I first found out about Lala Hakim when she taught a workshop in St. Louis MO many years ago. I LOVE the St. Louis Belly Dance community! Lala was running a bit late for the workshop, so the St. Louis dancers asked me to fill in and teach a bit before arrived. Wow! Talk about an honor!
The real honor came when I first got a chance to study with Lala Hakim during her workshop. She instantly became one of my FAVORITE dancers and I absolutely had to study more dance with her beyond that workshop.
Lucky me, she was planning a weekend workshop in Montreal. I was so excited to be able to attend. I LOVED Montreal! It was like visiting France without a long plane ride. I love seeing familiar American restaurants renamed in French, like Kentucky Fried Chicken was Poulet Frit Kentucky and Coca Cola was de Coca Cola. I loved seeing the trademark pictures that I recognized but seeing a different language.
I learned many dances from Lala Hakim including Egyptian cabaret style, Saidi, Cane Dance at both the St. Louis Workshop and her weekend workshop. I also got a chance to study with the fabulous Gamila Asfour at Lala’s workshop as well.
Lala Hakim was one of my absolute favorite dancers, so I also asked her to teach a dance workshop in my hometown as well. That was so much fun! We had live music at that show by Brothers of the Baladi. And at first, Lala only wanted to perform her solo to her taped music. But after she heard the band, she decided to do an impromptu free style dance with the band. What a treat!
Lala Hakim provided music tapes when she taught workshops, and I really loved the music that I got from her. I did a choreography to one song, not sure of the name, but I called it “Sahara City" because I have a different version of that song on one of my other albums that is named Sahara City:
11. a. Hip Thrusts L—2 cts.
b. Hip Thrusts R—2 cts. c. Turn 2-3/rib drop—3 cts.
Bounce step in place, for music transition
12. Hip Shimmy in big circle—16 cts.
1. a. Hip Thrusts—2 cts. slow to L, face aud.
b. Hip Thrusts—2 cts. slow to R, " "
c. Hip Thrusts—2 cts. slow to L, " "
d. Hip Thrusts—2 cts. slow to R, " "
e. Turn—4 cts. f. Cissy—5 times (RL RLR)
I have a cousin who passed away, but what I sometimes do is take a regular step that I see someone dancing to, just regular dancing and use it in a Belly Dance routine. I remember my cousin Mamie performing the “Cissy” many years ago (just told my age, didn’t I, LOL), and I loved her “attitude” when she danced it, so I named that section of the choreography after her. My tribute to Lala Hakim is on page 196 of my book.
Here is the link to see Lala Hakim’s videos:
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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, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, etc., are all welcome!
What is your favorite dance by Lala Hakim?