D's Blog

October 26, 2010   ♦   4 Comments »


Elisa Gamal

Elisa Gamal

Elisa Gamal is a master performer.

She is currently a guest instructor for the next 8 weeks.

This is an important class to take!!!

It’s not too late to join us.

Tuesdays at 7:45-9:00

Started Oct 27. . .

(There is still room. It’s a small class.)

• It’s open to all levels of belly dance experience because it’s not like the rest of belly dance. Some belly dancers have not had a veil class, ever.

Reasons to take a veil dance course:

• IF any of you are interested in performing? You should take this class.  (Since it’s an 8 week class, you can divide this class into 2 payments if you want. Please make sure we know we want to attend even if you have to miss a couple.)

• This is a skill and an adventure into powerful archetypal creative process as I will discus below. . .

• If you want to take an entertaining class, take this class.

Elisa is very fun!

Please help us with the success of this class:

IF you have friends interested in performing, do them a favor. They may not know about this class opportunity. (who can read all the email these days).

Please e mail them personally, send my little talk below as well as the and link this class so they can read the details and tell them it comes highly recommended!


NOTE: While our student out reach is mostly belly dancers, I feel all serious burlesque dancers should take a professionally delivered belly dance veil class. There are great skills here for you to use that many belly dancers are experts in. Please tell any burlesque dancers you may know.




Level of difficulty:

I  have had low attendance in my specialty “Veil Dance” classes and workshops. In fact I have been noticing over the past couple years that the importance of “Veil Dance” seems to be being avoided by students in relationship to other class offerings for some reason! What’s the deal? I ponder, why are belly dancers avoiding this course ? It is a great stretching exercise and has great aerobic benefits in a different way than Power Belly classes. It’s more like flying!

• Is it because it demands your arms get over your head?

If this is hard for you, maybe you need this class more than you will admit. A little bit of physical challenge is a good thing. To get aerobic benefit you have to get your arms over your heart. I know this can be hard at first, but if you try a little bit harder you will see more physical development. I know you can do it.

• Is it the spinning that detours you?

The secret is to do a few spins every day. Learning to spin grows better balance and core strength. Eat ginger to quell and queasiness (we always have it in the dressing room). Keep your glance at eye level, don’t blink nervously and relax your mind. Too much left brain thinking gets in the way of balance. Good spins are the mark of a good dancer.

Delilah Spins

Delilah Spins

If you have an inner ear problem can you still hope to dance well?

Yes, but you will have a small disadvantage of not being able to use the centrifugal force and momentum of a spin. You can approach it a little differently. You will have to work harder. Developing good body extension is key and learn to do half turns that are not really spins. One of our instructors has this problem.




This is a very mature talk. The veil’s esoterica is about female empowerment.

The veil dance is a part of the traditional belly dance routine as we’ve known it in America for the past 50 years and more. It’s an American innovation. It takes freedom and standing in ones own power to explore it and perform it effectively.

It is related to vaudeville and burlesque. How so? Both delve into the powerful esoteric’s of the art of revealing. It is a powerful mystery (even though it’s usually not discussed or taught this way very often). Non the less, if something catches our attention there is always something powerful behind it. Burlesque is very popular in todays culture there is no denying. Many women are deeply drawn to exploring it like moths to a flame although many would be hard pressed to explain why. “If they could explain it they wouldn’t need to dance”  said Isadora Duncan.

Veil dance was always a healthy part of the belly dance curriculum I studied and have passed on. The avoidance of veil dance I’m sensing in some of todays belly dance students is partly related to the fear of over exposure I’m guessing. Belly dance culture is made many more average women seeking simple means of self expression than extreme exhibitionists. Across the board women have plenty to feel vulnerable about these days; economy, politics, technology racing forward, and terrorism.  However, if you are find these these pressures of the day intimidation, I encourage you to resist standing still! Find the strength and courage to explore this powerful medium. Thus I want to explain more deeply about the power behind the veil dance.

It is related to vaudeville and burlesque. How so? The esoterics behind the art of revealing is to delve into a powerful mystery (even though it’s usually not told or taught this way). Non the less, if something strongly catches our attention there is always something powerful behind it. Burlesque is very popular in todays culture. Many women are deeply drawn to exploring burlesque.

