Aleezah ah-leeze-ah was first enchanted as a little girl by belly dancers who danced at a local Renaissance Fair in her hometown. Fast forwarding 15 years she took her first belly dance classes with Isis in Colleyville, Texas.
Bella Moon Studios
After a break traveling the world, she settled in Juneau where she happily found out that Juneau had belly dancing! Upon refreshing her dance moves with instruction from Kalirah, Aleezah joined the Daughters of the New Moon as a full member in She has studied a variety of international and fusion dance forms including Cabaret, Rom, Turkish, Bungara, African, and Tribal.
The tour leaders then honored her with a full scholarship to study at the intensive Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino, California. Be'ahuvi chose her name, Hebrew for "to my beloved", to celebrate her heritage and her marriage in August She is further blessed to have become stepmother to two beautiful girls.
Shut Up and Dance
And then new mother to a wonderful baby boy. Now back in Alaska and involved with the Anchorage bellydance community. Latifa began with square dancing in Juneau, Alaska in and later took up round dancing, then western dancing and line dancing. One style led to another and before you know it, here comes Middle Eastern dancing.
With encouragement from her step-daughter Kalirah, Latifa began taking lessons in Middle Eastern dance with Katiyja and Diana in May , later continuing with her first workshop with Amaya that was sponsored by Daughters of the New Moon.
When first taking lessons, performing with the troupe was not even a consideration for Latifa. But the dance is addictive and by June she was performing with the troupe at every available opportunity. She is working on the next generation of bellydancers with two of her granddaughters that want to practice with her every time they come to visit.
Of course, they love to "make outfits" from grandma's scraps and use her zills. She danced with women and girls of all ages and loved watching women in different phases of life dancing together. Since then Maha Ati has also enjoyed studying African, modern, and Latin dance forms. Still, at the height of audition season this past winter, Rivera felt the itch to choreograph. He fell in love with dance at the age of seven, when his gymnastics coach suggested he start dancing to help his flexibility.
In the video filmed by Eric Mann , Rivera sees a girl across the dance floor who leaves the bar before he can talk to her, but on his way home—while still thinking about his missed connection—he sees her across the subway platform. After landing on his story arc, Rivera needed to find his princess. He remembered a girl the now co-star of his video, Lizz Picini from dance class.
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Rivera harnessed that fearlessness, freedom and playfulness in his video, and not just through the movement. While the original music video takes place in one club, Rivera wanted to capture the life and excitement of New York City. His choreographic vision was about a journey, not one moment, and a full picture through movement, not just steps. The dancer hopes to parlay his extracurricular creativity into work as a choreographer.
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