My passion for Ancient Egypt started at the young age of twelve. I remember it very vividly as I visited the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina to view the ancient Egyptian artifacts of the “Ramesses the Great” exhibit. It was something I had never witnessed before; beautifully decorated jewelry, remnants of pharaonic clothing, elaborate burial statues and everyday utensils from the ancient world. To the young eye, these artifacts seemed so exotic and I began to imagine what life was like for the early Egyptians, prompting me to learn more about this period and region of the world.
Throughout my teenage years, I read historical literature on the Egyptian dynasties, pharaonic life and the Neteru of ancient Kemit. In the year 2000, I began attending workshops on the art of Middle Eastern Dance where I focused on Egyptian styles. I was first attracted to the modern style “belly dance” but soon fell in love with studying folkloric dances of the Egyptian people and the melodic rhythms of the Middle East. I began to incorporate these dance movements and music into fitness classes I was teaching at a local gym. The women who attended my classes appreciated learning an alternative style of movement while exploring other cultures. I felt an overwhelming sense of passion to continue to learn, share and grow this art form in a positive, non-competitive environment. In 2003, I began Rhythmic Essence Belly Dance Studio in my basement at home with ten students.
Over the years, I have studied with wonderful master teachers such as Amara Al Amir of New York, Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman of FCBD, Keti Sharif of Australia, Farida Fahmy of the Reda Troupe, Momo Kadous and many more. I appreciate the time, energy and effort they have put into their dance and offerings and the support and care they have shown me over the years. Today, my focus is on Middle-Eastern, Indian and Moroccan dance styles. In 2019, I launched the new website and logo to read, "Rhythmic Essence World Dance Studio." I feel like this renaming is a must due to my extensive travel and training in many world dances.
Next Summer, I will return to Morocco and Egypt in hopes to bring back more culture and awareness to share with the local dance community.
I love and appreciate all the women who have come into the studio over the years and have been able to immerse themselves into a sisterhood. I have a personal commitment to continue creating an atmosphere and safe place where women are comfortable with their bodies, where friendships can be built and where stigmas and stereotypes can be vanished.
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