Category Archives: Belly Dancing

Luna Yatsula: For the Love of a Dancer

Luna Yatsula: For the Love of a Dancer

For Love of a Dancer

Something very special happened Sunday night at Red Violin. People came together, a lot of people came together. Not for a baptism or a brith or a wedding or a funeral, but for a life celebration.

Okokan Productions’ Sophie Giraud and Juan Carlos Bulnes — who promote live Latin, Cuban, World, Jazz and Brazilian music at Red Violin — organized “For Love of a Dancer,” a fundraiser for 32 year old dancer Luna Yatsula who is battling with a rare adreno-cortical cancer.

People who had not seen Luna for years turned up or somehow found this night and this place. Red Violin’s phone was ringing off the hook as people called in well after 7:30pm as the place filled.

Erica, who used to dance with Luna and lost track of her seven years ago, turned up to see her friend. “We used to collaborate and dance together.” Erica said. “I had been looking for her for a long time when I noticed the announcement.”

Ali, Luna’s husband was almost overwhelmed by the support and affection the dance community and others gave.

Afro-Samba Diva Guiomar Campbell said, “This is what friendship is. Luna connects through dancing and movement. Luna! We love you.”

Iranian Singer Toktam — with husband Askhan on keyboards and Hossein Kondazi — introduced her set by saying, “Luna, we all love you. We’re going to the 70s ‘I’ll Survive.’ ” And, she launched into a Middle East version of that disco classic. The words much more poignant now.

Nadir danced with Ali Kurdi and the Atlal band. Zeki and his 13 year old son were on drums. Luna first started dancing with Atlal.

Halfway through the evening, Luna herself said, “You turned me into a dancer! … People I worked with for many years… Nadir played at my very first show.”

Briefly acknowledging her struggle, Luna continued, “For all of us – be hopeful, if this turns out well, you will be the first to know.”

The celebration continued with renewed vigour and purpose. Throughout the entire evening, their little son Mehdi blissfully slept as only a young one can, confident that things will turn out well.

Significantly, women danced – flamenco, samba, belly dancing – from all over the middle and near east. Their dances celebrated passion, strength, artistry and determination. It was the women who physically demonstrated that they are one with Luna’s battle. Watching their faces, one could see the passion and energy that they passed on to her.

Over 28 performers plus staff and volunteers came together to make this special night happen.

“For Love of a Dancer,” also assisted the birth of a new band, working title, Cafe Cubano. Ten members, five from Valentin Los del Caribe and five other musicians came together.

They are:Yanni, Vocals; Jorge Betancour, band director and keyboard; Ranier and Alex, Trumpets; Aris, Conga; Biscaino, Bongo; Luis Celix, Timbales; Junior and Joel on Chorus; Frank, Bass.

People were able to contribute through a raffle, three tickets for $5.00, for some very nice prizes. Lula Lounge donated a dinner and show. Red Violin donated a dinner and a show. Pomegranate, an Iranian restaurent on College Street donated a dinner. Pikto Lab and Gallery contributed a “Supersampler” camera. And, Roy Thompson Hall donated two pairs of tickets to see Peru Negro.

All this while successfully operating her own dance school in Granada, Spain.

As an instructor, Luna is a very sought after, and has taught repeat, sold-out workshops in Canada, Spain, Lebanon, India, Mexico, UK and Dubai.

Luna is known as a sincere and generous teacher who focuses on, expression, musicality and individuality. Luna works with students not only to improve technique and skill but to tap into their inner spirit and get to the art and soul of the dance.

Luna Yatsula – Her Final Days

Luna Yatsula – Her Final Days

I’ll never forget the December day when I first met with Luna Yatsula in an Ottawa coffee shop. There was something grave about her drawn face and weakened physical presence. Yet there was so much light in her eyes.

Moving gingerly beside a mug of steaming tea, she cheerfully agreed to write the piece and to pose for photographs.

While we worked together, Luna emitted only positive energy. The swelling in her stomach had subsided and she felt well enough to schedule a belly dancing workshop for January 15. But it wasn’t to be. We were finalizing her article when she stopped responding to my e-mails. She died on January 11 after slipping into a coma.

In the final note she wrote to me on December 29, Luna sounded so alive, so determined. She reminded me to send her Guerilla contributor honorarium as well as copies of the photos we’d taken:

” I will be putting the $50 towards the cancer foundation I started. And the pics, well I would like a souvenir.”

