Gilded Serpent presents...

Pangia Does Texas: A Warm Howdy!

Princess Farhana by Carl Sermon

by Denise Mannion
photos by Carl Sermon
posted March 1, 2011

Carmine Guida (New York) Pat Olson (Californina) and I, are all members of the band, Pangia. In August of 2010, we had the pleasure of teaching workshops and performing  at Yaa Halla, Y’all!  in Grapevine, of the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas.  It was a distinct delight to have an enthusiastic, involved, and engrossed participants attend our workshops.
Our Saturday show, featuring Mia Sha’uri with her fiery red fans and sensual interpretation of Pat’s vocal “Sevda”, Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, lead the audience into singing along with Pat as she danced to an Egyptian pop version of “The Yellow Rose of Texas”. We also played for effervescent Karen Barbee, and the vibrant Princess FarhanaBozenka and Tamalyn Dallal added elegance and sophistication to complete our show.  Bozenka, with her sweet personality, displayed  stellar dance technique, allowing her dance to emote true passion, fire, and originality. It was an extraordinary experience to play for dancers who were intensely excited to dance to our music and who provided us with an unforgettable and treasured memory to cherish of playing for dancers who became one with the music!  It was a brilliant gathering of dance stars–just as advertised.

After our show, we played for the 10th Anniversary Celebration Party where many of the dance stars joined us on stage to dance while Isis invited the audience to indulge in artistically decorated cup cakes and refreshments.

As an event to participate and attend, I would have to rate this one “top-notch”. (5 Zills!)  We were treated as professionals by a warm, helpful, and friendly staff. This alone made our stay enjoyably stress-free. Although it was hotter than a sauna outside, the convention center was cool, spacious and inviting.  The host hotel, the Baymont Inn, was within walking distance of the convention center; however, there was always a van to shuttle us back and forth as needed during the entire stay. Isis, Del, and Al made all of this happen! 

Yaa Halla, Y’all! is an enormous and well-attended production with four days of workshops, competition, and performances, including a lunch symposium/panel discussion. Nationally-known vendors, in addition to local purveyors of all things Bellydance, offered enticements; there was even a place to book a photo shoot with the  well-known dance photographer, Carl Sermon, and his artful and knowledgeable wife, Ma*shuqa, assisting with scheduling as well as ideas and poses for the dancers.

Flavorful, delectable, and reasonably priced food was available from a noteworthy local Lebanese restaurant called Byblos. The event production staff was large and kept things running smoothly; the red-shirted ambassadors were always available to answer questions and help whenever needed. After the events of each day, we decompressed at a local restaurant where we reconnected with many Belly dance friends from across the country, and additionally, we met many new friends from around the world, sharing food, companionship, and laughter.  Understanding what it takes to produce a successful one-day workshop and show, we want to thank Isis and Del, the Star Dancers staff, as well as the volunteers and all who made this a memorable experience for Pangia!



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