Suhaila Salimpour’s Former Assistant Anna on Dance Secrets and Snuggles – ALLAF 036

Suhaila’s student and friend Anna Horn shares some of the surprising elements of Suhaila’s format, reminisces about Jamila Salimpour’s finger cymbals, and shows us how the pets we love can inspire us to dance.

 

Alicia:

You guys are going to love this. I have Anna Horn in the studio. Anna is going to tell us all about what it was like to teach class with Jamila Salimpour and Suhaila Salimpour and work for Suhaila out in California. She’s going to talk about her whole belly dance career, dancing in restaurants, and the Suhaila and Jamila formats. You’re going to love this!

Anna studied with Aida of San Francisco, who studied with Jamila, and that was what got her to leave everything in Ohio in 2007 and take off for California specifically to study with Suhaila Salimpour.

Anna Horn:

I took a workshop with Aida and that was my first exposure to Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour. I had a teacher in southern Ohio named Kathy Hennessy, and when I was leaving Ohio, she gave me a list of teachers to study with and she introduced me again to Suhaila and she said, “If you ever get a chance study with Suhaila Salimpour.” I was like, “Okay,” kept it in mind, tried to take her workshops. Things weren’t working out, so I was like, screw it, I’m going to California. I moved to California just to study with Suhaila. I was in California for eight years with her.

Alicia:

Anna actually started dancing the same year I did, in 2000, which is pretty exciting. We have the same dance birthday, if you will. While Anna was out there in California working with Suhaila for eight years, she was able to see the certification program develop. She actually saw the first level four group test. What levels did you achieve in both of those?

Anna Horn:

I’m currently Suhaila level three and Jamila level two. I’m still part of the school, so I’ll be more than that at some point.

Alicia:

There are five levels in both of those.

Anna Horn:

In both those, yeah.

Alicia:

How many people actually have level five certification in both of those?

Anna Horn:

I believe there are five people who are at the level five and I think there are a few people who are working on their level five right now.

Alicia:

For both?

Anna Horn:

For both, yeah.

DANCEABLE RITUAL: Pet, snuggle, dance

Alicia:

Danceable rituals are a way to calm our mind and bring more dance into our lives without taking up any more of our time. This danceable ritual is unlike any other one I’ve ever included because Anna is so cute and loves her cats so much. This ritual is next time you are petting something, whether it’s a dog or a cat or snuggling something else, I don’t know, a teddy bear, consider dancing while you do it. Whatever you’re snuggling may enjoy it as well.

Alicia:

Do you ever dance for your cats?

Anna Horn:

All my choreographies, and they’ll have to watch me sometimes. What’s really cute is when I work out my cats want to interact with me. I find that when I’m doing my warmup to practice, my cats all the sudden want lots of love. Literally running around, meow, meow, meow, running between my legs, crying at me, wanting love. Sometimes I’ll do my warmup with my cats in my arms because they have to have attention right then.

Alicia:

Is this like a snuggle your cat and dance danceable ritual?

Anna Horn:

Yeah. They’re like, you’re doing squats, it’s time for you to pet me.

Alicia:

You’re not doing anything else, are you?

Anna Horn:

You’re not doing anything else. It’s definitely snuggle time, yeah.

Alicia:

Nice. If you’re not a cat person, maybe you can snuggle something else and dance.

Anna Horn:

Yeah. I think though, the cats, they appear out of nowhere. It’s like, oh, you’re warming up for your exercise and to do your rehearsal and practice. It’s time for cuddles.

Alicia:

Maybe this is actually a danceable ritual for cats.

Anna Horn:

Yeah. They dance around me. That’s right. How can I help but pick them up and love them?

In Class with Jamila Salimpour

Alicia:

Episodes number 23 and 29 of this podcast are all about belly dance history.

