Wrap Ups Of Previous Events
Fabulous Fall Festival – Saturday November 12th – 2016
Fabulous Fall Festival – Saturday November 7th – 2015
Fabulous Fall Festival – Saturday November 8th, 2014
“Meet Me at the Oasis” Fabulous Fall Festival was truly an event for the whole San Francisco Bay Area belly dance community, welcoming performers and participants from all parts of the Bay Area! Thank you to everyone who came out to meet us at the oasis: the fantastic vendors – including our photographer, videographer, & portrait artist – the tireless volunteers, the enthusiastic audience, and the incredible DJ, musicians, and DANCERS! You were all wonderful, and we couldn’t be more excited and grateful for your participation. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who helped make this an epic day and an epic show.
Swap and Shop at HaflAdira – Our first event Post MECDA was a great success!
In cooperation with Adira, the Swap & Shop took place
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HaflAdira Dance Showcase – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 2038 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA
For Sale were:
GENTLY USED BELLY DANCE RELATED COSTUMES, FABRICS, MUSIC, ACCESSORIES…?
To reserve a seller space contact Safiyah directly at email@example.com with “Seller Space” in the subject line. Spaces are first come, first served. PLEASE NO RETAIL MERCHANDISE. Seller provides own table and rack. This is an outdoor event so come prepared accordingly – – bring sunscreen, an overhead covering such as a canvas popup, etc.
Below is the announcement we posted in early 2014 about the closing of the association called MECDA at the national level. The survey mentioned below has been completed and results of the survey are being discussed by the board members who are now Committee Members holding the same positions in the continued association now calling itself “The Association Formerly Known As MECDA” (or TAFKAM) .
TO: ALL OUR NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS, SF/BA MECDA MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS
On March 19, 2014, MECDA (Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association) announced that it will close its operations as of April 1, 2014. (For more information please go to http://www.mecda.org and click on the link “Dear Dancers and MECDA Supporters” to read the letter that was sent to all chapters and members of the organization.)
All the events promised by SF/BA MECDA for 2014 will be going full steam ahead! Swap & Shops, Dancer Nights and the Fall Festival are all happening!
** We strongly recommend that you read this announcement in its entirety!!!**
We need community support! And that’s where YOU can help us. Please participate in this very important survey to help us know what you want so that the new entity that forms from SF/BA MECDA continues to be relevant and meaningful.
Go to the Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/99C6G5W. Deadline is April 10th. Tell us what you think NOW! Results will be publicized on or about April 28th. Please note that in the survey, you will find a question about paying dues to become a member of any future entity that we might form. We forgot to mention that in order to rent public facilities, we need to be incorporated as a legal entity and that requires annual fees. Dues would offset those fees.
While the San Francisco Bay Area MECDA Chapter and Board of Officers as you have known it will no longer exist, we, the officers you elected earlier this year, have met to discuss developments and options and how we might still offer you the services provided by SF/BA MECDA in the future. But this will take time and research which is already in progress. In the weeks ahead there will be multiple decisions to be made.Your response to the survey will help us to make those decisions.
In the meantime, we want you to know that:
In cooperation with Adira, the Swap & Shop will take place as announced.
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HaflAdira Dance Showcase – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: 2038 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA
Our Last Event As MECDA was the dancer’s night at El Morocco featuring the band Al Azifoon.
Nominations for the 2014 Board of Officers were held in January, 2014, after which the election was held. See the Elections and Chapter Officers’ Duties page for more information on this annual process. The board members for 2014 are
Leyla Lanty, Vice President
Candidates for the 2014 SF/BA MECDA Board of Officers have been confirmed.
All nominees have been notified and all have replied, either accepting or declining their nominations. By January 11, all members will receive notification in their email inboxes that the online election ballot is ready for their votes.
