Madam Habib~Belly Dancer
Madam Habib began studying the ancient, mysterious art of Belly Dance in 1993
with Delilah in Seattle WA.
She absorbed the movements quickly, falling in love with
the rich history and earthy spiritual energy of Oriental Dance.
Within her first year, she was hired as a belly dancer/performance
artist for the Arizona Renaissance Festival in Apache Junction
just outside Phoenix. Habib spent the next year traveling
across the United States belly dancing in "Gypsy Camp" at various
festivals nation wide.
It was Larkspur CO. in 1995 when "Belly Metal" was created.
Where Belly Dance meets Heavy Metal.
"I would go and practice behind one of the stages every day
and there was this old plaid flannel shirt that was left behind.
I looked in one of the pockets one day and found "Ride the Lightning" by
Metallica in cassette tape format. (ha ha, that's all there was then)"
It gets sort of boring practicing to Middle Eastern music all the time so
I popped in the tape to mix it up a little... "Enter Sandman" started to play
and that was it, "Belly Metal" was born. I have such a blast practicing to
80's hair bands! Ha ha, it's fun!
...the Journey continues...
The Fall of 1995 was very exciting for Habib!
After performing at the Summer season Renaissance Festival in
Shakopee MN, she was hired by "High Times" magazine and
flown to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to perform in the
1995 annual marijuana festival "The Cannabis Cup".
A documentary was made about the festival that year,
where you can view Madam Habib and her fellow
"Rainbow Gypsy Dancers" performing at the festival.
The documentary is appropriately named "Weed".
led to one of Habib's most memorable teachers.
"It was the year and a half I spent as apprentice to Cassandra's
Middle Eastern Dance troupe "Jawaahir" , based in Minneapolis MN.
We had four hours of class and two hours of troupe every week.
It was like being in Belly Dance college! I just loved it!!"
While living in Minneapolis, Habib also had the wonderful
experience of performing regularly with the electrified
Middle Eastern Band called "The Electric Arab Orchestra".
"It was awesome to work first hand with Arab Musicians. I learned
a lot about Middle Eastern Music that way".
In Spring of 1996, she traveled to Egypt and Turkey for the first time
and turned a childhood dream into reality. Habib explored
the beautiful mosques, bazaars and of course, the nightclubs
where traditional "Raqs Sharki" (dance of the east) was to be found.
December of 1997 found Habib back in Egypt to continue studying
the Egyptian and Bedouin way of life. Pilgrimages to Sinai and
Jordan helped enrich her understanding of Arab/Bedouin Culture.
"I had brief stint dancing on one of the casino boats that cruise
the international waters of the Red Sea. Gambling was legal in Israel
at that time, but the particulars of the gambling scene just didn't
appeal to me so I quit after the one cruise."
Returning to Seattle after a four year absence, Habib began
teaching Cabaret style Belly Dance classes (also known as
"Oriental Dance") while continuing to perform and study
other dance styles of the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.
"DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL"
In July of 2000 Madam Habib suffered a serious back injury
her life forever. She was kept bed ridden for the next two years!
"To see the positive side of it, which was EXTREMELY difficult at the time,
I like to believe that it gave me a chance to work on the energetic part of
Belly Dance. WHY do we dance? Why do I dance? What makes you
want to watch an Oriental Dancer? What draws you in...captivates you?
How does a Middle Eastern Dance routine flow
from beginning to end?" I had LOTS of time to ponder. "
It was in Habib's "Dark Night of the Soul" that she
began to study the folk dances
of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Iran and the Persian Gulf area in addition
to Egyptian Raqs Sharki.
Ouled Nail Dancer - Folk Life Festival 2006
Slowly regaining her mobility in the Spring of 2002, Habib
returned to performing and teaching Belly Dance.
She began hosting a monthly Belly Dance venue for the Seattle
Middle Eastern Dance Community which was held at the "Solstice"
coffee shop on "The Ave." in Seattle's University of Washington
District. The hour long show had three guest dancers and a featured
Belly Dancer. It was a huge success and was packed every month
until the bitter-sweet end as Habib prepared to make her next
life changing event...moving to Spain!
In June of 2003
Habib traveled to Morocco to seek out the "Schikaat",
"learned" woman who are a sort of Moroccan "Geisha". She traveled
from village to city studying and copying their unique North African,
or "Raqs Shaabi" performance styles.
Going for It!Habib had every intention of moving to Spain, but decided to "escape
the winter" first by spending it in stunning, ethereal Sedona,AZ.
It was the Fall of 2003 and I wanted to "Go for all my dreams
or die trying...! " A bit dramatic, but sincere. Of course it did not turn
out as she had planned, winter does indeed come to the high desert!
So... chilled and distracted by Sedona's intimate community... she spent
the next 71/2 years living there.
One of her dreams had been to live in Sedona, which is pretty much
in the middle of now where, seeming like an unlikely place to accomplish
much of anything... but she did.
