Linda Linda means beautiful, beautiful. Often called “Utah’s Best Kept Secret,” I believe the secret is out.
A self-proclaimed military brat, Linda Linda’s formative years were spent in several locations, but landed in San Diego for her teen years. It was during a visit to a Renaissance Faire in California that she saw her first belly dancers and became entranced with the movement and the music. Always wanting to be a dancer, she studied African, ballet, modern and jazz, but it was belly dancing that claimed her passion. “I thought belly dancing was a whole new vocabulary of movement. It looked like so much fun!” she says.
In 1993, Linda Linda moved to Salt Lake City and watched the dancers at the Utah Belly Dance Festival. It was then that she became totally inspired and motivated to begin learning the mystical art of belly dancing.
“I had no desire or thoughts of performing. I just wanted to take the classes and have fun,” Linda Linda explained. “I was on stage in six months.”
Linda Linda has studied with Kismet, Zahira and Thia, but it was her training with Thia that pushed her to the forefront of her artistic development.
“Thia called me one night and asked me if I wanted to dance at the Grecian Gardens,” she says. “I ended up dancing at the Grecian two nights a week, two shows a night for eight years. I honed my skills there, dancing to live music.
Linda Linda was a member of Thia’s Night Jewels troupe, and for the past six years, has taught a beginning adult class for Thia’s Egyptian Dance Center, and recently started a children’s class.
“I am not hooked on any particular style,” Linda says. “I work on Egyptian, but I like the challenge of balancing technique and the beauty of expression. I don’t want to ever be predictable.”
Linda Linda, like her name, is a very beautiful person, inside and out. I most enjoy her performances when she is dancing with live musicians such as Kairo by Night or Desert Wind. She seems comfortable and free to express herself totally through the movement. Linda Linda has that psychic sense of communication with the musicians and anticipates and knows what to do and when. Almost shy off the stage, she is anything but shy on the stage. Her sensual essence emerges as she dances, and is engaging and entertaining.
“I learned to dance to live music. I am at home there,” she says. “It frees me from the torment of having to decide what music to use. I just get to dance.”
Linda Linda will be performing at Belly Dance Spring Fest on Saturday, March 5, and also at the Grecian Gardens, Thia’s June show, and the Utah Belly Dance Festival. For more information on these events, go to www.bellydancingbythia.com.