|credit: Jeanette Cool|
I have just heard the news that one of my favorite earlier bellydance teachers has passed away. Thomas "Rashid" Ryan. The news is so fresh that I'm in a zone but I see no alternative than to take a moment to remember and honor Rashid.
He was one of the sweetest, most understanding people I'd ever met. I met him during my days at the Suhaila Salimpour Dance Studio. And as much as I loved my time there and loved what I did --around Rashid I could always remember to breathe, relax and enjoy. He had a knack for bringing that calm vibe to a space.
He taught me much about dancing, about teaching, about performing, about the Salimpour history and place in the dance community. He was an amazing dancer, technical, fun, original and I couldn't take my eyes off him.
|credit: Lois-Ann Kuntz|
Rashid had been around the bellydance scene since he was young and boy could he tell stories! He and I used to carpool to the Renaissance Faire when Bal Anat had a run there in the early 2000's. I absolutely loved those morning drives! I'd pick him up and prepared with our coffee or tea we'd have the best chat sessions on the way to the Ren Faire site. He talked about his days in the original Bal Anat troupe under Jamila Salimpour's direction, he shared the high's and low's of growing up in the bellydance world, he helped me understand troupe dynamics.
He was never too busy to help with choreography, costuming or props. Rashid was always so modest, he could have easily been a diva and no one would have complained, but he was never too self-important to roll up his sleeves and get to work, no matter what. Ay, what patience that man had! He was a kind, generous, caring man. An example for all of us.
|credit: Nancy Asiya|
The bellydance world has truly suffered a loss with his passing.
Tom thank you for sharing your beautiful self with us. You will be missed but never, ever forgotten.