October-November 2018 Newsletter

Archive #235                                                                                                                                                                                    October-November, 2018

Editor’s Note

Ah, Fall!  Sunny, warm days, cool nights, brisk breezes, and lots of activity everywhere you look.

Some of what you’ll see in this edition of our Newsletter Blog are the beginnings of what I hope to be regular columns.  So let me know what you like, what you’d like to see, and be sure to contribute to the “INBC Member News” column.

Thanks to all the contributors for this issue:  Carol Hurley and Adam Reviere who each contributed wonderful articles, and Julie Holloway, Jeana Jorgensen, Donna Barbrick, and Jenny Smithson who contributed member news!

It’s YOUR Newsletter – so be sure to contribute!  If you have questions about what to contribute, ask me.  The deadline for the December 2018 Newsletter will be the last week of November.

Kat Lebo, INBC Newsletter Blog Editor


Carol’s Sewing Tips                                                                                                  By Carol Hurley

I want to start this with the preface I am not a professional sewer. If anyone has better suggestions please let Kat know and she can post them for everyone. I started out costuming a very long time ago because everything was expensive to me and it was a cheaper alternative.

  1. Fringe on belts was very popular in my youth; I assume it still is, so one of my first cheap ideas was to use old blue jeans to make belts. I cut the legs into strips of cloth to make the form for the belts. The jean material is soft and sturdy. Many times you have to add darts on the back sides of the belt pattern to make it more form fitting to your curves. You can also use the jean material to make a pattern for further belts. Of course, if you want to have parts of the belt go up and be stiff you would have to add a fusible interfacing. But I have found the belts to be very comfortable and the material easy to work with.

Here is an example of a blue jean belt I made. The blue jean material is comfortable long lasting.

This is the bra that went with it. Just so you can see it:)

2. Another thing I learned is to measure in centimeters. I know it seems strange to those of us use to inches but when creating patterns, it is easier to cut centimeters into half or thirds. Of course, don’t panic when your measurements jump from 38 inches to 96.52 centimeters.

3. Also a tip I learned from a web page was to buy brown wrapping paper in a large roll to use to cut out patterns for any costumes I make.

This is a roll from amazon. It is relatively cheap. Prices vary so you can shop around. It works great for creating patterns you can re-use. This particular pictured one was $12.98 prime for 17.75 inches X 100ft roll.

  1. Another thing I learned was to use ball point needles for stretchy fabrics when sewing. Believe it or not I didn’t know there were different types of needles for different fabrics for quite an awhile. And it is also VERY important change your needles frequently. The needles become dull and won’t be as effective and may lead to snags.

These were $3.29 for a sewing web site but of course you can buy them at any fabric store or place that sells fabric I imagine. Changing needles frequently is true for all materials but I have noticed from costuming I use mostly stretch material. Of course, that is for mermaid skirts and bras however that being said you can use all kinds of fabrics and will probably not use stretch fabric for a circle skirt or vest.

5.  Another thing I wanted to mention, although you may already know, when working on things like a mermaid skirt and using stretch fabric use a zig zag stitch. A straight stitch will not stretch with the fabric. Here is a picture of several zig zag stitches for those who are new:                                                                                                                                                                               6. I have been experimenting and working with the foam belts a lot recently. I wanted to mention with these belts I use glue on gems and E-6000 to glue them on to the fabric. You can buy gems with a self-adhesive on the back and I do not recommend them because they will quickly fall off the material. I believe those are better suited to scrape booking type projects.

7.  I have seen in many you tube videos, etc. where people are making belly dance bras and use grosgrain ribbon for bra straps. I use it for shoulder or halter straps; however, I know it may not look as belly dance like to use elastic but I do for the straps that go around my body. I have found especially as I get older I tend to shift size very slightly due to water retention or weather/cat shape/or generally how my husband looks at me, lol. So, I like a little extra give in the body strap. However, that is up to you as a dancer. Sometime I cheat and cover the strap which comes with the bra. Other times I remove it and cover non-rolling elastic with fabric and measure them to be used for the bra.

This is a picture of grosgrain ribbon for new to sewing people. You can see the lines going through it. It is very sturdy.

8. Beading is another thing that is very popular with belly dance costumes. When I hand sew a beaded fringe I always make sure to knot the thread between each strand. This is time consuming but if one strand breaks you will not lose any others.

9. Another beading tip is when sewing beads to a fabric to make a design I sew four in the shape I want (straight or circle or whatever) and then go back up through the last two beads and add four more. I learned this from a dancer/costume maker and it makes the lines more even and sturdy.