- President: Bonnie Safiyah Stensler, incumbent
- Vice President: Leyla Lanty Lois White, incumbent
- Secretary: Sudeep Johnson
- Treasurer: Peggy Rawiyah Hennessee, incumbent
“Spice of Life,” our annual festival and fundraiser, was held on Saturday, November 2, at the Hillview Community Center in Los Altos, CA.
Spice of Life Annual Festival and Fund Raiser 2013 ~ See the Recent SF/BA MECDA Events and Archives pages for wrap-ups and photos for earlier events
Saturday, November 2, 2013 – SF/BA MECDA presented its 14th Annual Belly Dance Festival and Fundraiser – SPICE OF LIFE! In order to bring you this annual event our Board of Officers literally works all year round. And its success depends on the support of the vendors, the many volunteers, musicians, the community in general, and, of course, all of the Bay Area’s best belly dancers. Many of you have told us how much your enjoyed this event. Spice of Life was well attended and a fundraising success. With your help, we can once again end the year on a high note!!
We thank you all — Attendees; Vendors: Ancient Egyptian Collection, Aneena’s Silk Veils, Artemis Imports, Dawn Devine – Davina, Divine Design by Dhyanis, E. Arneson Import, Linah’s Belly Boutique, MejiaArts, Seshen Designs and Sugar Petals; Carl Sermon Photography and Newman Media Productions; D.J. Sp3shial Option; Festival Dancers who signed up,
(Dance spots filled up immediately!) and all of our Featured Dancers who gave us an unforgettable spicy and variety-packed show: ALYNE, ALIKA, RASHANI, SADIRA, DAVINA, FIREFLY, BLUE DIAMONDS, MALIA & MONICA, AMINA & THE ASWAN DANCERS and SHOSHANNA. (See photos below.) We also enjoyed LIVE MUSIC BY TAHNEEN and Refreshments by ARABIAN BITES.Photos courtesy of Carl Sermon Photography (click on individual photos to see larger version) See the Newsletter for November 24, 2013, for more photos.
Return to the Casbah in Los Altos
Sunday, September 15, 2013 – Return to the Casbah
By popular demand, a benefit for SF/BA MECDA and Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, returned to the Village Kebab Restaurant in Los Altos for another Dancers’ Night. This time we enjoyed an intimate indoor setting with sumptuous food and dazzling performances by ADRIANA, BASINAH, LULU, PALOMA, RAJA, RAWIYAH, SETAREH, SUDEEP, TATIANA and ZELINA. Also back by popular demand, HAZAR entertained the audience with a lovely Dancing for Donations routine to benefit Next Door. All the dancers performed to a packed house with many guests standing in the aisles. It was at this event that our Board of Officers chose to present PALOMA with a Certificate of Appreciation for her Dedication and Contributions to the Bay Area Belly Dance Community. PALOMA had recently announced that after some 8 years she was relocating her business to Chico. (See photos below courtesy of Alisha Westerfeld.)
Swapportunity – August 11, 2013
Super Swap ‘N Shop Sunday – – A Community Event Success!
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of MECDA wishes to thank our co-hostess, PALOMA of Lunatic Fringe, for helping us coordinate another successful Swap ‘N Shop! We would also like to acknowledge the belly dance instructors (NATIKA, PARRI, RAWIYAH, SABIBA) who donated their time and talent to present free workshops throughout the afternoon,. And, of course, a Swap ‘N Shop would not be complete without the sellers and shoppers! Under the tents, the sellers happily displayed a wide array of gently used belly dance apparel, accessories, colorful fabric, etc. The shoppers didn’t waste any time finding the great bargains and several could be seen modeling their purchases.
A big “thank you” also goes out to all those who generously supported our Opportunity Drawing, and, in particular, to those who donated the variety of prizes: Ancient Egyptian Collection, Artemis Imports, Divine Design by Dhyanis, Dishdash Restaurant, Lunatic Fringe, Shiny Sparkly Things, Tangerine Gifts & Accessories and Wicked Smileys. All ticket sales benefited our Chapter and Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. Congratulations to the winners! It was truly a fun afternoon of shopping, dancing, mingling, or just relaxing with our bay area belly dance friends.