The fear of veil dance I’m sensing in relationship to belly dance students is directly related to the fear of exposure. We have plenty to feel vulnerable about these days.  However, Ladies I encourage you not be a timid! You will find strength and power from being in expert control of this powerful medium.







Delilah by Chris Yetter

Delilah by Chris Yetter

As this art has developed in recent times, it’s become a high skill.  The act of veil dance is more than simply “dance”. The skills demanded are thoroughly dance ingredients; grace, balance, spins, extension, aerobic stamina, lots of arm passes and core work.

ADD deep personal soul access. It takes individual power from within to deliver a dramatic performance.

You utilize character, and the archetypal symbolic action of veiling and re-veiling and revealing. You learn to fortify and stand in your power. Mistress at the helm.


In the Middle East women live under a veil. Their culture says; women are too powerful, and men too weak to behave once that power is revealed. This belief gives them permission to separate men and women. A lame excuse in my book and  clearly a disempowering power play.  I think plenty of cultures prove that men can behave themselves.

So this cultural back story brings us to a major crossroads where Middle Eastern and American belly dancers differer in style. The evolution of belly dance in America developed veil dance techniques to a supreme degree.

All  arts are made of responses to the cultural environment they exist in. Thus belly dancers in the Middle East have not taken to do much veil dancing  like their American sisters do. We are the for runners of dancing with the veil. We received our inspirations from other sources; modern dancer’s like Loie Fuller (1890’s. . .) or ancient greece, or dramatic general stage craft. In the Mid East I think the relationship is psychologically taboo territory because they have a different relationship with the veil than we do. They do include a veil as a accessory with store bought Egyptian costumes but they sew bead on all the edges making it heavy and not designed with any aerodynamic  intention. It is just meant to cover up the dancer’s body while she is waiting to perform.


I’m sure the first time the light weight fabric came off the loom it was dances with. How could anyone resist? Give a child a veil and they get it immediately. It’s light and liberating. It involved the air that we breathe for existence. Thoughts and spirits ride the wind. It’s medium is transcendent in nature.


We veil things to keep the POWER contained; ritual objects get veiled,  we veil and close doors for privacy, the bread gets veiled so it will rise. Women wear a veil to morn the dead and for seclusion.

In the case of the art of belly dance what gets veiled and revealed is a deeper YOU.

As we unveil, the action or process causes us to deliver a power and essence that moments ago in the dance were covered up.

You meet your audience in intimate dance mode and with a deeper personal expression. Then, what they see is this spirited essence that unfurls and lifts into the air space and the ethers around them.




Maji by Freeman Mester

Maji by Freeman Mester


You are using your innate female life regenerating power of the Goddess. Your female body is a vessel for life, it represents the earth, our world.




We are all made of both male and female attributes. The feminine side attracts, contains, incubates, draws in. The male side expands, pushes out, challenges.

By nature of being woman we do possess the universal power of attraction within us. Without it, the universe would fall apart. However, we have a bastardized sense of what this power really is in todays society. We are taught it’s comes in a small pink package called  “pretty”. Ha! Pretty does not sustain life.

So the power behind the veil must be more mature. More powerful! It is far from superficial idea of pretty. The power is in it’s containment and it’s revelation. In it’s knowingness. Trouble is we do not know it very well in today’s world.

If you/ me/ we, want the power of the feminine to have meaning then more of us need to go there and both meet and explore this power head on! I suppose this challenges you to accept your own body. Duh! How else can we fight the stereotyping? We have to accept our own bodies first. Your body is a gift! You never loose this power. However you can ignore it, loose sight of it or simply not believe in it.

The power of the veil is not in the physical noun. The power is within the action of covering and revealing.

Many women today are afraid to use their power. Afraid they don’t know what it is, don’t have any power,  or it’s not good enough. I beg to differ. It’s only that  we are all busy subscribing to the commercial propaganda and adding to the collective fear. The power of attraction is a female quality, yes but it is a universal constant, not a commodity.

Confusion with the issues is good enough to lose strength. Thus we have no control. I tell you it is not about “pretty”.

Control of the veil is an exercise in demonstrates this power from within! The mystery is revealed. When we are lead to believe that it’s all about “pretty”; we as women are dissempowered by our culture this way. This is a daily message pumped out in media so we will stay occupied with superficial issues and keep buying things. We remain busy chasing the wrong goal and are disempowered.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Exploring your self though movement and self expression in real time is a valuable effort . It’s vital life force you are accessing and utilizing.


