After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Bellydancing Librarian


Natalia over at her "student dancer's" blog (see LINK below) has been an early reader of tangocherie. I promised her a bellydance post, so here it is, rather, here I am in all my, ahem, "glory" (or not.)

Noon concert at CalTech, right

Left, birthday party in Buenos Aires

The 9/8 Trio above, and after the show at a club in Hollywood, below.

I wish I still had the photos of my debut as a bellydancer in local branch libraries, but they are in storage in L.A. It's kind of neat to see a bellydancer in front of all those books!

Anyway, I was, and still am, a librarian. My last full-time librarian job was in the Art and Music Department of the Los Angeles Public Library as the Dance Librarian. But my career spanned working as a Children's Librarian, Adult Reference Librarian, and my favorite, Young Adult Librarian.

My bellydance career continued as co-artistic director (with Anaheed, another librarian) of The Perfumes of Araby. We danced in Las Vegas, at the Renaisance Faire and the Pumpkin Festival in L.A., gave concerts at colleges and conventions, and I also worked solo in clubs and parties.

I thought I had retired my finger cymbals, and in fact, sold all my costumes and music. But when I was living in Mexico, I studied flamenco and somehow one thing led to another, and I was the guest artist of a flamenco show in the Angela Peralta Theatre--Desde el Alhambra or something.

Same thing happened here in Buenos Aires; I was studying flamenco and was asked to open the show with a bellydance. They are related, and it was a pleasure to shimmy again. Thank God I never sold my Peter Fels zils, made especially for me.

Flamenco, tango, and bellydance all have room for the older dancer, unlike ballet and jazz. How fortunate for me. If God allows, I will dance until I die!

What is it about books and bellies that go together? Lots of librarians are bellydancers! See more at the sites below:


Natalia said...

You are absolutely glorious! I especially love the outdoor pictures.

Thank you so much for posting them! I promise if I ever try to tango, I'll post pictures too. (There are no pictures of my brief foray into flamenco. thank goodness! I was not so great.)

Cherie said...

Thanks, Shimmy Sister Natalia, for your warm comments!
We dancers have to stick together.
Maybe one day we'll also dance together, who know?
Un abrazo,

La Tanguera said...

Dear Cherie,

Absolutely agree with Natalia, you look gorgeous and full of life in all those pictures! :-)

Thanks for sharing,


miss tango in her eyes said...

I remember going to the Renaisance Faire when I was about 2, in 1973! Could we have been at the same place same time?

Fab photos by the way!

Cherie said...

Glad you like the photos, Miss Tango!
Shows you never should throw anything away!

Do you remember seeing bellydancers at the Faire in 1973? It was a few years before my time so it wasn't me, but hopefully you have colorful memories! I used to LOVE the Faire!

Did you ever go back?


Terpsichore said...

How gorgeous these pictures (and you in them) are! I totally feel you about certain dance styles having room for the older dancer - I'm still (fairly!) young but about a decade past my prime as a ballet dancer. Bellydance has really enabled me to feel like a dancer again, even at my unacceptable-to-ballet-while-totally-normal-in-the-real-world age and weight. And since I've begun to stick a toe into the tango world, I've found it to be the same. Aaah! I wish I was better at it, but I can only practice after all the students leave the studio for the day - never enough time to dance Argentine all I want!

Cherie said...

Ahh, another tanguera in the making!

If you think bellydancing changed your life, just wait and see what tango does!

When you're ready to visit Buenos Aires, let me know!!

Tina said...

You're a bellydancer too? So am I! This is weird. :-) In a cool cosmic way. :-)

Cherie said...

Hi Tina,
It's a small, small world!
Are you also a librarian?
Now that would be very weirdly cool!

miss tango in her eyes said...

No I just remember riding either a camel or an elephant, with some bald guy leading it. I think it may have been an elephant, but I distinctly remember the camels being there.

claire olivia said...

hello, I came across your blog as I searched for information about barrio de boedo. I've always wanted to belly dance and I've always wanted to learn more tango. I may be staying at the HOstel don Sancho for a week (too long a story) but I would love to know where you teach belly dancing and what tango places I could go to if things don't work out and I'm delayed returning to NY. I am in a bit of a rush so I can't check all your postings. But it sounds like you are having a great time living in BA.

Frank.Sugar&Spice said...

Hi Cherie,

I am planning an event for reporters and bloggers at my store. Please go to this link for more details if you are interested:

Nice pictures by the way!


Cherie said...

Hi Claire,

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

At this time I'm not teaching bellydancing, but I do teach milonguero-style tango in Boedo with my Argentinian partner Ruben Aybar.

We are almost always dancing on Thursdays at Chique and on Saturdays at Los Consegrados.
Hope to meet you there, or maybe lunch in Boedo???


Cherie said...

Hi Frank,
If you're serving your delicious cookies, I'll be there!

claire olivia said...


thank you! I will try to make it to thursday at Chique. and I would love to meet for lunch as well.

Boedo feels like the neighborhood I grew up in before it got gentrified.

thank you so much! so glad I ran across your site!

claire olivia said...

Could you send me the address of Chique?

Cherie said...

Hi Claire,
Hope to see you at Chique on Thursday--San Jose 224, esq. Alsina.
I usually arrive around 19:00.
Hasta pronto!

tangobaby said...

Hola Cherie,

I love love love this post, and the beautiful pictures of you, too.

Before I started tango, I was very much into belly dancing. But I am not the type of person to dance in front of others as an audience which is why I ultimately had to move on from it... and then I found tango, which suits me much better.

But bellydancing is such an amazingly beautiful, sensuous dance and takes many many hours of devotion and practice! I admire you for your dance history!

tangocherie said...

Hi Tangobaby,
Thanks for commenting.
I hear you on the beauty of bellydancing. The thing is, bellydancing is a performance that needs to communicate to the audience.
Tango is danced for your partner and yourself--a big difference. And maybe that's why you feel more comfortable in tango.
Bellydancing is like a tree falling in the forest; someone has to hear it!

ironyworks said...

Hello Cherie :
I'm pleased to see you doing so very well, you certainly are a stunning woman.
And i'm also very pleased to see that you hung on to the cymbals i made for you ,all those years ago. (I seldom make them now-a-days.....) concentrating on metal sculpture primarily....(
Librarians will never look quite the same to me now.
As i recall, Diane Webber was the first BD at the early Renn. Faires.
Applause!!! Pete Fels

tangocherie said...

Dear Peter,
I can't tell you what joy I had reading your comment! To think that we connect again after all these years! God, I love the internet!

I remember almost as yesterday visiting you in your studio by the sea with my late husband Jack.

Look for a special post about you soon!

Muchos besitos!!

Keyle Rece said...

such a classic history to find The Belly dancing Librarian. really important view to visit that article.

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