"They say Sedona is the healing vortex center of the world. Supposedly
all the iron and crystal in the surrounding red rock formations focuses
energy and has the effect of forcing you to deal with aspects of your
personality which don't serve you any longer... at an accelerated rate too!"
It was from her home
base in Sedona that Habib began to manifest
her dreams. "The main thing I would like to do is tour the world performing
in a Middle Eastern Dance Show. I had this desire before the
"Belly Dance Super Stars" ever existed... so when they materialized
it was a no brainer for me to audition for their show."
Habib entered the
2004 "Belly Dancer of the Universe" competition in
Long beach, CA and swept the Fusion Category winning both first place
and peoples choice with "Belly Metal". She also placed third in the
Universal category by the judges choice and won the Universal title
by the peoples choice award.
"I entered the Belly Dance Superstars competition in Texas and
my preliminaries in the Fall of 2004, but only came in fourth in the finals.
That was OK, but not good enough to make the Superstars".
"After hearing the discomforts of their touring schedule
I was less disappointed to not have made it. "
Another dream of Habib's, included appearing on David Letterman's "Late Show"
for "Stupid Human Tricks". "Belly Dancers are always doing coin tricks and
I just got a little goofy with it.I like to make people laugh."
In late April of 2004, Habib went to an audition in Phoenix for the "Late show".
She was selected to be on the show for "Stupid Human Tricks" by flipping
a little hamburger from her lower abdomen up to a bun on her chest using
only her stomach muscles. Habib was asked to stay in New York and
appear on the show two extra days, but each day she was "bumped"
by established movie stars and celebrities. The episode aired on
May 2nd 2004.
always wanted to be in a Belly Dance Troop, so I started dancing
with a Flagstaff AZ. based Belly Dance Troop called "The Gypsy Chicks".
I officially became a "chick" in January of 2006.
Not only did we have a great time entertaining at events of all sorts,
we're truly close friends on and off the dance floor. Habib left the
Gypsy Chicks in late Summer of 2007 to hit the road traveling
the Renaissance Fair Circuit once more.
"My mission was to find and recruit musicians and dancers for
my idea of a traveling show "Circus Hipnotica".
That idea of a show has morphed into Mike Jung's show
"OptimistiChaos". In this crazy performance rock theater
spectacular, you can see every Belly Dance prop there every
was and then some. Along with zany and beautiful
characters. All set to the original music created by Mike Jung.
In the Spring of 2005,
Habib became the owner of the international
Belly Dance Costume Company "Ganesha Bazaar"In the winter of 2006
she set out for India for the first time on a Belly Dance Costume buying trip
for "Ganesha Bazaar". While in India Habib performs at weddings and
other events. Her dance studies also include Bhangra, Bollywood
and Classical Indian Dance.
one of the principle dancers in The Arabina Dance Company.
From Feb. of 2011- Nov. 2015 Habib performed regularly
at the famous Zorba's Greek Buffet in Chula Vista.
Madam Habib relocated to Santa Fe NM in Nov. 2015
and is planning on starting Belly Dance classes around
the new year.
To tour internationally in a theatrical Middle Eastern Dance production.
Presenting traditional and experimental forms of Middle Eastern Dance
to entertain and educate the public about the foundations of
the ancient and mysterious art we call "Belly Dance".
Some highlights of Dance Education include:
Seven days of non-stop music and dance classes.
Egyptian Cabaret- Sahra, Dalia Carella
Persian- Robyn Friend
Maghreb- Amel Tasfout
Moroccan Shikaat- Helene Ericksen
Tunisian- Helen Ericksen
Guedra- Katarina Burda
Debke- Hassan Harfouce
Turkish- Dalia Carella
Mizmar/Zurna- Omar Tekbilek
Minneapolis, MN 05/96-12/97 "Cassandra's School of Middle Eastern Dance" 4 hours of class weekly.
Levels 3,4 and 5. Two hours of weekly practice with Cassandra's troop "Jawaahir" (Jewels).
More instruction by: Suhaila Salimpour, Jamilla Salimpour, Ultra Gypsy, Delilah, Rashid,
Suzanna Del Vecchio, Eva Cernik, Hadia, Tamalyn Dallal, Racheal Brice, Aradia, Nadia Hamdi,
Raqia Hassan, Jajouka, Elena Lentini, Sabura, Hossam Ramsy, Jillina, Meleeha, Aisha Ali, .
Angelika Nemeth, Yasmina, Rabia, Magdy El Leisy, Margo Abdo O'dell, Sabrina Fox,
Rachel George, Zoe Jakes, Aubrey Hill and many others.
Other dance styles and performance art: Jazz, Egyptian Folk, Tahteeb, Persian, Turkish Rom,
Tunisian, Saudi, Shikaat, Ouled Nail, Debke, Fire Dancing, Belly Metal and
Snake Charming (Snake Dance).
Musical skills: Zils, Mizmar, Riq, Dumbek, guitar.