THANK YOU'S WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM ALL OF YOU:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:
Tonya and Atlantis,
The Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition has a global reach and every year you both continue to put California and the U.S. on the map of bellydance around the world.
Your competition challenges dancers to prepare performances at the 35,000 foot
perspective - a truly global perspective.
Thank you for the Lifetime Achievement Award. It is an honor to be recognized for
my contributions to Oriental Dance through my teaching, coaching, and my research
and writing. Your special warm hugs and support during my cancer recovery was so
very much appreciated. The beautiful and special Egyptian (Erte inspired) statute
will have a promiment place in my dance studio.
The BDUC is special because it provides continuity of challenge that fosters
creativity and professionalism in performance. The Universal category develops
dancers as they prepare for the challenge of that special performance that must
incude a variety of rhythms. I especially appreciate the Taxim category as it
promotes improvisation and showcases true mastery and artistry.
Tonya and Atlantis - congratulations on your 20 years of producing the Belly
Dancer of the Universe Competition. Our best wishes for the next 20 years.
We hope to be with in future years to support your work. Thank you again.
Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan
Judge and Performer
and Carl Sermon, Photographer
(It took awhile to find you the right thank you card - which I am sending
in the mail - but I wanted to let you know our thanks much sooner.)
Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, Los Gatos, California, USA
Studio: 15651 Camino Del Cerro, Los Gatos, CA 95032-3721
Tel: (408) 356-9473 MaShuqaDancer@gmail.com,
The Professional Difference - Elegance of Style,
JUDGES Acknowlegement and Thank You's:
Happy Birthday Tonya and Happy 20th Anniversay BDUC!
"I first met Tonya sometime back in the sixties when I was performing at the Fez Supper Club in Hollywood. My early memories of the fawn-like Tonya of those days are very different from the super-star personality that we are now familiar with. During that period she was quiet (almost shy) and when she spoke it was with a soft low husky voice. I believe she had been singing in Jazz clubs before becoming a dancer. Her demeanor was thoughtful and she watched the world with interest through large dark doe shaped eyes. Her brown hair was soft and silky, worn in a long shoulder length and parted on one side, which made her resemble Lauren Becall. Her skin was pale ivory and her figure slim and curved in all the right places. Shortly after meeting her, she became my student and I was impressed by the way she was able to quickly absorb the movements I taught and render them with grace.
For a period of time she was like a right hand girl to me. Then, on one occasion she accompanied me to Las Vegas where I was auditioning for a show at the Flamingo Hotel. Although I had been working in Las Vegas several years before, I didn't get that particular job because my dance just wasn't flashy enough, but I believe that Tonya must have been very impressed by the showmanship and technique of the other dancers in the review and by the awesome professional lighting and stagecraft employed as opposed to what existed in our Hollywood Supper Clubs. I always thought that it was at this time her dancing career began to take a new direction of growth and experimentation.
Today's Tonya is a super dynamic lady who knows what she wants and how to accomplish it. Throughout their fabulous careers, she and Andreas Tsianis, have managed to maintain a long successful marriage, a feat practically unheard of these days, and they raised their beautiful daughter Atlantis to follow in Tonya foot steps. Early on Atlantis become a phenomenal dancer in her own right. For 20 years this Mother/Daughter team have hosted the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition where important showcase opportunities are offered to so many dancers from around the world, (not to mention providing a terrific meeting place for all the dancers each year, where we can catch up on each other's lives and careers, replenish our jewels and costumes, and be inspired by all the creative new talent. As we all know, organizing this event is no easy task and there are but few who could pull it off successfully in the way that Tonya and Atlantis have.
Happy Birthday Tonya, and for our sake, may you continue your endeavors for many years to come."
Just wanted to thank you for a FABULOUS WEEKEND!!! thanks so much for having me be a part of it! My workshop went great, by the way!!! I love you both, and hope to see you soon...and hope you're getting some rest, that was quite a weekend! Oh, I love it!!! It's seriously my favorite event!!!!!
thanks you again, so much!
Hello, Tonya & Atlantis,
Thank you so much for the beautiful event. As usual it went smoothly and everyone I spoke with told me what a great time they were having. A lot of people had a favorite dancer they were rooting for but they were happy with all who won. The contestants do their homework.
You did a few things differently this year. It was exciting when you had all four finalists in the Egyptian category and later the Universal category dance the drum solo at the same time. Each dancer had to work extra hard to outdo the other. It turned out to be a crowd pleaser.
Love to all of you,
Just want to thank you for letting me be part of your event yesterday.
It was really nice and enjoyed it very much! Please keep me in mind for next year.
Your event was wonderful!!
Hi Atlantis and Tonya,
What a weekend! Congratulations to the Masters of the Universe.
Carl F. Sermon Photography,
15651 Camino Del Cerro
Los Gatos, CA USA 95032
It was my pleasure to be there in an occasion like this when we celebrate your legacy and your life dedication to the art of belly dancing. I don't think any word can explain my love to you and Atlantis. I have known you for over 20 years now and I am very happy to be part of all your shows and celebrations.