10. If you can it is always better to order more than you need when getting materials to decorate. Remember for one you will want a matching bra and if you have just enough for the belt you may not be able to get more of the exact same items and your bra will look off. Also, you may want to make a necklace or gauntlets/vest and decorate to match for a complete costume.

11. I will use old sheets for lining my bras and belts many times as it is more comfortable. I have been doing this for about 20 years although I am sure I am not the first to do so; many times, the colors are neutral and may not match the costume. It’s not seen so I do not panic about it but sometimes I luck out and it matches the costume.

12. I also use parchment paper when ironing fusible interfacing; especially double side when working on foamy belts. I am sure there are other methods but it keeps the interfacing from ruining my ironing board cover and it is easy to peel the excess interfacing from the parchment paper.


I am sure for some of you this information is very basic but when I started I knew nothing and had to learn slowly over time. Of course, with the advent of you-tube many times you can look techniques up now.  I often use Mao from Sparkly Belly for costuming tips and ideas.



A place for critiques, instructional articles, and how-to videos of all kinds!

Instructional Video Critique                by Adam Riviere

My name is Adam Riviere, and I am a world percussionist, musician, composer, and audio engineer. I have studied and performed music for over twenty-seven years. I have a degree in Music Business from Butler University (graduated cum laude), and a Master’s of Science in Music Technology from Indiana University.  I currently own and operate Playground Productions Studio in historic Irvington located on the east side of Indianapolis, Indiana.

There is a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and in my experience that translates to “it takes an orchestra to teach a musician.”  I have had the honor and blessing to learn from many musicians, entertainers, and music educators in my life and continue to do so. In turn I encourage my students and colleagues to study with other musicians to develop not only a unique style in performance, but to have variety in their approach to music.

The instructional DVD I am reviewing is Hakan Kaya’s Turkish Split Hand Drumming DVD, and displayed on the box, it states it is the first instructional DVD by a Turkish darbuka player.  The case does not show a date of its first publication; however, there are videos on YouTube dated July 2012, and will go with that as its published date.

I have studied Middle Eastern percussion for over fifteen years and for the past five I have come across the Turkish split hand (also referred as split finger) technique, which was introduced to me by musician Raquy Danziger at her workshop at Athena in Bloomington, Indiana. After taking her workshop I wanted to grow my knowledge on the technique and began to look for other venues of learning it, hence the purchase of this instructional DVD.

The video begins with basic tones with the first being “Dum,” which is one of the essential tones of the instrument, and this is presented using both hands where in Egyptian tabla playing Dum is only taught with your dominant hand and not the other.  The following tones “slap” and “tek” are just as unique with their approach, and yet they deliver wonderful sounds from the drum.  The video is excellent in showcasing a slow tempo to introduce the technique, and then replays it in slow motion for the viewer to not miss any detail in approach.  After the slow motion Kaya speeds up tempo to his max ability still delivering great tones giving the viewer a goal to achieve in their own playing.

The slap technique presented is what other players refer to as a half pop used in Egyptian tabla style playing.  The slap being taught in this video is not very crisp and is not as loud as a slap used in Egyptian or Cabaret style playing.  Nevertheless, learning this tone on how Kaya presents it is still important. It is used in a variety of styles and is helpful if in a loud room and an Egyptian style slap may be overbearing and annoying where this will be welcome musically and be conducive to a loud space.

When tek is presented the viewer is being introduced to the Turkish split hand technique through a 4-stroke pattern.  The technique for the split hand is not described in great detail, and the only camera angle is in front of Kaya. For a beginner this would not be helpful having only one angle to view and absolutely no description on what is happening when the split hand technique is being done. Experienced players will have little to no problem learning at this angle, as they are more comfortable with their instrument and playing abilities.

The combination exercises and rhythms presented in the video are absolutely wonderful! The approach, and variation added to some very well-known Middle Eastern rhythms is a great development tool in one’s creative style.  The peculiar approach with the video is that at this point the narrator is absent in presenting rhythms. Fortunately, there are tone descriptors at the bottom of the screen: D for dum, S for slap, T for tek, and K for ka.  Ka is not explained in this video as the tek tone is being played from your non-dominant hand with your ring finger, and this is another place where a beginner having little to no knowledge of this style of drumming would appreciate some explanation but is sure to figure out quickly the tone to finger reference.

There are two 2/4 Turkish grooves, and the second does not have the tone symbol notation on the bottom, and the same happens with another rhythm the 9/8 Roman, which was one of my favorite rhythms of the video next to a 9/8 composed rhythm.

