My Relationship to Dance

adolescent hula girl


baby girl bellydancer


I have been a natural dancer my entire life; it is my “lifeline” along with my love for Mother Earth. I saw my first bellydancer as a little girl and was completely mesmerized (I also loved the food!); the experience planted the seed for a lifetime passion for the mysterious, mystical power of bellydance and all healthy, natural feminine movement and energy.

Born in 1968, a child of the ‘70’s—my first and foundational relationship to dance is deeply influenced and inspired by African-American culture. I was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, a vibrant and prominent “cradle of jazz”, the daughter of a jazz musician/Latin dance instructor and two avid, unbridled dancers (when they got a chance to hit the dance floor). As a young woman, the Latin dance forms of salsa and merengue opened another door of freedom through movement and rhythm.

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Akari bellydance 009 over shoulder


But ultimately, it was the kind, unwavering support of a spiritual teacher and my embrace of bellydance in my 20’s that gave me the confidence to call myself a “dancer” and the dance vocabulary and style to help me find my voice as a performer and dance instructor. It allowed me to feel my strength and begin to heal as a woman.

Happenin Hafla 11.2.13


I continue to further my studies and am always exploring creative movement, my “studio time”. In the past few years, I have re-ignited a long-buried fascination and intuitive connection with modern dance. I’m exploring modern and contemporary dance with Jessica Lockhart as an added layer to the fusion of styles that feel so natural to me. I also have the honor of studying and performing “Entertainment Hula” and other Polynesian dances with Victoria Boucher who is sharing her Samoan family tradition.

My deep passion is to plant myself in the studio to practice (which includes beautiful spots in nature), experiment with movement exploring my individual style, create dance and fitness routines to teach, and choreograph for performance. Hours can go by like minutes and it feels like there’s never enough time to drink from this well of creative expression.

I feel very blessed to live in such a vibrant and dynamic but manageable city brimming with creativity and a loving, supportive community of fascinating individuals and collectives, most certainly including our dynamic, beautiful dancers, teachers, and the fantastic musicians that accompany and inspire them!


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