Sultana Dancer Biographies
Below are some quick facts about the current members of the Sultana Dancers.
Laurie (founder) writes: I love this art form, the camaraderie, the expression, and the passion of this dance. I started dancing in 1987 and founded “The Sultana Dancers” with 2 others in 1997. I have happily delegated many of my duties to my wonderful dance sisters. I now play the drum and smile at the dancers and inspire them to do their best, have fun, and to smile at the audience. Thank you Sultana Dancers and Sultana Drummers for making my vision come true! I could not have done it without each and every one of you! Hugs!
Ann writes: I first began taking belly dance lessons twenty years ago. I began performing six months after my first lessons; even though I spent a half hour before my first ever public performance being sick in the bathroom, my delight in the dance finally overcame my stage fright. I assert that I am living proof that if I can do it, anyone can. My classes justify my claim: my students are all ages, all body types, and all genders. Even my cats occasionally join in, although my veil wielding students do not always appreciate this. Having fully assimilated my husband Richard, who drums and plays other instruments for troupe performances, my plans have become more grandiose and involve world wide domination - er - assimilation. If everyone is dancing, no one will have time for fighting or other naughtiness…not to mention getting to wear really cool costumes and jewelry without having to wait for Halloween! I believe I must have been either a dragon or a magpie in a previous incarnation, given my attraction to anything bright and flashy. Especially purple!
Alisa (director) writes: I learned bellydance as a child from my mother but didn't become too interested or involved until I became an adult (rollerskating was much cooler then). I began taking classes and discovered I really enjoyed the muscle movements and ability to isolate certain muscles to create a wonderful dance move. I began dancing with the Sultana Dancers in 2003 as a troupe member, and have since been travelling around the northwest performing at various shows and clubs. I enjoy dancing with finger cymbals, a sword, performing isolated muscle movements, and of course lots of hip movements. I teach beginning and advanced bellydance classes and workshops for various events. I have studied with Carolena Nericcio of Fat Chance Bellydance and has completed the GSI certification in ATS Tribal.
Marina writes: I began casually dancing in Eleyna's class in 2004. Once I finished school I was able to devote more time to dancing. Dancing has become my passion, and a time for me to have fun with my fellow sultanas and their students. I hope to continue growing as a dancer and learning different styles, and finding my own.
Jenny writes: I first began dancing in late 2008 in the hopes it would help me be more confident and to test my comfort zone. Little did I know the obsession that was about to form. I soon became addicted to the challenge I found in belly dance, getting that move just right and the self-expression I saw in the dance. I am deeply honored to be a part of this amazing troupe.
Robin writes: My mother started it all when she enrolled me in my first ballet class when I was six. Dance became a part of who I was and gave me the outlet to express myself. When I hit my thirties my body started resisting and I thought my performance years were over. A chance meeting of a local belly dance instructor opened a new door for me. The new dance form not only gave me new opportunities to perform but also gave me the physical and mental challenge of learning a new style. Today I am grateful to have found such an amazing group of dancers to learn from and to grow with.
Amanda writes: When I started taking classes back in 2012, I told myself that there was no way I was ever, ever going to embarrass myself by performing in front of an audience. Five months later, I performed in front of an audience. My amazing teachers and fellow dancers have helped me gain confidence in myself and my abilities. I love exploring the different styles of belly dance and look forward to learning from this amazing troupe.
Christine writes: My dancing story started in 2011 – I had talked a couple friends into taking a beginner class with me. I had always loved watching belly dancers and admiring their gorgeous costumes… I never thought I would be the one on the stage or that my closet would be filled with costuming. I love exploring different styles and techniques, taking bits and pieces from here and there and putting them together. I look back and cannot believe how far I have come; dancing has done so much for my confidence. I am so thankful for each and every one of the dancers in this troupe, they have all had a huge influence in my life and help make me a better dancer.
Kimberly writes: I have always loved dance from the time I used to choreograph dances in my back yard as a little girl. My bellydance journey started in 2013 I was invited to Anne's beginning class with no plans other than to try something new and have fun. I was immediately hooked and a short few weeks later performed in my first Hafla. I was awed at the beautiful Sultana Dancers and had a secret dream to join the ladies someday and here I am!