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Diosa belly dance arizona

Diosa and Mort photo credits
   

 

PERFORMER

• Belly-grams
• Parties and Receptions
• Festivals and Cultural Fairs
• Corporate Events
•Theatrical Venues

 

 

INSTRUCTOR

• Beginning and
Intermediate Levels
• Group and Private Lessons
• Workshops
•Choreography for hire

 

SPECIALTIES

• Isis Wings
• Double Veil
•Seven Veils
• Sword
• Cane

• Snake Charmer

   


Belly Dance Classes

Entertainment

Private Lessons

Hire a Dancer


Improve your technique with group classes through my home studio in Surprise. Take Beginning or Intermediate level classes depending on your learning style and experience. Sign up for Belly Essentials for Technique, Balance, Strength, and Flexibility.

Enjoy one of our next performances! We do public venues such as the Maricopa County Fair, corporate events, and various restaurants around the Valley. Take a look at our most current calendar. Invite me to your next party to teach your friends some hip-notic movements! Or come to my home studio to learn some technique or "boot camp" new moves! Invite me and my c0-dancers to your next party! Whether it's a belly-gram or corporate event, we have a spectacular experience in store for you! We have troupes and soloists available for your next celebration!
 

 

 

Diosa belly dance-orange

Never, in a million years, would I have ever predicted becoming a dancer; becoming a belly dancer had not even crossed my mind. I was actually inspired in Las Vegas at the Aladdin when I had my first encounter with belly dancers and drummers. I was in awe with their fluid snake-like movements, and just as enchanted with their sparkly costumes and rhythms they danced to. I was determined to find belly dance videos as soon as I returned to Phoenix, not knowing there were actual instructors there. So, I began my belly dance journey in August 2001. My first video was from Joynan of Colorado, who actually inspired me to begin dancing with double veils. I had the fortunate opportunity to take a workshop with her when she visited Mesa in 2002. 

As a mother of two and still getting used to our recent move to Phoenix, belly dance was the perfect opportunity to get back into shape and meet new people. After being so used to male-dominant athletics, such as martial arts, belly dance was an enticing invitation to explore my feminine side. I was able to discover a whole new confidence that I did not have before, and there was a renewal in friendships with the women I met and danced with.


Eventually, I found my first belly dance instructor, Danah Stedman. Danah had a very upbeat personality and was very knowledgeable of the different styles of dance, though we mostly favored Egyptian styles. Danah had a lot of faith in me, already urging me to dance in my first show not six months later in the San Gennaro Festival. Though I had a few practices at Jitters, a coffee shop in Phoenix, I didn’t think I was ready for an outright performance. Lucky me, I had my first double veil solo, and I didn’t fall off the stage! My participation that day boosted my confidence to continue with the dance. I joined Danah’s Arizona Belly Dance Troupe, and we danced in festivals and private parties. That was the first year I went to Rakassah (which everyone should do at least once in their lives!). Danah also encouraged me to get more experience and training from master instructors, which I did very willingly, if not more so. I received advanced training from master instructors from all over the world such as Leila Haddad, Jillina, Aziza, Bert Belladine, Leyla Jouvana, Fahtiem, Suhaila Salimpour, Rachel Brice, Kami Liddle, and more. I learned so much, the training was sometimes too difficult to remember, even with intensive notes. My head seemed to spin from too much information!

Anyway, in May 2002, a co-dancer, Linda, decided to open up her own store, the Belly Dancer’s Boutique. She invited me to teach beginning belly dance. So within nine months, I was already taking a role most dancers did not have the opportunity to do for years. I may have had natural abilities, but I was still considered a “baby” in the belly dance community. I considered the opportunity a blessing, despite what others may have thought. I learned more thoroughly myself by teaching others than all the master instruction I ever had. Granted, I am very appreciative of all my teachers, as they are the roots and basis for which I stand on. 

2002 was the same year I met Ava Fleming, as she also began teaching at Linda’s new store. I began a new path with Ava, joining her troupe, Black Opal Dance Company. She was also an Egyptian dancer, so I was able to refine my style as I continued my training. I also received specialized workshop training and classes with other local instructors, such as Yasmina, Katayna, and Melissa. 

In 2003, belly dance was no longer my hobby, but my full-time job. I taught throughout the Valley for places such as Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management, Naturally Women Fitness Centers, City of Peoria, the City of Glendale, and Gold’s Gym. My concern for safety encouraged me to obtain my ACE Personal Training and Group Fitness Instruction Certifications, so I could properly teach my students about muscle groups, safety, posture, and form.

photo credit
© 2004 by Tom Tuerff
 
 
photo credit
© 2004 byJohn Running
Black Opal competed in Albuquerque’s Shake and Bake Festival, and won first place as the Best Belly Dance Troupe of 2003. That experience was a nice taste of what was to come the following year. In February 2004, both Ava and I competed in Long Beach for Belly Dancer of the Universe. She won the Egyptian category, and I won 1st runner up in the Fusion Category, with my double veils (of course!). It was a great year, but as life would have it, good things had to come to an end. In the fall of 2004, Linda had to close her shop doors. I had no idea how absorbed I was in belly dance. I did not know what to do with myself. At that time, I had just began dancing as a guest dancer of Maryana/Melissa's Unity in Motion, but they used Linda’s store to practice and teach choreographies. I had also discontinued dancing with the Arizona Belly Dance Troupe the year before, and due to other difficulties, I was no longer dancing with Black Opal either. It was like life had ended.

