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Gilded Serpent Archives presents...
Gig Bag Checks!
Video interviews with the Artists Backstage.

  • #1- Monica Berini
  • #2- Jillina
  • #3- Malia
  • #4- Lauren
  • #5- Sonia
  • #6- Zoe
  • #7 Sabah
  • #8- Sharon Kihara
  • #9- Vashti
  • #10- Petite Jamila
  • #11- Shelly of Unmata
  • #12- Jim Boz
  • #13- Dominique Senecal
  • #14- Zorba
  • #15- Astryd
  • #16- Pepper Alexandria
  • #17- Mahsati
  • #18- Elizabeth Strong
  • #19- Surreyya and Sultana
  • #20- Amira and Mom, Sadiya
  • #21- Mark Balahadia
  • #22- Cory Zamora
  • #23- Colleen of BDSS
  • #24- Moria of BDSS
  • #25- Cecilia of BDSS
  • #26- Jayna of BDSS
  • #27- Kami of BDSS
  • #28 - Stevie of BDSS
  • #29 - Sam of BDSS
  • #30 - Suhaila Salimpour
  • #31 - Alina
  • #32 - Tito Sief
  • #33 - Sa'diyaa of Texas
  • #34 - Emma of Japan
  • #35 - Hala
  • #36 - MaShuqa
  • #37 - April Rose
  • #38 - Adriane
  • #39 - Troupe Intizar
  • #40 - Khalilah
  • #41 - Badia
  • #42 - Lara
  • #43 - Sa'diyya, part 2
  • #44 - Courtney
  • #45 - Zahira
  • #46 - Angelika
  • #47 - Rosa Noreen
  • #48 - Mesmera

Comings soon:
Monica of Florida,
Photographer Michael Baxter, more Zoe, Adore, and more

Other Interviews Videos-
These videos have been moved to the page linked here

jeanie Gigbag right
 

#48 with Mesmera

We catch Mesmera and a student backstage at the Cairo Carnival 2013 on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. She is getting ready to perform at the "World of Tomorrow" gala show. She hams it up showing us her Isis wings and her lipstick..

 
 

#47 with Rosa Noreen

Rosa Noreen is a belly dancer from Portland Maine. We caught her backstage at the gala show at Cairo Caravan 2013 held on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. She is the newly elected secretary for MECDA- the Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association. She tells us about her costume-"FrankinHoda" and her MAC lipstick.

 
 

#46 with Angelika

Angelika Nemeth lives and teaches in Southern California. She teaches at 3 colleges and also takes tours to Cairo, Turkey, and other countries. She mentions 2 costumes designers in Egypt who she buys her costumes from. This video was taken in February 2011 around the time of the revolution in Egypt and many of the tours sponsors were not sure if they were going to be able to go on their tours this year because of the unrest. Angelika contributes to GS with her advertising dollars and wise council. Thank you Angelika!

 
 

#45 with Zahira

We meet Zahira backstage at the Friday night show of the International Bellydance Conference of Canada in May 2012. Her group of dancers from Dragonfly Dance Studio performed a pirate and steampunk inspired piece. They created a lovely ship with dancers and isis wings and had a mock battle. Zahira is also a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She presented her paper on the medieval Salome. We hope to see her writing on GildedSerpent.com soon!

 
 

#44 with Courtney

Courtney is an award-winning bellydancer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She dances solo, in a duet and a troupe. She participates in many of the bellydance competitions in the community. She is also a musician! Don't miss the bonus footage at the end with Courtney and her teacher Sandra!

 
 

#43 with Sa'diyya, part 2


Sa'diyya is a professional belly dancer from Texas. Texas. In this video she discusses how she put together this beautiful costume and the secrets to her lovely hair. See part 1 of our interview here. This video was also filmed at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition 2011 held in Long Beach, CA. In this video she shows us another costume and the secrets behind her beautiful hair! Sa'diyya won the Universal Division in 2011. Sa'diyya is also a contributor to GildedSerpent.com..

 
 

#42 with Lara


Lara is from Redwood City, California. Lara's teacher is Sandra. Although Lara typically performs solo, she also dances in several groups- The Duet Sassafras, Troupe Khamsin, and a trio called Seshata. Lara has a doctorate in Computer Science from Stanford and also works as a software engineer. This video was filmed at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition in Long Beach in 2011.

 
 

#41 with Badia

Badia of Sacramento show us whats in her bag! We filmed her at the Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant 2012 in El Cerrito, California. Her team is producing a documentary called "Becoming Farasha". She talks about eyelid appliques, her '40s hairstyle, combining Turkish and Egyptian costuming, tatoo's, usingnail polish to glue rhinestones. She is also an actress trained in North Carolina.