A Short and Sweet History of Belly Dance from 1900-1960s: From Folk to Fame – ALLAF 023

The History of Belly Dance, Famous Belly Dancers & Belly Dance Styles – ALLAF 029

I talk a lot about Jamila Salimpour and Suhaila and what this mother-daughter duo has contributed to dance as we know it. I also have an upcoming interview with Suhaila that is unbelievable, and that’s coming out really soon.

Jamila passed away when she was in her early 90s. Jamila Salimpour was still dancing and teaching in her 80s, and Anna was part of her classes at some points. She was her model. Right? You were actually demonstrating the moves that she was describing for her classes.

Anna Horn:

I was her teaching assistant for a few years. I took her classes, also, but then I would help out as teaching assistant. When the move needed to be displayed, maybe a new move of the week, she would have us display it, and with the cymbals. She would tell us what cymbals to play and we would do it. The students would follow along. Her finger cymbals, I don’t know, I think it’s four inches, maybe more. They were really big. They were more clunky than tingy. They were very, very old. I believe they were a single hole. Suhaila Salimpour has cymbals modeled, almost replicas of, Jamila’s cymbals. They sound the same.

Alicia:

Would Jamila play those finger cymbals while you were helping her demonstrate a move?

Anna Horn:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

Alicia:

Did she ever demonstrate any of the moves herself?

Anna Horn:

Sometimes she would. There was one time where I wasn’t doing something right. She didn’t like the way it looked on my body. She was like, “No, no, do it this way.” She was probably in her early, mid 80s and she’s doing move. She was doing the foot work with the hips and the cymbals showing us, like, “Do it like this.” I remember kind of disconnecting like, whoa. I hadn’t seen her dance in a long time. It was very beautiful.

Being Part of the Creation of Suhaila’s Enta Omri

Alicia:

You were actually part of Enta Omri, one of the original cast members for that show. Could you tell us more about that?

 

Umm Kulthum singing Enta Omri (unbelievably beautiful and powerful) 

Anna Horn:

Yeah. Suhaila created a show called Enta Omri, and it was a really beautiful experience being part of that. We would come for rehearsal. She’d have a choreography in her mind, but she hadn’t yet worked it out. She would have us basically learn it in the moment. She would have the story and the choreography in her head. She had already maybe worked out some parts. Some of the songs were literally in that moment. After we had gone through a couple, we started doing collages and coming up with the creative process of finding our own voice and our own story for each song. Because it’s a two part album, every single song in there, we would find our equivalent song and our story that we would attach to that. Because we don’t know Suhaila’s story, we didn’t know what story she was portraying through her dance, so we had to find our own story and our own emotional perspective.

Alicia:

When you say collages, are you really talking about scissors and pictures and gluing together?

Anna Horn:

Yeah. Real collages. We all had our own dance journals and we would literally cut stuff out. I’m kind of weird about collaging. I don’t like just magazines. I will go on Pinterest and stuff and I’ll print everything out or I’ll have everything professionally printed in color and then I will cut. That’s kind of how I always did my collaging.

Alicia:

A big part of Suhaila’s format is collaging?

Anna Horn:

Part of the creative process. When you’re coming up with your own choreographies, you start doing that in level three, level four, you have the song and then you find the emotional perspective in the song, the appropriate emotional perspective. You might hear a song that’s really beautiful and you find out it’s a really sad song or an angry song. Or you might hear a song with sounds maybe not sad, but it might be a happy song about a past love or something like that. You need to attach that. You can’t be sad and think about something really traumatic when the song is really about remembering something that made you happy, but you’re looking at it from the past so it makes you sad too.

Anna Horn:

We had to find the meaning behind the songs and then come up with our own meaning and our own stories.

Alicia:

Very cool. Enta Omri is an album?

Enta Omri Album

Anna Horn:

It’s a two part album that Suhaila produced. I believe she did have some friends from a long time ago who were her live band back when she was in her 20s working in LA. They went back to the Middle East and recorded the album, and they recorded some, I believe, in this country as well, but with old instruments. I think there was even very antique instruments.

The instruments themselves had history.