What lays behind the veil could be an impassioned lover, a nurturing mother,  a playful child, a wise crone, a hungry cat, a delicate butterfly, an owl, a sprite. It could be an archetypal embodiment; Athena, Aphrodite, Isis, Kali the Medusa, Themis Mother of justice, the vagina dentata, or the gaping maw. It could be the raw power of seduction reminding us that it is essential to the workings of nature, not evil.

The personal expression could come in all flavors of emotional tones; tenderness, vulnerability, sadness or loss. It could be mischievous, dark, light, comforting, passionate, angry, lyrical, or chaotic- you get to creatively choose your muse.

Delilah at he High Dive

Delilah at he High Dive


The veil is usually 3 yards of silk or chiffon. It is learned to be smartly wrapped around the body of a dancer and then masterfully controlled as adeptly as a magician, who  mesmerizes the audience. It graces the air with color and shape shifting designs that are as fleeting as the smoke of incense.

The fabric is made of threads that pick up the vibration from the dancers emotional center. The dynamics comes from her core and reverberates outward from our hearts center into the threads. The veil becomes our wings; it is the closest you will come to flying.


The moon hides and then re-veils it’s self. A butter fly erupts into a glorious creature. The anticipation of the opening of a beautifully wrapped gift.

Lulu's Birthday veil dance

Lulu's Birthday veil dance

  ♦   Comments Off on Helen’s Dance; October 20th 2010


I’d like to share my profound story ofthis past weekend:

I arrived in the four corners area of the states. Durango CO. airport and then off to Farmington NM. First time here. Wow to the grand landscape.!  Very beautiful sunny afternoon. The trees are an intense yellow and a lizard green against a milky brown. I am amazed how the terrain changes the second I crossed into New Mexico. Not very many trees just land, sky and tumble weeds as far as one can see. I like this high desert. Reminds me of when I was small and lived in the desert of California at the Saltan Sea for a year. (I know this is different. We didn’t ever get snow there).

I came to visit my friend Sarah, a mentor of mine who taught me so much about art and the true creative process, and ritual community celebration. She truly was a huge influence on me in the mid 80’s. We even did collaborative art together in the North West and in the Soviet Union; I danced, she made my art props and some of my costume pieces; Steve composed music for these works we did in theaters and galleries. We also share a big EGYPT connection together. Both of us are totally fascinated with the life styles, art, ritual of ancient Egypt. . .I haven’t seen her in years and I felt called to go now. This time in particular was important for us to touch bases. I needed another dose of her hard edged wisdom and compassion lessons.

I also told her. “Tonight we have a dance to do on the desert for a dear dancer friend of mine whose time is coming to an end here on earth”.

Sarah took a deep breath, exhaled and knodded.

I am here to be re inspired and take time out to slow my wheels down a bit and just remember things. While here I look forward to teaching in Durango on Saturday and I will also visit Chaco Canyon. If you don’t know about the Pueblo Indian ruins at Chaco canyon, let me tell you they are as mysterious as the Great Pyramid in Egypt. No one knows why they were really built. Little is known about the culture. They’re gigantic complexes some with 800 rooms and round rooms called kivas. They were constructed over a 250 years! The first ideas about there use are changing fast as they investigate and use special infra red cameras and such. They are strange because they were probably were never lived in. There is no archaeological evidence that points to housing very many people (food, water, garbage, burials, stuff). You can’t even sustain a fire in most of them. It gets very cold part of the year. Fire would be essential. Current ideas point to the complex being a Astrological theatrical monument to the Sun, moon, seasons, time and space.  They must have been something in their day. Now an impressive skeleton of what they once were silently holds the secret of their time. Connected to the complexes is a long road that leads due north off a cliff; similar to the Nazca lines in Peru. Perhaps the road are for their souls to tread to the heavens. The structures maybe more about the external effect than internal uses. Like the Great Pyramid. Much of these new Ideas have been developed from discoveries made in the past 15 years. Fascinating.


Here I am in the presence of mysterious wonder that set the stage for the this afternoon.


Sarah picked me up at the airport, drove me to her house, shows me around a little and points in one direction. Over there in the distance is Chaco Canyon. She leaves me to run some  errands while I relaxed.

