by Luna

by Luna



Blog Intro

Hello, I'm Luna, and I'd like to welcome you to "Kisses from Kairo,"* my blog about living and working as an American belly dancer in Cairo.

Life in Cairo isn't easy for dancers, foreigners, women, or even Egyptians. It is, however, always exciting. That’s why after living here for seven years, I've decided to share my experiences with the world. From being contracted at the Semiramis Hotel to almost being deported, not a day has gone by without something odd or magical happening. I will therefore fill these pages with bits of my history in Cairo—my experiences, successes, mistakes, and observations. Admittedly, my time here has been rather unique, so I want to stress that while everything I write is true, my experiences do not necessarily reflect the lives of other dancers.

In addition to my life as a belly dancer, I will write about developments in costuming, performances, festivals, and, of course, the dance itself. I will also make frequent references to Egyptian culture. I should note that I have a love/hate relationship with Egypt. If I make any criticisms about the country, please keep in mind that I do so with the utmost love, respect, and most of all, honesty. Egypt has become my home, so I want to avoid romanticizing and apologizing for social maladies, as most foreigners tend to do. Nothing could be more misguided, patronizing, or insulting.

I hope you find this blog informative, insightful and entertaining, and that we can make this as interactive as possible. That means I'd love to hear from you. Send me your comments, questions, complaints, suggestions, pics, doctoral dissertations, money, etc., and I will get back to you. Promise. :)~

My Videos

Saturday, October 20, 2012

From Ballet to Belly

I’ve forgotten the names of all of my elementary and high school teachers, but one name that will remain with me till the day I die is Dorothy Lister.  Dorothy Lister was my ballet teacher at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.  I studied--more like suffered--under her tutelage until the age of 15ish, at which point she quit the Joffrey, and I quit ballet. 

Miss Dorothy was, oh, just your average ballet nazi. :) Old enough to be my grandmother, she was a stickler for discipline and had zero tolerance for lazy feet, lifeless limbs, and other similar ballet crimes.  And she’d punish us too.  Whenever she caught us slacking off at the barre, she would angrily clap her hands and let out a shrill “STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!”  At which point the class, the piano player, and all of 6th Avenue would freeze in frightened paralysis. She would then sarcastically imitate our mistakes to show us how dumb we looked, and literally yank our body parts into the correct position.  Miss Dorothy always ended these torturous episodes with her signature dirty look, which masked her grin of sadistic satisfaction.  She’d then carry on with class.