Yeah, it was very beautiful. It was a big creative project with many people, but it was actual musicians in the Middle East recording the music.

Alicia:

Enta Omri means you are my life?

Anna Horn:

You are my life.

Alicia:

Was Jamila alive at this time?

Anna Horn:

Yes. She’d come around when we were at rehearsals. That was a really amazing experience because I’d been with the dance company for a few years, but we would just do other kinds of gigs. This was the first big stage show that I got to be a part of.

Alicia:

You traveled around with the dance company?

Anna Horn:

A little bit. Yeah. It was more after I left California, then they started traveling all over the world, with Bal Anat. We had Bal Anat and we had the dance company. Bal Anat, now people can learn the choreographies online and they have satellite schools all over Europe and Asia and all over the world. When she does tour, the main teachers there will organize their students and have them learn the choreographies, perfect the choreographies, then they will literally take it to whatever country. They just, here’s our Bal Anat performance. People who are from the area who fly in, they get to be part of it.

Alicia:

It’s amazing how structured they’ve created this whole belly dance world that is almost interchangeable in terms of … They could have a Bal Anat show wherever in the world, but it’s not the same people, but it’s the same choreography and the same ideas. It’s really brilliant.

Anna Horn:

I mean, everyone brings their own thing to it and then sometimes they’ll have different variations. We’ll have a higher level dancer perhaps come up with something they want to present, a specialty that they want to present, fan veils or poi or things like that. They’ll be incorporated into the dance. Every Bal Anat show is different but the same.

Alicia:

Bal Anat used to be very earthy, had all the ethnic kind of patterns and jewelry and fabrics from all over different places. Right? Does Bal Anat look anything like that now?

Anna Horn:

I think still model after the same but different, if that makes any sense. They call them tribes, so it’s like each group, each dance presenting a different country. They will have a variation of the costumes from that country.

Alicia:

Just watching those Bal Anat videos from the ren fair back in the ’70s, I just want to be there. I want to be there watching it. I want to be their drumming for it. I want to be dancing. I’m just so impressed with how entertaining it is, I guess, is really where I’m going with it.

Anna Horn:

It’s still alive to this day. It’s just as exciting. You watch the old videos of the ren fair and it’s still an amazing experience to be part of it.

Anna Horn:

I always had the tabl beledi. I was always on the side.

Alicia:

The davul.

Anna Horn:

Yeah, the davul, yeah. Yeah. It was always a thing. I always wanted to play the big drum. People would take turns. One time we were doing a couple pieces from Bal Anat. I believe it was for Rickassa. I would play the tabl beledi for the goddess dance.

Mother Goddess, Bal Anat

Alicia:

The mask one?

Anna Horn:

The mask dance. Yeah. I have this old stick , right, and I’m hitting the drum because I just high hit on the one of every eight counts. Boom. The music is in the background, mizmars and all that. One time, the stick broke. It had a ball in the end of it. I hit the drum and half the stick flew across the stage and almost hit the dancer. I remember I felt shocked, but I still had eight counts. It on, boom, one, and then the stick goes flying. I remember people kind of stiffened up on stage. I just kept hitting my drum. I turned it around in my hand and hit it with the other end, but it wasn’t as loud. I hit it as hard as I could because it’s got to make some sound. It was hilarious. The end of that stick stayed on that stage for the whole show. I was afraid. Yeah, no one tripped on it. Everyone watched it. But yeah, it was really funny.

 

The thing about playing the drum, playing any musical instrument, if you’re the solo cymbal player, everyone can hear you if you mess up. I felt more pressure when I played an instrument onstage than I did dancing. Because when you dance, you’re like, oh, I meant to do that. But when you’re playing off beat, then everyone can hear it. Here am I with my half stick.

Alicia:

If you make a mistake on stage and you’re a solo instrumentalist, everyone can see it. Right? That’s kind of how I feel about choreography, because if I screw up with choreography and like everyone can see that everyone else is doing something else on stage. I feel very vulnerable if I don’t have the choreography mastered.

