Category Archives: bellydance

Some random Farid el Atrache Gossip

I just uploaded a video to my Youtube Channel from the 1952 movie Ayez Atgawez. The video is of Layla al Jaza’irya (Leila the Algerian) dancing to Farid’s composition Leyla. The song Leyla is still a very popular belly dance song today. It’s an instrumental song. Anyway, I was reading up on this dancer. She showed up in a few movies in the 1950s alongside Farid el Atrache. Apparently Farid discovered her in Paris and she went back to Cairo with him. They were involved and he even proposed to her. She refused because she wasn’t in love with him. Doesn’t that story refute the notion that Farid wouldn’t marry Samia because she’s a dancer?? Leyla was a dancer as well.


The Video:


Leyla disappeared from the arts scene after doing a few movies. She surfaced in 2012 in Morocco to speak at an event. She is married to a Moroccan former soccer player. This soccer player was the reason that she did not want to marry Farid. She was in love with someone else.

There’s some gossip for you all! Until next time!


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Review: Arabic Rhythms and Combinations with Tamra-Henna

“Experience the Rhythms of Egypt through Dance with Tamra Henna of LA”

This is a rave review of Tamra-Henna’s DVD, Arabic Rhythms and Combinations

This DVD is a must-have. Tamra Henna has hit a jackpot with this one and it’s worth its weight in gold. Her instruction is thorough and she does everything from both sides and you can always see her whole body clearly. The follow-alongs are also long enough to give you enough practice of each combinations. She does not rush through each combination.

Introduction to Rhythm

This introduction is very thorough and wonderful. It’s so great that she doesn’t just jump into teaching the rhythms and combinations. She explains that masmoudi saghir may also be called beledi which is important.
She goes over dooms, teks, and kas. She even explains measures. It’s so great that she doesn’t assume that people know this musical terminology though many of us dancers do already. Tamra Henna even spoke about stepping on the dum and weight changes coinciding with the dum.
The DVD has awesome visual aids, like the diagram below, so you can see the rhythm while it is being played. This really helps you to internalize the rhythm.

Rhythm Analysis

4 beat rhythms

Maqsoum & Beledi

When she starts the beat analysis, she goes over the rhythms thoroughly and claps them out with you and has Amir Sofi on the table play it slowly while the diagram is on the screen. So helpful!!!
She does two combinations for a slow maqsoum and 2 combos for beledi.
from DVD

Other Rhythms on this DVD:

Wahda- she explains this rhythms very thoroughly and goes through 2 combinations breaking technique down along the way. These combinations are very versatile and can work for your taqsims.
Malfuf- the malfuf section is my favorite, again she gives the helpful tip that malfuf is commonly used in the entrance sections of bellydance songs for those who don’t know already. She does two combinations to this rhythm that I will be using a lot in the entrances to my oriental choreographies. These combinations in particular are very versatile, and I can adapt them to most oriental songs.
Ayoub: this was a nice surprise. Although she does go over what the ZAR is, her ayoub combinations are set to a faster ayoub which is nice. Though I missed masmoudi kabir on this dvd, I loved the ayoub combinations.
Performance: She does an excerpt of Batwanis Beek by Warda, it is just breathtaking.
dvd performance

Important things to note about this DVD:

1) The maqsoum combinations are set to a slow maqsoum and not the fast upbeat maqosum you are used to hearing. She says in the beginning that her combinations are suited for classical music more than they are for pop music.
2) She doesn’t do a warm-up but she does go over posture as seen in the image below.
3) She does go over technique as you go along! Another plus!!!


This DVD is supposed to have a second part to it, but I don’t know if that’s truly happening. I hope that Tamra Henna produces a sequel independently and not with IAMED. I have absolutely no problems with this DVD except that maybe I missed masmoudi kabir but that’s not even a big deal. I will continue to use this DVD and the combinations again and again. This DVD will also inspire you to create your own combinations. This is one of the only combination DVDs out there that is actually useful. It’s set to an Arabic rhythm and not some arbitrary pop song. On other combination DVDs, you may find it hard to lift out the combos and use them. This is not the case here!!
To conclude: Don’t sleep on this DVD! Don’t sleep on Tamra Henna of LA in general.

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Filed under bellydance, Reviews