-—Tony Martins

First there was sheer terror, fear, panic… a sense of utter desperation that was tight and almost physical, like being in a very, very tight grip. Like the coils of some gigantic snake squeezing the breath out of me. There was never the calmness, the “at peace” feeling that we take for granted as a normal state of being. That’s what it was like when I was told: “You have five or maybe six months to live. You will die and there is nothing that can be done.” For many weeks and months after that moment, I felt like I was already dead.

Everything was so unreal, so intangible, so much like dust…dissolving. Food had no taste, music could not penetrate me. People, places, everything felt like it was just an illusion. And sleep… sleep simply never came. Only when my body could no longer physically hold out did my eyes close—and even then it was no rest, no relief. Just bad dreams and a black hopeless void.

Angel or guru or magician
At first I felt like some tiny creature pitted against this huge inevitable, unbeatable foe. A pathetic little David against a Goliath. Cancer seemed like my own Mount Everest that could only ever be conquered through some great magic. Still, this was my only goal. My only reason for living was to conquer cancer.

I felt that if I could find a way to “beat this” (what that meant exactly, I wasn’t sure), it would mean that I had accomplished the impossible, had become an elevated or illuminated being, been visited by an angel or guru or magician. Instead I have learned something else: that the greatest medicine on earth, the greatest balm, is time. Just time.

I was originally diagnosed with cancer in January 2003, but after surgery I was pronounced “clear,” so I went out and restarted my life, including having a baby. The new cancer was diagnosed when I was eight months pregnant. My six-month death sentence came down when the baby was a week old.

I will not lie: I am only 34 years old, I have a 16-month-old baby boy. If there is any way for the cancer to just be gone, I would love that. I would like a few more years on this planet. I feel I still have things to do, people to meet, places to see. And I want to better prepare for death.

That’s why I used to get so upset with all the well-intentioned but ineffective things people would say. Things like: “Even if you don’t get cured, there are many types of healing.” I didn’t want to hear it. I now realize those well-intentioned people were right.

Calm and peacefulness
Regardless of what happens from here, having arrived at a point where I can actually draw enjoyment from this new cancer-touched reality—and having found again that sense of calm and peacefulness that most of us call normal—this is in itself a way of beating cancer.

Death is inevitable—the one thing that will happen to all of us—yet somehow we live in utter denial of it. We shove it in a corner, don’t look at it or talk about it until we are forced to, or until we are sick or weak or have an accident. Instead we should be taking time when we are healthy happy and in a good state of mind to deal with this reality, to accept it to prepare for it.

I can verify that accepting death as a part of life—truly accepting and embracing it—really does set you free. While I don’t feel I have completed all the spiritual work needed to be completely comfortable with death (and let me add that having a child sure does make you more bound to the chains of life), I feel that releasing our tight grip on life is the path we need to take. Yoga and meditation can be invaluable for gaining this insight. So can art and creativity
.
In my case, when given my death sentence (the one I have outlived by a year already), I simply walked away from my dancing and teaching. It all seemed so meaningless. But this was the worst thing to have done. My state of mind completely changed when I got back to dancing and putting shows together, doing what brought me joy and took my mind to a positive place.

Although my life had become a mission to cure myself, one day I sat down and said: “Luna, accept it. You have an illness that may kill you. You have a huge nasty tumour that affects everything from your physical comfort to your ability to dance and teach to your freedom to dress how you please. So, deal with it. Create and be the artist that you are.”

I determined that what I could change, I would change. And the obstacles I had to live with, I would work around. I could no longer dance, so I began to choreograph others, to produce and direct shows. My day was shortened to the six productive and pain-free hours that my medication allowed. I adopted a vegetarian, mostly raw food diet with lots of oxygen and vitamins. I accepted all this as not a temporary thing, but my new lifestyle.

Most importantly, I changed mentality from “when I’m cured” to “I have a life now.” I decided to live, as they say in yoga, in the present conscious moment.

If I can share anything to help anyone out there, it is this: Do not stay in a terror-ridden place. Immerse yourself in creativity even if it has to be completely altered. Don’t hide death away in the corner and don’t wear it as blinkers, either. Look at it, confront what frightens you most, then let tomorrow bring what it will bring.

