Where did I get the idea for THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE?
I’ve been a fan and student of the art and history of belly dance since the day I walked into Angelika Nemeth’s Introduction to Middle Eastern Dance at Orange Coast College more than 20 years ago.
For nearly as long, I’ve also been intensely curious about how this beautiful and exotic dance migrated to the United States. Not long after I enrolled in that first dance class, I began to research the dance’s history (if you’re interested in that sort of thing, too, you can find my reading recommendations HERE).
Legend has it she was a dancer who got her start at the 1893 World’s Fair and later gained fame in vaudeville. That fact hasn’t been documented, though. In fact, Sol Bloom, the man largely responsible for organizing the Midway Plaisance — which is the section of the fair where the Egyptian Theatre operated — disputes it. He states in his 1948 autobiography that no dancer by that name ever performed at the fair.
Such a mystery! Honestly, I found it too compelling to ignore and couldn’t help but try to dream up an explanation. Those daydreams, my friends, became the basis for this novel.
I’ll share more inspiration tomorrow.
In the meantime, check out my Inspiration board on Pinterest.
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THE GIRL ON THE MIDWAY STAGE is a lush historical novel rich with authentic period detail, discovery, and romance that will sweep you up in Dora’s struggle to understand herself, her quickly changing world, and her own unique journey to happiness.