Stephanie Barto, Sonya, Maya
Gilded Serpent presents...
My Incredible US tour
by Maya

My name is Maya Gaorry and I live in Italy. In July and August, 2005, I traveled for the first time to the United States. This trip was almost two months of intensive adventure and provided an exchange of experiences with many dancers.

Chicago, Illinois:
On July 1st I was guest dancer at a performance of the American tribe group “Read My Hips” directed by Stephanie Barto. The show took place at the Arkadash Cafe, and there were many people from the belly dance community of Chicago. I was so exited; this was my first contact with an audience from a new country. Opening the show was Sonya, owner of the Arabesque Dance School; she was sponsoring my workshop that took place the next day. Sonya is a really wonderful Oriental dancer, who performs with delicate movements. I was next on the bill and danced two Oriental pieces presenting my new style “Sambalady.” Sambalady combines Arabian percussion with Brazilian Samba steps (I’m originality from Brasil). Last, but not least, was Read My Hips.  This group provided an energetic and dynamic show.  They have lots of synchrony in their dancing, and are one of the best tribal groups I have seen.

On the following day I taught a two-hour workshop of advanced cabaret technique, mainly hip movements and an introduction of Sambalady. I had a really good time with the students!

back row:Shani Gitter, Amarise of Rockford (aka Lisa), Debra Moose, Shahina, Kimahri (Kim Bova) front row:Sonya, Maya

Tucson, Arizona:
Dancing in the desert!  My dear friend Lucy Lipschitz sponsored me on this tour. During the week we went to a party in one of the city parks that had an amazing circle group of drummers and dancers.  I have never seen a gathering like this, we don’t have such a thing in Italy.  I thought it was a really good way to be together, a place to enjoy things that we like with freedom: music and dance.

On Saturday, July 10, during the afternoon I taught another workshop, working with all Sambalady choreography.  It was really hot that day, so we had a good dose of aerobic exercises!! In the evening there was a big show, with lots of dancers, mostly tribal dancers, groups and soloists, all of high quality. I saw gothic tribal dance for the first time and the dances had lots of originality. I understood that the American Tribe Dance community in Tucson is really strong and the dancing is really well done.

Mary, Tina, purple hair lady is Karen, 4- ?, 5- ? in red hip scarf, Patty, Maya, Beth, Carol?, Linda, Kris, and Lucy sitting

San Anselmo, California:
The event there was organized by Adry Svraka, a creative dancer from Hungary who lives in Hayward, and Aruna and Dhyanis, owners of World Dance Fitness, a dance school and boutique. The workshop here was longer than the previous two, so I was able to teach two different choreographies and lots of technique.  One choreography was Sambalady, and for the second we worked with delicate movements and music interpretation.

The hafla that night had a big event, with delicious Arabian food and live music by the Georges Lammam Ensemble. This time we saw only oriental dance, no tribal.  Some dancers have a strong Egyptian style.

Crystal Berger, Dhyanis, Aruna, Christina Sophia,
Oriol Zales, Norma Novy, Latifa, Maya,

San Diego, California:

There was no workshop in San Diego.  I was invited by Janete Mahaila, a Brazilian dancer living in the city, to dance at Marrackech restaurant.

My partner and I traveled almost 15,000 km by car.  We visited lots of national parks in Arizona, Utah and California. I loved the American sites, everything is BIG and beautiful!!

I was researching American Tribal Style Belly dance with the plan of making it more popular in Italy. Vic, an online friend, that I met finally in person, showed me some of the ways of the tribal style comunication. I was so glad to meet her, Vic is a wonderful woman and dancer from Rancho Cucamonga, California. She lives with her partner Vernon, who is a very popular drummer in California.

I was also able to visit the Fat Chance Belly Dance studio in San Francisco, and fortunately met Carolena Nericcio. As a visitor to the United States, I noticed that American dancers have a really good technique in Oriental dance. I think they only need to work on some of the smooth movements to have a complete dance. I’m really thankful that the American dancers were opened to my work and received me with their love and happiness. I learned a lot in this trip!!

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