Anna Horn:

There’s a lot of pressure when you’re in a group.

Alicia:

Tell us about how you feel when you dance to live music

Anna Horn:

To live music? I love it. It’s a beautiful experience to get to be with the band onstage, but it’s a different kind of vulnerability. Like you’re saying, for you choreography, but for me it’s improvisation to a band. Even if you have a choreography to the song that they’re playing, they could play it differently. You have to know the song, but kind of have to go in there just ready to do whatever comes to you in that moment.

Also, there’s a level of vulnerability because I feel more comfortable in choreography. I feel safer in it as far as dancing to a song. When I’m in choreography, if I run it enough and I learn it enough and I know the song enough, I can go in and out. If I make an oops, then I can go right back.

When you’re with a live band, you’ve got to make them look good. They’re putting their heart and soul into it.

I just feel very vulnerable as well because I feel, not more judged, but just more exposed, if that makes any sense. Here I am. I’m not hiding behind my choreography. This is it. I’m going to dance however I can dance. You might be good, it might be bad. Who knows? I always love dancing to live music. It’s a gift.

Alicia:

Anna and I recently performed at a festival. Let’s just say we pulled up to a large field, a very rural situation. I danced on the pool table. You never know what’s going to happen in these shows. We have got our band there. They said, “Here’s your stage.” It was a dirty corner of a barn basically.

Anna Horn:

The floor was uneven, holes in the dirt floor were pretty deep. You were going to dance on the piano and I was going to dance on the stage, and then it started raining so they moved the main bands inside and then they put us in the storage corner next to the pool table. You danced on the pool table. I danced on the dirt floor in front of the pool table.

Alicia:

I think people really enjoyed it.

Anna Horn:

I think they did. The event before that was on a muddy slope. It was a slope in front of the stage and it was mud. We didn’t hurt ourselves.

Alicia:

There was actually a turkey that was wandering around, along with a lot of hippies.

Anna Horn:

That kind of live music, it’s not about vulnerability, it’s more about don’t let the turkey kill you. Because he was eyeballing my veil. He was like, what’s that bright color? I’m not afraid of turkeys. I love animals. But I was like, this turkey is really too close to me.

Alicia:

Let’s just say, Anna and I are adventurous souls and we love dancing to live music.

Anna Horn:

Yeah.

Alicia:

The Suhaila format is known for being pretty intense, or the workshops and the whole process of reaching these different levels and certifications.

Tell us something about Suhaila, the woman behind the format

Anna Horn:

The woman behind the format. Yeah, I’ve known her for many years. I just want to say she’s wonderful and lovey and just a warm person. I think a lot of people are afraid of the format because it’s work and you have to work hard, but you improve. You see the results if you work hard. She is such like a mother. She’s so giving. She will give you what you want. If you want to improve your format and your technique, then she will give that to you, but it’s work. I think that people who know of the format should really consider studying with her because she’s like a mother to everyone. It’s not just that I have a personal relationship with her.

Alicia:

She’s part of people’s testing you were saying?

Anna Horn:

Yeah. When people do the certification program, she’s part of every part of the testing process. I think now she has set it up so that there is online testing, that you would actually take online classes and then the level five dancers will actually help you through that testing process. Level two, you could do workshops with Suhaila. Level two, level three, level four, and level five course, all of those are with Suhaila directly.

Alicia:

Tell us something you learned about choreography and choreographing from Suhaila

Anna Horn:

One thing I learned from Suhaila and her workshops is that when you were going to create a choreography,

You need to find the emotion behind that song.

Even if the song is in another language, you have to find out the meaning behind that song, and usually you can find a translation or have it translated. Then you find that equivalent maybe in another song that would connect with you emotionally, and you find that emotion in yourself. I personally don’t choreograph linear fashion. I will literally just do chunks, like this chunk is this feeling, this chunk is this part of the story that I’m trying to tell with how I’m interpreting the song. You find an emotion for that section or that part of the song and then you just move. You don’t have to do belly dance.