The video ends with fantastic improvs and composition performances, and closes with a delightful candid shot.  This DVD should be in everyone’s hand drumming library.  An excellent challenge for intermediate and higher leveled players to study other techniques, and have a respected performer and teacher demonstrate. Beginners should invest in this as well for reference to different styles of drumming with the darbuka (aka Egyptian tabla or doumbek), and to hopefully explore in how to create different tones and rhythms with these particular techniques.  The DVD can be purchased at hakan-kaya.com, and is worth every penny.


Editor’s Add-on:  You can find this dvd here:  http://www.hakan-kaya.com/dvdeng.html



This new section of the Newsletter blog will have information on what INBC members have been doing and are going to be doing in the near future!  So send in your information about performances, shows, classes, workshops, seminars – and don’t forget some photos to go along with!


Indy Tribal and Mandali Tribal have had a busy September.  They performed at Mosey down Main Street in Lafayette on the First, Wild Magick near Bedford the 15th, IUPUI’s Regatta and Oranje 2018 the 22nd.  Then on the 29th at Pagan Pride Day a group of new students had their first performance, while Indy Tribal performed at Clayshire  Castle’s Medieval Faire on both Saturday and Sunday.

October starts out busy with us as the opening act for the Blue Monkey Sideshow on the 7th.  Then many of us will be traveling north for Sacred Circles. A 3 day weekend of all ATS workshops and 2 nights of performances at a YMCA camp on Lake Huron.

Come to our website, www.indytribal.com to check out when we perform next and our schedule of classes.


Kat Lebo’s Troupe Oasis finished out the performance season with their September 1st Mosey Down Main Street, and the September 15th West Lafayette Global Fest (L to R: Deborah, Gloria, Valerie, Kat; other photo is Becca).  Fall classes are currently running at Morton Community Center in West Lafayette, and a new session will begin in late October.  Contact Kat on Facebook or at katlebo@aol.com for info.




An Evening of Doum, an Underground Belly Dance Showcase produced by Pauline Shypula, is scheduled for November 10th from at Playground Productions Studio in Irvington.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m., and the show begins at 8:00 p.m.  Advance tickets are $12; $15 at the door.  Here is a link to the Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/699546160392472/.


Donna Barbrick Carlton’s Raks Party 2018 will take place at 2:00 p.m. on December 2nd.  Contact Donna on Facebook or at donna@allaboutbellydance.com.


 Jeana Jorgensen is hosting her Belly Dance Student Salon at Playground Productions in Irvington from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on December 2nd.  Contact Jeana on Facebook or at jeanaj@gmail.com for more information.


Jenny Smithson’s and Troupe Rebellyon’s Cornerstone Winter Halfa and Fundraiser 2018 will take place on December 8!  The event will be held at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie, Indiana from 6-8pm. $5 admission and silent auction proceeds go to the Cornerstone Scholarship Fund for low income students.  Here is a link to the Facebook event page:  https://www.facebook.com/events/326068978201184/?active_tab=about



********Be Sure to send your news to Kat Lebo on Messenger or at katlebo@aol.com********

ONLINE RESOURCES: Taking Advantage of Information online                                               By Kat Lebo

This is the first of at least three articles on Online Resources that will appear in this and upcoming Newsletters.  In this issue, we’ll look at websites that hold valuable information about Belly Dance and related subjects such as rhythms and lyrics translations and where you can get all or most of the offered information for free.  In future articles we’ll look at online classes offered both for pay and for free, and in another we’ll look at some of the Facebook groups that exist for belly dancers.  For each, I’ll also start a discussion in our website forum so you can add sites you value, or discuss any resource I’ve listed.

So, let’s get started!

When I started doing online research on belly dance, rhythms, drumming, culture and all other things related, my first online experience was Bhuz.com.  This forum is now defunct, having lost most of its impact when everyone began moving to Facebook.  Some of the discussions were amazing and still show up when I do searches on different issues.  I know the entire site was downloaded for archiving, but I do not know if an archive was ever constructed.  I know of at least one site that tried to preserve some of the discussions during the last days of the site, and we’ll look at those later.

Let’s start with a few online articles that might be of interest.  The first is an article about Zildjian cymbal makers.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/03/arts/music/zildjian-cymbals-400-years.html  I especially liked this photo which shows what the word Zildjian means.  (photo credit Kayana Szymczak)

Another item of interest is this podcast featuring Aisha Ali talking about her journey in belly dance:  Searching for the Root: The Incredible Journey of Aisha Ali:  https://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/lost-notes/searching-for-the-root-the-incredible-journey-of-aisha-ali


The Egyptian dancer, Farida Fahmy, has a great website that is both informative and instructive:  http://www.faridafahmy.com/EgyptianDance.html

Studio Davina, the site of well known costumer, Dawn Devine, holds lots of articles and links:  http://www.davina.us/blog/  Davina also has an active Facebook group focused on costuming.


