Occupation: Belly dance teacher and performer
Started Learning Belly Dance: 6 years ago
Joined the Iana Dance Club: January 2021
Belly Dance Transformations
"I’m very devout conservative Cristian. So I had a struggle with all those stereotypes about being a belly dancer (stripper, burlesque dancer). How do I preserve myself, and my faith, and still being able to dance the way I want to?"
"But I can go to a belly dance event, and I can wear a galabeya [fully covered dress], and I don’t need to feel bad about not dressing like everybody else."
"I hated learning from videos at the beginning [during lockdowns] because it just felt so sad, and I really wanted that social aspect."
"What helped a lot was focusing on choreographies. I can learn the sequence and then keep going with it on my own."
"There are also tremendous benefits in learning through video vs with a teacher. Since there is no one there to tell me how I NEED to look, I get to be myself in a way I know. I have a chance to check and ask MYSELF: is this really how I want it to look, is this really how I want my arm to be, etc."
"People often ask me if it doesn’t hurt to be pregnant while I’m dancing. The answer is no. It feels a lot better because you move all those different parts. I actually love belly dancing while pregnant."
Dance and music is in my blood. My mother was an accomplished ballerina and many other family members are musicians and dancers. I'm also a teacher. I love people and I love helping. I've been studying bellydance since I was a teenager and became serious about my studies after graduating college. I've danced in a few different troupes, going all the way to competitions and various performances. Currently I host my own classes through a local dance studio and make it my mission to help the women in my classes feel loved and encouraged. As a performer, I love working the crowd and bringing them joy.
Reasons she chose to join the Iana Dance Club:
“I found the club via the Belly Dance Life podcast.”
“The thing I love about the way Iana does things is that she is constantly staying present with her people, instead of just posting a video.”
“There is a community, the piece that makes it more engaging, an gives me a feeling that I’m still part of the class.”
“Iana breaks everything down, and it’s very specific, and very technical. I really appreciate this approach.”