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“My Love is Choreography”

Karin and I had a long and lovely talk at Tribal Fest.  She’s directed Mandala Dance Works and taught dance at the collegiate level for 30 years.   Mandala, based in Los Angeles, was primarily a Modern Dance company.  But after taking a brief hiatus to learn Bellydance, she then encompassed Belly Dance Fusion, incorporating jazz, hip … Read more

“People in the audience feel things through you”

Meeting Anasma was a true joy for me. She’s a talented and captivating performer that is able to fuse dance styles with grace and mastery. Fortunately for us, she shares her talents through teaching. Having similar passion in bellydance fusion, hip-hop and theatrical performance, I own and love her DVDs Bellydance Hip-Hop: Liquid Fusion and … 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

When the Musician Connects to the Dance

I had the fortunate opportunity to both interview and take a drumming workshop from Karim Nagi at Cairo Caravan in June.  Having primarily learned Doumbek (Arabic hand drum) through DVD and by following along with other drummers, I had learned many rhythms simply by the pattern and the general pace, without any connection to dances … Read more

Pin-Up Bellydance

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 … Read more

“This is what it’s all about”

I had one of those peak experiences in my first class with Ozgen.  Less than 24 hours after landing in Istanbul, I had already danced for 6 hours.  Every minute was exhilarating.  But it was during that first class that I felt pure elation because I realized I was in Turkey learning Turkish Romani dance. … Read more

Farhana, Princess of Hollywood

    Princess Farhana is a captivating performer with a hefty bag of tricks (her abdominal work is extraoardinary).  Over three decades of performing has created a great stage presence with many costumes and personas to offer.  But more than this, she is one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet (or read about).  In addition … Read more

Dancer, Mother and Astrophysicist Jatila

 While she knew she was a dancer at the age of 3, it took years of begging her mother before finally learning the varied dance forms of Ballet, Flamenco, and Bharata Natyam.  She discovered and fell in love with Bulgarian music and dance in the late 90s with Yves Moreau, just a few years before learning … Read more

Donavon and his history in Arabic Drumming

Ojai Bellydance Festival attracts many amazing, kindhearted musicians and dancers to its charming oasis in Southern California.  While I was pleasantly surprised at how many new people from Ojai I met, it was a treat to spend a few minutes with one of Los Angeles’ own treasures, the arabic percussionist Donavon Lerman. Donavon is well known in … 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