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History of Shimmy Sisters



Alleka, Fianna, Lael, and Talea started a small dance troupe in 1999. We were asked to perform and then to teach at the Spirit Room in downtown Fargo. We decided to base our group from there. We chose the name 'Suhbi'. Suhbi is an Arabic word that means girlfriend. We were unaware at the time, that Arabic has no word for the meaning we wanted to convey, a close knit group of women.

We wanted the organization to be a friendship. We wanted everyone to have an equal say in how things were run. We thought that many heads put together would yield more knowledge than just one.

As time went on, some members moved away and new members were added. The group changed its name to Shimmy Sisters at the suggestion of Lael in 2002. It seemed a better fit. It would never be misunderstood and it conveyed the closeness that is cherished within the group.

New members are added when a proposal is brought forth about a student who has taken classes for at least 6 months. There has to be a unanimous vote by active members, that the new dancer will not only enhance our group as a dancer but also as a person. We feel dedication is the most important quality of a dancer. Invitations are not based on ability to choreograph or even the desire to perform. We want the caliber of our dance group to remain intact but also the closeness and comraderie of the group to continue.

Currently we have 4 active members, Talea Jajel, Ayanna, Iana, and Ella. Together we have over 70 years of dance experience with over 50 of those years in belly dance. We have 7 inactive members who moved away from our little group but they are still very much a part of us, Alleka, Fianna, Illatria, Shoshanna, Carissa Chaviva, Phaala, Lael, Ezra, Mystique, and Mena.

We have danced in the Fargo-Moorhead area in many different venues, including Poetry Slams, Weddings, Fundraisers, Art Exhibitions, Political Gatherings, and Multi Cultural events. We have performed in such places as Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre, The Fargo Theatre, Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State University, the Plains Art Museum, and the Hjemkomst Interpretive Center.

Modified: 30December2007, 24January2015