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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Been there and done (most of) that
As a bellydancer, I picked up this book out of curiosity, mostly just to see what the author had written about the dance and how accurate it was. I was surprised to find the book both well-written, compelling, and absolutely dead-on about the world of American bellydance. Even though I learned to dance some twenty years and 3,000 miles away from where Anna Soffee first...
Published on June 18 2003 by Robyn Russell

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good.
I fell in love with belly dancing about 2 years ago and I came across this book on the web. After reading the feedbacks on Amazon, I bought it. I enjoyed reading the funny stories and the progression of the main character throughout the book but honestly, I started to twitch after the third time she mentionned she was a lebanese woman with a lebanese background. We know...
Published on Aug. 23 2005


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Been there and done (most of) that, June 18 2003
By 
Robyn Russell (Fairbanks, Alaska) - See all my reviews
As a bellydancer, I picked up this book out of curiosity, mostly just to see what the author had written about the dance and how accurate it was. I was surprised to find the book both well-written, compelling, and absolutely dead-on about the world of American bellydance. Even though I learned to dance some twenty years and 3,000 miles away from where Anna Soffee first took lessons and even though my personal life is nowhere as turbulent as hers, I found myself repeatedly nodding my head and saying "Sister, I have been there and done that." The first performance at the country fair, the sleazy come-ons from men that assume that because you're a belly dancer you are also stripper/hooker, the terrible audience that is ABSOLUTELY not interested in you, the lack of understanding from family and friends, the in-fighting between dancers and troupes--it was like the author was writing about my own life.
My advice? Even if you aren't interested in belly dance, buy this book and read it any way. The style is edgy, hip, and funny and the moral of the book--that you have to accept yourself the way you are before you can achieve any sort of personal fulfillment--is ultimately very uplifting. I came away with a lot of respect for Ms. Soffee as both a dancer, a writer and a survivor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing queen, Dec 12 2003
I've long had a fascination with bellydance, so when I discovered this book I made it a priority to read it. I was not disappointed; in fact, it was one of those rare reads where I loved it so much that I was torn - I wanted to find out how it ended, and yet I didn't want my pleasurable experience to end. It's a great story, though, how Soffee suffers a bad break up, and thanks to a friend suggesting a class at the community center, she decides to take a class in bellydance. She's a dedicated student, and along the way tells of her healing from the bad breakup, her fascination with the dance, her observations of other dancers as well as how other people react when they hear she's a bellydancer, and her efforts in trying to find a decent man. All of it is told with a healthy sense of humor and panache, and many parts are laugh-out loud funny. The only tragedy would be if Soffee never wrote another book. A must-read for bellydancers, bellydancer admirers and any woman who's gone through the ups and downs of dating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ROFLMAO - This book is great!, April 2 2003
This book is terrific! I'm almost done and it kept me up till 5am..AGAIN. I've been a dumbek player in a troupe who has been playing about 10 years, and an on and off beginning dancer occasionally, so I have been into the dance scene for a while. So many of the stories in the book sound like they could have happened up here. I knew JUST what she meant. The divas, the cliques, LOL. I've been to those dance shows, I've been at those gigs (or well, not quite as bad as that restaurant LOL but..). Its just hysterical. I'm so glad nearly everyone has given it 5 stars.
One thing I really enjoyed was hearing more about all these familiar names. I'm hearing names of people that i've heard of before, seen before (Morocco) talked to in email when ordering stuff(Lucy), or even know somewhat(Anthea). It really shows what a small world this is. Not every day do you read about people you know in a book!
I bought this book because of the bellydance, but also really enjoyed the whole single 30s woman relating and coping and trying to find true love part. There seem to be a number of books on that line lately, and I tried to read a few of the more popular ones. A couple were just so silly and unrealistic, I couldn't relate, and quickly ended up flung against the wall to land in the bad bad book heap. Anne's on the other hand is very intelligently written. She's not talking down to us. She's someone I could see hanging out with. She's real. Though I haven't had quite the adventurous heavy metal tatoo past that she has had, I could still totally relate. Its a very down to earth book in that way.
So..5 stars!
Anne if you read these come to Michigan and do a book tour please! There are lots of dancers here, and plenty of arabic culture too. Arabic night clubs and a whole stores with just arabic music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dance like no one's watching, Oct. 9 2002
I like the idea of finding a hobby to recover from a break-up, and I love the idea of the hobby being belly-dancing. But I can't claim that distinction; that is Anne Thomas Soffee's privilege, and the plot for her memoirs, Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love. As much as this comparision is unfair to Ms. Soffee, it reads a little like a certain diary by a London singleton. However, in this case, "true love" contains four things: 1. belly dancing and 2. getting in touch with one's roots and 3. self-love and... But, time out. I'm a disbeliever in true self love, so it's rather like a compromise between Ms. Soffee and herself, some point of satisfaction where you can stop judging yourself by society's standards and say, "Okay, so these are the things that are 'wrong' with me, but I could live with that." And when she finds this third love, it's when the fourth, Mr. Possibly Right, steps into the scene. This book also throws some light into traditional belly-dancing and the small-but-growing modern American society of belly-dancers, and erases most of the images I have of a slim, half-naked and gauzily-veiled girl gyrating. But who deemed that to be the only sort of beauty, the only "belly-dancer" that there has to be?
To be American, it's more or less likely that you came from elsewhere. To be human, it's definite that you've had one failed relationship. And when autobiographies are done right, they're like this-- an ordinary storyline told with sincerity and humor (some of it wry) and the more elusive flow, most often described in reviews as a "good ear." Don't miss out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every Belly Dancer Should Own This Book!, March 30 2008
By 
Shepherdess Extraordinaire (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love (Paperback)
As a Lebanese Canadian woman (well..half Lebanese on my dad's side - but just like Anne!) who is also learning to belly dance - and getting in touch with my Lebanese roots at the same time - I just loved this book! It had so many laugh-out-loud moments. Anne's recollections of her family reminded me so much of mine and brought to mind things I'd even forgetten about. Like "crawling across the desert is a specialty of Lebanese men"; I remember the talk about how a real man (Lebanese, of course) "would crawl across the desert for you". With chapter titles like, "Blood is Thicker than Sand", "Your Daddy Ought to Smack Your Face - Nice Girls Don't Undulate", "Debkeing Around the Clock in Norfolk", Anne's quirky crazy humour resonates throughout the book. Anne's dating adventures searching for the perfect unibrow Arab husband - recounted in three parts (chapters) - are hilarious! She is convinced that her true destiny is a palace in the desert and a nursery full of little brown unibrow babies. She'd even "settle for third-favourite wife, but not lower...third-favourite affords a hefty allowance, a lot of nice trips, and plenty of free time to pursue hobbies with no bossy husband breathing down your veil". Her stories of the Arab men she dates (including Fahed who she meets online at Arab Chat) are priceless.

