What the H*ll Were We Thinking?

About ten years ago, I was dancing with another group and had traveled to a workshop taught by the fabulous Caroleena Nericcio. I was humbled by this experience beyond measure! Here I was, at the ripe ole age of 32, thinking I had this “belly dancin’ thang” down. This event took me outside my comfort zone and showed me exactly this: I.KNEW.NOTHING.

While that event woke me up to the plethora of knowledge I most certainly did NOT have, it also lit a fire under my bum and made me want to learn everything I could about Raqs. Every style, every region of origin, the languages, customs…everything I could get my hands on.

It also made me realize I would need more instructors – a wide variety of them to bring me the knowledge I was lacking. My “dance mom” and “dance fairy godmother” were awesome and forever hold special spots in my heart, but I was ravenous for more! With two boys at home, dropping my life and traveling to Egypt, Turkey or Lebanon, et al. was not an option, unfortunately (those locations are most certainly still on my bucket list). My gears were left turning, and I asked my other fellow dance troupe members, “what’s stopping us from having a workshop and show like we just took part in?”


Hence, Beledi Extravaganza was born! We busted our butts on that event. And it paid off in experience and learning techniques.

As time goes on and people go their ways, I found myself in a new group. I wanted to show my ladies everything I knew and expose them to everything I didn’t know, too. Voila! Gypsy Mystique came from the toils and triumphs of the Troupe Zephyr birthing process.

There have been tears. There have been babies born through the tasks. There have cancellations…blow ups…drama…love…and of course, dance. Lots and lots of dance. Sometimes we wonder the hell we were thinking. We have learned to be inventive, pioneering, socially active self-promoters, financiers, johnny on the spot maintenance people who can roll with the punches and take the good with the bad in order to share our love of RAQS!


Now, we are coming up on it’s SEVENTH YEAR! SEVEN YEARS!!! That is a long time in show biz…especially small potatoes, mid-western, rust belt location show biz. Each and every year we have different instructors and learn new techniques. At the age i am now (do the math…I’m not telling), I find myself constantly evolving. Isn’t that what it is all about? Learning and growing as a person and a dancer?

Please, join us this year. We’re going to have a good time and we would love to share with all of you!

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