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Carol Tandava Henning

Carol Tandava Henning


Get to know funny and talented Carol Tandava Henning, actress, stand-up comedienne and now … belly dancer. Carol says belly dance lessons changed her life, helping her heal both physically and emotionally after undergoing emergency abdominal surgery. Through wit and humor, she describes that journey in her solo show, Blood on the Veil, which explores the healing and transformative power of dance.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][mk_toggle style=”simple” title=”Transcript”]Sandi: Welcome to another addition of Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein. When it comes to performing, Carol Tandova Henning has been there, done that. She’s a dancer, actor, comedian, director, writer, producer; but, fifteen years ago, Carol’s career came to a crashing halt when, at age thirty, she suffered a traumatic abdominal injury made worse by three herniated disks in her lower back, leaving her with very limited mobility. Her condition didn’t improve much despite surgery, physical therapy, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi but then, Carol was introduced to Sharqi, a fitness based belly dance method. That lead to the Belly Queen School, and its company of dancers. Carol honed her technique in a wide variety of Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese and American cabaret styles that brought about a profound rebirth of her creative energy. Carol adopted the name Tandova, sand script for the Hindu God Shiva’s dance of destruction and rebirth.

She performs throughout New York City, and her solo show, Blood on the Veil, explores the healing and transformative power of dance. Using wit and humor, Carol shares her personal journey to belly dancing, as well as tracing its authentic roots and positive effects on body and soul. By the way, Carol has not abandoned her standup comedy and improvisational theatre work.

Carol. Thanks for joining me today.

Carol: Hi. Thanks for having me today.

Sandi: So, you were involved, I read, in the arts from a young age. Getting your first pair of ballet shoes at five. You’re doing, or your parents?

Carol: Mine. Totally. I don’t know I actually started. I remember being in the library and there was a book with all these pictures of ballet dancers. But it wasn’t pretty ballet dancers, it was the exercises. It was showing diagrams of tondus and Pilates and degages.

Sandi: Umm Hmm

Carol: I was like “Mommy I want to do that”. My mom was like, yea, okay.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: But, then a dance studio opened up down the block from where I was going to school. I said, “Oh Mommy, mommy.” She said, “Well, okay.” Actually, it was tap, ballet, and gymnastics. That’s all we had back then. I had a crooked spine, so I was forbidden to do the gymnastics. I had to sit it out, and watch all the girls do their tumbles, and I couldn’t them. I did the tap and the ballet and I just absolutely loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Sandi: Did you ever think as you got older that this was in the stars for you as a career?

Carol: Well, I mean, I

Sandi: Were you talented?

Carol: Yea. I mean, I was a big fat ham. [Laughing]

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: I was a big ol’ ham. The stage is my natural environment. There’s some shame attached to that too, because we live in an attention seeking culture. To say, I want to be on the stage, is tantamount to saying I want everyone to look at me, look at me, look at me and how wonderful I am and my wonderfulness. I didn’t want that.

Sandi: So this was a means to an end. It might not have been specifically dance, but that’s sort of what started you on that road to performing.

Carol: Yes.

Sandi: How’s that?

Carol: I think so. I think so. But there is something very special about dance, that, when I hear music, I literally cannot stay still.

Sandi: So that was just a personal pleasure for you, not a necessarily realistic goal. In terms of some of the other areas that you pursued, acting, directing, standup comedy, that was much more “attainable” for you?

Carol: Well, it never seemed attainable to me. It really never seemed like it would ever be a viable career for me. I was compelled to do it, and so I would go and take the classes and join the local theatre company. I did Shakespeare when I was a teenager. Just memorized a whole bunch of the siliques because that’s what I felt compelled to do because, not because I felt I was ever going to perform Hamlet, but because I also felt a special connection to the words.

Sandi: Umm Hmm

Carol: To the language, to the just getting up on stage, to articulating, to storytelling. Of course, I love the Chaucer and the Shakespeare and memorized more sonnets and siliques just because it was fun.

Sandi: So, eclectic is a fair adjective to describe your interests.

Carol: Or, or or

Sandi: Unfocused. [Laughing]

Carol: [Laughing] That’s another good way to put it.

Sandi: Right. I’m not your parent, so I can say eclectic.

Carol: Yes.

Sandi: What was your first paying performance job? Do you remember?

Carol: That would have been in standup comedy.

Sandi: How did that come about? When did you know you were funny?

