Hi there! I’m Nathara and I’m a proud member of RaMagik Belly Dance in Casa Grande, Az. I’ve been dancing with the ladies here in Arizona for about 6 years when we were part of the Desert Dancers. After a break due to a back injury, I returned to the Desert Dancers and Shaliney, Aine, Phaedra, and Olabisi had already formed RaMagik. They invited me to class, which was right down the street from me, and after class, they invited me to their troupe. Let me tell you: my mind was blown. These ladies are amazing dancers! And I’m honored that they want to dance with me – they are some of the best dancers I have seen off the pro circuit and they are also some of the most genuinely good people you could ever meet. 😀 AMAZING!
I began belly dancing during the summer between graduating high school and starting college. That was 17 years ago! I took some breaks here there, but none longer than a year. I had never seen a belly dancer before; neither in person nor in media. But due to my own personal style, I was asked all the time if I was a belly dancer. So when I saw the class advertised through the Community Course Catalog, I couldn’t resist. That was 17 years ago! I took some breaks here there, but none longer than a year. And while I was not in formal classes that whole time, I took classes and workshops whenever I could, used DVDs and VHS and the internet (YouTube and dancer’s personal sites) to continue working on my technique and capability.
My first belly dance teacher was Najwa of Los Angeles, and her teacher was the famous Aisha Ali. My next regular teacher was Kathryn Ferguson of Xanadu Studios. These women are AMAZING! Classes were not easy – but that’s part of the fun! I’ve also taken workshops with Divine Chaos, Ansuya, BeckaBomb, Domba, K-Lee, Samra Hvshi, Azita Malaki, Mahin, and Yasmina Parker.
I am so blessed to be living in such a hot bed of belly dance!
And thank GOODNESS for that! Because without belly dance and my dance sisters, I would probably be lost. Belly dance has carried me through injuries, illness, crisis, and struggles. These dancers are my tribe, my family.
So, I should tell you why I dance. In my family, you can say that music is sacred. My dad was a huge music person, as was my mother, and, then, my brother and I. It’s rare for us to be doing something and NOT listen to music. And, in addition, we all play instruments. We’ve discussed it, and we all find that it’s easier to concentrate and focus with music in the background. Radio sing-a-longs were common. And before high school, I used to do my own strange version of lyrical dancing. Belly dancing is now the only dance I “know” how to do – and I dance to everything, from Hossam Ramzy and Oum Kalthum, to Shakira and Beyonce, to horror movie soundtracks, such as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street musical scores.
My current challenges, which I am working on, are to improve my stage presence and performance ability for the big stage. I love performing in small events and I’m really happy with my performances, but I want to go big. So I work on it. I also am pretty awful at playing the zills, so that is also on the list.
~ Love and kisses!