A lot of times people might try to shove a belly dance move in there. No, just move. It could be a move that’s not even belly dance. It’s just rolling around on your floor or pounding your fist on the wall, whatever. Whatever emotion you have, just do that movement and then you will find a way to dance that movement. If it’s a sweeping move, do the sweeping, but then what belly dance move could you do on that sweep? That’s what I learned from her.

One other very important thing was that when you’re doing a choreography or an even a live improvisation dance, even live music, whatever it is, any kind of performance,

Don’t be afraid to be ugly.

She would say that, and that was profound. Even when I found belly dance myself many years ago, you get to be pretty and you get to wear pretty costumes and you get to be admired and look how pretty she is or he is, and this thing, whatever. But she’s like, “No, be ugly. Be emotional. Be raw. Be real.” That’s part of the creative process when you do a choreography. I thought that was really profound when I learned that.

 

When I would do work with her on my own pieces, she was like, “How would you express this emotion?” Or when I did the choreography process with her in workshops, she was like, “Okay, in this section of the song, what is happening? What is your story?” There was a time in the workshops, she’s like, “Let’s talk about this,” so then we’ll talk about that section in the workshop. Of course, I’m vulnerable because everyone is hearing my story right there. There’s all these people in the workshop learning from my process and I’m learning from theirs.

 

She’ll say, “What’s going on in this moment?” I’ll tell her my story. She’s like, “Well, then move that way. Physicalize that emotion, physicalize that moment.” It’s not even just how would you move in that emotion, but if you’re telling a story, what were you doing in that moment of the story? Was there a hand gesture? Was there a movement of your head? Were you running? Were you falling? What were you doing in that moment that you’re trying to tell of that story?

 

That’s the whole part of the creative process and doing choreography, but then you’re not going to be pretty. If you need to collapse in that moment because in your story that you’re telling you’re collapsing, then you collapse and it might not be pretty.

Alicia:

Permission to not be pretty. She was giving you permission to be whatever emotion you are.

Anna Horn:

To be that artist, to do art, because art doesn’t have to be pretty. Art can be whatever it wants to be.

DANCEABLE SONG

Alicia:

What danceable song would you like to share?

Anna Horn:

I really love the Set El Hosen.

Alicia:

That’s Set, the second word is El, and then Hosen.

Anna Horn:

Yeah. When I was in California for a time, when I worked in the restaurants, I was a substitute and I liked being a substitute because there was a lot of competition to secure a gig as a house dancer. It was still back then. It was a little old school that it was like, I’m the house dancer, blah, blah, blah. I loved subbing. I was known to be a reliable sub that’s not going to take anyone’s job. I was perfectly happy because I want my Saturday nights sometimes.

 

I loved dancing the restaurants. It gave me the opportunity to perform and be creative. I did it a lot because people were like, “Oh, great, a sub who won’t take my job. I’ll just never come back to work.” I would just do chunks. Whatever. It’s fine. I would love starting my show with a song with a long intro because when you dance to live music and maybe when you’re doing a recorded set, you don’t come out right away. You have to have a little bit of that diva element. When the band starts to play, it’s kind of also like a warmup for them. They play a song and they play their intro, and then you come out when it’s time for you to come out, or after. They set the tone for the audience and all that.

 

I loved performing at the restaurants. I loved opening to Set El Hosen because it had a long intro. Maybe it was a little too long because I know the audience was like, “Where’s the dancer? Where’s the dancer?” The staff would come up, like, “Come down.” I’m like, “No, not yet. I’m not ready.” I got to play a little bit of a diva. I loved coming out to that song and I would perform it.

 

Suhaila taught the choreography to it, and this was her intro for many years. She taught it to us so that we could use it as an intro. I love it for two reasons. One, because I learned the choreography from Suhaila and it’s a really beautiful choreography. Also, Nagwa Fouad did, this was written for her. She did this piece with her beautiful video with being carried in and the fans and just got to be Nagwa Fouad. Right? That piece was her piece, but I am honoring her and I am respecting that. I just love that piece. I love that song.

