Tuesday, February 11, 2014


"The Belly Dance Handbook" release party at Studio Iqaat, Los Angeles. Photo by Graphic Vibe/LA

 Dreams really do come true…

And setting goals and working hard makes a dream become a reality.

Live stream viewer Alice Dee sent this picture  
This past Friday, February 7th, 2014 I had proof of that at the launch party for my “Belly Dance Handbook”. The party, held at Studio Iqaat in Los Angeles was fabulous. Some of my favorite LA dancers performed Egyptian, American Cabaret and Tribal Fusion, and my favorite drummers Issam Houshan and Donavon Lerman, who owns the venue, played. The party was streaming live on the internet, and people from all over  the world "attended"!

Writing the book was a dream of mine for years. Combining my two favorite things- dancing and writing- seemed to be a no-brainer, but it was also years of hard work. It was work that I enjoyed immensely, and did with love, but still, it was A Process.

Sabrina shows how smart belly dancers are!
I’m not sure if you readers realize that I actually started this blog in 2009 to force myself to write the book!  The idea had been floating around in my head for ages before I started working to make it a reality. I wrote at home with kitties sitting on my lap batting at the keyboard, and on the road in foreign hotel rooms at 3:00 am when I couldn’t sleep. Then I edited each and every thing I wrote mercilessly. Though writing came easily, other things did not. I’m a huge techno-tard, and I pushed myself to learn how to do things that were difficult for me, yet simple for others, like upload pictures and format a blog…and I’m still learning!  
Alli Ruth of Finland performing at the party
Before putting out the book myself, I sent it to a number of agents and publishers, who all told me that my book wouldn’t work because “there are already books on belly dancing”. So I realized I had to pull up my big girl panties and do it myself. This was great cause it meant that I could do the book the way I wanted to, but it was also kinda scary because I knew the staggering amount of work it would mean! Teaming up with graphic designer/ photographer Maharet Hughes (who is also a belly dancer, of course) made my vision come true. She understood what I needed and wanted the book to be, and we worked on it together for
Maharet Hughes, The book's designer
almost two years, through five re-writes, technical glitches, problems with photos and formatting. If I’m the mother of “The Belly Dance Handbook”, she’s my Baby Daddy!  When we first got the proofs of the book, we looked through them jumping up and down with glee, then started taking tons of pictures of them like crazy people, because the book was finally finite.  But then reality set in when we realized we’d have to correct the proof, and do everything all over again…which we did three more times!

  And giving credit where credit is due, I’m giving a huge shout-out to all you readers for your years of support!  Your comments, questions and wonderful emails have kept this blog- and the book- going!



Get a signed copy of  “The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion For The Serious Dancer” here:


Purchase  “The Belly Dance Handbook” on Amazon:

Find out about wholesale rates for dance studios, book clubs, teachers and troupes by emailing here: princessraqs@gmail.com

Cover Design and photo by Maharet Hughes/ Graphic Vibe LA

1 comment:

  1. Thank You, Thank you for writing this book! Its all the things you want to ask in class, but too busy dancin' too! I just got this book yesterday and it will be a great reference book. For Students & Teachers of all genres!