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You found me! I am Salem the Goddess!
Many many moons ago, I was up in Venice Beach looking for Jim Morrison and hanging out and playing the guitar when I saw these Earthy women in huge colorful skirts dancing in a drum circle with zils ringing, shells jingling, and fringe flying everywhere! I was sold! I began my belly dance journey searching for these women. Initially, I started taking classes and after immersing myself in intense study; I began pursuing belly dance as an entertainment professional in 2010; first with American Cabaret, Turkish, and Egyptian but Tribal took my soul in 2009!
I earned a technical A.A. in keyboard performance in 2006, which means I can play the piano improvisationally in front of people. I teach belly dance classes from an audience perspective, as well as an improvisational and performance perspective. I use musical concepts to break down belly dance movements (warning! sometimes I speak passionately about fractions!) and I use music history to draw the connection between sound and movement. Additionally, I have a B.S. in Communications with a concentration in Cultural Communications, and I am completing a M.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Digital Media Marketing. I use my knowledge of intercultural communication theory to discuss the relevant issues in belly dance. In 2012, I attended Tribal Fest 12 where I became certified through Kajira Djoumahna in Synchronized Group Improvisation (SGI) Belly Dance. In 2013, I became certified in the AFAA Sunrise Yoga Format.
Instructors who have made a difference in my belly dance education and have helped me to grow as a student, instructor, and performer are Gina Reyes, Jess Walker, and Fonda Hamilton-Insley. I studied Turkish, Egyptian, and American Cabaret with Gina Reyes at the International Dance Academy in Sierra Vista, AZ. I studied Tribal Fusion with Jess Walker of Belly Dance Tucson at Pima College in Tucson, AZ. I studied ATS® with Fonda Hamilton-Insley, GS-FCBD® at the Dance Loft in Tucson, AZ.
I would like to give a special thanks to Kajira Djoumahna of BlackSheep BellyDance for her innovations in this art form! Synchronized Group Improvisation Belly Dance has helped countless women around the world develop positive self-image, stronger friendships, and personal identity, and without Kajira’s creativity and vision for SGI, I would not be able to be a part of this amazing experience!
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