Alicia:

You mentioned something about having acting instructors as part of the Suhaila program. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Anna Horn:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Suhaila herself studied with Sanford Meisner. Part of the process in creating choreography and also performance skills was to use Sanford Meisner’s techniques and apply them to dance. That was something that Suhaila did. When Suhaila studied with Sanford Meisner, it was for acting. She herself studied with him personally. It was a room full of actors and it was about finding true emotion in yourself from your own past and bringing that out. Say your character is doing something. You’ve never done that yourself. You can’t really pretend to know what that person’s feeling, but you could assume, okay, maybe they would feel this way. What emotion in me can I bring other myself and project out as the character to give that character life?

Alicia:

What experience have I had where that emotion came up?

Anna Horn:

Where that emotion would have come up. What Suhaila did is she took that and, instead of lines, it’s choreography or it’s movement or it’s the song, things like that. You actually still feel those same emotions.

Anna Horn:

For example, when we did Enta Omri, we had one song that was love and lost and layers and layers of feelings all in one. Mine was about losing one of my cats. The whole song wasn’t about losing the cat. The song was remembering happy times with the cat. There was a move that Suhaila choreographed, both arms are up in a V, and you’re looking up. That’s in the choreography that she did herself. I remembered how he would get on the roof of my little cabin that I lived in … I lived in a little cottage near the studio … and he would be on the roof. I’m like, “Get off the roof.”

I used that moment. I could have raised my arms up and been sad. Instead, I raised my arms up and I was like, “Oh, you silly kitty. Get off the roof.” It wasn’t that she said, “When you raise your arms up, be miserable.” It was like, “Raise your arms up and look up and then, okay, next move.” I had to bring my own real story to it.

 

I remember we were actually going over the Enta Omri video, and it was a solo I had in one of the pieces. I literally was like, “Okay, what are you doing, kitty?” There was a part where, it’s a hard story, but I had him … He got hit by car and it was really horrible and we tried to save him. I’m at the vet’s putting him down. They let me say goodbye. I’m holding him as he’s a dying cat. There was a part of the choreography where you did that. It wasn’t holding like a baby, but it was something kind of like holding into yourself. Another dancer could have used that same moment in that choreography to embrace a lover, embrace a child, but remember with love and happiness. Mine was holding this cat, saying goodbye.

 

When Suhaila taught choreographies for Enta Omri, it was never about, okay, in this moment you’re feeling this. No. It’s like, here’s the song, here are the lyrics, here is the feeling. If you want to know what the song really is about, what the writers intended.

That song, a moment in that song might not match necessarily the lyrics, but it matches the overall tone. You’re bringing that raw emotion to it.

That’s what I learned from Suhaila, who took Sanford Meisner’s, having learned from him.

We also took classes with Sandy Grin. He was an actor from when I was a child in Zoobilee Zoo. He was Builder Beaver. I took classes from him, acting classes. It was really great. The classes were about being vulnerable and in that moment.

Alicia:

It must be so helpful to have these stories and to have to think about what part of your life you attach to these choreographies. It must help you remember the choreographies.

Anna Horn:

Yeah. When you start to run them, you’re not just marking them, but when you really run them and you are running them with the emotional perspective of what you will present onstage, it’s there. It’s hard though because if your choreography involves something painful, it’s like you’ve got to relive that over and over and over, but then you can go into it real quick. Once you’re in that choreography, you’re like, okay, here we are.

Alicia:

You spent some time dancing professionally in restaurants. What do you miss about that and what don’t you miss about that?

Anna Horn:

What I remember fondly was, even if it was a busy night, everyone is running around like crazy, the restaurant is packed with people, when I go on to perform, the kitchen staff would come out and they would watch me. They wouldn’t leave until I was done.