 
 

#40 with Khalilah

Filmed at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition 2011, Khalilah competes in 3 categories in one day while sick with the flu including a high fever! This event was held in Long Beach, California. Khalilah is a student of Najia Marlyz. Khalilah gives us a tour of a few items that she takes with her to her performances.

 
 

#39 with Troupe Intizar

Sese directs Troupe Intisar based in Santa Cruz California. According to their site at bellydancebasics.com, troupe members include: Samira, Desma, Adara, Alexa, Caliana, Saffana, Kamala. This lively troupe was interviewed back stage at the Belly Dancer of the Year 2012 Competition held in El Cerrito, CA.

 
 

#38 with Adriane

Adriane is currently from Sacramento, CA. She teaches and sponsors events in the area. She has written for GildedSerpent.com and volunteers on occasion also. Thanks Adriane! This video was filmed backstage at Belly Dancer of the Universe 2011 in Long Beach.

 
 

#37 - April Rose

April Rose is at this moment, June 2012, finishing her Masters program at UCLA. She worked with Unmata, and will tour internationally with the Bellydance Superstars in the Fall of 2012. This video was shot at the Internationally Bellydance Conference of Canada in May of 2012. Along with her Gigbag tour are snippits of her teaching and performing at IBCC.

 
 

#36 - MaShuqa

MaShuqa, known for her beautful make up, shows us a few secrets! MaShuqa is a well known bellydancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also the wife of Carl Sermon, whose photos you will see frequently on GildedSerpent.com. This video was filmed back stage at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition in February 2011

 
 

#35 - Hala

Backstage with Hala, she shows us what she carries to performances in her bag. This interview was conducted in October 2011. Tito Sief is also in the room. Look for Gigbag Check #32 with Tito, all on GildedSerpent.com

 
 

#34 - Emma of Japan


Gilded Serpent caught Emma of Japan backstage after she had just competed in the Egyptian Dance division at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition 2011 in Long Beach, California. She shares with use her favorite music to help her calm down before the contest. She also shows us her favorite costume that she bought in Cairo. Her teacher is Zizi. She is a lovely dancer! Also included are short examples of her dancing.
 
 

#33 - Sa'diyya of Texas


Gilded Serpent catches Sa'diyya backstage at the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition in February 2011. She shows us her tools of the trade, including:safety pins (of course), mirror, curling iron, carpet tape, and all of her jewelry organized in a binder full of zip lock bags. She also tell us about using a fedora in a modern folk dance from Iran or Persia. Her mother helps her with her costumes. In part 2 yet to come, we will hear her talk about upgrading an ok costume she bought into a beauty and her secret tricks for her hair.

 
 

#32 - Tito Seif!

In October, 2011, we found Tito Seif backstage at Hala's show in Redwood City, California. Tito is currently the most famous male dancer in the world. He shows us several of his costumes all of which he designed. Also included is a clip of one of his dances at Hala's wonderful show. Thank you to Hala and Tito for your time.

 
 

#31 - Alina


Gigbag Checks are a regular Gilded Serpent feature. We catch a dancer or musician backstage and ask to see inside their luggage. It can be very interesting to see what each performer carries with them. Alina didn't have any advice for us today, but she does have two very proud parents. Her parent's company Hollywood Music Center is a main supplier of the communities music and DVDs. They also have dance supply site at Bellydance.com. Please check out their ads on the front page of GildedSerpent.com, give them a click, and visit their sites!
 
 

#30 - Suhaila Salimpour

Suhaila Salimpour takes us on a tour through her gig bag and what is important for her to have with her for performance. This video was shot in May 2011 in the dressing room at Tribal Fest in Sebastopol, California.


 
 
#29- Samantha of the Bellydance Superstars


Samantha is from Brighton, England. Sam starts to tell of her start with the troupe when Rachel joins the conversation briefly to help out
and testifiy to Sam's talent and commitment. Sam was discovered in Rachel's workshop in Birmingham.
Sam also shows us her gig bag and her favorite skirt made by Madi Love. Sam suggestions bringing a sewing kit and tells of problems getting her
belt ornaments tangled in her bracelets. This footage was filmed February 15, 2009 backstage at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, California
 
 

#28: Stevie of BDSS

Stevie is a cabaret dancers as well as a Stilt Dancer. She is from Kansas and now lives in Los Angeles.
She tells us of her dancer history including her western and eastern dance teachers. Stevie auditioned for BDSS in 2005

 
 

#27: Kami of BDSS
Kami is a tribal style belly dancer. She shows us how she organizes her costumes in net bags. She is also very fond of the robe that Miles had made for each of the dancers. She tells of almost walking onstage with the robe still on.