Carol: I had a friend in high school, and I was having dinner with her folks and they worked on a morning show and that was right at that time when the comedy was booming, mid to late 80s. They were having comics on the talk show, and I, somehow I had gotten on a tear. I just had them in stitches. I never even thought of myself as funny, as a person, at all. So, I knew that I could do that. I started going out with the comedian, and I would just kind of follow him around to his gigs. He wasn’t really all that funny, although he actually ended up being a head writer for a major, and won Emmy awards, so go figure.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: [Laughing] How did that happen, I don’t know. He was a very good MC and so I would just follow him around and he would do his thing. I would be like, actually, you know, that really doesn’t seem all that difficult. So, one day, then I broke up with him and started dating another comedian who was even less funny. I said, well if he can do it, I really can do it.

Sandi: Yea, really, come on. Yes. Umm Hmm.

Carol: So, I started pestering him, and he said ok, I’ll take you to an open mike. He took me to this place called the Eagle Tavern, which was one of the big open mikes. Well known, if there’s any comedians listening, they’ll know exactly what that was.

Sandi: In Manhattan?

Carol: Right. I didn’t have any material at all. But, what happened, was the microphone, the person up before me was very short, so the microphone was set to low.

Sandi: Came up to what, you navel?

Carol: Exactly. So, I walked up on stage and I just, I looked down, and immediately, the audience started laughing. I was like, wow.

Sandi: This is easy.

Carol: Yea. So, I had, actually I did have a couple little jokes, that we had, I had kind of tossed it around with my boyfriend and thought about well I could say this, I could say that. But because I had gotten that first laugh, they like me. So, then, after you do that, it almost doesn’t matter what you say. If it’s sort of funny, but you have funniness in you, they’ll just

Sandi: Umm Hmm

Carol: The energy is right then.

Sandi: There’s an attraction.

Carol: Exactly. So, that went great. It was the next thirty or forty times that didn’t go so well. But once you have, there’s really like an addiction, once you have that first “Yea I can do it. I know I can get up there and I can make them laugh.” Then, you just keep going to get a taste of that again.

Sandi: You don’t get paid for that do you?

Carol: Not when you do open mikes, no.

Sandi; So, you had to have another form of employment while you did all this experimentation didn’t you?

Carol: Yep. I am a big believer in, having a good day job, and getting a 401K.

Sandi: Mm

Carol: There are lots of very successful people that I know, who are successful now, who had legitimate day jobs for a long, long time.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: Then, only quit their day job when they really had a lot of money coming in from their creative work. For me, I got a job as a legal secretary, which I was terrible at, but I was good at programing the computer to do my work for me. So, I started writing macros and then I became a programmer.

Sandi: If you’re just joining us, my guest today is Carol Henning, who is a comedian, director, writer, producer, and belly dancer. We’ll talk about that in a second.

You’re living your life, going about doing your thing. All is right with the world, and then all a sudden you get slammed with this abdominal injury. You were thirty, right?

Carol: I was thirty. Yep.

Sandi: And things are going along just great.

Carol: That was the thing. They weren’t really all that great. That was the interesting thing about what belly dancing did for me. I was doing all these different things and I joined a theatre company, and I was still occasionally doing standup. The theatre company, I learned all the stuff on how to create a show, which was really important. But, I was really struggling. I had done some things that went really well. I found that I was good at doing solo shows. I had done a couple with them. I did Lanford Wilson’s “The Moonshot Tape”, which is a forty-five minute monologue. I was like, wow, if I can do that

Sandi: From your Shakespeare silique days.

Carol: Exactly.

Sandi: You didn’t like to share.

Carol: I didn’t like to share. It was like give me that stage.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: I knew, but I didn’t know where I fit and I didn’t have a good connection to, well, to who I really was. That was a big problem in standup also. You have to have some authentic part of yourself, where you can just say, you have to have a real persona. This is who I am.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: If you don’t have that, you have to be an incredibly clever Seinfeld desk writer and even Seinfeld has a recognizable persona.

Sandi: For sure.

Carol: I didn’t have that.

Sandi: So, you were not necessarily the neurotic or the

Carol: No. I wasn’t anything, no, people couldn’t, that was probably, people couldn’t type me.

Sandi: Gotcha.

Carol: No one knew what to do with me and that was a problem with my theatre company. They didn’t really know how to cast me. They would cast me in wildly different things. Which was in some ways good. Then I got to play the transvestite. I got to play the angst ridden mother of the teenage boy.

