Teacher/Performer Survey

Favorite Teacher and Performer Survey

In mid-1997, Sherezzah performed a survey via the med-dance mailing list. (To subscribe to the list, send an email saying "subscribe med-dance" (without the quotes) to majordomo@world.std.com.)

The Questions

The questions were as follows:

  1. Who is your favorite Middle Eastern Dance teacher?
  2. (Optional) Do you have some other favorite teachers? (Please limit response to max of 2 or 3 names).
  3. Who is your favorite Middle Eastern dancer (i.e. performer)?
  4. (Optional) Any other "top" performers? (Again, please limit to 2 or 3.)
  5. How long have you been dancing?
    a) 0-5 years; b) 6-10 years; c) more than 10 years
  6. How many teachers have you experienced (enough to form an opinion of them)?
    a) a few (1-5); b) some (6-15); c) a goodly number (16-25); d) a lot (over 25)
  7. Where are you from (country, general region if USA)?
The last 3 questions were for demographics only.

The Results

For the teachers and performers, there didn't seem to be much significance in distinguishing between the top favorite and the other favorites, so they are combined in these results.

Favorite Teachers

  1. (6 votes)
    Cassandra, Shareen el Safy
  2. (4 votes)
    Ibrahim Farrah, Morocco, Zahra Zuhair
  3. (3 votes)
    Leila Gamal
  4. (2 votes)
    Amaya, Shakira, Suhaila Salimpour, Tamalyn Dallal
  5. (1 vote)
    Afifa, Amani, Amina Goodyear, Angelika Nemeth, Bàraka, Carolena Nericcio, Dahlena, Dalia Carella, Eva Cernik, Hadia, Horacio, Jordan Dancer, Karen Barbee, Kay Artle, Mahmoud Reda, Malia de Felice, Margo Abdo O'Dell, Mésmera, Mo Geddawi, Nadia Hamdi, Nanna Candelaria, Ragia Hassan, Rashid Salama, Sahra, Sese, Sharon Arsilian, Suzanna del Vecchio, Yolanda Leard, Yousry Sharif, Zeina (Dee Birnbaum), Zhaleh Fereshteh

Favorite Performers

  1. (5 votes)
  2. (4 votes)
    Suzanna del Vecchio
  3. (3 votes)
    Lelia Gamal, Lucy, Zahra Zuhair
  4. (2 votes)
    Amani, Dalia Carella, Eva Cernik, Shahrazad (Germany), Suhaila Salimpour
  5. (1 vote)
    Alexandra King, Amaya, Amina Goodyear, Andrea Deagon, Dahlena, Fahtiem, FCBD, Fifi Abdou, Karen Barbee, Kathryn Ferguson, Kay Artle, Malia de Felice, Margo Abdo O'Dell, Mésmera, Mona el Said, Nadia Hamdi, Nadia Gamal, Nagua Fouad, Nanna Candelaria, Nazaree, Nelli Fouad, Rashid Salama, Sabiba, Sahar, Sahra, Shakira, Shareen el Safy, Sohair Zaki, Suraya Hilal, Tamalyn Dallal, Una, "older Egyptian style-no specific one"


Years dancing:
  5  a) 0-5
  8  b) 6-10
  6  c) more than 10
# teachers experienced:
  2  a) 1-5
 11  b) 6-15
  4  c) 16-25
  3  d) over 25


This was not, of course, a scientific survey. There were about 20 responses, which was somewhat less than 10% of the med-dance subscribership at the time. However, the respondents came from all over the USA and the world, with all levels of experience, and probably reflected a fair cross-section of the list members.

Some people may know of my own feelings about how wonderful Cassandra is, and seeing Cassandra at the top of the list, may think I "loaded the ballot box." I did not--I didn't need to. Without any effort on my part, about 30% of the respondents put her among the top, and I think that's pretty impressive.

But I cannot disagree with any of the responses. All the teachers and performers named are excellent (at least, all the ones I know of; the few I don't know I of course can't have an opinion on). Certainly it would be worthwhile to attend a workshop with any of the named teachers, or a show with any of the named performers.

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