Nisei Week 2011

I don’t know if I’ve ever had such a blast while feeling so awkward.  Dancing is what I do, and I own it.  But this time I was dancing unfamiliar dances in a barely familiar style in front of thousands of people.  Plus I’m a tall white girl who was dressed in street attire amongst … Read more

“We take who we are out onto the floor”

One of my favorite dancers at Tribal Fusion Fest was Trish Shannon.  She is a captivating story teller who created a performance, not based on cool dance moves, but on specifically chosen movement based on its history, intention and how it fit with the greater story.  She invited the audience to come along with her for the … Read more

I’ve spent countless hours on learning new and familiar dance styles.  Even while learning to layer chest drops on top of a shimmy on top of a grapevine while keeping rhythm with finger cymbals, I haven’t felt that the summit was so high as I do with partner dance.  Its a very exciting and intriguing … Read more

“This dance was made for me”

This May at Tribal Fusion Fest 2011 I had the pleasure of meeting Heather Thompson of Tribal Moon Belly Dance.  I conducted a very off the cuff improvisational interview while she worked the Performer’s Registration table.  We discussed many dance topics including: American Tribal Style (ATS), ATS vs. freestyle dance, ATS vs. Ballet, underground or … Read more

The “Ballet” of the Bellydance World

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenn and Sooz on March 19th, 2011 at the Ojai Bellydance Festival. We talked about what they love about ATS (American Tribal Style), Tribal Bellydance community, and their own history in bellydance.  I can’t wait to see these beautiful ladies again, on or off the stage. http://www.tribalsooz.com/   Sooz and … Read more

Literally “carrying on” a cultural heritage

“Ten Suitcases” There’s undoubtedly countless unsung heroes that carry on cultural heritage.   I’d like to congratulate and honor Bruce and Jida Sukpradit who shared with me their valiant effort to conserve and perform traditional Thai dance.  Bruce (Jida’s husband) told me that with no grant or aid, they went to Thailand and meticulously collected costumes … Read more

Thai New Year (Songkran) in Los Angeles 2011

Walking into the Wat Thai Temple in North Hollywood, I was surrounded by color, music and smell of delicious Thai food. Soon enough I found myself surrounded by colorful people who wanted to share their story.  As they set up chairs I set up my camera to capture their beauty and explore what Thai dance … Read more

A New Year and a New Project

What a great start to my current project of learning about culture, history and music through dance in Los Angeles ethnic communities! Last month, I went to ThaiTown to celebrate Thai New Year and discover people who were passionate about Thai Dance.   Known as the “Biggest Cultural Event Outside Thailand”, the 8th annual Songkran Festival … Read more

Dance With Alia is a conscious effort to build knowledge, discussion and thoughtful awareness to the value and vitality of dance in culture.  While the popularity of dance shows has proved the attraction of people to watching dance, Dance With Alia explores why, for what purpose, when (historical influences) and how.  Dance serves not only … Read more