Therese retired from teaching SCUBA after 15 years as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer with 7 specialties and started studying Oriental style belly dance. 9 years later she started teaching again, Belly Dance this time. It's difficult here in the Midwest so she travels to find the teachers.
"My first seminar was 2 days of Hadia. Then I was hooked and went to EVERYTHING I could afford and could find- Virginia, Yousry and Nourhan Sharif, Vashti, Suhaila, Amel Tafsout, Karim Nagi, Kay Hardy Campbell, Rachel Brice, Kami Liddle, Laurel Victoria, Artemis Mourat, Daveed Korup, Raquy Danzinger, Tempest, Amy Sigil, Lee Ali and I'm sure I'm missing a couple. When I found ATS, I looked into 3 different formats by buying and studying their dvd's, I settled on Kajira Djoumahna's.
In 2007 I received my Level 1 certification from Kajira of BlackSheep BellyDance in American Tribal Style group improvisation and have studied it like crazy. After completing my Level 2 with her she invited me to be a featured dancer on her instructional DVD's -- what an experience!
In 2013 I traveled with Kajira throughout Europe teaching and performing this fabulous format. Since then I have traveled many places with and without Kajira, in and out of the country, spreading the joy of the BlackSheep BellyDance format.
Currently I am the Assistant Director of the International dance troupe BlackSheep BellyDance and have added BlackSheep format certifications for Level 1, 2 and 3. I also received certification in the S. I. G. I. L. format produced by Amy Sigil of Unmata. I look forward to sharing the strength and balance that this format brings to everyone in my classroom."
I began dancing competitively in pom, jazz, and hip-hop at age 11 and continued competing in IDTA and UDA all throughout high school and college. I briefly coached my college competition dance team while instructing at two local children's dance studios, but it wasn't until after graduating as a Physical Therapist Assistant that I stumbled into the world of belly dance. I've been addicted to serving the belly dance community ever since!
I started my belly dance journey under the direction of certified instructor Therese Wyatt, and I continue to practice my tribal technique with this troupe. I am now also a certified BlackSheep BellyDance instructor (Levels 1, 2, and 3) with plans to achieve other format certifications in the future.
In addition, I later joined the Stygian Sisters Metal Belly Dance troupe in Champaign, IL, and I enjoy creating dark fusion solo and group videos with them.
Although I feel most comfortable dancing with a group, I've recently begun pushing myself more as a solo artist in order to expand the boundaries of my comfort zone. I have attended workshops with Kajira Djoumahna, Kae Montgomery, Zoe Jakes, Donna Mejia, Kamrah, Kendra Katz, Tempest, Hannah Mullins, Jill Parker, Kami Liddle, April Rose, Ami Amore, Michelle Sorensen, Deb Rubin, Sahira, Silvia Salamanca, & Rachel Brice, along with regular training through Rachel Brice's Datura Online.
As a creative individual, I’ve always loved having the opportunity to share my ideas, opinions and talents with others around me. Teaching and instructing has provided such a wonderful outlet to do exactly that.
I love music. I want to sing, play, and dance all the time. It is my therapy. Ever since I was little I wanted to dance, never expecting to belly dance. I was invited to dance by Allegra, a friend and co-worker. Once there, I found that I had a passion for belly dance and worked to become the best dancer I could be. My first performance was in October of 2015 where after a few months of practice I was able to perform with my dear friend and new dance friends. Since starting to dance with Daughters of the Dance I have grown both as a dancer and as a person. Also, I have become more confident in myself and my dancing and chose to perform my first solo under the name Amani at our Holiday Hafla in 2018. Due to my new passion for dance I have strived to learn all that I can from Therese and work toward becoming a certified instructor. I have grown my knowledge through attending classes at Tribal Revolution and dancing weekly. At the end of 2018, I completed my certifications for teaching BSBD Level 1, 2, and 3. Though I have grown a lot during a few short years I look forward to class every week and learning something new. I can't wait to see what we can do with Maverick Moon Belly Dance.
Born and raised in the Midwest I fell in love with belly dancing several years ago after answering an ad in our local paper and Therese Wyatt introduced me to BlackSheep BellyDance. I was hooked with Daughters of the Dance. I had the fortune of meeting and performing with Kajira Djoumahna at Waking Persephone along with Therese and Kasper. Studied FCBD with Heather Voight and have performed with Lotus Fire and Springfield Collective. As well as attending Ami Amore's Belly Dance Bootcamps I attend as many workshops as I can in order to experience the many different formats - I love the sisterhood and support this community provides. I have attended multiple Tribal Revolutions and I am looking forward to attending this year's. Having experienced multiple formats I always come back to BlackSheep - it feels like home to me. Recently achieved my BlackSheep level 1 teaching certification. Along with working toward my certification for level 2 & 3 of BlackSheep - I am working on General Skills to begin Teacher Training with ATS FCBD.
I began belly dancing in 2007. I was looking for a way to exercise while still having fun, and a friend had invited me to join her "bellyrobics" class. I instantly fell in love with the art form and, aside from a brief hiatus due to health reasons, haven't left since. I've been dancing with Daughters of the Dance (now Maverick Moon Belly Dance) since it's conception, have performed many times locally, taken classes with some amazing instructors, and in addition to working towards furthering our troupe goals, I am also working towards becoming a solo artist under the dance name Allegra.
Come back shortly for more about me!
I began taking BlackSheep BellyDance classes with Daughters of the Dance (now Maverick Moon Belly Dance) in November 2016. I met Michelle “Midala” in 2015 and I asked her if I could come to a class some Monday night, and I’ve been there every Monday since. I have a passion for people, animals, the universe, the planet, and bringing them all together. The strength and bond this troupe has together is uplifting and exhilarating. I look up to each beautiful dancer in a unique way and learn something special from each of them every Monday. We each live in a different town throughout central Illinois (I live in Rochester, but from Spfld.), and come together to stop the everyday chaos to dance away our stresses, laugh with each other, learn something new, follow or lead with beautiful trainers and a fearless leader. We welcome anyone who would love to join us on Monday nights!
Jennifer began belly dancing in 2015 and practices regularly during Monday night tribal improv classes, Friday choreo days, as well as consistent private lessons with Therese. She also enjoys performing with Maverick Moon Belly Dance at local shows and festivals. Watch out when she takes the lead because she's known for pulling out moves that we've not worked on in months! She loves to keep us on our toes.