St. Peter Food Co-op Sword Dance
Good News: I am pictured in an article in the Guilded Serpent written by Shira. I was pictured in a 2008 bellydance calendar as April.

About My Classes:I have have taught Middle Eastern Dance classes in Mankato at the Satori Violet Bellydance & Yoga, Mankato School of Internal Martial Arts, the YMCA, Historyfest, & The Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The style of bellydance that I teach is Fusion. It is a mixture of many styles of belly dance as well as other dance forms such as Persian, Ballet, and some martial arts for the sword dances. I have a wonderful time creating and teaching new choreography and improvisation. I love improvisation which was the majority of what my teacher Souraya Sadaka taught. She always said "Everything is a move". I have taken Persian Dance classes with Leili Pritschet when I am able.

I have been belly dancing since 2000 and teaching for the past six years. I have studied many types of dance since I was 3 years old but this dance form really drew me. I trained under Bridget Donnelly at the Sun/Moon Yoga Studio. I was one of the two original troop members who convinced her to start teaching when she moved here. I had my first lesson from her while attending a boat party with some friends one of whom was another founding member. I had wanted a chance to study bellydance since I was very young and I saw a demonstration of it on a talk show. That is where I learned figure eights and snake arms. I will always be grateful to Bridget for giving me the chance to learn more. When she moved away I took over the position of teaching assistant and Jen Jutz moved from the assistant position under Bridget into the teaching position. I did this for about a year and then decided it time for me to move on to my own classes. Since I was the first in the troop to do a sword dance I decided to specialize my classes in to teaching sword dance. I held at The Mankato School of Internal Martial Arts since many of my sword skills were learned there. Later I decided to also started offering regular classes in this at the YMCA and at the martial arts studio.

I continued to purse the study of the dance under Souraya Sadaka at the Sun/Moon Yoga Studio. She had been dancing since she was 5. I learned a many wonderful things from her and I was very sad to see her go when she moved back to Lebanon. It was from both Souraya and Bridget that I learned to really listen to the music and let it bring the movements.

I continue to learning by attending classes and workshops around the area when I am able. I have gained a wide variety of experience by doing this. I have attended many classes in Persian Classical Dance which shares some similarities to Middle Eastern Dance. I have attended classes at the Cassandra School on an intermittent basis. I have attended workshops with Read My Hips (American Tribal), Cassandra (Floor Work), Jasmin Jahal, Dahlena, Delilah, Artemis Mourat, Sakira of Ohio (Sword and Shimmy), and Aziza Sa'id, Princess Farhana, Karen Barbee, Darshan, to name a few. I have attended classes in many subjects at the Lilies War XXI and other SCA events.

I have a background in Tai Chi Ch'uan and Kung Fu (I especially like the Shaolin Double Sword form) which was a great help to me in creating my many sword dances and the portion of my Fire Dance.

You will find me providing Henna Tattoo's at some events such as the Historyfest. Henna is something that just seems to go hand in hand with bellydance.

When I have time I make my own bellydance costumes

Rochester Halfa Tray Dance Rochester Halfa Tray Dance

Tray Dance at Rochester Halfa & Me with my teacher Souraya Sadaka
at her last class before moving back to Lebanon.

Leili Pritschet

Me & Leili Pritschet - Persian Dance Teacher

History Fest Sword Balance Minnesota Renasance Festival Hair Flip

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