2011 was my first full year as a professional dancer. I've had so many amazing opportunities and gotten the chance to work with some amazing people- my students, friends, teachers, bandmates, clients, and other local business people have been a constant source of inspiration. This year started with my business being named one of the Pioneer Valley's New & Notable businesses by the Hampshire Gazette and ended with being invited by Vadalna Tribal Dance Company to headline their Temple event. Here are some highlights from in between:
*Taught some truly incredible students, who never cease to impress me, on a wide variety of topics such as Dancing to Classical Egyptian Music, Dancing to Music in 9/8 Time, Layering & Dimension, Vintage Oriental Skills, Grace & Fluidity, and more
*Chaya Leia and I hosted our first collaborative student showcase- our students were gorgeous and the event sold out!
*Invited by LifeDance Productions to be a featured teacher in both the spring and fall Gathering Sands showcases
*Taught my first accredited class at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School to some amazingly talented high school girls (thanks to Ellen Kaz!)
*Choreographed an isis wing dance for pageant contestant Sandy
*Was hosted for workshops by a Umass Amherst sorority, an Amherst College dorm group (one of the guys in the workshop had the greatest belly rolls I've ever seen!), Synagogue Sisterhood B'nai Shalom, and LifeDance Productions
*Taught my first self hosted workshops-and they sold out!
*Taught a Lebanese American bride some classical Lebanese dance moves for her wedding day
*Choreographed a couple's first dance for a Lebanese American bride and American groom who wanted to have a change from the typical waltz or ballroom first dance
*Performed at the wedding of my dear friends Lis Blossom & Merlin
*Hosted my first hafla with my fellow Manavi bandmates
*Manavi bandmates and I performed many shows and collaborated with the bands Raquy and the Cavemen & Burhan
*Made a woman's 50th birthday wish come true- she had always wanted a bellydancer to dance in carrying a cake shaped like a pumpkin when she turned 50
*Headlined Vadalna Tribal Dance Company's December Temple show
*Danced at a benefit show to help my friend Kalidasi travel to India
*Danced for a variety of private events and parties for Turkish, American, Indian, and Arabic audiences
*Did fun outdoor photoshoots with Derek Goodwin and Ethan
*Organized my first annual student Secret Habibi exchange
*Studied with Nadira Jamal, Sabine, Ansuya, Amirah, Jericha, and Chaya Leia
*Worked with Julie and the other wonderful members of the Circle
*Was featured by the Daily Hampshire Gazette as a New & Notable Business in the Pioneer Valley
*Made custom costumes for Baseema Moirae and the troupe Sisters of the Moon
*Made coral and brown floral costumes for myself
*Was asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of my student Dede to her love Clint- Dede has been in my classes from the very first day I started teaching and a dear friend for many years
...and Ahead to 2012
This year I am looking forward to doing more collaborations with Chaya Leia, Jericha, Krista, my Manavi bandmates, and other talented locals, studying with some of my favorite instructors, teaching my amazing students, and maybe even traveling to Turkey!
My adventures in dance, music, costume design...