Dance Chat with Aubre Hill & Maria

Dance Chat with Aubre Hill: Episode 5 – Maria Sokolova

Los Angeles dance teacher, performer, and scholar Aubre Hill is now hosting a series of interviews on YouTube.  Dance Chat with Aubre Hill: Episode #5 features the amazing Maria Sokolova who, quite literally, teaches right down the street from my home. She’s a mesmerizing dancer to watch and I recommend catching a performance with Maria any chance you get.  Find out more about Maria on her website and be sure to follow her on Instagram for great belly dance content!

Dance Chat with Aubre Hill

When I heard that Aubre Hill was launching an interview series on YouTube, I immediately headed over to check them out. I have watched the first five issues and have enjoyed them all. I highly recommend giving this series a watch.  As of the writing of this blog post, you can catch conversations with illustrious dancers including:

LA Raqs Reboot

Aubre Hill has also taken a lead role in rebooting the LA Raqs website.  This is a great resource for anyone who lives, works, performs, and studies dance in the greater Los Angeles and Southern California regions. From San Diego to Santa Barbara and beyond, you can find event and class listings, informative articles, links to performance videos, and more.  Visit the site and be sure to sign up for their newsletter.

Aubre Hill

I am a huge fan of Aubre Hill and recommend taking the opportunity to study with her if you can.  You can find out more about her classes, events, and research on her website. I follow Aubre on her Facebook feed and on Instagram to enjoy following her adventures in dance.  Her troupe, The Qabila Foundation is also a joy to watch so be sure to look for them on your favorite social media platform.

I hope that you enjoy these talks with Aubre.  When you click through to YouTube to watch Maria and the rest of her Dance Chats, be sure to like and subscribe.  Leaving a message below a video helps the YouTube algorithm. If you like and admire Aubre, take a moment to leave a comment or drop an emoji to give her a boost and help her channel grow.

Enjoy this great dance content!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
September 23, 2022



Mayyas Win “America’s Got Talent” 2022

Mayyas – Lebanese Belly Dance Ensemble Win America’s Got Talent 2022!

It was a thrilling moment to watch the Lebanese dance troupe Mayaas take the win on America’s Got Talent.  While belly dancers have been a regular entry at the early stages of the competition.  It is rare for belly dance performers to make it within striking distance of the win.  This year, the Mayyas, under the artistic direction of Nadim Cherfan who founded the dance troupe to offer young Arab woman dancers an opportunity to perform professionally.

Cherfan has created a modern fusion rooted in traditional Arabic dances, fused with moves from around the globe.  Their performances on AGT were precise and supple, a balance of smooth and staccato, with slick transitions, and astonishing synchronicity, and sequential timing.

Not only did they win a cash prize, but we can also look forward to seeing the Mayyas in the future performing in Las Vegas at the Luxor. If you didn’t see them during the run of the TV show, you can catch their performances on YouTube!

What a happy day!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Sept. 16, 2022.


“Danse Arabe” – Article in Fanoos Magazine

“Danse Arabe” A Postcard from Egypt

In the latest issue of Fanoos Magazine, I shared some details about one of the postcards in my research collection.  This Postcard dates to 1900-1906 and was produced in Cairo by Lichetenstern and Harari. When it arrived at my home, I took a moment to contemplate and consider its origins.  This image appears in dozens of different postcards, but also as albumen prints and in travel, anthropological, and history publications.

Fanoos Magazine Article

For the September 2022 issue of Fanoos Magazine, I wrote an article about my research into the origins of this particular postcard and image.  In this piece, I share the answers I found when I asked this series of key research questions:

  • Who took this photo?
  • Where was this photo taken?
  • When was this photo taken?
  • How valuable is it as a tool for visually dating dance costumes of Egypt?

If you are curious and want to know more, click through and read this article to learn more.  It’s short but jam-packed with information about the photographer, this image, and details about the Cairo postcard industry c. 1900-1915.

Thanks for your continued support of my ongoing historical research!
Happy Dance & Costuming,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Sept 15, 2022