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  1. #61
    Member Outi's Avatar
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    Default Maya in Arabic

    There was an question about word "maya".

    "Maya" as pronounced [maija] is "water" in Arabic.
    "Meya" as [meija] is "a hundred".

  2. #62
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Nefertiti

    Quote Originally Posted by ankestamen View Post
    Hi A'isha, I just wanted to state that my mom danced with Jodette at the Worlds fair. Her name was Nefertiti. Jodette was her first teacher and she went on to take from many others. I continue teaching in the exact same way I was taught, except for the fact I choreographed every one of the beginning moves, and a second dance to intermediate moves. It is funny, that now days, people don't dance fast like they used to. But when I watch dancers from Lebanon I find my style is still more in that area. I wanted to learn Cane dance, so I bought Jodette's Baladi tape VHF. It really was good, and I found that I picked it up so quickly because her style is still my style of dance. Just a little history for you, memories.
    Dear Ankestamen,
    Well, you have just made my day!! Your mother was one of the most lovely women I had ever seen, when I saw her dance in 1974. I am so happy that you wrote and tell her that she was very inspiring to at least one very new dancer, and if they had eyes in their heads, probably to many, many more!!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  3. #63
    Junior Member kalila_raks's Avatar
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    Default Jodette's Belly Dancing Academy

    I currently take classes from Jodette. The previous poster pretty much covered all the information I have on her. The photos on her website are rather old. She must be close to 80 now, although no one knows how old she really is because she's been telling everyone she's 49 for years now. The only clue she gives as to her true age is that she says there was a large earthquake in Jordan on the day she was born, July 4. She is originally from Jordan, but she eventually moved to Cairo. Her father is Egyptian. In Cairo she did dance at Badia's nightclub. Her mentors included Badia and Tahia Karioka. She moved to the United States in 1960 after marrying an American man. She began teaching in Sacramento in 1962 out of her house in midtown Sacramento. From there she started doing workshops all over the country and eventually opened a studio. She used to own a shop in Sacramento where she designed and sold clothing, and her clients included Jimmi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. She has photographs to prove this. She started a mail order belly dance supply business which was one of the first of its kind in the United States. I think claims like "THE first" are hard for anyone to prove, but she was definately one of the first. Like another poster said, exaggeration is part of her culture. She exaggerates her compliments to others as much as her claims about herself. However, one should not allow her embellished stories cover up the fact that she does have very authentic roots and she was doing this in the United States very early on. She has also danced for and known some very famous people. Her studio is covered wall to wall with pictures of her with various stars and in various nightclubs singing and dancing.

    A word about her singing career. She only sang while she was in the Middle East under the name Kamelia. She was known as Kamelia of Jordan. When she left for the United States, one of her protoges asked if Jodette would give her the rights to her songs. She agreed and the protoge also took on the name Kamelia. When Jodette moved to the United States she concentrated on her dancing and costuming. She used the name Kamelia to dance for a while, but eventually reverted back to her legal name of Jodette.

    As to her rivalry with Jamilla, Jodette says that she saw Jamilla after her husband died and made peace with her. They are not close friends, but there is no longer as much animosity. Much of it was that Jodette doesn't believe that some of the things Jamilla and now Suhaila are teaching are authentic, and indeed much of their style is American inspired. She resented that Jamilla took some of the credit for being "the first" because she didn't feel Jamilla was entirely authentic. However, she has mostly let that die and simply concentrates on her own students and on Sacramento.

  4. #64
    Junior Member kalila_raks's Avatar
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    Default Addendum re Jodette's business practices

    I've seen a lot of claims on this board of Jodette having less than honest business practices, but I have yet to see some specific complaints. I have dealt with Jodette for close to three years now, and I, like Ai'sha, have never had a problem with her in the business aspect of it. (Not to say we haven't had personality clashes, but I think that's bound to happen on occasion with any teacher-student relationship). I agree with Ai'sha that Jodette certainly has some practices that I think to myself "I certainly would never do it that way," but she's always very upfront about what she expects and what you can expect, and she adheres to it. The only dishonesty I've seen in my time at the studio is from some of the students. Jodette commonly starts dancers out with professional costumes with nothing more than their word that they will make payments on them. More than once I have seen dancers take a $500 costume after sometimes only paying $100 on it and walk away without paying the balance. Jodette eats the cost of this. So I would just encourage people to be careful before posting about Jodette's business practices unless you have specific first hand knowledge of them.