Recapping Hearts & Hips …
What a delight our pre-Valentine’s dance party, Hearts & Hips, was at Al Masri on February 10, 2013. We thank our co-host Sausan for providing an intimate and friendly atmosphere, the delicious Egyptian cuisine, and her generous contribution from the purchased dinners to MECDA and our designated charity. We also thank the dancers (Andrea Aranda, Asiya, Linda, Paloma, Raja, Rawiyah, Robin Lovejoy, Zelina and house dancer, Melinda) who truly put their hearts and hips into their lively performances. Below are some of our dancers captured by the camera.
Happy Holidays, 2012!
It’s been a busy year for our chapter! In keeping with our Mission Statement to create spaces for dancers to perform, we provided several showcase opportunities in communities throughout the Bay Area. The first was a “Dancers’ Leap Night” held on February 29th with Adriana. On April 1st we co-hosted the “No Foolin” Dancers’ Night with Sausan at Al Masri Egyptian Restaurant. We continued through the year with more wonderful events – one at Luke’s Restaurant with Angel Thacker of Afro-Belly Boogie, and another with Andrea Aranda at Tannourine. We also co-hosted a Swap and Shop with Paloma of Lunatic Fringe Belly Dance Essentials. This event offered plenty of time to shop, along with casual social dancing and four free 30 minute workshops. We wrapped up the year with our highly acclaimed annual Fall Festival. Be sure to read on as a recap of our Fall Festival is contained in this newsletter. (You can visit our website to see highlights from any of the other activities, all of which appear in previously published newsletters.)
Each of your SF/BA MECDA officers also attended and/or participated in several other events throughout the local area and beyond! We have enjoyed serving our belly dance community and want to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting us and our chapter throughout 2012!!
Leyla Lanty, President
Safiyah, Vice President
Recap & Photos of Fabulous Fall Colors Annual Festival & Fundraiser on November 3, 2012
Our year ended on a high note with our Fabulous Fall Colors Festival & Fundraiser which was held on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Hillview Community Center in Los Altos. There was lively Festival Dancing from 12 to 5 p.m. with a special afternoon performance by Sausan. The Board surprised Sausan with a Certificate of Appreciation for her many continuing contributions to the belly dance community. We were excited to also welcome The Meridian Band, who played live and lively music for a portion of the show. Enjoy a sampling of performer photos throughout this article. Photos are courtesy of Carl Sermon Photography.
Gameela Awi Awi
Presentation to Sausan
Tabitha & Meridian Band
From 5:30 to 7 p.m. the entire Festival audience was thrilled by the performances given by an impressive lineup of Featured Dancers. We would like to acknowledge and thank these incredible artists again: Ahava, Gameela, Hassan Yousef Deeb, Jewel of Opar, Las Sirenas, Ma*Shuqa, Raks A’Diva, and ShupaDa. They dazzled our audience with a variety of outstanding performances.
Hassan Yousef Deeb
We would also like to thank again the Vendors who so generously supported this event: Ancient Egyptian Collection, Aneena’s Silk Veils, Artemis Imports, Carl Sermon Photography, Digital Wuff, Divine Design by Dhyanis, E. Arneson Import, Linah’s Belly Boutique, Lunatic Fringe, MejiaArts, Parri’s Essentials, and Seshen Designs.
With grateful appreciation, we acknowledge the Staff: D.J. Sp3shial Option, Ghanima Gaditana, Hasnaa, Hebe, Jahmra, Kevin Greek, Ron Stone, Videographer Jerry Case and Photographer Carl Sermon. If we omitted anyone we apologize.