Sandi: So, there’s a flexibility.

Carol: Right. I got to do all kinds of completely crazy, I played the church lady who threatened everyone with a chainsaw and [Laughing] I had these very, very wild and then I would play these very conservative roles.

Sandi; Mm Hmm

Carol: It was a good stretching place, but that’s not a good place to market from. When I would talk to a casting director, I made casting directors laugh with materials they had heard a million times. I was like, I know I have something, but no one knows what to do with me. I didn’t know what to do with me. It was because something essential was missing in my connection to myself. I was kind of at that place when the injury happened, where I was really not feeling it with the theatre company anymore. I really wasn’t getting much in terms of money. I actually had just gotten a more solid day job. A real solid day job. I was, I think I can maybe commit to this. I was considering leaving the creative work altogether.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: Just saying, well I really like programming, so I’m going to be a programmer, that’s all.

Sandi: Computer programmer.

Carol: Computer programmer, right.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: Developer. Software developer, analyst. I had been in that job. I’m now there for fifteen years, actually so that’s still the same job. I was working with a trainer and then all of a sudden, I felt this horrible. Something went plunk in my belly. I just ignored it. I was very disconnected from my body. Very disconnected from my body, which is another huge problem if you’re an actor. You have to be, unless you are a particular type that plays disembodied people

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: There are some actors who do that. You have to really be in your body, and I wasn’t, so that was a problem. I was just like, well that’s just a cramp or it’s just, you know, not a big deal. My trainer realized that I was in trouble. He was like I think you should get that looked at. I was, oh no, no, no. I happened to be staying with my parents that night. Sometime during the middle of the night, I was like, I think I’m in real trouble.

I woke up around one and I was sweating. I had this clammy weird fever. I felt like my whole inside was just a cement mixer. A cement truck. I gingerly knocked on my parent’s door and said we have to go to the hospital.

Sandi: Yea.

Carol: We drove down to the nearest hospital and then they did a whole bunch of tests but unfortunately with appendicitis, they can only do a rule out diagnosis. They cannot diagnose. Somehow, they forgot about the whole ovary thing, and it turned out I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured, and had hit a blood vessel. I was bleeding. Apparently, they went, they have a little camera they go in with a camera on a filament. I talk about that in the show. They went in, and they say, there is just blood everywhere. They called my parents and they said, look she’s bleeding profusely internally and you got to, we need to know if we can open her up. They said of course, because the most important thing was to actually clear out the blood. That was way more important than getting rid of the cyst, which they also did.

I am expecting I am going to wake up and

Sandi: Walk out

Carol: walk out, and I look, and I can’t even move.

Sandi: Mm

Carol: I’m lying there, and I talk about that in the show. I couldn’t even move my arms. Your core controls so much, you can’t even imagine.

Sandi: Did the herniated disk issue come there and then as well?

Carol: Then it came afterwards because I had no abdominal support and I was forbidden to do any abdominal exercises. Not having developed the internal, see that’s the problem, you have a lot of muscles surrounding your spine as well and if those muscles are not conditioned, that’s one thing that belly dance does do for you, helps you get into those deep muscles. I did not have, even though I had a lot of superficial definition because of doing a billion crunches, my internal support was not good.

Here I was recovering from this. I could hardly walk. Actually, that happened right around 9/11, so it was September 6th or 7th 2001. In the show, I say that I was doing deadlifts, just because it sounds better.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: People are not going to believe what actually happened. I was cleaning up clothes in my room. I had, was doing a little bit of laundry, I picked up a pair of shorts that weighted about three ounces, and all of a sudden it was just the angle of my back. My back just started to shake and I literally fell over.

Sandi: That is extremely painful, I’ve had a herniated disk also. It is just hideous.

Carol: Yea

Sandi: How long were you incapacitated?

Carol: After that, I thought I was getting better at that point. The surgery was in December of 2000. I was starting to get better during that summer of 2000. September hit and the disks went out. I actually did take a belly dancing class during that time and I talk about that too. I kind of got, the teacher, she was a wonderful, wonderful dancer. She was just demonstrating the potential of where you can go. She did, we do layered movements, so there is a shimmy where you send a vibration through your body. She was undulating while she was shimming and doing other things. I was like, forget it. There’s no way.

Sandi: Really?