By the late afternoon/evening the storms came in and surrounded the high mesa I am staying on. Sheets and jags of soundless lightning lit up walls of clouds all around me, but the sky was blue with a few cotton puffs over head. I love the wilderness and I am reminded of some reading I did along time ago by Father Matthew Fox about the power of deserts. . . Wind followed me where I went like a constant companion as I explored the property. The view was breath taking. I could feel the city shuffle falling away from me with each exhale. Burned away by electric fizzle. The altitude is over a mile above sea level and my boots feel a bit heavy. The moon was an ever so pale green that hung medium in the sky. It was shinning down on me like a stage light as it got darker. . . Some how the moon felt closer to me than those surrounding clouds that walled off the ends of the horizons in all directions. Even though it wasn’t night yet, I could not tell for sure where West was or a sun should set. The moon was locked inside this cloud corral with me.

Sarah has a rock labyrinth on her property and I planned to do my dance later on for Helen around 7:00 PM when the other dancers were with her but the atmosphere was so unusual I decided to proceed now, in this moment. I’ll do a run through to mark out the space I thought. So I did a little dance as the lighting flashed and veils of rain could be seen in the distance. You could see the heavy gray bottomed clouds pouring out water but the bottom edge of the showers didn’t always touch the ground but hung like layers of veils. When I reached the center of the labyrinth I came to a rock with the words carved on it, “REMEMBER”. I smiled. I spent 7 good years with the sufis and the ritual we practiced was called Ziker and it literally means “remember”. It’s a moving dance of arm passes, spinning and chanting; surprising memories always find you when you practice it.

Then a flood of particular memories pass across my mind.

I was thinking of Helen . As I said the dancers were to gathering by the side of her bed tonight. I couldn’t be there but I asked Kalara to read a dance description I wrote before I left. I told her I would do a dance for her out on the mesa on Sarah’s land. Just ask Helen to close her eyes and use her imagination to come dance with me. I planned to dance in the labyrinth with a different colored veil in each direction. Red was Helen’s favorite color, Yellow for morning sunlight (it just happens to be the same color as the leaves that met me when I got off the plane), Brown silk for the earth she new so well since she was a farm girl and last a Turquoise transparent chiffon for the reminder of the 2 times she came to Hawaii with me and loved to swim in the tropical blue waters.

I thought of her smile, soft cheek, long arms, expressive hands and hardy laugh. As I slowly spun in the middle of the labyrinth, I could see her dancing in the sky, her veils flashing of yellow, pink and amber. As I spun I looked up into the vault above me clear blue and out of my peripheral awareness it was like I was in the center of a chorused circle of dancers with veils. Their silks touching me gently in the air like a silk kaleidoscope. The wind came in gusts and I heard a voice for just an instant! Don’t know where it came from as I looked out in all directions. Any houses were too far away. The voice must have snagged a ride from the wind for a second. I smiled and wondered if it was Helen.

This was my dance for Helen.

I came inside and called Seattle.

Kalara said,

Sadly and bravely she passed away today.

Bless her soul.

Dear Sister we will think of you always.

I will remember.






  ♦   Comments Off on Meet Ruby Beh

Meet Ruby Beh

Introduced to you by Delilah


Ruby Beh

Ruby Beh

As a grand dame in the dance I thoroughly enjoy watching dancers come up the dance pike; it’s a special position that long time instructors occupy as they witness students first shimmies and hip lifts, then see them get hooked and become native speakers in the language of belly dance. Each dancer evolves with her unique constellation of stars and planets. A metamorphic transformation takes place and they unfurl into a beautiful butterfly one way or another; some as super stars of the dance, others as quiet torch bearers to the importance this dance has been in their lives and those around them.


Today I want to talk about Ruby Beh.

My first vivid experience meeting Ruby was at Indigos Emerald Rain Sanctuary Camp held at the end of August 2004 near the Grand Coulee Dam. The topography out there is breath taking. The deep gorge cuts through the earth leaving far reaching cliffs and flat top mesa above the winding river of sausage linked lakes. This annual camp is a three day rustic get together under a really big sky. Everyone cooked their own food in a big camp kitchen. They sleep in barrack style cabins, tents or campers.  Large sized classes were held during the days in the sizable lodge until it gets too hot. Then everyone goes for a swim in a near by lake.

