Cory Zamora came to Fresno in 1972, with dance skills instilled since age 3. Backed by a strong business sense, she found that there was a need for valid Middle Eastern dance in the valley. After teaching in the valley, and mountain area, she started forming a Family for a music festival at China Peak, headlined by Pablo Cruise. The public started asking about the availability of the dancers. In 1978 the agency was created for booking parties, weddings, shows and Zamora’s famous telegrams. It has taken tell now, 1999, to reach the spiritual quest for the perfect combination of souls who make up the Family as it lives today.
Cory Zamora, 9/27/1999
In the past 20 years, dance has gone a non historical route to better understand what Zamora’s does, is to better understand the middle eastern dance movement in the 1960’s and 70’s.
In the 2000’s, the term AMCAB was invented. With this ,American cabaret, came the confusion that this meant American dance. In actuality, “belly dance” in the formative years here, was put into action by immigrants wants to feel at home. The bands, restaurants etc were all owned and populated by those of the blood. Even our first music to learn with, was directed to the middle eastern person, now living in the USA .nothing was dumbed down, “white out” recorded for the western ear .THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO TAUGHT US TO DANCE! We did not tell them what we were going to do, they taught us. From the men in the band to the grandma in the kitchen, we were taught by all. Just as in the days of the silk road, a melting pot…but all middle eastern. This is the tradition we carry on. We use no American fusion of any type!. we are old school, as taught by the blood.
Zamora’s teach an Arabic style that includes dance moves from north Africa and eastern Europe (as opposed to only modern Egyptian). All dancers learn specific moves and forms from the entire Middle Eastern region no matter their gender.
“In this fast paced world, we sometimes miss why we are doing things we do. I have always felt knowing the background of anything important to you, makes you do it better, and with deeper emotion and appreciation. I have found a fun way to teach where today’s Belly Dance came from in America. This style started due to the bands being a small United Nations of sorts. The “American Cabaret” is a journey on the silk road all the way to the new world. Not just one style, or one type of music, this style embraces the music and step vocabulary from North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey , Armenia, Saudi, etc.
It is the style that still holds dear, the use of a veil section, zills, and floor work. The costuming is very style specific as well. In learning about the make up of the bands who played for us ,we find WHY we did what we do with the sections…why there are sections, what to do with each section ! Where a sword, cane, 9/8 would go…what is 6/8? Why do each have their own set of steps?
This is my passion! I would love to share it with others so they may find the depth of their own dance.” CZ 2015