Carol: No way I’m going to do that so I quit. I let myself get scared off. I think if I had actually stuck with it, I might have saved myself from getting herniated disks.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: At the time, I wasn’t really thinking too clearly about a lot of things and I also had, I didn’t really understand the history of belly dances being something that is created by women for women. Is good and healthy and wonderful for a female body although men dance as well. It’s a cultural dance really in the Middle East. As I say in the show, it is believed that it has some history in fertility rites. There are people, there is a wonderful dancer named Morocco, and she has some great stories about traveling to the Middle East and being with a Berber tribe; where she attended a birthing ceremony where the pregnant woman undulated with the women of the tribe undulating all around her and she undulated her baby into the world.

Sandi: Now, wait. You’re incapacitated,

Carol: Yes.

Sandi: And it comes to your attention that it’s kind of, I had said that you had tried all these, the physical therapy, the Pilates

Carol: Right

Sandi: Whatever and then you get involved in this Sharqi

Carol: Right

Sandi: Which is a form of belly dancing?

Carol: It’s a fitness based belly dance method. What happened was, I had the abdominal problem through all of 2001 and the disks went out in 2001. I was just a mess, really. 2001, 2002, 2003, I actually did go back to an acting class and was just having a hard time there and I was still in so much pain with my body. I did Pilates, I did Yoga. I was trying these different things. I did get some benefit but what I really needed was that deep core connection that I was just missing and in a feeling based way. I went, I saw a poster for Sharqi, which is a fitness based method that’s created by a woman named Orite. She is a very, incredibly acclaimed, wonderful, wonderful. I think she started in modern dance and then she transitioned and she’s from the culture, so she also learned belly dancing from her grandmother. She created a method that, she got it fitness certified. It’s not easy to get a fitness method certified. She did that. She had to meet certain requirements. I went to this class. I was like, well, why not.

I enjoyed, I really like it, the one class that took before the disks went out. She started telling how she learned it from her grandmother and that its pilama and formina. Everything just went, bling, really? That’s amazing. Her method was also a lot of fun. It’s more fun these days actually. Now she has us doing, I’m teaching it now. She has us now create a choreography whereas before it was just a lot of drills. Drop your hip, drop, drop, drop, drop, lift, lift, lift, lift, chest lift, chest drop. It used to be a lot of drills and now it’s a more fun choreography.

Sandi: So this wasn’t so difficult for you to get involved with based on the fact that you had done dance as a little girl.

Carol: Exactly.

Sandi: You had this background.

Carol: Right.

Sandi: It’s quite a departure from building up your core strength and whatever to being a belly dancer.

Carol: I didn’t think that was going to ever happen. I just was doing it because I loved it.

Sandi: Right

Carol: I started. Yes, I took that fitness method for a while. Then, that course unfortunately ended, it was a limited course. She was teaching elsewhere, but it was at times that weren’t good for me. I found another school that times were good and I found some other teachers as I progressed and they would teach choreographies. I found it was much easier for me to learn if you give me the choreographies where everything is written out. You get the music, and I would practice at home. I just, something inside me was just driving me forward. It connected at such a deep level that it wasn’t even a matter of any kind of will power going come on you have to practice your belly dancing drills.

Sandi: It was just a natural kind of.

Carol: I would be shimming on the subway.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: [Laughing]

Sandi: Nobody looked at you twice either, I’m sure.

Carol: Exactly.

Sandi: I need you to take me to how you got to Blood on the Veil.

Carol: Well

Sandi: I also need you to tell me how did you name it that?

Carol: Okay

Sandi: Why did you name it that?

Carol: Yes. Okay. I can answer all those questions. I was taking these classes and loving it. These various teachers would also create performance opportunities. There are things called Hofflas, that’s an Arabic name for a party.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: That’s basically a student showcase. There will also be some professional dancers. We’re having these pretty frequent Hafflas, and we were performing these choreographies that we were learning. Then there was a group of us. There always seemed to be the same group of women who were performing and who were interested in performing. I was one of them. We were on break because our teacher was touring. We were on break for a month or two. We were, let’s just work on these choreographies and then we started rehearsing independently and we created our own little group. Then we started performing around as a student troupe. We performed for the Yung Center, which I was also a member of. There’s a big Yungian Architypel connection to reawakening the feminine energy.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: That’s very important to Yung, used to say that we have to reanimate to bring feminine soul back into the culture.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: They thought that was great and they loved what we did. Here we were performing a bit more and then, I was starting to go, actually, I’m not too bad at this. I thought I was, I recorded many of my rehearsals and early shows because I never wanted to forget how much I struggled. I really did struggle. Even though the moves did come easily to a degree. You have to have so much isolation. You have to be able to isolate one muscle.

