Dear JoEllen / Magnificent Sohaila
Thank you for the joy of participating in your Extravaganza. It was quite a remarkable experience - and you are a remarkable woman.
You accept each of us as worthy and capable of learning. Women of every age, shape and background are part of your classes. You have a joy for life that shines through everything.
Thanks for the fun, the great exercise, and the opportunity to witness a leader who inspires her students. I am determined to continue my lessons and get better a little at a time. Lisa has enjoyed her classes for years with you and I am grateful that she finally "hounded" me into participating.
Student in SAAD
May 17th, 2009
Thanks so much for the great extravaganza. It was fun and an event that I was able to invite my friends and family -- and they all had a great time.
I really thank you for your friendship. Your generosity has blessed me and your circle of interesting friends have broadened my horizons. I enjoy them all, and had a good visit with Edouardo and Alejandra today. Your home bbq's and company are the best. Look forward to having you and your friends up here after your return.
The following is an email from my friend, Patsy Fritz, and I know you will enjoy reading it. FYI, Patsy has an extensive background in PR and film production. She has worked with some of the big stars of Hollywood past, including Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.
Be safe and have a great vacation.
Warm wishes and Blessings...............Ray
Thank, Ray, for including me the spectacular evening of dance, friends, world cultures ... and great chow! I could tell from the excitement in your voice, as you invited me to Sohaila's and her group's performance, that it would be a special event. Beyond my wildest imaginings! Sohaila's performance was staged last - so she would not upstage/eclipse the other dancers. She is silky-smooth with her moves. It's now second nature to her, like breathing, even with complex routines. Her professional guest dancers were also superb. Sohaila's not only a magnificent dancer, she's an impresario. It took organizational talent and enormous effort to put on that program. The enthusiasm in the room signaled that everyone who attended thought it was a great evening. Again, Ray, thanks for a truly inspired evening. I loved it! Patsy
Thank you Sohaila,
I don't mind at all if you put my letter on your testimonial page, it is a sincere letter from my heart and soul!!! I ordered the "Shimmies, Moves...and More!" DVD last evening. I danced with your basic DVD again last night. After I do the exercises, I try to follow you in your dance incorporating the moves you taught in the DVD. I always feel so graceful and feminine, it has done wonders for my self-esteem! My 10 year old son saw you in the drum solos, and I had to order him a dumbek! He wants to play for me so I can dance just like Sohaila!! (Not a chance, you are incomparable!)
Regarding your Dance Extravaganza:
I loved your dance style so much more than the others on the DVD, although they were very nice, but your body just sang the music in my estimation. Through the years I have seen how Americans "over dance" most of the time, but I felt you were in sync with the music and not in competition with it. Your dance looks as though you were born understanding the music and didn't have to learn what to do although I'm sure you spent many hours perfecting your style. It was very natural and beautiful to me. I don't like flashiness for the sake of flash or dancers who appear to be on speed when they perform, so your style was so beautiful that it really swept me to another time and place.
...you know why I would never be taught by anyone but JoEllen?...because there's no one better than you, which is true.
Sohaila is an achieved oriental dancer with her own charm and originality. Watching her perform is a totally enjoyable experience."
"I have seen her beautiful dancing from Las Vegas to Cairo - a truly international dancer."
"Exacting precision in all moves articulately broken down."
Sohaila is a true professional who cares about her students and teaches from the heart.
Class sizes are manageable so students get personal attention. She is the best at teaching moves that at first seem impossible. I have learned so much from her and have gotten many compliments on my dancing ability since I started her class. I highly recommend Sohaila for any level of dancer."
San Diego, CA "Sohaila's videos are helpful for learning moves. Her Bellyrobics video is useful for warming up before dancing. Her costumes and dance accessories are unique and of the highest quality."
"You have a great rapport with all your students and that's what I find they like about you---along with your talents for teaching. You have the ability to motivate in a personal way--a privilege I never had with my previous dance instructors."