At first, dancing was very hard on my body. It was physically draining at times, and sometimes very painful after teaching a 3-hour class followed by a 3-hour rehearsal. But with no dancing, it was very depressing. For a year, I secluded myself on the west side, as I continued teaching classes in Surprise. In time, I ventured out and taught Bellyrobics at athletic clubs, but I recognized how the essence of belly dance was swapped for an exercise regimen, and that realization was a disheartening wake-up call. Eventually, teaching for the City of Surprise became my sole location, where I could teach the dance as a combination of exercise and an art form. Soon after, I danced for a short time with Natium World Dance, until the other half of my cabaret sect, Ziva, moved on to her own journey in Tucson. Even though the experience was short-lived, I not only had the chance to fully appreciate and bond with the “dark side” (as Kahlea would describe tribal dancing), but I had the unique opportunity to meet and work with a very talented group, White Claws Percussion.
Diosa belly dance-red
   
Diosa belly dance-red In 2006, with the urging of many enthusiastic students, I ventured into creating my own Middle Eastern ensemble, The Desert Flowers. We started off as a student/amateur troupe performing in festivals, fairs, and other public venues. We combined our hare-brained ideas to raise money for costumes and props. Some proposals ranged from belly-dancer-car-washes (my idea—which still hasn’t come to fruition…) to selling Tupperware (Kimberly’s idea—in which most of the customers ended up being ourselves, but oh well, we now have a nice set of Tupperware products and a paid-off mobile amplifier). As time passed, a few members left the troupe and new members joined. The Desert Flowers was becoming recognized by the belly dance community and getting hired to do paid performances. My experience as a director is one of pride in watching my students’ growth in skill level and confidence, but also harbors a great difficulty with critiquing students who have now become my closest friends. Our members range in different skill level and knowledge of current choreographies, making the casting of dances for particular venues difficult as a director. In the entertainment business, image is a fine line to walk on. When someone hires me, or my troupe, with a particular expectation in image and ability, I am torn between having to hurt someone’s feelings or telling the customer we’re not interested in their offer. My troupe has been very supportive of my struggles as a director, and I would not trade their friendship for anything else. 

My relationship with White Claws continued to flourish with fantastic opportunities to dance in many live shows. In 2007, White Claws invited me to choreograph a dance to one of their compositions, “Adonni Kuwaiti”, and participate as one of the dancers in their music video, The Temple of Hathor. It was one heck of an experience filming in an enclosed, smoky garage in the middle of summer!! (Glenn, what were you thinking?) The Desert Flowers was also invited to dance in Pharos Live! in 2008, a huge gathering of world bands and dancers. Since then, The Desert Flowers created three new sects, Gypsy, Tahitian, and Eastern Indian, thanks to Rawnie and Is’ad. Now we’re moving on to another hare-brained adventure, a promotional video for the Macy’s Day Parade (Valerie’s idea). My newest endeavor is forming a duo ensemble with Zemurah, called Osiris. So far, we have performed at private parties, Memo’s Café, and Efes.
   

Aside from dance, I still favored my true love: my family. I had to find a way to spend time with my kids and husband on their schedule, not “belly dance” schedule. So I went back for my Masters in Education and became a full-time second grade teacher in the fall of 2006. I find the balance between my three worlds (family, teaching, and belly dance) a constant struggle, but one that I embrace as I am surrounded by all the people and creativity I adore in this universe. 

Throughout the years, belly dance has taken me to such a variety of experiences. I have had crazy opportunities to dance for Shakira in Sonia Montero de Falcone’s mammoth estate, in a conference room at The Arizona Republic, on a bar—at the Merc Bar, barefoot on the parking lot of Lollapalooza, on a ginormous stage at Rakkasah West, in some strange balcony at Cooperstown, for Arizona State University classes, The Phoenix Zoo’s Zoofari, & more. I have just as many wonderful and tall tale stories about changing in the storage room at Big Daddy’s or having costume malfunctions, as I do about the beautiful people I’ve met, the women who have become my best friends, the men who support our artistic journeys, and my family of four that has embraced the art of belly dance. Though the life around me has changed over the years, belly dance has always been my constant. Whether I take a class or teach a class, the dance is always a place to convert my energy and expression and is always inviting with open arms.

You can also view this article and many others at Yasmina's website: www.joyofbellydancing.com

 

Diosa belly dance-orange
   

 

click the link below for more details on
Diosa's experience.
diosa resume
 
 

Need soloists, troupes, musicians, tarot readers, or henna artists?
For hiring info and pricing, please contact me at:

DIOSA
(602) 573-6238

planetdiosa@gmail.com

Please type "BELLY DANCE" in the subject header.

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Last updated 5/17/2016