Theatrical Bellydance Conference | New York City

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We wish to bring people together, to allow diverse artists to find common ground and interests. This is an environment where dancers of all bellydance styles can work together in classes, learn together and learn from each other. The instructors, who come from a variety of bellydance genres and backgrounds of experience, will be offering workshops that will have something for everyone; not just focused on genre-specific bellydance technique, but more on universals that everyone can feel a part of, and that you can apply to your own work.

Our 2014 Featured Bands

  • Beatbox Guitar The uncommon duo, Beatbox Guitar combine human beatbox, classical guitar, electric sitar, and various other eclectic instruments to create an innovative mix of flamenco, psychedelic rock, and hip hop. Human beatboxer Pete List’s effortless flow of beat and breath on the mic showcases Rob Mastrianni’s intricate guitar and electric sitar stylings. Their second recording, “Duality,” is now available on iTunes and at
  • Scott Wilson and Efendi Back in 1959 when I was five years old, my mother, the famous belly dancer Serena Wilson, used to bring me with her to the Egyptian Gardens nightclub. She performed there every night in the heart of “Greektown” on 8th Avenue, NYC. I was fascinated with the music of the oud, kanun, and bouzouki (the instruments of the mid-East). When I was 14, I wanted to be just like my idols – Chick Ganimian, John Berberian, Bob Zakian (where are you now?), and George Mgrdichian. I couldn’t find an oud at the time, so I built one out of a wooden box. Rip, my father, teased me, calling it a “guitoud.” Rip plays the dumbek, the Middle Eastern drum, so he helped me a lot.
    I went to the Feenjon down in the village every weekend in the ’70s to see Ali Hafeed, Avram Pengas, Manny Dworman, and others perform. It wasn’t just that they were talented musicians, but they were incredible entertainers in a very competitive world back then. Long gone seems to be the musicianship combined with a sense of humor, as we are in a era of “serious,” “ethnically pure,” “mystical” dance to monotone dirges of music. Through the many years since my “guitoud” days I have had many wonderful opportunities to perform. I worked for Italian Cruise Lines in the 70’s playing oud and singing for cabaret belly dance shows throughout the Caribbean. The Turkish consulate brought me to Mexico to play music for the promotion of tourism to Turkey.
    I studied the Turkish language for several years at NYU with Belgin Camli, a great teacher. I travel to Turkey every year to learn more music, study the language, and party. One of my greatest opportunities there was in the year 2000. I was on the Hulya Avsar Show, where I played my invention, the “baglama-Hydra” – a combination oud, saz, and guitar.
    I met and married Leni Cohen, the love of my life, after she belly danced with my group at Le Figaro. I then dragged her to Istanbul for our Bal Ayi (honeymoon). She often drums with me.
    I now perform at the Grisly Pear on McDougal street every Sunday night.
    I often play for belly dance classes at
    I still freelance at Grey Advertising, but also teach ukulele and magic in a New York public school!
    You can reach me at

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