Rockin’ the Casbah Notes: Soloists/Andrameda

I think I’ve covered all of the troupe pieces. Now to the soloists! Last fall I sent notices out to the troupe dancers to let them know that there would be room in the show lineup for soloists. Four dancers indicated that they would like to perform a solo – wonderful! I did not give them any guidelines for their solos, but was available if they needed help. I worked with two around music – their stories will come later. I really wanted to allow them to explore whatever area of the dance they felt drawn to. I made some private predictions (of course!) and they didn’t disappoint me. This show was set up for the unusual, so I wasn’t worried at all about how to fit the various pieces together.

Andrameda  is a founding member of Saba, and was actually one of my very first students back in 2001. I remember that her mom, Sally, answered my ad for bellydance lessons, and signed both her and her daughter up. When I phoned Andra to confirm a few days before the first class, she was surprised – Sally had forgotten to tell her! But she was intrigued and came to the class. And still comes. I honestly don’t know what she can possibly learn from me anymore! Andra has taken the dance into her heart and has gone on to study with Suhaila Salimpour, in addition to her other extensive dance activities. What pride I feel, to have been her first bellydance teacher. ♥  Andra opened the dance portion of the show. The Big Band played while Doug, our fabulous MC sat our on-stage guests. Then Doug welcomed the house and introduced Andrameda. Of all the soloists, I knew that Andra would be choosing something unique. I guessed (correctly!) that it would involve heavy metal music and fusion bellydance. I placed her in the opening position of the show as a way to transition from swing music into bellydance, as the next dance would be traditional Raqs Sharqi.  Andra did not disappoint! The transition could not have been better. The dance was mesmerizing: a beautiful interpretation of the music and the sword. And a bonus for her – all of her hard work in Pilates paid off in her beautiful floorwork segment. Andrameda is a passionate and powerful dancer who dances with every ounce of her being and pulls together all of the dance disciplines into the most amazing fusion pieces. I love watching her!

photo 2 & 3 by Alistair Maitland


  1. Thank you for your kind words, Nita! Thank you for trusting in my judgement for the music and the dancing. It was a pleasure. And Fawn, what a compliment! I’m so touched!

  2. My girls just loved Andra. I knew that by the way Jade followed her around, but I didn’t realize quite the impact she had until last week. That’s when Jade put a scarf on top of her head and said, “I’m a bellydancer. This is my sword.”

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