Archive 238


Late last summer I got a chance to sit down with ISAMETD/INBC’s original mover and shaker, Karen Custer Thurston, and just chat.  Karen is originally from mid-Indiana, so she often visits family here, but it isn’t often any more she has time to stop and just relax with old friends.  We met at Sargent Preston’s here in Lafayette and spent a few delightful hours talking about dance and family and hopes and dreams.  As Karen recently retired her dance career, she has been going through the type of collection one gains with over 4 decades in the dance.  Just this past month she posted some photos of those early days of belly dance popularity in the 1970s.  Although she and I were dance friends, I never studied with Karen, but there were other members and former members in those photos, notably Donna, Beth Ann, Roxanne, and Gail. It’s had me thinking about how much has changed since those photos were taken. 

We didn’t have home computers, let alone internet, e-mail, social media, and the ability to research and learn online.  Besides my first instructor, I had only Serena Wilson’s book and Dahlena Genova’s book, and George Abdo’s sister’s pamphlet (which came tucked inside one of his LPs) to guide.  Those were the days of paper catalogues for dance paraphernalia, like “The Lion and Sun.”  They were the days of lots of coin belts (not scarves) and wild ethnic prints.  The days of belly dance publications like “Habibi,” “The Belly Dancer,” “Wiggle Hips,” “Arabesque,” and so many more that helped keep us connected to dancers across the nation, and to hear about this new idea from the 1970s – belly dance seminars!  My first one was in Indianapolis and the presenter was Ibrahim “Bobby” Farrah.  I’d only been dancing a short time and I had no idea I was in the presence of such greatness.  Things have changed vastly since those days.  Some things have changed for the better, and some things I’m not so fond of, but the dance lives and morphs and celebrates whether we are ready for the changes or not. 

However, this newsletter offers us an opportunity to stay connected to other members as well as to what is going on across the state.  I’m so happy that I got enough submissions this month, that I don’t need to write anything myself!  The Member News section offers the easiest way to stay connected, just by submitting your upcoming events and performances, as well as a sentence or two plus some photos to show how much fun you had at recently past events!  So, submit.  The next bi-monthly issue will load up during the first full week of May (May-June issue), so the deadline to submit is the last of April.    

                                                                 Kat Lebo, INBC Newsletter Blog Editor



by Liz Wray, PR Officer

Recently, my troupe and I took a “getaway” weekend together.  We got a hotel downtown and spent a night eating good food, having lots of fun, and enjoying each other’s company.  Oh yea, we also set some dance goals for ourselves! Every year for the last several years in my personal practice I have set a series of goals for myself and I really wanted to encourage my students to do the same.  Our getaway weekend was the perfect time to do that as a group. Here are some of the things we talked about!


Choose something small in your movement vocabulary to focus on. I usually go to the very basics.  Maybe you want your hip drops to slam more, maybe you want juicy undulations, maybe you notice your shoulders scrunch up, or your pelvis pushes out. One year, i only focused on my lazy belly dance hand–my left hand absentmindedly turns circles while dancing.  Whatever it is choose one, name it, and focus on it. Choose something that you can easily focus on while in class learning something else.


An emotional goal is one that involves your brain more than your body.  Emotional intent in dance is important on stage as well as off. An off stage emotional goal could be taking class more seriously, trying a new style, networking at workshop events, investing more in your dance relationships, etc.  On stage could be something like connecting with the audience, doing an emotional piece, being vulnerable on stage, etc. All of these things can be a goal that helps you step out of your comfort zone a bit. And any time we step out of our emotional comfort zone, we grow a bit.  And when we grow, our dance grows!


Getting your costume closet in order, digitizing all your notes, traveling to more events (those are some of mine!), increasing your practice time, performing in more places, focusing on teaching, and more can all be goals you set for your two and five year marks.  These goals can change every year, depending on how the previous year treats you. But they can help guide you as you move along your dance journey.

Goal setting can be a very valuable tool in keeping you moving forward in your dance experience.  Notice, that each category said ATTAINABLE goals. It is very important that you assess what is important to you and what will also work for your lifestyle so you can make a realistic choice on the right goal for you.  For instance, someone with a full time job could probably not practice 8 hours a day unless they quit their job. So unless you are willing to quit your job, maybe practicing 1 hour a day would be better!

Have self discipline and do your best when trying to achieve your goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve one.  When next year comes along, reassess why something did or didn’t work, then make appropriate changes for the next year. Nothing is set in stone.  This is just another tool to help you get where you want to be!

Don’t forget to share your goals!  Having buddies to help hold you accountable is very helpful!  You can email me any time for some encouragement ( Or search for the facebook group “Dancers who shake the world.”  We are a group of belly dancers who are setting goals, keeping each other accountable, and encouraging each other along the way.  

