Monday, February 13, 2012

Once Upon A Time: A Gypsy's Tale

Ethnic folk music and dance will come alive Sunday, March 18, as local performance companies come together to present an enchanting variety of entertainment at Once Upon A Time: A Gypsy's Tale.

The full-scale show, which will begin at 2 p.m., is presented by the Music & Arts Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach and produced by veteran Shimmy Showcase coordinator Saviya. Performers include Katerina & the Kabuki Dolls, JJ & the Habibis, Saviya with Tribe Roman Morga, as well as live music by Saf Mavi.

Admission is $15 for adults and free for children younger than 10. Tickets may be reserved by emailing Assistant Director of Music Douglas Law at The church is at 5450 East Atherton St., Long Beach, CA 90815. (562) 597-8445.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My List of Belly Dance Festivals

I've redone my official website and the link has changed for my list of the belly dance festivals in the United States. You can now find it here:
If you have an update to any of these festivals, please email me at deanna at deannacameron dot com.
Happy dancing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Shimmy Showcase is back!

I know, it's not exactly news to many who love Shimmy Showcase that those clever organizers have found a new home for their weekly belly dance gathering at Viento y Agua Coffee House (4007 East 4th Street, Long Beach). It was announced about a month ago, but I've been writing my brains out for NaNoWriMo for the past month and am just now coming up for air. (Yes, I did make it to 50K words, thank you for asking!) If you aren't familiar with NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month), you can find out more about this craziness here. But you're probably more interested in who will be dancing at Shimmy Showcase, right? I thought so...

This Sunday, starting at 5:30 p.m., Abraiha will present Tahma, IrinaXara, Nadirah, Jade, and May.

On Dec. 11, my good friend Katerina will present a program that includes live traditional Turkish and Sufi music by Saf Mavi. The featured dancers will be Katerina & the Kabuki Dolls, Strawberry Butterfly, Akasha Star, Sarah al Nour, Taji, Lee Ali and Marguerite.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Shimmy Showcase, RIP

Katerina called last night with the sad news that her special Shimmy Showcase planned for Sunday evening would not be taking place because iCandy was closing. I know, I could hardly believe it myself. Local belly dancers and fans of belly dance have been so fortunate for so many years to have the weekly Shimmy Showcase at the coffeehouse formerly known as Coffee Haven (1708 E. Broadway).

It seems every dancer in Southern California has performed there at one time or another. For the past nine years, under the nurturing care of its team of showcase coordinators, it has been a welcoming and friendly environment for new dancers; a casual, no-fuss venue for veteran dancers; a stage for experimental and innovative interpretations of belly dance; and a place where anybody with the desire could enjoy a few hours of Middle Eastern-inspired dance and music.

In an email, showcase's administrator Xandra said that while upcoming shows have been canceled, the coordinators will work to find a replacement venue and would welcome any leads. You can reach her at

You also might want to check the group's blog for updates:

Photo: Katerina performing at Shimmy Showcase in March 2009.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cairo Caravan 2011 recap

My how time flies when you're locked away in a writing cave. Has it really been nearly two weeks since Cairo Caravan? Hardly seems possible. The whole weekend was amazing.

On Saturday morning, I had a lot of fun talking about the Ghawazee dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair (dim lighting made it an intimate affair) and talking to everyone who stopped by the table I shared with my friend and fellow author Shauna Roberts.

I saw so many old friends, met Facebook friends in person for the first time (I'm looking at you Liliana!) and made quite a few new ones, too (Mindy, Kareenah, CheriMarie, Nichole, Marguerite, Darleen, Nanette, Denell, Arlene, Lonnie, Veronica with her darling daughter, Lana, Tammy, Marianne, Cindy, Stephanie, Lisa, Jolie, Melisa, Sherree, Vivi, Pamela, Aruba, Toni, Monica, Jocelyn, Trish, Betty, Denise--maker of the amazing "Prop Transporter," Ma*shuqa, Antoinette, Amy, Amber, Connie, Jennie, Carol, the fabulous Penny Rose, Poppy, Oscar and JoAnn!).

I spent so much time gabbing, I didn't get in nearly as much shopping or see nearly as much dancing as I would have liked. So I was extremely happy to get an email from Lee Corkett with a link to his gorgeous photographs. You can see them here:
So if you missed this year's event (or were too busy shopping, or gabbing like I was) be sure to check them out.
Keep and eye on MECDA's website for news on next year's event.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday Night at Cairo Caravan

My Friday at Cairo Caravan:

* Drive to Queen Mary.

* Check in with the festival organizers.

* Find authors table (second level, awesomely renamed "Thebes Level" for the festival).

* Find my friend and tablemate, Shauna Roberts.

* Set up the authors table.

* Move authors table to a spot with a view of the stage (and the terrific dancing!)

* Set up the authors table again

* Find the Boiler Room, where my morning lecture is taking place.

* Wait for eyes to adjust to the room's darkness, search in vain for additional lighting, and -- finding none -- seriously consider changing focus of talk from the belly dancers who performed at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to belly dance ghost stories or something more suited to a scary dark place like the Queen Mary's Boiler Room.

* Sell first book of the night -- of the festival! -- to the lovely and talented and vivacious and darling and -- well, you get the idea -- Ansuya. This Bellydance Superstar has always been a superstar in my book, and I finally had the opportunity to tell her how inspiring I found her Santa Monica classes to be waaayyay back when BDSS was just a glint in Miles Copeland's eye. (Yes, this was a big fangirl moment for me, hence, the goofy grin in the picture...)

* Meet Liliana, a Facebook friend I have never had the pleasure of meeting in person before, who stopped and chatted and let me sign a book for her.

* Meet and sign books for several sweet and delightful ladies who stopped to chat and share our chocolate.

* Drive home, exhausted but happy, to rest up and be ready to head back in the morning.

Still wondering about those ghost stories, too...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Booksigning at Cairo Caravan 2011

MECDA's Cairo Caravan -- the biggest annual belly dance event in Southern California -- is just around the corner, and I'm pretty excited the organizers asked me to come and talk about my debut novel, The Belly Dancer.

If you have a copy, bring it, and I'll be thrilled to sign it. If you don't, I'll have copies for sale throughout the run of the festival, thanks to the wonderful independent bookstore folks at Laguna Beach Books.

The 3-day event at the Queen Mary runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday (with a promised special surprise for Friday night attendees until 11 p.m.), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

It'll be a full day of shopping, performances, workshops and food. Tickets at the door are $5 for MECDA members with card/$18 for non-members per day, or $10 for members with card / $35 for non-members for the weekend.

This year, my friend and fellow author Shauna Roberts will be reading from and signing copies of her novel, "Like Mayflies in a Stream," a story of ancient Mesopotamia and retelling of the epic Gilgamesh, at 4:30 p.m. Friday as part of the free lectures series.

My discussion, reading and signing will take place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, also as part of the free lectures series.

If you can't make the lectures, I hope you'll stop by the booth Shauna and I will have. We'll be signing (and selling) copies of our books. I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

Need an incentive? I'm giving away free bookmarks and chocolate :-)

For more information about the festival, visit