I am a dancer, teacher, and choreographer of Middle Eastern, North African and Turkish dances (MENAT dance). My main style is called “oriental dance” in the places of origin (“raqs sharqi” in Arabic, “oryantal” in Turkish) and is commonly known in the West as “belly dance” a name given by Westerners exploring the Near East around the 1850s. My favorite styles are Egyptian and Lebanese.
I was born in Argentina, moved to the States in the late 90s, always lived in Greater Boston, now in Arlington since 2010. While I graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry back in Buenos Aires, I had always been passionate about dance and music as well. In my childhood and teenage years, I studied piano and ballet for about 10 years. I was a member of my town’s ballet ensemble for about ten years.
Shortly after moving to Boston, I encountered a group of women belly dancing by the Charles River. I thought that was so beautiful, I had to try. I was immediately hooked. The beneficial effects on my body and mind were clear. Discovering this dance, where I could stand naturally and accentuate the body curves with the beautiful movements, instead of fighting to hold unnatural positions like the turnout in ballet, made me feel that I had found my dance. No partner is needed, as it is in Argentine tango, another dance that I learned and taught.
I studied raqs sharqi then, starting with the most experienced teachers in New England, and later took as many opportunities as possible to study with the best Egyptian teachers, including: Raqia Hassan, Faten Salama, Yousry Sharif, Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy, and more. I also had a chance to study intensively with Amir Thaleb and Saida in Argentina.
I started teaching belly dance at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education in 2001. Soon after I began teaching classes on my own. I have also been hired by educational institutions such as Pingree High School, CHCH, Harvard, to teach Middle Eastern dance intensives, and have taught for student center programs at BU and Tufts. During the pandemic, I taught virtually on Zoom. Now I teach both online and in person.