(In response to the last reviewer, I didn't find the author's mention of being Lebanese overkill. As a Lebanese Canadian, I was able to relate to her experiences and laugh with her. Sharing her experiences in the Lebanese culture is what added richness and context to the book.)

If you are a belly dancer, this is a book you MUST own! Your collection of belly dancing books, instructional & performance DVDs, Arabic Music CDs, and zils just won't be complete without Anne's book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just A Bellydancing book!!! It's more than that!!!, Feb. 15 2003
By 
DOUG BLANCHARD (Providence, Rhode Island) - See all my reviews
What was the last book you read that made you laugh out loud and smile all the way through it? My answer is Snake Hips~!!!
It's not only a book about bellydancing, it's a book about recovering from a bad relationship, finding roots and finding oneself. And best of all finding her true love.
It also could be read as a do and don't book for daters, both male and female.
It made me wish I was Lebanese, and it made me wish i could find a subculture as fascinating as the world of the bellydancer. It made me yearn for more from this author. I want to read about her pre-bellydancing life. Hmmm? I want to read more about the "happily ever after" as she did find her prince. He isn't Arabic tho; could this couple be the 21st century version of Lucy and Ricky? More , more, i want to read more about this interesting woman and her journey through life.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good., Aug. 23 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love (Paperback)
I fell in love with belly dancing about 2 years ago and I came across this book on the web. After reading the feedbacks on Amazon, I bought it. I enjoyed reading the funny stories and the progression of the main character throughout the book but honestly, I started to twitch after the third time she mentionned she was a lebanese woman with a lebanese background. We know hwo to read and figured it out on our own, thank you vey much. According to me, and as she depicted very well in the book, bellydancing attracts people from many different backgrounds. But it does not mean that the reader has to have his or her head hammer with the fact (justification, reinsurance??...) that the author is Lebanese. Get over it.
It was the only thing that I did not like in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Give Up......DANCE!, Dec 6 2002
Ms. Soffee's tale is about too much more than fits on the front cover--it's about family and recovery, about time and maturity, about finding a voice and using it. Bridget Shcmidget--this ain't that at all! (and if you think it is you got another think coming) I like this book a lot. It is on my bookshelf and there it will stay.
What really shines through this book is the presence of culture--whether the trash hip culture of the tattoo artist and his 'too hip' friends or the lebanese culture of her family or the belly dance culture--all handled with affection and verismo.
My only problem here is that I gave away my copy and the bookstore is all out. Now where could I order one.....? (my bookshelf is complaining about the empty space)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book reads lik a conversation with a friend, May 11 2003
By 
Dionne Ruff-Sloan "the Tea Priestess" (Duluth, GA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I loved this book! Being a newcomer to the dance (only been dancing a year), I could completely relate to the "belly dance obession" that many of us have when we first start out. I wanted to offer her my shoulder through her heartbreak, found myself laughing out loud at some parts and nodding in agreement with others. It reads like I'm sitting at a table with Anne having a cup of joe. Even though this book is BY NO MEANS a how to, she does list several really good websites for information concerning belly dance and a list of words you may hear if you spend anytime around "veterns to the dance". A really good book for dancers and those who love them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars To live! To laugh! To shimmy!, Jan. 11 2003
By 
booklass "Passionate bibliophile." (San Angelo, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
Despite the fact that Ms. Soffee and I are probably opposite ends of the conservative range, and that I would no more get a tattoo, then I would bungee jump off of Mt. McKinley, I really could relate to her. I guess when it comes down to getting dumped, learning to love yourself and finding your own identity, we're all the same, regardless. The background of belly dance was an added bonus, since I have always had a fascination with its beauty and mystery. The real appeal of the whole book, though, is Anne's sense of Far Side type humor. To look at life and see what is humorously skewed is a rare gift, and Anne has it in spades. I'll keep this one for my own library.
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Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love
Snake Hips: Belly Dancing and How I Found True Love by Anne Thomas Soffee (Paperback - Jan. 1 2004)
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