This event is very casual and earthy and I am drawn to describe it here because there is something about that first encounter that is connected to who Ruby is, that is not so obvious on the surface. An ecologist and a sturdy farm girl. So I  have a vision of Ruby in the out back of Gods country in jeans as much as in a Turkish costume.

I came with Erik Brown who was teaching drum classes and he and Stephen Elaimy on oud played for dancers at night on Friday and Saturday. A bit of wine and beer was shared, long talks and singing in the moon light. I love to sing and Ruby indulged me. Not that I have a voice, but I have great enthusiasm for singing chants and songs. We were in tune. So I got to know her pretty well that night. We sang, talked about all sorts of lofty ideals, laughed alot, and I liked her. She lived in Bellingham Washington then. At that point in her life she wasn’t so sure what direction she was going to go. She was in School studying Environmental Chemistry at Huxley. She began belly dancing on the side in 1999. Both Ruby and Indigo started a belly dance club on the campus and began sponsoring events featuring the teachers they were learning from on videos as well as bringing live music ensembles up to the campus to perform. Dahlia Carella Elisa Gamal, Delilah, Brothers of the Balady, Ek Balam, and years later, Ruby would bring House of Tarab, a 6 piece band up to Bellingham all on her own on multiple events. These two young girls were showing the dance off in style, early in their dance experience. I admire that.

As the years went by, my self and the members of the bands I worked with recognized this young woman’s lion sized heart and fortitude. She is genuinely supportive to other artists, and passionate about the dance. She is a very self possessed and independent. She has the ability to keenly focus on her goals once she sees them. Her students hold her in great regard. It is no secret she is an exceptionally talented performer.

But during the summer of 2004 at Emerald Sanctuary Retreat, Ruby was standing the stillest I would ever see her in regard to belly dancing. She had mostly studied with DVD’s for the past couple years. She was working hard as as a waitress and school was taking precedent. Her first performance to live music had only been a few months earlier with Ek Balam. I will always remember this night as a turning point as she was standing at a major cross roads. I could hear in her restless words she was trying to reconcile her discontent with the direction she was heading in school and the insistent siren’s call of the belly dance inside her, asking her to take a different fork. She was striving to find the courage. Soon after she recalls.


“ I was sitting outside the Analytical Chemistry lab at school when I had an amazing epiphany: I didn’t have to be a scientist, I could actually be a belly dancer!  It was then that I started taking things more seriously, going to workshops, taking many private lessons.”

Back to D:

She decided she wanted to focus on Turkish style because at the time, it seemed there were only a few dancers in the US doing it compared to Tribal, Modern Egyptian and Fusion.  She loved the high energy and she felt it fit her body and personality!!!! She graduated from College in fall of 2005 and took off to Istanbul to study.

The Turkish Experience…


“Over all I spent 10 weeks in Turkey, 8 of which were spent in Istanbul studying.  I went on folk tours, run by Tayyar Akdeniz and Artemis Mourat.  Classes were about 7 hours a day. I studied with: Hale Sultan, Semra Su, Artemis, Eva Cernik, Nourhan Sharif, Serpil, Tayyar, Reyhan (roman style), Sema Yildez, Bulent and Sheynaz.

I took lessons, practiced and went out to see bands and dancers almost every day.  I studied Turkish Romani dances as well as other regional folk dances but mostly I studied Turkish Oriental.  I love the dancing of Asena, Didem and Burgul.”

Back to D;

She returned enthusiastic to share everything she had learned, so she started teaching weekly classes.  She practiced by her self, sometimes for even 8 hours in a day!  She really wanted to develop her own style. While many dancers preferred slim cut skirts she went for double layer full skirts. She took more private lessons and workshops, watched lots of performance DVD’s and practiced her finger cymbals religiously.

Now she needed 2 things if she was going to make a career out of dance (and this was her intention). First, she needed to be challenged, so she entered her first contest in 2007 called  Emerald Rain Competition out side Seattle. Second, she needed to show people she could dance. Contests are one way to be noticed plus document ones accomplishments and prowess.


