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Djalaal Papers

Identifier: Dance-MS-Djalaal

Scope and Content of the Collection

Small collection consists of advertising and publicity materials, clippings, programs, a few writings, and copies of six photographs of Djalaal in costume. Also, material relating to the “Dance ‘til the Dawn of the New Millennium”, 1999-2000.


  • Creation: 1974-2000



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Djalaal Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Djalaal Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Djalaal

Chicago dance performer and instructor.

Djalaal grew up on Chicago’s South Side. She earned a degree in Psychology at the University of Chicago and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies at Governors Sate University. Having studied every aspect of dance, Djalaal became a specialist in North African and Middle Eastern dance, and founded a dance company, “Djalaal and the Women of the Veil”, and a women’s drum circle, “Heartbeat”.

Djalaal has performed as soloist and with her company at numerous educational and cultural institutions throughout Illinois. She also teaches dance and exercises at many venues, including several Chicago City Colleges, the Chicago Multicultural Dance Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and has performed at such places as Daley Plaza, the Bucktown Art Fair, and in the window of Carson, Pirie, Scott.

For more than thirty years, Djalaal has taught belly dancing to thousands of students, both young and old, describing her classes as “Belly Dancing as a life-long fitness alternative”. She has given lectures on Chicago African-American history, presented multicultural workshops, and presided at panel discussions on women’s issues at schools, community groups and businesses. She was awarded an Ethnic Arts Apprenticeship by the Illinois Arts Council, was on the Council of Elders for Dance Africa Chicago, and has been a member of the Executive Board of the Friends of the Chicago Cultural Center. Also, Djalaal has published articles in Afrique, Hyde Park Citizen, the Reader, and the Traditional Arts Bulletin.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Chicago performer and instructor in dance and exercise. Djalaal has studied Middle Eastern, Indian, North African, modern, flamenco and other exotic dance forms, and for thirty years has been teaching belly dancing at area colleges and cultural organizations. Small collection consists of advertising and publicity items, clippings, photographs, programs, and a few of her writings.


Arranged by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

3a 48 6


Gift, Djalaal, 1997.

Processed by

Virginia Hay Smith, 2009.


Inventory of the Djalaal Papers, 1974-2000
Virginia Hay Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/18/2011: Revisions, additions, and updates were made.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States