Bellyography – November 2008

Michelle is a beautiful and articulate person, and she transfers that quality into her solo performances. She has a subtle and lovely dance persona, which seems effortless. With an extensive background in theatre, her performances are rich in expression and articulation. Lately, Michelle can often be seen performing with her husband, Michael, who has become an accomplished drummer.

Michelle moved to Utah when she was ten, and studied modern and ballroom dancing in high school. Her primary focus in college was acting and movement. She did, however, see a belly dance performance when she was 14, and she never forgot it.

“I loved the costumes and the music,” Michelle explained, “The women dancing blew me away. They were so elegant––graceful touches on soft parts of feminine nature. The costumes were so sparkly and flowing—so feminine.”

Several years later, after watching Stephanie dance, Michelle became totally inspired by belly dancing once again. She has studied with Stephanie for four years and has been a member of Troupe Alima for two years.

“I like Egyptian cabaret so much, but I don’t want to do just the traditional and classic choreography. I like to add elements from my own dance background,” Michelle said, “I love fusion. I love what Indigo is doing—dark cabaret that is really more theatre. It truly speaks to me. But, Egyptian cabaret is closest to my personality. I just like to throw other things into the mix.”

One of the things Michelle has thrown into her own performing mix, is the collaboration with her husband, Michael. Michelle and Michael’s drum solo performance was one of the highlights of Stephanie’s student recital last year. Michelle’s dancing may be elegant, but the energy between she and her husband was palpable. They rocked! Last summer, Michelle and Michael performed together at Raqs L.A., an event sponsored by Belly Dance Super Stars.

“A couple of years ago,” Michelle explained, “Michael got the drum bug and started taking classes. Stephanie’s student recital a year ago was the first time we had ever performed together.”

Michelle is serving as Treasurer of MECDA for Utah this year. Open dances at Cedars of Lebanon, Mardi Gras at The Parthenon in February are scheduled and workshops are being formulated. Michelle and the other MECDA officers have been working hard to provide opportunities for Utah dancers to perform.

“Utah belly dancers are building a great community. We are very fortunate to have the dancers and teachers that we have. Dancers in other cities don’t have access to venues, workshops and classes like we do. I feel very lucky to train with first class teachers here, and also to have opportunities to take workshops from nationally acclaimed dancers. I want to be the best dancer I can possibly be.”

Michelle will be performing at MECDA’s Mardi Gras in February and Belly Dance Spring Fest in March.