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Shira Fannan
Works at Belly Dance by Shira
Lived in Sunnyvale, California
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Shira Fannan

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"I heard Shira say that if anybody tries to grab her pussy, she'll punch out their lights. I'm glad she defends me."
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Shira Fannan

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BELLY DANCE ORIGIN MUSING. Yesterday, I posted a link about DNA composition of Egyptians. Today, I'd like to discuss it a little more - the study shows that the primary origin for Egyptians was African, and the next largest was Arab. Beyond that, there were only 3 other groups large enough to identify on the chart: Jews, Asia Minor (Turkey), and southern Europe (Greece, Italy, etc.)

So, an interesting observation: the % of people of Central Asian origin wasn't large enough to make it onto the graph, which means it was smaller than 3%. In other words, where were the Roma (Gypsies)? (I'm using the word "Roma" as a collective, to encompass the Romany, Sinti, and Domari people.) Apparently, they were too small of a % to be included on the chart showing the analysis for Egypt.

National Geographic has studied the Roma quite a bit - you can see other articles that prominently feature the Roma if you visit National Geographic's web site. So, the scientists are definitely aware of what Romany DNA looks like, and I feel quite confident that if the Romany people were a meaningful % of Egypt's population, National Geographic would have noticed and said so.

You can also see on National Geographic's page that some analysis has been done to determine where the populations of India came from. (Guess what? It's Africa.) National Geographic also found that, for India, some ancient migrations from Africa went farther east to southeast Asia, and then came BACK to India. So, National Geographic DOES look at whether populations who moved beyond a certain region might later migrate back.

So, for everybody who believes the tale that the precursor to what we recognize today as belly dance was brought to the Middle East by the Roma, I have to ask: if DNA evidence shows that the Roma aren't a big enough part of Egypt's population to show up as a wedge on the chart showing Egyptian origins, how could they have had sufficient influence to spread a dance style from India so pervasively among the Egyptian population? It doesn't make sense.

It makes more sense to consider that belly dance comes from one of the populations that WAS big enough to appear on the chart. It's interesting to ponder which.

Given that belly dance was historically prominent not only in Egypt, but also in the Levant, I think a case could be made for all the places that actually do show up on the chart. But that's a debate for another day.

For now, I'll just leave it that the DNA analysis is just one more piece of evidence that supports my belief that belly dance did not originate in India. Someday, I'll get around to writing an article that compiles all of my evidence for this belief into one place.
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Shira Fannan

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Q: What do you call the debris that gathers in a person's navel?
A: Umbilicrud!
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Belly dance problems: the class using the studio before you is very "smelly" and they DO NOT open windows, keeping all the stench inside! (Are they afraid they will be poisoned by exposure to fresh oxygen?) --Francesca Calloni
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Shira Fannan

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Lindsay Lohan has left the world thinking she’s converted to Islam after deleting all her Instagram posts and writing ‘Alaikum salam’ in her bio.
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QUESTION: What was your VERY FIRST belly dance class experience like? How did it make you feel? What memories stayed with you?
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Belly dance problems: when your very favorite costume finally wears out, and really can't be repaired any more.
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ORIGINS OF THE ROMANY PEOPLE: According to this article from Scientific American about genetic sequencing analysis, "The initial founding group of Romani likely departed from what is now the Punjab state in northwestern India close to the year 500 CE. From there, they likely traveled through Central Asia and the Middle East but appear to have mingled only moderately with local populations there. The subsequent doorway to Europe seems to have been the Balkan area—specifically Bulgaria—from which the Romani began dispersing around 1,100 CE."

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/genetic-sequencing-traces-gypsies-back-to-ancient-indian-origin/
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Shira Fannan

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In less than 3 weeks, I will be returning to the site in Egypt where I took this photo to gaze upon it again! Follow the link for background information about the tomb this scene appears in. My thanks to Wendy Page for providing the caption!
http://www.shira.net/funfrolic/horus-line.htm
A lighthearted look at a scene of dancers in a 4,000-year-old tomb in Egypt.
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Imagine a 40-foot wave of molasses coming your way at 30 miles (48 km) per hour. That would ruin your whole day....
http://www.boston.com/news/history/2017/01/15/its-been-exactly-98-years-since-a-giant-wave-of-molasses-killed-21-people-in-boston?event=event51
As recently as the 1980s, people in Boston said that on hot days in the North End, the smell of molasses reigned. The reason?
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Shira. the Creator of Shira.net
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I'm Shira, the creator of the popular web site Shira.net.  I'm also a respected dancer, teacher, and workshop instructor.  Here on Google+, I'll post announcements about new articles I've added to Shira.net, updates to existing ones, cool links related to belly dancing, pithy quotes that may appeal to dancers, and announcements about my workshop schedule. 
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I'm known worldwide as the creator of the popular belly dancing web site, Shira.net
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Sunnyvale, California - Iowa City, Iowa
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    Belly Dancer, present
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All About Belly Dancing, by Shira - Your Bellydance Resource!
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A belly dancer's guide to everything related to belly dancing, offered by the world's most popular belly dance web site! History of belly da