I grew up dancing. My mother enrolled me on the advice of my pediatrician for the strengthening of my flat feet, and could never have known what a gift it would be to an otherwise shy girl like me. Dancing quickly became, from ballet at the tender age of four, through my ever-broadening exploration, my method of release, expression, and perfect freedom to become whatever and whomever my imagination wanted or my psyche needed. I danced all the way through college, teaching to pay for my school, and drinking in all the different styles I could access from my Nebraska home town. Over the years, I traveled to find teachers of Latin dance, ballroom and swing, stylized workshops from students of teachers like Bob Fosse and Alvin Ailey and, coming to Columbia in 2001, found a home at Dancearts, where I have taught Musical Theater, ballet technique, tap and yoga, and continue to study Modern Ballet with Maggie Dethrow, in a class of women in our 30s and 40s who continue to dance because there is just nothing that can ever replace it.
I was introduced to the idea of belly dance when Kandice Grossman and then-Dragonfly Christi Kelly took my adult ballet class at Dancearts and, while I was instantly intrigued, didn't start studying belly dance technique until 2 years later when, inspired by the diversity and familial nature of the belly dance community, and my friendship with Kandi, I let my fascination draw me in. I believe our learning should never end. I do not believe decline is an inevitable part of growing older. So, to find a thriving community of adult dancers still forging ahead into new creative endeavors, I couldn't resist, and continue to be fascinated, not only by the task of learning and training for a completely new expression of dance, but also by the task of telling such a powerful and necessary story as the one this show endeavors to tell.
This blog is designed to provide information about Moon Belly and MOON dance company happenings. At times, it becomes an open journal of our various theatrical explorations. At other times, it serves as a source of education on belly dance culture and history.