And a heartfelt thank you to the Volunteers: Alma Safiya, Brigitte Fox, Daniela, Dasha, Dawn Devine, Gameela, Hortensia Velasco, Jane Ibl. Jiniko Martinez, Kamilla Morales, Michelle McDaniel, Mila, Tatiana, Thelma Gonzales, Zelina and Zemira. If we omitted anyone we apologize.
It truly does take a village. We thank you all in the belly dance “village” for making our Fall Festival a truly FABULOUS SUCCESS!
A portion of the proceeds from this event, including a portion of Digital Wuff’s DVD sales and the total proceeds of Snack Attack sales will be donated to Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.
Fabulous Fall Colors Festival ~ Saturday, November 3, 2012
11 am-7 pm, Festival Dancing, Featured Dancers, Vendors, Surprises!
Hillview Community Center, Multipurpose Room, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos
On Sunday, August 26th SF/BA MECDA & Andrea Aranda presented the Hot August Nights Hafla at Tannourine Restaurant in San Mateo. A full, fabulous evening of belly dancing began at 8 p.m. Featured Performers included our co-hostess Andrea, Asiya, Hazar, Livia, Mirit, Rawiyah, Rayah, Sadira, Safiyah and Yolanda. Family, friends, and all of our very “Hot” belly dancers enjoyed the delicious Lebanese/Mediterranean cuisine, as well as the captivating ambience at this charming and romantically intimate location. It is an exquisite place to perform, and we look forward to attending future events!
SF/BA MECDA officers and some of the beautiful dancers who performed on this wonderful evening of dance and camaraderie
On Saturday, July 28th Angel Thacker of Afro-Belly Boogie celebrated her Birthday Weekend at SF/BA MECDA’s Sizzlin’ Summer Hafla held at Luke’s Grill in San Leandro. The food was delicious as always, and thanks to our combined efforts this was one of the largest turnouts ever for this family-owned Greek restaurant. The house was standing room only! Angel began the evening with a free belly dance lesson, followed by fabulous Festival Dancing by Alisa, Etana, Hazar, Mirit, Raks Jawhara, Sherry Brier, Sudeep, and Troupe Zia. Special Guest Dancer performances provided by Basinah, Bramani, Christina, Delphina, Paloma, Rawiyah, Yolanda and Zahara were also spectacular. Angel closed the evening with a very energetic and inspiring performance that had the audience on its feet, dancing and signing a lively chorus of “Happy Birthday” – belly dance style!
SF/BA MECDA takes this opportunity to once again thank Angel, the owner and staff at Luke’s Grill, the belly dancers who donated their time and talent, and all the family and friends who came out and enthusiastically supproted this event. You were terrific! We also extend our grateful appreciation for the generous donations made that evening to our designated charity, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. Thank you so much! Lastly, we’re delighted that our chapter could help make this a special birthday that Angel and all of us who were lucky enough to be there, will long remember.
*** *** *** Paloma of Lunatic Fringe Belly Dance Essentials ~ And San Francisco Bay Area MECDA Present
SWAPPORTUNITY! ~ Swap & Shop plus Free Workshops!
Sunday, June 24, 2012 ~ Noon to 5 pm
182 South Murphy St, Sunnyvale, CA
Shop, Sell ~ Gently used, pre-loved, test driven dance items galore!
Dance Wear – DVD’s – CD’s – DIY Materials – Books – More!
Contact Paloma directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
for selling details.
Event Special ~ Four FREE 30 minute workshops
presented at the top of each hour by
Lunatic Fringe instructors who are generously donating their time & talent.
1 p.m. – Celena ~ Zills
2 p.m. – Davina ~ Arms
3 p.m. – Rayah ~ Hips
4 p.m. – Angel ~ African Belly Dance Fusion
Free Admission & Parking! ~ Stay for the whole afternoon!