Sandi: Hmm

Carol: One muscle group and hold the rest very still.

Sandi: Hmm

Carol: There’s a cross over to hip hop too. That hip hop has a connection to African dancing. African dancing, Middle Eastern dance are connected. There is articulation of different parts of the body. Body waving, that’s all connected. I was working very hard on developing these moves. I was offered to dance at nursing homes. All my early gigs were dancing at nursing homes and schools and hospitals. [Laughing]

I started joking about it. People were like, really, you’re dancing at nursing homes? I’m like, yea trying to thin the herd.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: But they go happy. Terribly tasteless joke, but people were laughing. I was asked to MC belly dance shows. The next thing you knew, I was MC-ing because I had experience using a microphone and making people laugh. I was MC-ing all these shows and developing kind of a technique to MC a belly dance show, which is different from MC-ing a comedy show.

I started writing material about belly dancing. I had a whole thing about how I; then I started writing the story of how I got into it as a comedy routine, which I did do for a big gala performance back in 2008. Some people liked it. I was actually terribly reviewed by the dance reporter. She thought I was terrible. She also, I think she didn’t think that a comedian belonged in a dance show.

Sandi: Right, right.

Carol: But other people liked it and I held onto that monologue. At that time I was also going back into acting. I was doing some Shakespeare again. Because I was dancing, that whole channel started opening up. I was starting to get a feeling for who I was as a person; Which, I had never had before. It was still very diffuse. I couldn’t articulate. Who is Carol as a person? Well, I am me.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: I get up on stage as me. I’m perfectly okay with not articulating that. Letting other people do that part. I never, that’s kind of the joy in this for me was I never had to pigeon hole myself. I never had to become the type. If you go to these casting workshops, they’re like, what kind of type are you? Are you the scrappy, rough and tumble type?

Sandi: Sure

Carol: Are you the elegant. I’m like, well, you know, I’m really neither. I have moments of being totally scrappy and I have moments of being totally elegant.

Sandi: So then it just came to you, right?

Carol: Yea, it just

Sandi: It just said, now it makes sense.

Carol: Now it makes sense.

Sandi: I’ve got to do this. And Blood on the Veil means what?

Carol: At that point in my career I was getting more paying gigs.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: One of the things that happens certainly when you are starting out, is other dancers will ask you to sub their gigs. They can’t make it to their gig, so will you dance for them, and then you get their money.

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: Which is very nice. One of my friends asked me to do this gig. It was just, and I talk about it in the show. It was underage barbarian night. These kids had no idea how to handle any kind of performance in their environment, much less a belly dancer in a…

Sandi: Next to nothing.

Carol: Yea.

Sandi: Wearing next to

Carol: Well, I wasn’t wearing next to nothing. I actually was wearing the same consume that I wear in the show, which is a very elegant, draped, beaded, full long skirt.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: My middriff is

Sandi: Exposed

Carol: Exposed.

Sandi: Yea.

Carol: Really, it’s a

Sandi: That’s true

Carol: It’s not a skimpy outfit by any

Sandi: Right

Carol: means. They were just like Oh wow, what are you doing? How do you do that? They were just all and grabbing me and pushing me. I was thinking, because I have all these looped beads on this and this thing cost me $600 and it was pretty new at that point. I was, you know what, if someone rips these beads, if someone damages this, there’s going bloodshed.

Sandi: Um Hmm

Carol: I am just going to haul out and I am going to punch somebody.

Sandi: Go ballistic. Yea.

Carol: Fortunately, I had my sword,

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: Was my prop that I had brought.

Sandi: Uh Huh

Carol: I was really, kind of, I did actually hit someone with the sword. I talk about that in the show too. I didn’t stab them with it, but he kept grabbing at it. He just extended his palms, ooh there’s an opportunit, so I just smacked the flat

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: of the sword on his palms. Then one kid, I don’t talk about this in the show. There was one kid who grabbed me, I just rolled around and punched him in the stomach.

