Yasemin and Paul Petresco of Tribal Bazaaar dancing at Café Aman, Los Angeles. Yasemin is one of those people whose depth surpasses her titles and associations.  Yes she is a beautiful costumer, a talented cabaret and folk dancer and artist but she has an essence and mystique that cannot … Read more

Interview with Heather Shoopman at Tribal Fest, May 2012 Its always a pleasure to see Heather’s big smile at events around LA, so it was especially lovely to have her in my interview chair sharing her diverse history. She has learned gymnastics, martial arts, rock climbing, martial arts and choreographed for the Pom Pom Squad … Read more

Marta Schill on 1970s Los Angeles Bellydance

Years ago in one of my favorite bookstores (Book Barn in Niantic, CT), I picked up a copy of the Compleat Bellydancer by Julie Russo Mishkin and Marta Schill.  I loved it for its beautiful pictures and as a snapshot into American bellydance history.  It harkened the time before instructional DVDs and Youtube, even before VHS or CDs!  Published … Read more

Backstage at “A Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance”

Last Saturday January 21st, was the premiere event for the new Los Angeles chapter of MECDA (Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association).  It may have been called “Taste of Los Angeles Bellydance” but we all left satiated.    There was over 8 hours of performances and workshops by Devilla, Heather Shoopman, Mandala Danceworks, Princess Farhana and … Read more

Alexandru and I met at an International folk dance cooperative, Cafe AMAN where we quickly bonded in our love for music and dance.  He has a rich history of professional dancing and teaching.  We discuss learning dance in Moldavia,  teaching dance all over the world and his broad knowledge of Argentine Tango, International Folk Dance, Romanian dances, and American dance styles … Read more

On Sunday October 16th Pasadena hosted The Taiko Center of Los Angeles (TCLA) for their Cultural Dance Festival.   Founded by Reverend Shuichi Thomas Kurai in 1996, TCLA’s two ensembles perform throughout Southern California and also in Japan. “Taiko”, which means drum in Japanese, percussionists are generally seen with smaller “Chu Daiko” or very large “O … Read more

Unlimited Splendor in Russian Dance

  Los Angeles is a great place to be for a dance connoisseur like me. On October 16, 2011 I had the pleasure of attending Old Pasadena’s Cultural Dance Festival.  They showcased Brazilian, Mexican Folklorico, Chinese, Hawaiian, Taihitian, Russian, Russian Gypsy dances on stage.  Meanwhile, in a nearby location they had FREE dance classes in tap, … Read more

Two Stepping in Texas

 Sometimes something so simple can open you up to new possibilities.  Learning to Two Step at The Broken Spoke in Austin was a good lesson in following and letting go.  While in Austin, Texas my family and I hit up the Broke Spoke for a dance lesson which is offered every night before the live … Read more

Dancers Who Drum

  A week after writing about the relationship between dancers and drummers and the importance of knowing your music I saw a most spectacular display of dancers who were the drummers.  The 38th Annual Los Angeles Korean Festival sponsored the sponsored the Yeosu City Dance Troup from (South) Korea to perform.  Sadly, their time slot … Read more

Of Dancers and Drummers

Issam and Alia On August 14, 2011 Issam Houshan taught a free drum workshop at the Housewarming party for Los Angeles Bellydance Academy.  Having studied doumbek (Middle Eastern drum) for 2 years, I made sure to be there.  Issam is famous for being the main drummer for Bellydance Superstars, but he has also played for … Read more