Dancing may save my life
Knock on wood (I am superstitious after all), because following a year-and-a-half of trying every alternative treatment under the sun (and some mainstream stuff, too), my tumour has not grown in the past two months. This I believe is the first step towards shrinking it. Also, my huge belly—it once looked as if I was 10-months pregnant due to swelling and fluid build up—has reduced in size dramatically in recent weeks!

The doctors do not understand this positive change, but I feel it can only be one of two things (or perhaps both): the effects of a strange new alternative medicine I started taking in September; or a return to my identity as a dancer and teacher and the mental shift that came with it. Who knows, maybe dancing will save my life? In some ways, it already has.

Luna Yatsula recently launched a foundation in support of people with adrenal cancer and their families.

[Thank  you http://vintage.getguerilla.com/issue7/luna/index.html)

Open Letter to a Doctor

Open Letter to a Doctor

Dear Dr. Vinograd

I have a somewhat strange question for you. I do not know if this falls within your scope of knowledge .. but your opinion or advice would be most appreciated.
My name is Luna Yatsula and i am presently trying to cure myself of cancer using the Cesium Chloride High PH therapy..based on the work of DR.Brewer and Dr.Sartori. among other things diet, mind power etc. i am also wearing negative magnets on the tumor are as part of a magneto therapy.

I have adreno corticol that has metastisized to the the liver, I have two very big uncomfortable tumors there.. but nothing anywhere else.)the original adrenal tumor was removed two years ago) I have the usual liver problems… swollen legs, fatigue sometimes itchyness… but i must say that compared to others in my state I am doing well.. i think..

I mean according to allopathic doctors i was suppossed to have died three months ago…so i have already passed my ¨Deadline¨ BUT i am not free yet.. the tumors are still there. Perhaps they have stopped growing i do not know.. but they are there..
Anyways, i am a young mother 33 with a 8 month old baby so i have to at LEAST TRY to cure myself.

My situation is this, i have decided to give myself a complete break from going to the allopathic doctors..including going for CT, MRI etc… until i feel i can go again. I mean i have already passed my deadline and they just keep saying to me ¨there is nothing that we can do´.. prepare yourself to die´ etc so why waste my time…with all their negativity.. i would walk in feeling strong , healthy, postive and they just rip me down with all of their doom and gloom. AT this point i either will die ) and i can do that without their help= or i will get better..so again why waste precious time at the hospital.

So i am left a little on my own and could use your objective guidance.
My questions to you are-

1.Are you familiar with the side effcts of inducing a astate of alkalidosis- )i was told to bring my blood ph up to 8 or 8.5 at which point the tumor should at least stop growing and at best start dying and shrinking…. ) i am suplementing potasium as i am aware of that.. but i am experiencing a variety of aches in the tumor area, nausea, a lot of swelling in the legs and i am just trying to differentiate between the pains and problems of the liver disfunction and the HEALING PAINS!!! which however hard to bear are more than welcome!!!!!!

2. Does the body ¨poop out the tumor¨ or how does it get rid of it if it is going to. As i mentioned i have a lot of achy pain in the tumor area….)which i am told is a ¨healing Pain¨… this has been followed by a couple of days of very black tarry stools. This according to allopathic doctors is bad sign, i checked on the internet, a sign of some internal bleeding in the upper GI tract etc… BUT I FEEL GREAT whenever i ..excuse my foul language…. poop the stuff out.. i feel lighter and somehow relieved. Some peopl say that it could be bits fo the liver dying and bleeding.. but could it also be bits of the tumor dying and bleeding.

I have read one testimonila of a man who cured his own cancer with urine therapy, liver cancer actually,and he mentioned ´pooping out chunks of fleshy red tumor like bits amid black and foul stool…and bout of agonizing abdominal pain .. and six moths later no tumor.
I just want to know could this be happening to me.

I did go the first time this happned to the hospital.. and the was no internal hemorraging…could this be my tumor going away.