“I didn’t place in pro (didn’t even have a professional costume yet ;0) but I won the “Gypsy” category, I was so excited to be surrounded by all these amazing dancers at once, everyone bringing their best to the stage that I got hooked on competitions.  It was a great way for me to be seen, get feedback and meet tons of amazing dancers.  I entered Bellydancer USA that same year and took a peoples choice award in Professional.  After that I went back to Turkey for another month studied like crazy and bought several custom made costumes.”

Back to D;

Two new elements entered her dance in 2006. Pilates and Celiacs disease. She discovered she had been fighting a debilitating disease all her life that made her battle weight gain, get tired easily and have skin problems. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that makes it so that you can’t digest gluten containing grains. She has have sub-clinical celiac disease, meaning she’s allergic to Gliaden which is contained in all gluten containing grains plus quinoa, amaranth and oats.  Even a trace amount of this substance she found would through her system way off.  Her life style has changed quite a bit because she has to carry particular food she can eat everywhere she goes now. She is much healthier and happier since discovering this problem. I watched her dance evolve another couple notches. Her present stamina is through the roof!

The other major ingredient in Ruby’s development was discovering pilates. She became a certified pilates instructor. Pilates revolutionized the way she danced. She found it necessary to keep up her pilates practice in conjunction with the fast and hard Turkish style she was developing. Sometimes Ruby moves faster than lightning, and this takes incredible core strength.

When she got back back from Turkey she went to Double Crown Belly Dance contest where she won the “Gypsy” category and made it to finals in the Pro category!  In spring of 2008 she returned to Emerald Rain and won the Professional category followed shortly after with winning the East Coast Belly Dance Classic and then back to Belly Dancer USA again where she placed 1st runner up.  Last year Ruby won Belly Dancer USA 2009.

Growing up….


“ I was born in a small apple farming town in Upstate NY to a family of mechanics and drivers on one side and artists on the other. I’m the youngest of three, with one brother, one sister and 9 nieces and nephews! As a kid I spent a lot of time in the orchards and woods, climbing trees and generally being a tomboy.  I spent a lot of summers with my grandparents who lived on a secluded 80 acre sustainable living farm where I learned how to live off the land and enjoy nature.  Early on I was extremely independent and started working my first jobs when I was 8 years old, as soon as it was legal I got an over the table job and when I reached into my teens worked three jobs at a time so I could get more hours in.  I did everything from food service to gardening, floristry and taking care of the elderly.  I moved out on my own when I was 16 and as soon as I finished high school I drove away and traveled the country, eventually settling on the west coast.”

Back to D;

Her story does not surprise me knowing what I have observed about her in the past 7 years.

Delilah: “What do you like to see in a dancer?””


“When I watch a belly dancer, I want to see belly dance.  I want to see someone dancing from the heart and exposing themselves emotionally to the audience.  I love all of the creative fusions and forms of expression that have been born from this dance but I feel like fusion has become a crutch for so many dancers who are afraid to expose themselves.  When you’re on stage, you can’t hide your true self, you have to be honest.  I also want to see good technique, energy, creativity and I want to see a dancer having a good time! My advise is to practice, spend time dancing by yourself, get feedback at every opportunity and practice some more.”

Delilah: “What do you want to achieve in the next 5 years”.

Ruby: I want to travel everywhere and share what I’ve developed with dancers all over the world.  I want to keep fine tuning my styling and push to learn more about Turkish culture as well as American Classic Belly Dance movement history.  I have a few ideas for more DVD’s that I’d love to do and I intend to spend a lot more time in Turkey.

Delilah: “ Your costumes are always fantastic and different every-time I see you. May I ask, where do you get them?”

Ruby: “ 95% of my costumes come from Bella, a Turkish and Belgian based designer with an amazing gift for creating one of kind and extremely well made costumes.”

List of Awards:

2007 Emerald Rain Gypsy stylist

2007 Double Crown Gypsy stylist

2008 Emerald Rain Champion

2008 East Coast Belly Dance Classic Champion

2009 Belly Dancer USA

Ruby’s Instructional DVD’s:

Flawless Floorwork, by Cheekygirls Productions.

Totally Turkish, by Cheekygirls Productions.

In a few weeks she goes to compete in the Belly Dancer of the World in Germany.

Good Luck Ruby!




Learn more about Ruby at

www.devinebelly.com .

Come study with  her at Delilah’s Belly Dance Retreat in Hawaii January 25-30 2011. www.delilas-belly-dance-retreat.com