I ask GOD to bless you with good health and the continued sucess,
Dr. Samy Farag
To our extended family,
This past Weekend the Jewels of Miehana dance team competed in the "Belly Dancer of the Universe" competition at the Long Beach Convention Center. The girls won first runner up in the troupe category. Louise Sarigumba (Wiiz) won the title of Junior Champion for 2010, and Alexandra (Punkin) and Katherine (Kat) won 1st and 2nd runner up in the Junior Solos.
It was a VERY long and rewarding two days filled with laughter, anxiety, tears, joy, lots of interviews, posing for pictures, and just plain silliness. Did you see us on TV? Friends have reported seeing us on Fox News and ABC News. We really did have a wonderful time!
You have helped create memories for these girls that will last forever and have given them such a special gift. They will remember this past weekend and can feel pride in themselves as they journey into womanhood.
Our younger dancers look up to these girls and they have now become role models. The younger dancers can't wait for their opportunity to join our belly dance community and be just like the older girls. We will always be grateful for the kindness, love and friendship you have shared with us.
WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Angelica, Punkin, Katheryn, Louise, and Miss Donna
OMG! I'm still and will be on the clouds not until after my big birthday in March 10th.
I thank you and Tonya and all the event employees from the bottom of my heart for organizing such a cool event!
Every year I meet many wonderful talent and make friendship since my first year 2008.
First time I attended BDUC I don't even now remember where it was, was 2003 I dreamt of having winning the competitions. I have not stopped to fullfill my dreams. I have won not only Universal and Egyptian, this year has another meaning for me. Starting with taksim category and towards the big titles have definetely changed how I look at my career as a dancer now.
Thank you again,
We just wanted to take a moment and let you know how much our troop Lila~Licious enjoyed being part of 2010 BDU!!!
It was such a pleasure to be amongst incredible talent!!!
We enjoyed watching the performance Sat night, WHAT A SHOW!
We are so honored that we got to be on channel 7 representing this great event it is just like you said.... We were there at the right time....
Thank you for having us, and working with us....
Thank you for putting together such an amazing event!
So happy we made it and we are truly inspired to work hard and come back next year....
Dear Tonya and Atlantis!
Thank you very much for this great event! It was a big pleasure to meet all the great dancers, to perform on the stage of BDUC, to get inspiration from all the artists and to have fun! I'm so happy to be part of such a huge and beautiful event in the world of belly dance!
I won the Taxim Category !!!!!!!:
Thank you so much again!!!
Dear Tonya and Atlantis,
I want to thank the invitation to be part of this great and international BDUC 2010, as always exceeding expectations and surprising the audience.
You made me feel at home, I was excited to see friends from previous years and meet beautiful dancers around the world.
BDUC changed my life and always will be part of my life dancer and my heart.
Thanks again, congratulation, and see you next year!!!
My best wishes,
Egyptian Bellydancer of the Universe 2009
Dear Tonya and Atlantis,
Thank you so much for yet another fun, successful and exiting BDUC. All of us had a wonderful time, and you put together such an outstanding event! We are so happy that we were part of it -- that's really what it's all about. Of course our 3rd Runner Up and People's Choice in the Group category were the icing on the cake :-).
You are truly amazing, and you should be proud of having created this awesome, one-of-a kind event that really raises the bar in Belly Dancing all over the world.
See you soon!!
Dear Tonya and Atlantis,
Thank you so much for hosting the 20th annual Belly Dancer of the
Universe event. Our troupe, Raks A'Diva, really enjoyed the event
and are so grateful that you give dancers the opportunity to showcase
their work. Your team was wonderful to work with -- so professional
and so helpful to all of us. We really enjoyed the Saturday night
competition -- was so exciting to watch the dancing to live music and
the finalists do the dance off to drum -- wow !!!
Thank you again for everything !!!
Iman, Co-Director of Raks A'Diva, 2nd RU Group,
Just wanted to say thanks for putting on such a great competition. It really pushes Belly Dance to a whole new level! It was hard work, but I learned so much and am inspired to work even harder now.
It was my first time, and I was happy to get a 2nd runner up Trophy, and I'll be back to try for the top spot next year!
Keren, 2nd RU in Taxsim Category, (Also a contestant in Fusion and Specialty)
Hello, Tonya & Atlantis,
Congratulations on another successful year. I would like to congratulate your team for such a wonderful job and for making this year's competition an unforgettable one. You have a great group of people working with you, from the helpers at both front doors in general the hole organization. We were very pleased with the hole experience.
We arrived to Puerto Rico very happy.
Mireya Yamilet, Puerto Rico
Dear Tonya and Atlantis!!!
Congratulations on your 20th anniversary of BDUC. It is a great event with of an International importance. Besides meeting great people, getting a trophy for the Taxim and enjoying workshops and performances, I was amazed to see how friendly all the dancers, volunteers, judges, vendors, etc. were to each other. I think all the girls in the dressing room deserve the congeniality award! I have only great positive feelings from this event and a beautiful trophy!