The Vampire Dancer Saga: Part 3 – Le Hot Jazz Dancer 6/10/12

VampireDancer1A fictional tale of dances from the 1900s-2010s

Part 3: Le Hot Jazz, the 1920s

The young kids are scared of Granny Smith. They think she is a witch. After all, she did practice voodoo back in New Orleans. Granny keeps an eye on all the kids in the Big House and the little Shack in Jackson, Mississippi. She noticed the negro sharecropper kids playing with the former master’s kid after dinner. Granny knows that the negro kids should not be getting too close to the white kids. After dinner the kids get together and dance and play. One night she saw the boy, Greggy, kissing her oldest granddaughter Leana. She warns Leana, “Negros cannot mix with whites. Be careful or something bad will happen!”Plantation

Former slave owner Mr. Braden confronts his son Greggy and slaps Leana, after he found out they were kissing. This pisses off Granny. She casts a voodoo spell upon the Braden Family, using blood from a vampire bat, to ensure that their next born child will be a vampire. Granny is also a midwife for Mr. Braden’s wife, Caroline, who is 9 months pregnant, so she has been slowly dosing Mrs. Braden with the vampire bat blood.

Sharecropper1Big Daddy Baker is close to Mrs. Braden. He often does special chores for her after he is finished in the fields. Big Daddy’s wife, Rosa, passed away 10 years ago. Mrs. Braden has acted as a fill-in mother for Big Daddy’s girls. Caroline is from New York. She met Mitchell Braden in New York when she was dancing at the Ziegfeld’s Follies. Mr. Braden has a very mean spirit. He discouraged Caroline from dancing and swore that he would beat her if her every caught her Voodoo Dancerdancing again.

That did not keep Caroline from doing what she loved the most – dancing. She would often teach the kids all of the popular dances of the day, such as the Charleston and Black Bottom. Granny also loved dancing and taught the children the Cake Walk. She encouraged the 3 girls to dance and they loved dancing. The girls wrote letters to their cousin Phina Brown in St. Louis. Phina danced in a vaudeville show and was on her way to visit her cousins and Uncle Baker before heading to New York to audition for the Cotton Club.

When Phina arrives at the plantation and she shows her cousins her version of the Charleston. The girls love her fancy costumes and vow to become a dancer Charleston2one day too. She tells them to meet her in New York one day because she will be a famous dancer. They laugh at her dream and joke that she will fail the audition and have to move back to St. Louis. Phina does a really wild version of the Charleston. She is dancing so hard that her blouse falls off. Granny calls her “fast” but little did she know that one day her niece will become popular for dancing with her blouse off.

Before Phina takes the train to New York, she hears Granny calling for help, “Mrs. Braden is in labor! Come and bring me some hot water, gal!” Phina brings the hot water just as Mrs. Braden is about to give birth. The baby comes out and both women gasp! “This baby is too brown to be a white baby,” says Granny. She wraps the baby so that only the eyes show before presenting the baby to Mr. Braden.Charleston4

Mr. Braden finally sees his new baby girl. He notices how brown the baby is and questions his wife. She concocts a story about being in the sun too long and passing down a “tan” to the baby. Little does Mr. Braden know at the time, Big Daddy Baker and Mrs. Braden have been having an affair for many years.

Big Daddy asks to see the baby and Mr. Braden gets suspicious. The men exchange words and began fighting. Mr. Braden accuses Big Daddy of sleeping with his wife. He tries to grab his gun, but before he can get it, Big Daddy hits him with a fireplace poker. Mr. Braden has a lot of blood and Big Daddy is not sure if he is dead.

Charleston3Caroline hears the commotion and asks Granny what is going on. Granny tells them about the fight. Big Daddy tells Granny they are moving out that night. Caroline wants to know where they are moving. She vows to meet up with Big Daddy one day.

Their last words were: “Meet me in St. Louis.”

 

 

 

Charleston1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charleston_(dance)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meet_Me_In_St._Louis
http://www.1920-30.com/dance/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_Club
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cakewalk
For more Dance Gossip & Goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble :
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learn-to-belly-dance-textbook-certification-program-shalimar-ali/1105014103?ean=9781465346582&itm=1&usri=9781465346582

http://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali
http://www.facebook.com/people/Shalimar-Ali/1459163265
www.twitter.com/shalimaral
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/VampireDancer2

Now is your time to Join the Conversation! Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, blog suggestions, guest bloggers, etc., are all welcome!