Here is a downloadable/printable form you can use.  We used these on our dance getaway. Fill it out and post it somewhere you can see every day.  Fill the box at the bottom with more specific steps on how you might achieve your goals!

As for me, I am leaving soon for the Las Vegas Massive Spectacular for 8 eight hour days of advanced workshops.  Attending this event has been a long term goal of mine for a long time and now it’s in my immediate future! My goals for this intense experience (besides “survive”) is to be up and dancing (even if it’s just marking,) for every hour; to take notes-but also transfer those notes at the end of the day to a different notebook–then I can mentally process them a second time and hopefully remember them better; to make new friends; and just live in every single moment.  This event is also part of my larger five year plan which includes testing for certifications and growing in my technical abilities by taking workshops aimed at advanced level dancers. I’m calling this Year One: Belly Dance University. I’m very excited to be putting a checkmark on my completed goals list.

Editor’s Note: Liz’s lovely photo by Pauline Shypula.


The Oud: A Supreme and Sublime Instrument

by Donna Carlton

“Give your soul a little time and listen to the Arabic oud instrument. You won’t regret it.” — Uaeswagger on Tumblr

Here and there I’ve been making appearances playing the oud. I’ve been able to study at camp but still consider myself a beginner. Kat asked me to write an article about this beautiful instrument, which is considered the king of the Arab tahtk or musical ensemble.

The oud is a pear-shaped instrument similar to the lute. Modern ouds usually have 11 or 13 strings in double courses. Various tunings are employed. The strings are struck with a risha, which today is typically made of plastic or cow horn. I’ve been reading a dissertation entitled The Oud Across Arabic Culture (Bilād al-Shām, Iraq, and Egypt) written by Seifed-Din Shehadeh Abdoun and published in 2011. The dissertation highlights the fretless oud as the principle instrument for performance and composition within the Arabic music system.

Although some scholars believe the oud was developed in ancient Egypt, Abdoun says that the instrument originated in southern Mesopotamia circa 3000 BCE. It spread throughout the Middle East, Northern and Western Africa, the Mediterranean and Spain and also into Central Asia. According to scholars the lute, the mandolin and the guitar are all descended from the oud. I’ve always heard that the word oud means “wood” in Arabic and that the word “lute” derives from the Arabic “al oud.”  Abdoun offers two other possibilities, one relating to an origin story that involves an early descendent of Adam’s son, Cain.

The pear shape of the modern oud probably derived from a Persian instrument known as the barbat. The bowl shape and the large resonator in the middle of the bowl and (usually) two smaller resonators to the sides enable the deep, rich tones of the instrument. In centuries past Arab philosophers have written about the oud and Abdoun argues that this was in part to help their societies to be more receptive to music, which was prohibited by Muslim conservatives. The oud is considered the instrument which best expresses the various maqāmāt (a system of melodic modes). Remembering that Muslim cultures pray five times each day, in one system twelve maqāmāt were linked to different times of day.   During gatherings and feasts, poetry would be recited and the appropriate type of poetry would depend upon what maqām was being played. The maqām might be associated with feelings of grief or humility or peace. If you couldn’t decide what feeling, perhaps you’d play in maqām Rast, described as “unspecified.” Was this system of correspondences developed to assuage concerns of anti-music clerics? Abdoun suggests it may have been. 

It is believed that early ouds had only three strings and over time more were added. Sources say that legendary figure Ziryab (789-857) added a fifth string to the oud. Ziryab was born in Iraq and studied music in Baghdad. He later traveled to Syria and North Africa and finally to Cordoba in Andalusia. He brought the Baghdadi style of music to the court in Andalusia and under the patronage of its ruler established a music school that was very influential. Not only did Ziryab add the fifth string to the oud, he is also said to be the first to pluck the strings with the quill of an eagle rather than a wooden pick. There are many stories about Ziryab, some of which may well be fictions.

Perhaps I can pen some more next time, but I won’t leave without a few links to some noteworthy oudists on YouTube:

Farid al Atrache

Udi Hrant

Afif Taian

Simon Shaheen


The Oud Across Arabic Culture (Bilād al-Shām, Iraq, and Egypt), Abdoun, Seifed-Din Shehadeh. University of Maryland, College Park, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2011.

Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryab in the Mediterranean World, Carl Davila. Al-Masaq, Vol. 21, No. 2, August 2009.


Sewing Tips

by Carol Hurley

I am giving it another shot at some sewing tips I have gotten over the years and some more recent from you tube and other DIY sites. Here a ten more tips for sewing your costumes and other projects.

1. If you start making your own patterns or resize patterns a hand pattern marking ruler is a great tool. I am not sure if it goes by another name as I have never had sewing classes but it can be ordered on amazon and I am sure other web sites.  This is what they look like and it’s great when drawing a pattern or altering a pattern. I got mine on amazon for $22.00.

