Meleea's BazaarJoyous Dancing
I thought you might want to know a little about my background in dance. I first heard Middle Eastern music when I was about three or four years old. I was visiting my grandmother and went to a neighbor's house to play with her little girl. I am not sure if they were Syrian or Armenian, but I was enchanted by the music on their Sunday radio program. From then on, I ran to her house to hear that music every Sunday.
I was diagnosed with a mild case of scoliosis when I was in the third grade and besides the physical therapy exercises I did every day, I studied ballet with Mme. Tatiana Babushkina-Vasilauskas of the Lithuanian / Russian ballet. Stanley Brown was my jazz dance teacher.
In London, I studied jazz dance with several teachers at the Covent Garden Dance Centre and signed up for "belly dance" class that was cancelled.
When we returned to the USA, I became a member of the Dance Club at Wright Patterson AFB and through them, studied modern dance with Geraldine Blunden. I also taught exercise and aerobics classes for several YMCA's and Community Education centers. Finally, I saw a "belly dance" class listed at the YMCA and signed up. After taking several sessions through the YMCA, I went to the head teacher Schehera. Then I discovered Nejat and studied privately with her for several years. Dahlena impressed me so greatly when she came to Ohio that I went to her Chicago summer intensives five times.
Benat al Quaria was the name of my Ohio troupe. We performed annually at the Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, at the Riverbend Art Festival, and at the Dayton River Festival, and at the City's Neighborhood performance venues.
In my solo career, I performed at Jipeto's Lebanese Restaurant for two years, and at several Dayton clubs for two to three years. Also many private events and functions including working for every talent agency and "telegram" service in Dayton.
Since coming to Dallas, I have confined my performing to private events and fund raisers for the Children's Miracle Network, Rockwall Historical Foundation, Rockwall Seniors, and the Rockwall YMCA Seniors.
I also studied and performed with Michelle Bardwell's Moonslice Dance Theater for a couple of years. For ten years my oriental mentor and teacher was Dallas' Vashti. I studied with her on a weekly basis and feel that she has greatly influenced my style.
Now, I am teaching private and semi-private lessons with the objective of training the next generation of teachers and performers.