 
 

#26: Jayna of BDSS
Jayna is the daughter of Marta Schill a well known dancer in the community, especially in the Los Angeles area. Jayna takes a moment back stage at the Marin Civic Auditorium in San Rafael, California to show us what she carries with her to get ready for performance. Kami Liddle, who is a tribal style bellydancer had her station next to Jayna. This was filmed in February 2009.

 
 

#25: Ceclila of BDSS
Cecilia of Argentina shows us her makeup kits and talks about how dancing with BDSS is fulfilling her dream. Brief glimpses of Cecilia dancing with the company. Filmed February 2009 at Marin Civic Auditorium

 
 

#24: Moria of BDSS
Moria the dancing nomad, shows us her precious silver bracelets that she handpicked in India herself. She tells of almost losing them at the airport because they counted them as weapons! Zoe and Samantha also visible in this collage. Also included are parts of Moria's drum solo with Hassam. Filmed February 2009 at Marin Civic Auditorium

 
 

#23: Colleen of BDSS
Colleen talks about her 5-6 years of of touring with BDSS 7 months out of the year, including her slipped disks from riding the bus. Colleen is from Marin County, CA. She wraps up her borrowed curling iron that has plastic burned onto it. We see her Polynesian skirt. A short clip of the BDSS Polynesian fusion dance is included.

 
 

#22: Cory Zamora
Cory talks with us after her performance at the Carnival of Stars Festival in Richmond, California, in August 2010. She shows us what she carries for her performance.Including an old style 2 piece cabaret belt, Egyptian style bra with no fringe and more. The performance clip includes beautiful floorwork done as only Cory Zamora can do!


 
 
#21: Mark Balahadia answers Gilded Serpent
What does a dancing dude carry with him to a show?
This footage was shot backstage at the Hungarian Center in Toronto during the
International Bellydance Conference of Canada in April of 2008  

 
 

posted November 2. 2009
#20- Amira and Mom, Sadiya
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Amira and her mom, Sandra or Sadiya show off her fancy gig bag and all the costumes in it that Mom made for Amira. Footage was filmed at Carnival of Stars in November 2008.
http://www.sjecreations.com/

 
 

posted date here October 1, 2009
#19- Surreyya and Sultana
Gilded Serpent reports- Gig Bag check with Surreyya
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Surreyya has a very special friend she carries in hers! Sultana, a leopard spotted boa constrictor enjoys being displayed for us and having a dance with her partner. Footage was filmed at Carnival of Stars in November 2008.
http://www.surreyya.com/

 
 

posted August 18, 2009
#18- Elizabeth Strong
In February of 2009 we were able to speak with Elizabeth who was filling in a dance position with the Bellydance Superstars for their San Rafael Civic Center gig. Zoe Jakes, Rachel Brice and others also pipe in. What is it like to slip into such a high profile dance troupe?
Lynette interviews and is behind the camera. Surreyya edits and produces the video.
http://www.strongdancer.com/

 

 
 

posted August 02, 2009
#17- Mahsati
of Asheville, North Carolina
A dancer from Asheville, North Carolina, Mahsati often uses fan veils in her show and has an instructional video on their use. We catch her at the Carnival of Stars festival in Hayward, California in 2008. Please visit her site at www.mahsati-janan.com. Come to www.gildedserpent.com for more videos and over 1000 articles on Middle Eastern music and dance. Thank you!A dancer from Asheville, North Carolina, Mahsati often uses fan veils in her show and has an instructional video on their use. We catch her at the Carnival of Stars festival in Hayward, California in 2008. Please visit her site at www.mahsati-janan.com. Come to www.gildedserpent.com for more videos and over 1000 articles on Middle Eastern music and dance. Thank you!
http://www.mahsati-janan.com/

 

 
 

posted June 29, 2009
#16- Pepper Alexandria
of Berkeley, California
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Peppers bag may contain a few unusual items. Also included are clips of Pepper dancing solo and with her Ghawazee troupe at her festival called Carnival of Stars. Troupe members included- Heather, Monifa, Kathy, Alyson, Birute and Sonya. Thanks for watching!
Be sure to check out the artists website- www.carnivalofstars.com

 

 
 

posted April 29, 2009
#15- Astryd Farah
Astryd tells of the recent stops on her tours through the states and Europe including working with Tito. Then she give us a tour through her gig bag! This clip was filmed November 9, 2008 at the Carnival of Stars Festival in Hayward, California. Next year the festival will be held at the Richmond Auditorium in Richmond California. This is the large hall with the beautiful stage where the Rakkasah festival was held a few years ago.
http://www.danceastryd.com/

 