Sandi: Wow

Carol: They’re never supposed to be that close to you when you’re dancing. I was traumatized by this. Shocked and upset with myself for not walking away. If I had more self-esteem, I would have walked away. No, it wasn’t really a self-esteem issue. I had made a commitment to dance this show and I owed it to my friend, I owed it to the restaurant, it wasn’t the restaurant’s fault that these lunatics overrun it.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: I was there to do a job, so I did the job. They loved it. It was so funny. By the end of it, even though I’d beaten some of them up,

Sandi: [Laughing]

Carol: They loved it. They were cheering and clapping and wanting me to do an encore. I was like, you people are nuts but nothing got stolen. I was so afraid. You get afraid they are going to steal your wallet, they are going to steal your finger cymbals, your veil, something is going to get wrecked. I survived the night intact, with nothing ripped, stolen, or broken, which was a miracle.

I was listening to a lot of Bob Dylan at the time and a friend of mine was looking for interesting belly dance stories, so I wrote that up. I was listening to, Blood on the Tracks, Blood on the Veil. Ha, Ha, Ha.

Sandi: Ahhh

Carol: Right. So, that’s what I called it and I sent it off to my friend, who may or may not have ever put it up on her site. I thought it was a cute story. I hadn’t really extracted the meaning of it. It was still just kind of this wild thing that happened. I hadn’t gotten, I hadn’t been able to really articulate the changes that happened in me that allowed that to happen. That allowed me to really stay there and deal with it. Own my power.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: Own my strength. Which is a big part of a person that I now am as a performer. Those parts of myself developed. That I didn’t need to create a persona.

Sandi: Do you feel you are in a good place now, for you with your art?

Carol: Oh yea. I’m so happy. I do still have the day job. They’re very supportive of my work, which is really, really wonderful.

Sandi: That’s great. Well, you have a track record with them.

Carol: I belly dance gigs when I can, but because I have a day job, I don’t need to. I can set a very high price for myself.

Sandi: Got it. You can afford to be picky.

Carol: Exactly. I’m very picky. I only will dance for good venues or well, well-paying private parties. Otherwise, I am creating more choreographies. I’m still working with various dancers. In this show, I bring in guest dancers. I really want the audience to see all the different styles of belly dance. There are many, many different styles. I talk about some of them in the show. I will have two guest dancers who perform their own solos.

Sandi: Mm Hmm

Carol: Usually, one will do Turkish and the other one will do like a tribal fusion something. One will dance to Michael Jackson and the other one will dance to some traditional song. Something like that. Then, the show begins and I do my part. At the end of the first act, these dancers return for something called The Parade of Props where we demonstrate the various props that are used in belly dance. We have finger cymbals, veil, fan, fan veil, wings of Isis, palm candles. Candle tray, and a shamadon, which is a candelabra that you wear on your head.

Sandi: Mm hmm

Carol: They come out for that. Then we do the final prop is the cane. A cane dance, which I’m sure you’ve never heard of a belly dancer dancing with a cane, but it is a very traditional dance. It’s a Siede dance, Sied is a region of Egypt. There are very specific moves that go with it. It comes from a male dance called the Tative, which is a kind of a combat dance. Whenever you go and see an Egyptian dancer in Egypt, he will always have a cane dance somewhere in there. It’s a wonderful form of dance. It just blows the audience’s mind because they’ve never seen anything like it. We send them into intermission just having seen that.

Sandi: You’ve kind of found your, not niche, because that sounds a little patronizing, but you’re doing something that you really love.

Carol: Yea.

Sandi: That you

Carol: I found my love.

Sandi: You found your love.

Carol: [Laughing]

Sandi: That’s excellent.

Carol: It’s not a niche, it’s a love.

Sandi: That’s excellent.

Carol: It doesn’t need to be categorized, it just is. When you love a person and you just feel that love. It’s like that. It’s that.

Sandi: You know that it works. It’s a match.

Carol: You know that it works. Exactly.

Sandi: Carol, it was really interesting to get to know you. You are just so willing to try things and that’s what is so exciting about it.

Carol: I think it’s a good way to be in general. Just try it.

Sandi: What the hell?

Carol: Just try it. What can you lose?

Sandi: Exactly.

Carol: It’s not so much confidence, it’s really sort of a reckless hopefulness. I figure I will regret not doing something more than I will regret trying it and failing.

Sandi: Perfect. We’re going to end on that note. Thank you so much for having a conversation with me.

Carol: Thank you.

Sandi: Join us for another edition of Conversations with Creative Women. I’m Sandi Klein.



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