on the photo for quite awhile, I realized the dream of Scheherazade represents the root of my lifetime of work, coming back to the basic foundation of my art. I was in awe of my first teacher, she was a Goddess! She represents the wonder, joy and passion of a young girl entering the magical, mystical world of oriental dance, the unknown adventures ahead.

My friends who are more metaphysically inclined than myself, say the dream was a “visit”. I’d sure like to think the spirit of Scheherazade came to see me. One can only keep the heart and mind open, hoping to catch a glimpse into the divine mysteries of the universe.

Ghostly or not, the message became clear. My life’s work has come full circle, bringing me back to the pure and simple thing I’m grateful for, what I love.



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