Tasha Banat

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Tasha Banat

Tasha has writing, about the Middle East for as long as she can remember. Her mother’s family was from B’lad E’Shaam, now identified as Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. It is from this part of the world that Tasha learned to Debke and Belly Dance.

Tasha graduated High School in 1965, and was awarded an acting scholarship to “Pasadena Playhouse” in California. She danced in Armenian and Arab owned Restaurants in order to earn some extra income, however she performed Debke more than Belly Dance back then.

Tasha wrote the very first accepted US Navy Syllabus on Belly Dance in 1973. Tasha has written many articles for Habibi, Jeereda, and Caravan dance magazines, as well as several Arabic publications.

Tasha worked with some of the best-known Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Armenian singers and Musicians. She recorded “Al Azifan” in 1987, the first songs in America with the now famous Lammam Brothers. This was followed by a tribute to her from Ibrahim El Samahy, with “Moon Over Cairo” Volume II

Tasha also worked for more than 5 years with the families of the American Hostages held in Lebanon. Even after the release of the Hostages, Tasha continued to guest host on many radio stations, including WFTL, Florida’s Talk Leader (a very confrontational talk format) and KUNM in New Mexico.

Tasha is an active member of the Arts Alliance, The Racial Profiling Task Force in New Mexico, and ADC (Arab Discrimination Committee).

Tasha began Near East Arts Alliance in 2002 for her Palestinian and Lebanese student Debke troupe located in Albuquerque New Mexico. Her dance troupe was made up only of Lebanese and Palestinian children. Now she also teaches her unique style of belly dance which combines Debke and belly dance movement to students of all ages and backgrounds.

Tasha contends that a strong Belly Dance foundation is as essential for beginning, advanced, and even professional students and is as important to review during each and every session as the warm ups used in ballet. She also believes that it is not only essential to have a strong foundation in Belly Dance, but to have a better understanding of the “Asian Arab World” that includes music, dance, and art, indicative to those particular regions and peoples who make up that intricate area currently identified as the Middle East

Tasha Banat has combined Belly Dance and Debke into her own unique style of dance for more than 35 years.  However they are taught as separate entities in her workshops and seminars.   For more information about Debke and/or belly dance, contact Tasha Banat, 505-299-7000

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Tasha Banat

  • Defining Belly Dance Today, Definition by Presentation
    For me, the bottom line is that there is no wrong way to present belly dance because what an individual loves in the dance is easy to find. Everything is so global today! The dance has morphed into so many forms that if you cannot find a belly dance teacher that makes you happy, perhaps you need to look for another dance..
  • Back from Bahrain, Tiny Kingdom’s Riots are Puzzling
    Approximately at the same time as the invasions of the French, British, etc. upon the Ottoman Empire the art of Belly dancing was introduced in cabarets of Egypt and Lebanon, as well as Turkey (Istanbul).
  • The Dumb and the Restless: Fire! A Lighter Outlook on Belly Dance
    Yes, the audience was eating out of my hand when someone from the back of the room yelled “Hey lady! Your hair is on fire!”
  • The French Connection
    Remember that the cabaret style of Belly Dance itself was considered a western cultural event and the night clubs of those days were only there to entertain invaders and their families, not the local people.
  • Debke, A Brief History
    How does one combine Debke with Bellydance? What does that mean? In order to combine two beautiful dances, we have to first separate them and understand the different types of Arabic music
  • Belly Dance:Time for Personal Assessment or How old are your Shoes?
    What do you personally want from the dance? In order to answer this honestly, you must make a personal assessment of your goals and include your achievements.
  • One Banat: An Exploration of Some Belly Dance Costuming Origins
    Since the establishment of Israel, the definition of the term “Middle East” seems to have changed and now has come to refer to a conglomeration of a number of unrelated countries in the Asian and African parts of the hemisphere.
  • Re-defining Belly Dance and Middle Eastern Dance
    The fact is that “Middle Eastern Dance” is not an acceptable definition for Belly Dance and let me explain why.