Don’t miss Part 2 (Dances of the 1910s) and Part 4 (Dances of the 1930s) coming soon.

 

What was your favorite dance or dancer from the 1920s?

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Belly Dancer Tribute 2/18/12: Yassmeen Samra (Los Gatos, CA) original Tweet 10/5/11, What is your favorite recollection of “The Belly Dancer Magazine” or Yassmeen Samra?

Black Belly DancersBelly Dancer Tribute 2/18/12: Yassmeen Samra (Los Gatos, CA) original Tweet 10/5/11

Do you ever think back to when you were a kid and what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Surprisingly (or not), the first thing I wanted to be at age 5 was a dancer.

I am so glad that my mom allowed me to take dances lessons in ballet, tap & jazz.  She also enrolled me in acrobatics, but I was so horrible at acrobatics that I gave up.  I can’t turn a decent somersault or do the splits if my life depended on it.

I love it when I see any “older” person turn a flip, like Diana Ross did in The Wiz, tee hee.  I get a big kick out of it, because it’s something I can’t do.

I had a life-changing event in 1973 and was forced to change my life goal.  My next favorite thing to do was write.  I was an editor on the newspaper and yearbook staffs during high school.  So no more dancing, from now on, Journalism.  My father worked as a photographer for a local newspaper so when I graduated from high school, I saw my future as a journalist at the same newspaper.  I majored in journalism in college, until . . .

Ut-oh, life happened again and a new change happened in 1977-78.  Journalism was out, baby was in, 1977.  Then came Belly dance in 1978.  I taught my little sister Candy everything I learned in my belly dance classes.  One year I was at her dance recital and a little girl (show-off) was dancing to “ I want to be a dancer.”  I cried when I saw that and knew that I wanted to dance.

So dance I did from the late 1970s onward.  I was still in college, but noticed that I kept changing my major to classes that would help me in dance like Costume History, Sewing, Business Administration, etc.  And along the way, I ended up doing more dancing than college, with teaching dance, travelling, performing and directing my dance troupe.

When you are at age 5 and want to be a dancer and then become a teen and pick a more practical vocation, it is so hard to predict that you will end up doing what you wanted to do at age 5.  Who knew?

Yassmeen Samra was a Mentor for me in so many ways.  I am so proud to have had a chance to meet her in person at a dance workshop in Fort Worth, TX sponsored by Carol Shannon featuring Bert Balladine.  I also met Amaya there and saw George Abdo perform Live in person.  Talk about a dream belly dance workshop!  I tried to recreate those types of Dream workshops back when I used to sponsor workshops with great teachers like Bert Balladine, Amaya, Raja Zahr, Lala Hakim, Morocco, Aisha Ali, DeAnn, The Sirocco Band, the Trans Arabian Band and many more.

I used to contact Yassmeen Samra by mail (not email, cell phone or fax back then, LOL) back in the late 1970s and early 1980s because I was a customer of her Belly Dance Bazaar.  She had some great items.  And she mentioned that she had became a Multi-Millionaire.

Yassmeen, you are my personal Hero in dance.  With so many achievements as far as journalism, financial success in dance, personal style in dance and just being a great role model.  I wish you were still around, I don’t know what happened to you, where you are, if you are still dancing, etc.  I wish I still had some of my copies of the Belly Dancer Magazine from the late 1970s.  But a lot can happen from 1980 to 2012.  I have lived in different houses, sometimes my favorite magazines were stored in the basement, some of them got moisture damage and ended up being thrown away.

But, please check with your local libraries to see if they can get copies of them:

Hello,

It looks like the magazine is in storage at New York Public Library.  Were you hoping to find an article or did you need any information about the magazine itself?  I also checked the Los Altos library, but they don’t show the magazine in their catalog.   Let us know if we can help you with more information.

Melinda Mattingly, Reference Librarian

Also, I sent an email today to Lynette Holloway.  She wrote: “From flab to fab: belly dance your way to fitness,” for the August 2007 issue of Ebony Magazine.  Her website is listed below and it has her contact email address in it.  Please contact her and suggest doing an article that includes dancers like Nakish, Yassmeen Samra, Zarifa Aradoon, etc.  Also, the 1st 2 links below pertain to that article.

