A Time Before Belly Dance Teachers

Can you imagine a time when there were NO Belly Dance teachers? Listen to Marta Shill Kouzouyan talk about how she and others learned how to Belly Dance at the time.

Marta is one of the producers of the Cairo Shimmyquake Festival in Los Angeles where the Fez Documentary will premiere on June 7, 2015!! For more information please visit CairoShimmyquake.com



Interview Footage with Feiruz Aram

This week’s blog features Feiruz Aram!! Listen to her talk about the sisterhood of the dancers in Los Angeles in the 60’s and 70’s. Can you believe that many of those dancers danced 6 nights a week!



Interview Footage with Awayshak Khoury Smit

Meet Antoinette Awayshak Khoury Smit!! Dubbed “The Casting Directors Dream” by Lou Shelaby, she was one of the legendary dancers at The Fez. In this week’s clip Antoinette talks about the connection The Fez had to Arab Community and so much more!



Dancing at the Source

Imagine dancing at one of the famous Belly Dance clubs in Hollywood during the 1960’s….
Not only are you the featured dancer dancing to live music but you have you’re own following. The dancers at The Fez experienced just that!! Dancers would have a following that would go to a particular club just to see them!

Not only that but the audience was also a mix of Arabs and non-Arabs, so the dancers learned how to dance in a way that was culturally appropriate. There is a myth that all the dancers of that time did “Am Cab” (American Cabaret). This was not true of the dancers at The Fez! They danced to Arabic music as well as an Arab Audience.

Have a listen to Antoinette Awayshal Khoury Smit and Helena Vlahos discussing this!

Our Dance Mothers

In January of 2012, I began filming interviews for the documentary. I brought together many of the main figures of the Fez, we sat down for a delicious Lebanese meal at Xai Verandah and the stories started flowing!

This clip exemplifies why I am doing this project. Watch as Saadoun Al Bayati, Barbara Al-Bayati, Aisha Ali, Antoinette Awayshak Khoury Smit, Marta Shill Kouzouyan, myself, Feiruz Aram, Helena Vlahos, Anisa, Tonya and Andreas Chianis, all musicians and dancers at The Fez, discuss passing down their art to future generations.