Many belly dancers in the West adopt a stage or performance name, and I chose 'Alanya' for its romantic history; a beauty spot on the Mediterranean coast, Alanya was Antony's wedding gift to Cleopatra. My given name, Abigail, means 'my father's joy' and as my own father's name is Alan, this seemed a nice way to keep that link. Alanya was also one of the locations for the 'Sharpe' tv series, of which I am a huge fan!
'Abigail' also came to mean 'handmaiden' after King David's wife, so my student bellydance performance group is called 'Odalisque', after the handmaidens of the Ottoman harem who gained prestige through talents including dancing.
My speciality dance company, Sultanin Ikballer, is named after the Favourites of the Sultan.
It is said to be particularly lucky if your tutor gives you your bellydance name.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 07962 161081