Zahra’s Dancer Inspiration

Smiling belly dancer, mid performance

When Dan and I created the character of Zahra, the challenge was to come up with someone extraordinary yet believable. Our early attempts were a bit “cardboard” until I went to the Del Mar Fair and saw tribal fusion superstar Sabrina Fox dance. With “upcycled” tatters, bangles, beads, coins, and shimmer, her costume held my attention immediately. She held a fixed eye contact, the “Shiva dancing snake stare,” and the effect was stunning. Often the lower half of her body moved in wild abandon while the top undulated with slow elegance. She dropped to a squat and somehow walked with grace; she bent over backwards and danced with sensuous precision while half upside down. I knew I had to interview her.

We met for lunch at Clair de Lune’s in North Park, San Diego where I listened to her stories and admired her passion for dance. (I even took one of her classes but realized I’d have to work very hard not to look silly among these lithe and sexy women.) Sabrina told me about her sojourns among many cultures, including Egyptian, the world of the devadasi in Madras, gypsy, Goth, Bollywood, hip-hop, and anywhere something exciting is happening in the world of tribal fusion dance.

Dan agreed that Zahra would bloom under the influence of Sabrina’s dancing. Of course, Zahra is only a character, and, except for the dancing, holds nothing else in common with Sabrina, a celebrated professional performer and an instructor of dance and yoga. Dire circumstances drive the character of Zahra to seek a revenge that requires her to become a high class prostitute in order to seduce a governor and the head of the Chicago mafia. Zahra does, however, dream of a more normal life, one much like Sabrina’s where dance is her livelihood.

If my wildest dreams came true and Assassin’s Game were to be made into a movie, the tribal fusion dancing would be a fabulous addition to the excitement. You can learn more about Sabrina and tribal fusion dancing from the website links above. The top website lists her events and appearances.  

Image © Tribal Mind

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