I encourage all of my students to explore Boston’s vibrant belly dance scene and try out classes by other local teachers, sign up for workshops by visiting guest artists, and attend live performances and haflis (Arabic for “party”). The more you know and see, the more you’ll grow as a belly dancer. Visit the wonderful website Belly Dance New England. Come have dinner at the Karoun Restaurant where I have been performing for over 25 years! Try to catch dance and music LIVE and not just on YouTube! Keep an open mind, an open heart, and enjoy yourself on the journey.
If you are new to my Daughters of Rhea belly dance classes at Moody Street Circus, welcome! Breathe, relax and have fun while you dance. Be as present as you can in your body; feel, find pleasure in your movements from the inside out. “Perfection” is overrated, and ‘fake it til you make it’ often applies when you are starting out! It is far more important to feel the dance in your body than to become obsessed with "looking good" doing it. Learning new dance movements is like learning a new language -- it takes time to gain fluency, so enjoy the process.
To enhance your belly dance journey, here is a quick, non-exhaustive list of belly dance related websites that I like or created, used a resource or have shopped from myself -- they are all reputable and have been around for awhile.
Daughters of Rhea - www.daughtersofrhea.com - this is my family’s belly dancing website. It is somewhat large and sprawling, yes, but interesting & with many links to articles and information on our family history and doings in belly dance. Grab yourself a cup of hot tea and journey the site!
Moody Street Circus - www.moodystreetcircus.com - the studio website with up to date information on classes and special events. Always check our live class calendar before coming in to make sure there are no changes to the schedule.
Belly Dance New England - - www.bellydancenewengland.com - Amy Smith / Alizah's website on belly dance happenings, teachers, classes and resources in the New England area.
Local store that vends belly dance costumes and accoutrements as well as many other fabulous vintage outfits. (Tell Marlene that Melina sent you!)
Great Eastern Trading Company
49 River Street
Central Square, Cambridge
617.354.5279 – call first to check hours and tell Merlene Melina sent you!
Karoun Restaurant - www.karoundining.com - Wonderful & warm mediterranean-style restaurant with belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights (showtime for Friday approximately 9 p.m., Saturdays 9:00 p.m. ish) Dinner reservations 617 964 3400. A fun night out with savory lamb kebabs and vegetarian choices.
The Gilded Serpent: Wonderful web resource on belly dance, featuring a myriad of articles by dancers around the world, including mine, my sister Piper's (Belly Dancer of the Year 2000), and our mother Rhea's column with entertaining adventure stories - www.gildedserpent.com
All about belly dancing - Shira - www.shira.net. A great resource for many questions people have about belly dancing.
Bhuz - www.bhuz.com - Belly Dance Central. Info on worldwide belly dance seminars, used costumes for sale and swap, and much more.
International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance. This organization’s website features good info and high quality instructional videos overall - www.iamed.org
Nourhan Sharif - fun belly dance pants, belly dance wear, and gypsy/choli tops - costumes & more - www.sharifwear.com
Other costuming sites to explore:
Moon Dance Belly Dance - www.moondancebellydance.com
Scheherezade Imports - www.scheherezadeimports.com
Belly Dance Store - www.bellydancestore.com
Miss Belly Dance - www.missbellydance.com
Search Melodias pants on Ebay!
My sister Piper's (Belly Dancer of the Year 2000) website - www.pipermethod.com. Piper is based in Baltimore but visits me periodically to teach special seminars.
The Daughters of Rhea family has various YouTube Channels:
Studio YouTube Channel: MoodyStreetCircus
My Circus Channel: CirquePassion
My sister Piper's YouTube Channels:
You can also find me on facebook on two pages: search "Melina of Daughters of Rhea" and "Moody Street Circus."
If you are ever in the Boston area and would like a perfectly-fitting, custom-made belly dance costume, Shadia is the talented lady to connect with(email@example.com).
Looking forward to our next class together!