2. Another thing I have learned is to use a thin bar of hand soap to mark material. Sometimes I have had trouble getting chalks and markers to mark on certain fabrics. I saw it as a tip and tried it and the soap washes out and works great. The only caution I would say is to make sure it is a thin piece.

3. When using my sewing machine I got a tip for threading your needle. Try moistening the back of the needle instead of the thread to thread a needle. The thread is attracted to the moisture and will go right through. I have tried this numerous times and it seems to work well. I have also used this trick to thread a hand sewing needle.

4. Another tip is to check out the specialty feet that come with your sewing machine. Some feet will come with the machine but some others that don’t come with the machine are great depending on your sewing projects. I have a walking foot and it is great for thick fabrics, slippery fabrics or if you sew two different types of fabrics together; which can happen often when making costumes. Here is a picture of a walking foot:

There are a lot of specialty feet. Check them out and you may find several you like to use.

5. I have recently got a tip from Mao at Sparkly belly about the type of needle to use for bead work making appliques. She recommends a Black Gold Applique needle size 9. I have tried it and it is wonderful. If you do a lot of bead work on your costume I highly recommend it. I will post a picture; I got a pack from amazon for $7.10

6. Another thing I have purchased years ago and still see for sale are Atira’s patterns. They do come in small, medium and large size but I imagine many can be altered to larger or smaller sizes as needed. There are several great posts on you tube about altering a pattern size.

This is one of the patterns (Elena’s Beledi Dress Pattern) Runs $16-17 on amazon:

7. Another online tip I got was for marking a large piece of fabric to cut if it is a straight line and that is to use a Chalk line from carpentry. It is not a sewing tool and it works best with two people but you can use a clamp for one side to hold it in place. The line has chalk on it and you just lift and let it snap into place on the fabric. It will leave a nice straight line. This is about $5 on amazon and it’s what they look like:

8. A rotary cutter and mat are great tools if you do a lot of sewing. I have found that although I still have and often use my trusty shears that a rotary cutting makes for a more even straight line when cutting fabric. Make sure to get a good quality one, like “Fiskars” and a good quality mat. And be careful as they are very sharp.

9. A bodkin or loop turner is another great tool. The first is a picture of a bodkin. Normally used to thread elastic into a waist band, etc. The second is a loop turner. Either will work. I find it to be a great tool for making a bra strap. I can sew a tube and turn it inside out easily with one of these.

10. A water and vodka mix is great for cleaning costumes. The last tip I have, I don’t think I mentioned it in my last tips list; if I did oops. I use dark eyes (but any cheap vodka will work) and distilled water. The mix is one part to one part; so 1 cup vodka to 1 cup water. I place it in a spray bottle and it removes the smell from my costumes. Always check first in a spot that can’t be seen, I often do on the lining any way, to make sure it won’t damage the costume. I have found it will take out all smells in my costumes and dries quickly.

I hope these tips help some of you. Have a wonderful day and keep sewing! : )



Winter Bazaar

Feb. 16, 2019

The 2019 Winter Bazaar was a success! Many interesting classes, lots of vendors and three dynamite shows full of Member performers made for a perfect day. The photo above is from one of Adam Riviere’s drum classes, where the doums and teks reverberated off the Murat walls! (photo by Andy Smith)

Member performers included Jeana’s ATS students: Angel, Camden, Kayla, Omunique and Rachel; Deborah Kull, Katherine Jacobs, Lindsay Regan, Traci Lindquist, Rebellyon: Jenny Smithson, Elizabeth Sherrow, Vickie Moore, Diana Kuntis, Karen Dohner, Katie Rhinehart and Melissa Branson; Troupe Oasis: Rebecca Koetz, Sara Lyons and Deborah Kull; Kat Lebo, Angie Shaw, Dark Side Tribal: Virginia Hojas, Alice Dobie, Sarah Akemon, Regen Ton O’Neill, Maria Spratford Molly Covington, Rebecca Odulio and Jenny Page; Adam Riviere, Ursula: Liz Wray, Savannah Norris, Katie Keith, Lisa Warner, Carol Hurley and Olivia Adcock; Mina Pedersen, Troupe Shalimar: Debra Harvey and Lois Erickson; Indy Tribal: April, Julie, Maria, Tiffany and Traci accompanied by Adam Riviere on doumbek and Andy Smith on oud; Liz Wray accompanied by Donna Carlton on riq, Adam Riviere on doumbek, Andy Smith on oud, and Romana Bereneth on bass; and finally, Adam Riviere’s advanced drum class (see photo above).

Here are a few photos from the shows:

I started a youtube playlist for videos from the Winter Bazaar. The videos were provided by our Treasurer, Paul F. P. Pogue. If you’d like to post your video in it, you are welcome to (or send me — Kat — your video link and I’ll post it. Hmm, guess I should post my own!):


IUPUI International Festival.

