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SO HERE’S THE DEAL:

Aziza flourished as an Oriental dancer in the mid 1960’s in California.  She danced at clubs in San Francisco, Hollywood and beyond— she’s credited as being the first belly dancer seen in “no man’s land” states like Omaha and Nebraska, as well as the first belly dancer seen in Canadian provinces like Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. She went on tour to all of those places and more with her own band and singer… sounds like a dream!

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Aziza worked with and studied under Fatma Akef, whose sister was the legendary Egyptian dancer Naima Akef (we did a feature on her about 2 months back). She was one of the OG members of Jamila Salimpour’s troupe Bal Anat.

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WHY WE LOVE HER:

After stumbling across some photos of her, I felt so inspired to do a feature on her ASAP. Her costumes, her EVERYTHING— she appears to be the epitome of the classy yet sexy vintage belly dancer that we crave to emulate in our dance today. We love how she took the dance to places where it hadn’t gone before around the US and Canada— a true pioneer in every sense of the word! She’s contributed tons of amazing, crazy and funny stories to the Gilded Serpent, had a blast reading through all of those. Here is a link to a list of really cool articles she’s written!

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We want to say thank you to Aziza for contributing all of her memories to the community— it’s exciting as a blossoming dancer to learn about the past from such a special, unique perspective.