If you are a drummer, you probably are already aware of this site:  http://www.khafif.com/rhy/  Jas’s Middle Eastern Rhythms page is an extensive list of descriptions of different rhythms from the Middle East, and has clickable sound bytes so you can listen and get the feel of the rhythm as you learn.  The page starts out with some information on drums and drumming and understanding rhythm, including links to other resource pages.  Once it launches into the actual rhythms, you get not only the rhythm, but a bit of information about each. If I have a complaint about the page, it’s that there is no search option.  The page is voluminous, which means you have to search through to find a particular rhythm you might be looking for.

Pete Lockett’s site has free downloadable lessons:  http://www.petelockett.com/2006/pages/Arabic%20rhythms.html

This page is from Carmine Guida:  https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/ctg-public-content/files/501049ab3470391206000002/Doumbek_Rhythm_Cheat_Sheet.pdf.

And this is another good page for rhythms from the Middle East:  http://babayagamusic.com/Music/oriental-dance-rhythm-diagrams-and-descriptions.htm.

If you’re looking for sheet music for some Middle Eastern songs, you might like this link found on the William & Mary dot.edu site:  https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13782.  This site, MikeOuds, offers a free book of sheet music:  http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=13991#pid95279.  And this site offers both free and low cost sheet music:  https://www.arabicmusicalscores.com/free-sheetmusic/.

Maybe you don’t want to play the music, just to get a decent Arabic or Turkish to English translation.  There are several sites online that can help.  Try:  https://lyricstranslate.com/en/language/arabic, or http://www.arabicmusictranslation.com/, or http://www.allthelyrics.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=44, and maybe this one, especially if you are wanting to learn to sing in Arabic: http://learningbysingingarabic.blogspot.com/.

And of course, there are free online magazines such as The Gilded Serpent at http://www.gildedserpent.com/ and The Belly Dance Chronicles at https://isisandthestardancers.com/CHRONICLES/Chronicles.htm and the site for back issues of the now-defunct print magazine, Habibi at http://thebestofhabibi.com/.  This site is a current look at the arts in the Middle East:  https://www.aljadid.com/.  Another online dance magazine is Amabella at https://amabellamagazine.com/.  The Jareeda Journal can be found here:  http://jareeda.com/.

Several dancers have interesting and informative sites.  Among those are Carolina Varga Dinicu, or Morocco’s site, at https://www.casbahdance.org/.  Here you will find a wealth of information regarding this long-time dancer/performer/dance historian.

Yasmina’s Joy of Belly Dancing is another site with lots to offer.  You can find it here:  http://www.joyofbellydancing.com/index.htm.

Sahra Kent’s Journey Through Egypt site has a lot of interesting content:  http://journeythroughegypt.com/.

If you’re interested in an old style online forum, like the Bhuz forum, try Oriental Dancer:  http://www.orientaldancer.net/.  This site is well organized.  It is not as well visited as it used to be, but there is still a wealth of information in those discussions!

Hands down, the next two websites have the most comprehensive and authentic content going.

The first, of course, is Shira’s website: http://www.shira.net/.  Shira is a well-known and respected belly dance historian, performer, and instructor.  This site is well organized and offers information on culture, on styles of dance, on music, including a vast array of lyrics translations, plus lists of vendors, performers, and instructors.  If you aren’t already aware of this website, you should visit it ASAP and prepare to fall down the proverbial internet rabbit hole!

The second site might not be as well known, but it is also a well-organized, offering a great set of articles all about belly dance. This site belongs to Lauren Zehara Haas, originally out of Belleville, Illinois, and currently living a wanderlust lifestyle:  http://bellydanceu.net/.


This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you can uncover with a simple online search!  So, try out these sites and find a few new ones of your own!  Let’s keep this discussion alive!  What are your favorite online resources?  Tell me in the website forum discussion here:  http://www.isametd.com/forums/topic/online-resources-oct-nov-newsletter/

Next issue:  YouTube How-Tos!


As I did last issue, I’m including an old newsletter from the early days of ISAMETD.  This issue is the December 1980 issue, which was during my term as President (the name was different, but still just me).  Read through it.  You’ll see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  The problems we were dealing with back then are the same as we deal with today.  To save room, I’m loading links, which should open to the newsletter page by page.

Newsletter 21, page 1 

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Deadline to submit for the December 2018 Newsletter is the last week of November.


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