Saturday, August 4, 2012

My dance life

For over 40 years I have been a dancer.  Dance has gotten me through good times and bad times, fed and clothed me.  I started teaching bellydance in 1973 in Half Moon Bay, California.  I have lived and traveled up and down the west coast from Mexico to Canada, teaching, performing at various faires and nightclubs with my young son in tow.  I continued to research the music and village dances of Egypt, Turkey and North Africa.  Seems after all the glamour of bellydance and the stories that came with that period of my life, I really felt a calling for folkloric dance in it's purest form.  This began my crossover into solely teaching the village dances of the Maghreb, Turkey and Egypt along with the rhythms.  I settled in Capitola, owned a dance studio in Santa Cruz, had two performing dance companies, my classes were packed.  I gave up the studio on personal reasons, moved to Las Vegas in the year 2000 after my mother passed, went on to win for Favorite Ethnic Dancer and a Lifetime Achievement in Dance, amongst many awards in this next decade.   I taught for UNLV, performed at the annual Age of Chivalry Festival with  a newly formed dance company.  I did my best work.  I ate, drank, slept class plans, costumes, and choreography. All was good with me until the economy tanked in 2008.  All the dance teachers were swept from the dance department.  I taught for the community for a while and continued with performances with the dance company until just a few years ago.  It feels like a lifetime ago and now I am the dancer with cancer.  Let me assure you, cancer does not define me or any of the amazing things I have done or experienced in my life, it's just another thing along the journey of my life I will go through and come out on the other side to talk story about.

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