Or they would leave when maybe someone was like, “Go back in the kitchen.” They would stay out.

I remember there was a couple of times where the boss would be like, “Go back,” and they’re like, “We’re watching.” They wanted to watch me. I was really touched by that. Maybe my dance was affecting them, that they wanted to see what I was going to come up with next or what I was going to do. I tried to get my shows different every time, but I was just really flattered. It really touched my heart that they wanted to see my show, because my shows weren’t about being sexy or cute. It was about I get to be an artist. I think they saw that.

Also, it was really cool when I would do some songs, the bartender would sing along.

I’d be on the stage in one part of the restaurant, the bartender would be singing, and some of the waitstaff would sing. I loved it.

One time, there was a couple singing along with the song. It just really touched me because I felt like … It might not even be about me, but I’m playing a song that affects them and they-

Alicia:

Right. Like you chose the right song.

Anna Horn:

I chose a song they enjoyed and they wanted to sing along to. I like dancing the classics, so that was the thing.

DAMN SEXY DANCE MOVE

Alicia:

Tell us about your damn sexy dance move.

Anna Horn:

The sexy hair swing. I learned this from Suhaila and Sabriye Tekbilek. You turn, and you’re spotting, but you turn your head just a smidge faster and then your hair continues going. Your hair ends the sentence, the sentence being the turn. Your turn, tilt your head a smidge, and then your hair keeps going even after you stop.

Alicia:

Your face stops and your hair swings beneath your face basically to keep turning.

Anna Horn:

Yeah.

Alicia:

Fanning out on your shoulder.

 

Anna Horn:

Yeah. You do the turn, and you’re spotting, and you stop. It usually involves a full stop. You turn with a full stop, but your hair continues to go. It kind of fans out. It’s really pretty.

Anna Horn:

Suhaila would say she always choreographed her hair. That was her secret.

I’ve been in many performances where I’m in a tangle because I didn’t consider my hair. It’s also good to practice things with the hair involved. I’ve known some dancers who had really, really long hair, like past their butts. They always are in control of it. But that was one thing I learned from them.

FEEL GOOD LOOK GOOD HABIT

Alicia:

Do you have a feel good, look good habit to share?

Anna Horn:

I’m going to talk about two. Feel good, look good habit that I have, this also involves my hair.

When I wash my hair, I don’t blow dry it. I let it air dry because my hair is very fine and it breaks easily.

If I over style it, then it’ll just literally fall out in chunks. I find my hair does best if I let it air dry. If I need to style it a little bit after it’s dry, that’s fine, but I can’t blow dry it every day. It would fall out.

One thing I used to do when I performed in restaurants and other gigs a lot, I would curl my hair, because my hair is naturally wavy, but kind of straight too … It can’t decide what it wants to be. I would curl it to make it look more consistent. With a hot iron, I would curl my hair. I would take one of the soft foam hair curlers. They’re like little sponges with fabric and a little wire inside.

What I would do is I curl my hair and then I would wrap the curl around the foam hair curler and tie it up and then just keep that up in my hair. Then shortly before I had to leave for the gig or if I can show up at the gig with curlers, I do. A few minutes before I go onstage, I’ll pull them all out and then I’ll brush my hair and I’ll have this big poof of beautiful curly hair.

It pretty much only lasts through the song or the show that I’m doing, but I always found that was the best way for me.

If I curled my hair on one side, by the time I got to the other side of my head, all the curls would have fallen out. I find that if I use the foam hair curlers to hold the curl, then everything will stay put just as I want them to for the show.

Alicia:

Anna, thank you so much for being on the show and for sharing your experiences in the Salimpour School and dancing and restaurants. Thank you for dancing with me. I love doing gigs with you.

Anna Horn:

I love dancing with you.

Alicia:

We really appreciate it. I love this talk about hair and choreographing your hair. There’s just so many great things to take away from this show. I really appreciate you being on.

Anna Horn:

No, thank you so much. This was so much fun.