Blog entry for Salimpour's school "Summer of Love" contest
I first discovered Suhaila Salimpour through my good friends at pennsic, Tshaya (ziah) mickinney & Carla Monnich from Turku around 1999. However I hadn't realized that I had already been learning for years many movements that had been "telephone gamed" all the way to the east coast way into the early 1990's! That all came to fruition after multiple years of study into the 2000's.
I was pulled into the techniques & highly skilled muscular control. After training with her VHS tapes a few years, I was able to study from the mothership in 2001. I had prepared via email with Suhaila for months ahead of time for a 2 hour private lesson. Sadly, not being familiar with the area, I traveled north Instead of south & Suhaila had left thinking I was a no show. After BAWLING into my boyfriend (now husbands) chest, I talked with the woman there & she told me to come to the level 1 & 2 classes that night. I went & Suhaila was very kind- I was kind of glad I didn't get the private because my mind was blown from the level 1 class. From there on I was determined to nail the glute squeeze & insane layers she presented. After a few years of obsession, I realized that much of what Suhaila's mother, Jamila Salimpour, format contained was strikingly similar to the style I had first learned back in 1992 when I first started... with some variations in movements & names, but very similar. I then realized how saturated with Salimpour training I had already been without even knowing it!
This propelled me to study more with Jamila's style to this day! I just can't get enough!
This brings me to the family tree & legacy within the Salimpour school. Through my experience & I know countless others have had similar experiences realizing how much the Salimpour format has affected so much of what we know of bellydance in America. Suhaila mentioned a story when I was training with her in Ohio this past October, about how her mother was an amazing cook as well as dancer. She apparently held her recipes very dear to her heart & were unique to her line & her legacy. They would remember that specific dish because of its long line of family uniqueness, not anyone could just get this special recipe unless you were respectful enough or already considered family. Her format & training is the same. I would be honored to be a part of this tree.
I have been wanting to be certified in the Salimpour school for over a decade & thanks to my amazing community of friends & students, I was able to finally get a level 1 Suhaila certification this past October in cleveland, ohio 2016. I have been able to study only for her short workshops & occasional mothership classes. My budget never allowed me to get certified, so this was my practice. Multiple times Suhaila assumed I was certified at workshops because I had been training so long & knew much of the format. Yet, embarrassingly, I had to admit that I still did not have a certification. Finally last year my students & friends organized a "gofundme" so I could finally get "bonified" Salimpour school! My first Salimpour intensive was a whirlwind of sweat, awakenings, crying, stories, & countless "a-ha!" moments. That's the kicker, it never seems to disappoint any time I study from the school.
After I passed the test, it only propelled me to study more & more.
I am very anxious to get the Jamila format certification, the steps, the families & particularly the finger cymbals & patterns are of high interest to me. I'm drawn to this style so much & pull so much of this into my dance style as well.
I'm happy to share my knowledge with everyone Pittsburgh through my classes & performance in hopes that more people will find the Salimpour school to train & educate just as I plan to do.
So much of what the Salimpour school & family has done for the bellydance community has been immeasurable... producing so many famous & loved dancers for several decades. I think we owe it to our future dancers to study from a school that has roots that run this deep & strong.
I hope to help the school grow in that line of training as a student, as well as an educator & professional dancer.
Lastly, Thank you for keeping it available for dancers like me who can't afford to study regularly & thrive off of contests & opportunities like this one. The summer of love contest I'm sure will bring a huge showing of dedication, passion & art to the school.
In the mean time, I'm going to work on WALKING HT DB R, with DT 3/4 shimmies, with FT rib slides DB R!