Belly Dancer Tribute 1/29/12: Bert Balladine (Petaluma, CA) original Tweet 9/26/11, What is your favorite memory of Bert Balladine?

Bert1Belly Dancer Tribute 1/26/12: Bert Balladine (Petaluma, CA) original Tweet 9/26/11

I LOVE Bert Balladine (1927-2009)!  I first met him at a workshop sponsored by Carol Shannon back in the early 1980s in Fort Worth, TX.  That workshop was so cool.  I also met Amaya and Yasmeen Samra at that event.

There is no other workshop like a workshop with Bert Balladine.  It is more of a “family” gathering.  He is not far away from the dancers, he is up close, personal and in-your-face, in a good way.  Very involved instructor, you don’t feel like a stranger, it’s like you’ve known him all of your life.

I learned one of my most favorite dance steps from Bert, I call it a Basic Beledi step.  Whenever I perform it, or use it in a dance, it brings back a fond memory of meeting him in person.  I loved how Bert made great partnerships with dancers, such as Sula, Carol Shannon, Soraya, Amaya, Shalimar Serene, etc.  Those dance duets were fabulous!

I also had the honor of having him teach a workshop in my hometown with Soraya from Oklahoma City, OK; that was the most financially successful workshop I ever sponsored.

I miss Bert, he’s was like a big brother, so cool, so talented and so down to earth.  A lot of dance workshops are a very “serious” affair.  The instructor has a planned syllabus of instruction and follows it to the letter.  But when you had the honor to be at one of Bert’s workshops, you learned a lot, but you also had so much fun being involved with his personal stories, laughing with him and the way he made each dance student feel special and a part of a family.  With many workshops, it is a “cold” impersonal collection of dancers, but with Bert it was so warm, friendly and personal.

He made dance a lot of fun!  Not that you did not learn a lot when you studied with him, but the process of learning was so fun.  You danced a lot, you learned a lot, but you also laughed a lot.  Here’s to you Bert!
For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at and Barnes & Noble :




I will be posting some of my original Dancer Tributes in WordPress, only the early ones that were in Twitter only, not WordPress.  Back when I first starting posting the dancer tributes on Twitter I only had 2 subscribers.  Now that I have more, I realized that a lot of people missed my early dancer tributes.  But as I am reposting those, I will also keep adding new content for topics like Dance Choreography, new Dancer tributes, etc.

Now is your time to Join the Conversation!  Comments, Questions, concerns, tributes are all welcome!

What is your favorite memory of Bert Balladine?

2 comments on “Belly Dancer Tribute 1/29/12: Bert Balladine (Petaluma, CA) original Tweet 9/26/11, What is your favorite memory of Bert Balladine?

  1. I also encountered Burt Balladine for the first time at Carol Shannon’s seminar. I was shy and a raw beginner, and he gave me a huge ego boost. with entourage in tow, he walked up to me through the crowd of attendees and said “do you dance professionally?” I said, in awe, “no”. he said “you should. you have the look. ” then he turned his entourage.. “doesn’t she have the look?” they agreed. My feet did not touch the floor the rest of the day! Now in my elder years, I remember and appreciate that, coming from such an extraordinary man – so talented and do passionate.. and I LOVE what he says about choreography, becuase I’ve never been good at it…!
    love love love Burt…. we love you and always will..


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