Join me at Byblos on Wednesday, May 20, for a show with live music. Interested in private lessons or a summer class series? Get in touch!
Hi everyone!

I've missed dancing with the Namaste class while we've been on hiatus! I hope you're still finding ways to enjoy dancing, and I'm looking forward to seeing you again in the fall. Read on for more updates about classes and private lessons, a show this Wednesday, March 20, and some Arabic language fun (including the answers to the letter search from the last newsletter).


Classes at Namaste Yoga will be returning in the fall at a new location. Stay in touch for details! Our show has also been postponed until the fall. 

During the summer, I'm available to teach private lessons. If you want to prep for a performance, gear up your skills to join the open level class in the fall, focus on a topic, or meet another goal, get in touch at Rates are $65/person/hour, plus studio rental fee (if applicable). Want to sign up as a small group or schedule more than one hour of lesson time? Contact me for a package deal. I am also open to teaching a class series during the summer if people commit in advance. 


I'm excited to be a part of Kay Kizi'ah's School's Out Bellydance Extravaganza, featuring live music and a lineup packed with talented dancers. The show will take place Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 7-10 p.m. at Byblos, 80 Madison Ave. at 28th Street, NYC. Admission is $15 at the door, and there is a $25 food/drink minimum. There's also a Facebook event where you can RSVP. Hope you can make it!


This newsletter brought to you
by the Arabic letter ...

I've found that the more I know about Arabic, the more fully I can appreciate the music and culture of the dance. And knowing the context enriches the dance itself. In my newsletters, I'll be sharing some of that material with you. 

Today's letter sounds like "b" in English. You hear it in words like "habibi" (حبيبي). In written Arabic, this letter has a few different shapes -- just as we have uppercase and lowercase shapes for letters in English. In Arabic, the shapes of letters depend on their position in a word -- beginning, middle, or end. (Arabic is read from right to left, so the beginning of the word is on the right side.)
In Arabic, the "b" sound also has another job. Arabic does not have the letter "p," so when foreign words with a "p" sound are mixed in with in Arabic, they're pronounced with a "b" instead. Here's an example:
Cleopatra is one of history's most noted Egyptians, but her first language was Greek. When her name is pronounced in Arabic, the "p" sounds like "b." Listen to Mohamed Abdel Wahab performing his song "Cleopatra" and you'll hear his pronunciation: "Kilobatra."

In the last newsletter, we talked about the letter ح and listed some song titles where you can see and hear ح in action. (If you missed the newsletter, you can check out the archives at -- click on the "news" link.) Here's the answer key:
The songs (reading from right to left!) are
  • Habibi Ya Eyni by Maya Yazbeck (there are a lot of versions out there, but this is my favorite)
  • Inta El Hob by Oum Kolsoum (enjoy an hour+ concert version at this link)
  • Halawet Rooh by Hakim (we listened to this one in class -- check out the link for an English translation of the lyrics) 
  • Bahlam Beek by Abdel Halim Hafiz (performed in the film Hikayat Hob)
Keep reading for more language, music, and cultural info in the next newsletter.

Thanks for reading, and happy shimmies!
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