*** *** *** SF/BA MECDA and Sausan Academy of Egyptian Dance presented No Foolin’ Spring Dancers’ Night, Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at Al Masri Restaurant, 4031 Balboa Street, San Francisco
SF/BA MECDA’s No Foolin’ Dancers’ Night on April 1st was a great success. It took place at Al Masri Restaurant in San Francisco, co-hosted by Sausan, owner and master chef of Al Masri and founder of the Sausan Academy of Egyptian Dance. There was a full house and Sausan served up a sumptuous buffet of authentic Egyptian food for all to enjoy. The enthusiastic audience applauded a splendid line up of a dozen accomplished dancers performing in a variety of styles. Then Sausan even left the kitchen long enough to treat us to a sparkling performance that closed the show on a high note. It was an evening of fabulous dancers, family, friends and fun!
*** *** February 29th Dancers’ Leap Night
There was definitely excitement in the air for the Dancers’ Leap Night event that took place at Dosa n Biryani in Sunnyvale on February 29th. Adriana welcomed SF/BA MECDA’s dancers, as well as some of her own students, and the crowd who loved them, to a fantasic evening of stellar performances, food and fun. Adding a sensational touch was house DJ Real Deal, whose spinning and chatting helped keep the energy up all night. Our thanks goes to him and Adriana, as well as all the fabulous, delightful dancers, some of whom are pictured below. SF/BA MECDA also extends a very special thank you to the staff at Dosa n Biryani. Their warm welcome and delicious food was much appreciated.
|Swap, Shop & Shimmy, November 5, 2011 ~ A successful Swap, Shop & Shimmy was held on November 5, 2011. From the moment the doors opened, the room was filled with happy shoppers browsing and buying from the assorted collections of 14 sellers. Throughout the day approximately 150 attendees enjoyed watching our full line up of festival dancers which included students, teachers and professionals. And every seat was filled well into the evening when it came time for our special Featured Dancers to perform. We extend sincerest thanks to our sellers, volunteers and attendees whose generosity [delete also] enabled us to raise $151.00 for our designated charity, Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. Photos of this event posted below are courtesy of Carl Sermon Photography, http://www.ReelSoundandLight.com www.CarlSermonPhotography.Zenfolio.com.|
|========================================Summer Swap & Shop on June 19th, 2011
Paloma of Lunatic Fringe and SF/BA MECDA presented this day of shopping and swapping til you drop opportunity for dancers and customers to browse the collections of over 20 dancers. With some 15 sellers, tents were in the street, on the sidewalk and overflowed into the studio. The weather was hot but the bargains were even hotter! Happy shoppers modeled their costumes and accessories while music played in the background. Refreshments were also provided. Your chapter officers thank Paloma. We enjoyed the opportunity to co-host this event with Paloma, who herself already contributes so much to the belly dance community.
|==========================================El Morocco Dancers’ Night on June 5th, 2011
Several dancers (Hazar, Beatriz, Jiang-Ti, Zemira, Raja, Yolanda, Liviah, LuLu, Margarita, Naiya & Numa’ir, Salena and Stasha) enjoyed what is becoming an all too rare opportunity, dancing to live music. On this evening the music was performed by Yosifah and Al ‘Azifoon. The delightful dancers, beautiful music, delicious food and relaxed and friendly atmosphere insured that a great time was had by all! SF/BA MECDA thanks Yosifah for hosting live music nights and looks forward to scheduling a similar event in 2012.
Stasha at ElMorrocco SF/BA MECDA Dancer Night
Hazar performs with Yosifah and Al ‘Azifoon with special guests Cynthia Rutherford & Leyla Lanty
Last Updated: August 22, 2013
Spring 2011 has Sprung …
And a “new year” has officially begun for the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of MECDA. What better way to celebrate than to issue our first newsletter of 2011? The election process ended in March and we now have a full board of elected officers.
