Ruby Smith, the 17-year-old daughter of Couth Buzzard Books co-owner Theo Dzielak, is battling Burkitt’s lymphoma, and the community has rallied to support her family while she undergoes chemotherapy. To help pay her treatment expenses, friends held a musical fundraiser in October. And now others are hosting a music and dance workshop this weekend.
“An Introduction to Middle Eastern Music & Dance Workshop” is a family-friendly class for all ages and abilities. It will be from 1-2:30 p.m. Sunday at MKG Seattle, 10722 5th Ave. NE in Northgate. (MKG used to be located where the new Couth Buzzard is now.)
Organizer Charina Pitzel is a friend of Ruby’s family, and wanted to help out however she could. She asked award-winning Middle Eastern dance performer Elisa Gamal to lead the workshop. Gamal will be accompanied by world music band Hejira. Following the class will be an improv performance by Elisa and Hejira.
Gamal says that Middle Eastern dance is for everybody, including men and children.
“People tend to naturally think that bellydance is just for women, but ‘over there’ everybody does it. (D)ance is a universal language that we all share — a way to express and communicate joy with each other, and the arts of music and dance are a lovely way to bridge cultures.”
The workshop is free, with donations of any amount accepted.