About the Author, Tamalyn Dallal

Tamalyn Dallal, crowned “Miss America of the Bellydance” by In the San Francisco International Bellydance Festival in 1995, has performed and taught bellydancing in forty-three countries, training several of the world's most renowned bellydancers. She was also among the first members of the internationally acclaimed dance company Bellydance Superstars (BDSS), performing in shows produced by Miles Copeland Jr. She has written three books: They Told Me I Couldn't, Belly Dancing for Fitness (co-authored with Richard Harris), and 40 Days and 1001 Nights: One Woman's Dance through Life in the Islamic World. In addition, she has filmed and produced three dance and culture documentaries: 40 Days and 1001 Nights, Zanzibar Dance, Trance and Devotion, and Ethiopia Dances for Joy. Tamalyn lives and teaches in New Orleans. 

About the Illustrator, Ayako Date

As a child, Ayako Date was drawn to the arts, especially drawing, making crafts, playing violin, and dancing. She graduated from the Kyoto Zokei Arts University, where she majored in Japanese painting, and spent the next ten years as a bead designer. Upon discovering bellydancing, she studied with Leilaa Hiromi then traveled to Shanghai, China, to study with Tamalyn Dallal. Ayako currently teaches bellydance in Kyoto, Japan, where she is an accomplished Persian dancer as well. She has performed in Shanghai, New Orleans, and Havana, and her artwork adorns clothing and bags in Japan.