  5. #65
    V.I.P. Aziyade's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kalila_raks View Post
    As to her rivalry with Jamilla, Jodette says that she saw Jamilla after her husband died and made peace with her. They are not close friends, but there is no longer as much animosity. Much of it was that Jodette doesn't believe that some of the things Jamilla and now Suhaila are teaching are authentic, and indeed much of their style is American inspired. She resented that Jamilla took some of the credit for being "the first" because she didn't feel Jamilla was entirely authentic. However, she has mostly let that die and simply concentrates on her own students and on Sacramento.
    Thank you for posting this. It's so nice to know that they made peace!
    You should encourage Jodette to post or at least write about her life so people can learn more about her! Does she have any performance videos of her style of dance, or maybe her students dancing that way? I'd love to see them!

  6. #66
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Jodette

    Dear Kalila,
    Jodette may or may not remember me, but please give her my highest regards and tell her M'a khalis al shukur, "with purest thanks", for starting me off on the right foot, so to speak in the art of Egyptian belly dance! I feel that because of her influence in my early dance days, I am able to really SEE things about the dance that I otherwise would have missed.
    Regards,

    A'isha

  7. #67
    Junior Member kalila_raks's Avatar
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    Default Jodette's Life

    Jodette, unfortunately, does not know how to use the internet! She even has me sometimes perform simple tasks for her like emailing. Her website is maintained by somebody else. I'm not really sure who. However, there are some stories about her in the book "Belly Laughs." I think you can get it on Amazon. She also has books that she has made that Ai'sha mentioned that are compilations of news stories and book excerpts about "the legends." Interspersed are some of her personal narratives as to her experience with them. She has instructional DVDs and also performance DVDs for sale as well. I would reccomend calling the number on her website to inquire about ordering any of them.

  8. #68
    V.I.P. Kharmine's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kalila_raks View Post
    Jodette, unfortunately, does not know how to use the internet! She even has me sometimes perform simple tasks for her like emailing. Her website is maintained by somebody else. I'm not really sure who. However, there are some stories about her in the book "Belly Laughs." I think you can get it on Amazon. She also has books that she has made that Ai'sha mentioned that are compilations of news stories and book excerpts about "the legends." Interspersed are some of her personal narratives as to her experience with them. She has instructional DVDs and also performance DVDs for sale as well. I would reccomend calling the number on her website to inquire about ordering any of them.
    Kalila_raks, I am very curious to know Jodette's take on the origin of the American term "belly dance."

    It would be interesting to know exactly what she remembers about first hearing it, and her opinion of its origin.

  9. #69
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A'isha Azar View Post
    Dear Ankestamen,
    Well, you have just made my day!! Your mother was one of the most lovely women I had ever seen, when I saw her dance in 1974. I am so happy that you wrote and tell her that she was very inspiring to at least one very new dancer, and if they had eyes in their heads, probably to many, many more!!
    Regards,
    A'isha
    So glad to make your day. For the fun of it, go to my website at: Ankestamen

    You will see a few pictures.

    Needless to say, Nefertiti passed away in 2000. I never had any video of her, only a bunch of pictures. I did however, create a book "Nefertiti Presents, Belly Dancing the Basics. The book has only pictures of her in it. She blessed it before her passing. It sells on Amazon.com as a tribute to her Legacy. I'm glad she inspired you and I know of many others. There are many grandbaby bellydancers in the Phoenix Valley who learned from her many teacher students.

  10. #70
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Nefertiti

    Quote Originally Posted by ankestamen View Post
    So glad to make your day. For the fun of it, go to my website at: Ankestamen

    You will see a few pictures.

    Needless to say, Nefertiti passed away in 2000. I never had any video of her, only a bunch of pictures. I did however, create a book "Nefertiti Presents, Belly Dancing the Basics. The book has only pictures of her in it. She blessed it before her passing. It sells on Amazon.com as a tribute to her Legacy. I'm glad she inspired you and I know of many others. There are many grandbaby bellydancers in the Phoenix Valley who learned from her many teacher students.
    Dear Ankestamen, I am so sorry about the koss of your mother. In the photos on your website, she is every bit as lovely as I remember her. What an incredible bone structure!! She was also a really nice person.
    Regards,
    A'isha

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