Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why I love Sebastopol.

On Sunday, my gallery opens at noon. As usual, I was running a few minutes late and was slightly distressed about this and my lack of a parking spot close to the front of my store. I decided to park my car down by the theaters in town as there is a huge lot there and always space. Luckily for me, when I walked through the Plaza on the way to my shop, there was a troop of belly dancers dancing to fantastic Arabic music.

I stopped in my tracks and watched. It was awesome! There were six dancers and I surmised that a few were students of the one dancer that stood out light a gleaming blue white diamond. Her manner was so confident. Her moves impeccable and timing perfect. I truly learned a lot about performance just watching her. She was not emanating, "I'm in love with myself" but more of a warm, loving, "I am here entertaining you and offering you my art!" I enjoyed it perfectly and decided I needed to learn how to do that! OK....keep you posted.

Many years before I was in the rug business, I worked at a night club in Hollywood as a waitress. It was a Greek nigh club with a full 6 piece band and one of the best belly dancers in the world. Her name was Helena Velahaos. She was on the Johnny Carson show and a complete talent. She had superlative costumes, incredible moves and was professional by every definition. One of the many skills she was able to perform in her show was folding a dollar bill whilst lying on her back with the muscles of her tummy. People used to gasp on that trick but the point being, I might recognize a good belly dancer if I saw one!

When I first opened my rug gallery in Sebastopol, I hired a belly dancer for my grand opening. I interviewed more than one and this lady was the best. Her stage name was Karawan and she danced to Arabic music. She was very good and made it look so easy! She formerly danced in San Francisco and Sonoma County at numerous venues.

The pictures you see above are of her at my shop: Paradise Oriental Rugs, Inc. in Sebastopol. She danced at my grand opening a few years ago and who knows, she may dance at my gallery in the future if a special occasion calls for some superlative entertainment.