Adam Riviere has been very busy lately.  Here’s what he had to say about his involvement in this recent festival

The IUPUI International Festival is a great celebration of world cultures and Liz Wray and I were honored to be invited to present a great blend of middle Eastern inspired music and dance with her American cabaret style.  Indy Tribal members, Maria and Julie, joined in the fun. 

There was also a presentation at the IUPUI Center for Young Children. I love having opportunities to present world music and culture to children, and make it fun and interactive for them instead simply listening and watching me the whole time. This year I was honored to be accompanied by one of my friend’s of the shimmy Liz Wray!



Welcome to our first Assuit Up & Raq event at the Playground! Celebrating music, dance, and culture of the Middle East, Central Asia, The Orient, America, and the Mediterranean!!

This event will play host to one of the most talented fashion designers in the Tribal Belly Dance world: The shop will be open from 10AM – 5PM. This is a special treat making a stop to Indianapolis prior to their trip to Tribal Revolution in Chicago the following weekend.

This event will also have an open dance with music, a workshop: Music & Motion with Adam Riviere and special guest belly dancers, and the evening will end with performances by up and coming dancers in the belly dance community!

Performances from 7-930: TBA

The event is free to those coming to shop at Magical Fashions!

The workshop is $10.

For those who attend the workshop or purchase an item from Magical Fashions will have free access to the performance in the evening!!!

All Ages welcome during the hours from 10-5
18+ for those attending the evening performance.



Join Phoenix Bellydance of Evansville for a drumming workshop with Adam Riviere on April 20, 2019! He will be splitting the three hour workshop into two parts: an hour beginner’s course/rhythm review, and a 2 hour class for complex rhythms, putting rhythms together, as well as live drumming for those who dance classical Egyptian dances. The cost will be $30 per person upon entering the workshop. Bring your drums and zills; if you don’t have a drum, Adam will have a few on hand to share.

There will be a relaxed hafla after the workshop. Whether you want to bop around with fellow dancers or try out a new choreography or combo on a sympathetic audience, please join us! Bring a dish or dessert to share.

More details to come!




by Julie Holloway

IBDC |MINUTES   2018 | Meeting location:  Coffee House/Fishers

OFFICERS MEETING — Attendees: Elizabeth Wary, Paul Pogue, Julie Holloway SKYPE:  Angie Shaw, Kat Lebo, Mina Pedersen  

Agenda topics

CALLED TO ORDER: by Angie Shaw, President at 12:24 pm


           email address –

  could be a possibility.  Make sure that it leads to the ISAMETD website

SECRETARY’S REPORT: Our last meeting was July 15, 2018

NEWSLETTER EDITOR: Kat will be sending out a December newsletter.  She hopes to have one every other month.

Officers need to write reports for the newsletter.

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Liz – Grants & Scholarships: open up funds

           We need to come up with rules/guidelines/criteria for the process

           Liz moved to open a Scholarship committee for grants. Mina 2nd – unanimous Aye!

Possibly send out funds in March and September with grants starting at $500/ 5 grants @ $100/ or 10 @ $50/ or 2 @ $250. This can be determined by the committee.

OLD BUSINESS: Adam has offered to digitize items for us. We need to get a $ quote.

           Kat mentioned that Beth has archives

NEW BUSINESS:  Winter Bazaar: Jan 19, 2019   Letter was received by Mina from the Murat rep.

Liz – event page & teacher applications.  Do we need to order new swag?  Pre-order + extra.

Flyers for teachers.  Newsletters

Admission for Members: free           non-members $10 unless they pay for a membership

Julie moves to accept these prices. Kat 2nd.  All Ayes!

Workshop timing: will be for 1 or 2 hours     We’ll see what applications come in.

Vendors: Paul will coordinate

Swap ‘n Shop:

Liz: Promo Ideas

Volunteer sign-up

Dot Com – Name ??  —  ask the Facebook group  —  “Bellydance Collective” – Mina will check and set up

Liz moves/ Paul 2nd.  All Ayes!

MEETING ADJOURNED: Paul moves to close/ Julie 2nd.  All Ayes! NEXT BUSINESS MEETING: Next date has not been set, but it will be after the Winter Bazaar.



by Paul F. P. Pogue

Hello, all! I’m pleased to report that our finances are going quite well. Our Winter Bazaar took in $543 after all expenses were paid, and our position has been improving steadily over the past several months, putting us in a good position for the variety of exciting projects we hope to undertake in the next year. Our current financials are as follows:

Checking: $2,049.73

Savings: $5,926.78

PayPal: $3,811.30

Our total holdings are $11,787.81, which is $1,221.06 up from the last quarter in October and $2315.41 from when I took over in the summer.


That’s it, folks! I hope you enjoyed this super INBC Newsletter blog. Remember the deadline for submitting your articles, photos, news, etc. for the next issue is the last day of April!

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