3. How does the body get rid of tumors does it reabsorb them or do people.. poop them, vomit them get skin eruption etc…

4. Is there another way to monitor tumour growth just through blood analisis.
Thank you and all your readers for your time.
LUNA

Open Letter to a Doctor #2

Open Letter to a Doctor #2

hi,
i originally posted on the liver flush forum and osmeone suggested i write to you.
i had adreno cortico carcinoma (adrenal gland cancer) last year, they removed a huge!! 18oogm tumor, but it had not yet metastasized…
now june 2004 after i have just given birth to my new baby boy they have found a large grepufruit sized tumor in my liver,left lobe,plus two small ones in the right lobe.. they are confirmed malignant metastasis of the original adrenal cancer.

the doctors say it is an inoperable sutuation and have written me off saying that there is nothing to be done for me and that i will be dead in 6 months if the tumor keeps growing at tits present rate… at the moment though i feel fine healthy, strong and have normal liver and enzyme functions…but that is what they say.

i am familiar with the 5 cleanses and the liver flush keeps coming to my mind!! i want to know if it safe for me to do it considering the prescence of the tumor?
i figure either the flush will clean me out and help to improve my over all health and perhaps cure me..or it may overtax a liver that already has some odd situation?

i suppose i do not have anything to loose considering i have been given the death sentence .. so fear is not the issue .. but i don’t want to speed up any potential death..

please helpif you can. i was told that you also were “termninally ill” and cured yourself..any advice..

luna and her new baby boy of three weeks

Open Letter to a Doctor #3

Open Letter to a Doctor #3

hi there,

i need serious advice. i have a metastasis of cancer in my liver, a large tumor about the size of a grapefruit, and two small ones. i have been given the death sentence, 6 months to live!!!!

as you can imagine i am trying to cure myself. i am doing Hulda Clark e’s cure for cancer and i wan to do the liver flush. does ant one know if that would not be a good idea?

i figure it will either cleanout the liver and help me cure myself or at least keep me healthy longer…. but i was also thinking that it could over tax my liver.

having been given the death sentence i suppose i have nothing to loose, but i dont want to speed up my ‘potential’ death…

i am a 32 year old strong otherwise healthy female who feels great, except for the fact that the doctors say i am goin to die.  my liver functions and enzymes are all normal..

please if anyone can advise i am desparate with a brand new baby

Luna Yatsula – Dancer Extraordinaire!

Luna Yatsula – Dancer Extraordinaire!

Tribute to Luna Yatsula

Luna Yatsula

Luna Yatsula

Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer,

Mother, Friend in Need

 

“The Luna Story”

Luna Yatsula is a very talented Middle Eastern dancer whose captivating performances are full of drama and emotion. She also performs Flamenco and “Gypsy Arabic Fusion” dances. Originally from Toronto, since 1999 she has been based between Lebanon and Spain. In this time, her spectacular career has taken her to 5 continents and 20 countries and some of the worlds most prestigious festivals, theatres and luxury hotels.

She has performed at: The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai, The Sheraton Hotel in Bahrain, The Al Bustan Palace in Sultanate of Oman, Le Meridien in Goa, India, and the opulent Bourj Al Araba in Dubai, the world’s only seven star hotel. The UNESCO Palace Theatre in Beirut, Lebanon with Jose Fernandez and Wadia Safi ~ The Mediterraneo Fusion Festival in Byblos, Lebanon with Demis Russos – Bombay Film Festival in India with Dilhi Mehendi- The Festival de la Luna Mora,

in Malaga, Spain with the Orchestra Nacional de Tetuan- The International Dance Festival in Madrid, Spain- El Teatro del Campo del Principe in Granada, Spain- The Official 2001 New Year’s Gala in Lagos, Nigeria – Lebanese Embassy Cultural Week in Sanaa, Yemen- among others. As well, she was featured in gala concerts with star Arabic singers: Najwa Karam, Amer Diab, Kadhim Saher, Ragheb Aleme, Wael Kfoury and Assi Halani. She has also appeared in numerous video clips, and TV shows. In 1996 she danced the film “Heaven Before I Die” starring the legendary Omar Sharrif and in 2001 she performed at the Inauguration of Zein TV in Dubai which was broadcast live via satellite to 28 countries! All this (and much more) while successfully operating her own dance school in Granada, Spain.

As an instructor, Luna is a very sought after, and has taught repeat, sold-out workshops in Canada, Spain, Lebanon, India, Mexico, UK and Dubai. She is known as a sincere and generous teacher who focuses on, expression, musicality and individuality. Luna works with students not only to improve technique and skill but to tap into their inner spirit and get to the art and soul of the dance.

For several years now, Luna has been fighting a deadly form of cancer. Despite this, she remains a teacher of renown in the Ottawa Area.