Again, 6 Degrees of Separation, shows how our belly dance paths are linked as one journey.

http://blackbellydancers.tribe.net/thread/6217a9a4-2f20-4725-a5c0-f7318dbd9c89
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_10_62/ai_n19378636/?tag=content;col1
http://nubiandivas.tribenetwork.com/thread/611625f8-d768-41da-8a3f-3007992ed281
http://lynetteholloway.net/
http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=5856802912&searchurl=bi%3Ds%26pics%3Don%26vci%3D14508
For
more Dance Gossip & Goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble :
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learn-to-belly-dance-textbook-certification-program-shalimar-ali/1105014103?ean=9781465346582&itm=1&usri=9781465346582

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.

Black Belly Dancers

Yassmeen1

Now is your time to Join the Conversation!  Comments, questions, concerns, controversy, rebuttals, tributes, etc., are all welcome!

What is your favorite recollection of “The Belly Dancer Magazine” or Yassmeen Samra?

Belly Dancer Tribute 1/25/12: Serena Wilson (New York, NY) original Tweet 9/23/11, What is your favorite memory of Serena?

Serena1Belly Dancer Tribute 1/25/12: Serena Wilson (New York, NY) original Tweet 9/23/11

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.

I had the pleasure of taking a dance workshop with Serena in Lincoln, NE.  It was such an honor to meet her in person and have a chance to study dance with her.  I had a copy of her first book, The Serena Technique of Belly Dancing and it was a valuable resource to me in my dance journey.  It it nice to meet a very famous dancer in person, and she was so down-to-earth and friendly.  How cool was it that Serena had her own TV show!  She was so fabulous!  I’m also lucky to have 2 music cassettes by Scott Wilson.

This is my tribute to the lovely and very talented Serena Wilson.  So glad that we met on this dance journey.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Wilson
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/obituaries/24wilson.html
http://www.serenastudios.com/
For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learn-to-belly-dance-textbook-certification-program-shalimar-ali/1105014103?ean=9781465346582&itm=1&usri=9781465346582

Serena2

Serena3

Serena4

Serena5

NOW IS YOUR TIME TO JOIN THIS CONVERSATION:

What is your fondest memory of Serena, such as a favorite dance performance, a page in her book?  Please share your thoughts on Serena Wilson.  Thanks.

Dancer Tribute 12/24/11: Fatima Robinson (Little Rock, AR)

Remember the TimeDancer Tribute 12/24/11: Fatima Robinson (Little Rock, AR)
I am a HUGE fan of Fatima!  I first found out about her back in 1992 when the “Remember the Time” video was released by Michael Jackson.  And being a belly dancer, of course I loved the Egyptian theme of both the song and video.  My sister Brenda loves that video so much, she said that our dance troupe (The Scheherazade Dance Company) needs to perform the drum solo in the video.  I can’t imagine a dancer being so young, so gifted, so talented like Fatima.  Like Michael Jackson, that does not happen very often.  Fatima was the 2nd African American dancer to choreograph at the Academy of the Arts Oscar Awards telecast (Debbie Allen was the first).  Fatima’s choreographies have also been featured on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars and many top TV commercials spots and for most of the music videos for the top music artists today.  All I can say is WOW!  I can only dream of such glory.  Fatima has achieved such dance glory and beyond!  I think about Fatima every time I attempt, ahem — TRY, to do the Remember the Time dance on The Michael Jackson Experience on my XBox and Wii consoles.  Hint, hint, for some reason the Wii version is a lot easier to do than the XBox version.  I usually have to drunk first to get enough nerve and courage to try it on Xbox with the Kinect.  Well, me, Brenda and my Brother Ben will try.  Then the next day we wake up we are all sort from being old folks trying to dance to songs choreographed and performed by young folks and have a sore throat from trying to sing along with Michael.  LOL! And trust me, I have done it both drunk and sober and the results are still the same, I can’t keep up with Michael or Fatima’s great choreography to Remember the Time, but hey, at least I tried.  Check her out at:

http://www.fatimarobinson.com/fatima.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remember_the_Time

For more dance gossip & goodies, check out my book, "Learn to Belly Dance Textbook" available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble :
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SFPN6I/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_g351_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=121QKD526S21XAKBP0T2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Remember the Time1