Bellography: Mayyadah – October 2008

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Mayyadah is Logan's answer to the energy crisis. Hot! Hot! Hot! Brimming with natural talent, an obvious sense of humor and enviable stage presence, Mayyadah is a force to contend with. Egyptian cabaret being her medium, she can be effortlessly soft and luscious one minute, then hand you a drum solo that will take your breath away. Mayyadah knows how to connect with her audience. From the moment she takes the floor, she takes the audience for a thrill ride. And what a ride it is! I'm pretty sure that Logan is several degrees hotter every time Mayyadah is dancing.

Photos: Courtesy of Mayyadah

Born and raised in Logan, Mayyadah stumbled onto belly dancing while attending USU in 2003. She saw a flyer for a belly dancing class, and as she says, "I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had literally no dance background, and I had never seen any belly dancing anywhere. I just decided that it was different, and I wanted to do it. From the first class, there was an instant attraction. I love it allthe costumes, music, isolations, fluidity, the movement and it's female friendly."

Mayyadah was asked to join Ziva right after her first semester session ended. She danced with them for a year, and then Sumra recruited her for Shazadi. "It was quite a hurdle to transform me into a dancer, said Mayyadah. "I had always wanted to dance, and I had found the perfect venue. Egyptian cabaret is truly my thing. I feel so lucky to have evolved as a dancer with an organization that was already building its legacy."

The belly dancer is very grateful of her peers and mentors. "I want to sincerely thank Shems, Sumra, Kinza and Shimmering Sands School of Dances, said Mayyadah. "With their high-quality instruction and faith in my abilities, they have helped me to become the dancer I am today. Being a member of Shazadi has provided invaluable opportunities for me to travel and to study with dancers like Ansuya, Virginia, Aziza and Sahra."

Sticking with the same theme isn't in the cards for Mayyadah. "I am passionate about Middle Eastern music. However, I have been experimenting with indie rock and finding new inspiration for choreography," said Mayyadah. Thia's Halloween show is so much fun because I get to break that out. I want to bring a more western approach to the dance and place some videos on YouTube. It might broaden people's awareness regarding bellydancing."

Last year at Thia's Halloween Bash, Mayyadah performed the hit of the evening, belly dancing as Axel Rose to "Welcome to the Jungle." She has a video of this dance on YouTube.

"I love Utah's dance community. Everyone is so nice. I love getting together with all the dancers. It can get lonely in Logan. I have been inspired and influenced by Stephanie's brilliance, Amina's flair, Amanda's technique, Shahravar's effortless grace and unique style and Thia, who seems to do everything and anything. She is so amazing.

For more info regarding Mayyadah and Shazadi, go to moon_face, or shimmy/shazadi.htm.