The lovely Michelle Manx met with me one night of Tribal Fest 2012. This interview was the beginning of a beautiful night where we celebrated her birthday at the Cosmik Casbah afterparty. Michelle is a sweetheart and it was a highlight of Tribal Fest 2012 to get to know her better.
She studied ballet for a few years starting at age 6 and has recently taken classes again. Her mother used to listen to Arabic music and learned bellydance, yet it took 30 years for Michelle to begin her own journey into the world of bellydance. Once she started she became obsessed, taking classes as much as 5 days a week and sometimes travelling 3 times a month to study with revered teachers.
Beginning her performance career at a tattoo convention, Michelle has created her own style of dance called “Pin Up Bellydance” where she combines 1940s and 50 pinup poses and facial expressions with bellydance. After cutting her bangs short, she was likened to Betty Paige. She began studying pictures and stylings of the “Golden Age” bellydancers and PinUp girls. Her style evolved as she danced to jazz and rockabilly music while incorporating more of her own wardrobe into performances. Although she sometimes bellydances at Burlesque shows, she does not consider herself a Burlesque dancer, in that she does not remove any clothing.
Michelle grew up in Austin, Texas where her parents have lived in the same house since she was 2. Michelle also has played trumpet and her husband plays in rock bands in the Austin area.
She recommends The Great American Pin-Up for more information.
Interview with Michelle Manx at Tribal Fest 2012
Filmed at the Starlight Wine Bar in Sebastapol, CA