The New Board:
President ~ Lois White ~ Leyla Lanty
Vice President ~ Bonnie Stensler ~ Safiyah
Secretary ~ Peggy Hennessee ~ Rawiyah
Treasurer ~ Alisha Westerfeld ~ Zemira
Happy Holidays everyone! Thanks to all of you for your support of SF/BA MECDA and its activities throughout the year. We wish to thank everyone who participated in our annual Gala and Festival on November 13th, especially those who volunteered to work that day, for helping to make it a great success! I’m happy to report that combining your cash contributions, a portion of the entrance fees and a portion of the proceeds from dancer videos made by Digital Wuff, we were able to donate $250 to our designated charity Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence.
We are now in a state of transition via elections to a new year. Please watch future editions of the Newsletter for announcements of newly elected officers and upcoming activities and opportunities to participate in planning and staging them. We look forward to seeing you at a dance event soon.
Leyla Lanty, December 9, 2010
|SF/BA MECDA Presents
Swap, Shop and Shimmy
Swap-meet Style Shopping Extravaganza Hosted by SF/BAMECDA
Sunday, April 18, 2010 ~ Noon to 6:00 pm
Multipurpose Room ~ Hillview Community Center
97 Hillview Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94022
|We have 20 sellers coming with a mix of Costumes, Pieces, Music, DVD’s, Accessories, Jewelry, Supplies and Materials and UFO’s (unfinished objects) — Students – invest in basics, Dancers – create your next masterpiece. Teachers – bring your classes and pick up some new class music for a song. Rummage Sale Prices – Bargains Galore – Sign-up-at-the-door to dance!|
|Gotta Dance? The Hillview Community Center Multipurpose room has a small stage and we are planning a full line-up of performers. From 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm we will have booked an exciting lineup of featured dancers. From noon until 4:00 pm, there are two ways to take the stage at our event. ~ Take a Chance on Dance For this event, we are keeping 1/3 of our dance slots open for at-the-door sign ups. So even if you don’t get a slot right away, come prepared. Bring costume and music (7 min.) on a clearly marked CD. We all might get lucky and see you perform.|
|Fundraiser for Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to our favorite charity. If you are interested in finding out more about Next Door, visit their website for more information.Quick Directions Take HWY 101 to San Antonio, Head West toward Los Altos,Turn LEFT on Hillview Ave. and park. Ample Free Parking!|
Studio Photo Shoot
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Lunatic Fringe, 182 South Murphy St., Suite A, Sunnyvale, CA
Photographer: Oscar Cwajbaum
Yolanda ~ Photo by Oscar
Yolanda ~ Photo by Oscar
Here are more photos from November 14, 2009.
Fall Dancer Night 2009, Sunday, June 14, 2009
Photos by Carl F. Sermon
Hafla at the Hoover and workshops with Morocco of New York!
Sunday, February 9 & 10, 2008
Mediterranean Moves~ Read the Mediterranean Moves Flyer
Summer Hafla at the Hoover 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Amanda ~ Alexandria ~ Amina
2008 Greater Bay Area Studio Tour ~ Workshop with Jasmine
Sunday, April 6, 2008
“Prop til ya Drop” Gala Concert
December 3, 2006
Gilded Serpent Article on “Prop til ya Drop
Dimensions in Dance ~ 2005
|SF/BA MECDA Presents
Winter Dancer Night
at the El Morocco in Pleasant Hill
Live Music by Al’ Azifoon
Sunday, February 7, 2010
6:30 pmGotta Dance?
Dancer sign-up opens January 12th via email. Spaces are first-come, first-served and requests sent before January 12th will not be honored.El Morocco
2203 Morello Ave. (at Taylor Boulevard)
Pleasant Hill, CA
Reservations are a must! Al’ Azifoon Dancers’ Nights are often standing room only.Al’ Azifoon
Middle Eastern Classics by Nathan Craver, Zaid Ali, Yosifah Rose and Paul Ohanesian
email@example.com ~ http://www.alazifoon.com
www.sfbamecda.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Revised: March 26, 2015