 
 

posted April 09, 2009
# 14- Zorba, the Veiled Male,
of Monterey, CA
Zorba talks with us after his performance at the Carnival of Stars Festival in Hayward, California, in November 2008. He shows us what he carries for his performance. This video is an illustration for an article by Zorba on GildedSerpent.comZorba talks with us after his performance at the Carnival of Stars Festival in Hayward, California, in November 2008. He shows us what he carries for his performance. This video is an illustration for an article by Zorba on GildedSerpent.com
http://www.doubleveil.net

 

 
 

posted March 08, 2009
# 13- Dominique Senecal
of Les Tribelles, Montreal, Quebec
Dominique talks with us back stage at the International Bellydance Conference of Canada. She recommends to bring an extra costume. This video ends with just a sample of her dance that night. Yes, we need to use a tripod and a mike! Thanks for watching! Please visit GildedSerpent.com for more on this conference and Belly dance. Be sure to check out the artists website- http://www.lestribelles.com

 

 
 

posted January 17, 2009
#12- Jim Boz
What does a dancing dude carry with him to a show? We go back stage and ask Jim Boz. Ozgen is also curious.
http://www.jimboz.com/

 

 
 

posted October 16, 2008
#11 Shelly of Unmata
What does a tribal fusion dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Shelly gives us a peek into her bag!
http://www.unmata.com/unrecent.html

 

 
 

posted September 1, 2008
#10- Petite Jamila
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Petite Jamila gives us a peek into her bag!
Be sure to check out the artists website- http://www.bohemianmarket.com/

 
 

posted June 3, 2008
#9- Vashti

Monica Berini interviews Vashti of Santa Cruz, California before her performance in the Bellydancer of the Year Pageant on May 24, 2008. Vashti shows us what she keeps in her gig bag to be ready for this show. We then see a snippet of her performance. Then we ask Vashti about her recent projects. Vashti is producing both Suhaila's solo theatre performance, The Phoenix, and Zaina Hart's Double Crown Contest.
http://www.bellydanceodyssey.com/Bellydance_Odyssey/Vashti.html

 
 

posted May 23. 2008
#8- Sharon Kihara
Please view video within context of Gilded Serpent here- http://www.gildedserpent.com/newsgraphics/ComKaleidoscope.htm Backstage with the Bellydance Superstars. Sharon Kihara gives us a peek into her bag! - What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? I think Sharon's load is a little unsual!
http://www.sharonkihara.com/

 
 

posted February 16, 2009
#7- Sabah
February 2008 What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Sabah gives us a peek into her bag!

 
 

posted September 16, 2008
#6 Zoe
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Zoe gives us a peek into her bag!
http://www.zoebellydance.com/

 
 

posted December 12, 2008
#5 Sonia
Debbie Smith asks Sonia, "What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag?" Sonia gives us a peek into her bag!

 
 

posted July 07, 2008
#4 -Lauren
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Debbie Smith asks Lauren, one of the newest dancers in BDSS, to give us a peek into her bag!
http://www.bellydancebylauren.com/

 
 

posted March 31, 2008
#3- Malia
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Malia of Half Moon Bay gives us a peek into her bag!
http://www.bellydancer.net/

 
 

posted March 6, 2008
#2- Jillina
What does a dancer need to carry in her gig bag? Jillina gives us a peek into her bag!

http://www.jillina.com/

 
 

posted March 2, 2008
#1b- Monica
What does a belly dancer need in her gig bag to get ready for her performance? Monica describes what she likes to have in her bag.
http://www.monicaraqs.com/

 

 

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Ready for more?

  • 6-27-08 The Complete Performance Bag by Anna
    The performance bag is that ONE practical and necessary accessory that aids in the creation of that ideal performance environment.
  • The Devil's Details, Show Ethics for Professionals by Yasmin
  • 5-4-07 Part 1- Booking a Party
    When a dancer looks good, she, or another, will get called back to perform again. When she looks bad, customers might be turned off to our lovely art form forever. Therefore, a bad dancer not only ruins things for herself, but for all of us
  • 8-29-07 Part 2- The Cross Cultural Factor
    Warning. There is a great deal of passive aggressive face-saving behavior in this profession. It is not always woman friendly either. Respect is not a given...
  • 10-15-07 Part 3- Separating the Girls from the Women
    If a performer conducts herself as a professional she is much more likely to obtain repeat engagements and referrals. No one wants to be seen knowingly hiring an amateur. It is bad for business and a customer’s image.
  • 12-5-07 Part 4 - What NOT To Do
    Show up drunk or stoned. No more needs to be said
  • 1-28-08 Part 5 - Beauty by Yasmin
    For new dancers, mastering the art of glamour can be daunting. But take heart, while internal sensuality requires character work, external beauty is easier to fix
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