Since the age of four, Emilie Lauren has been involved with dance and gymnastics. She was a gymnast for seven years before moving on to classical ballet, which she continued to study in college. She took her first bellydance class in high school and has been studying bellydance in its various forms ever since, including Tribal, American Cabaret, Turkish and Egyptian. Emilie draws on her ballet and gymnastics background to create her own elegant and athletic style of bellydance, and help her students become stronger, more confident dancers. Emilie is also a certified Balanced Body Barre instructor and is finishing her 480 hour Pilates mat and equipment apprenticeship with Momentum Pilates at Pearl Pilates.
Ameena Lacey is a Pilates, Barre and Aerobics instructor. She is Stott Pilates and Total Barre certified through Merrithew Fitness, having trained in NYC with founder Moira Merrithew and at Pacific Northwest Pilates in Portland. She has a background in dance and marketing, holding a BA in Anthropology from the University of Oregon.
Kate is a passionate and soulful dancer who has studied various styles of dance from North Africa, the Middle East, and Levant. Since 2008 Kate has studied American Cabaret,Turkish, and Lebanese Styles of dance, but fell deeply in love when she began studying Egyptian Oriental and folk dance and since has dedicated her time to specializing in this particular style. Kate is passionate about celebrating and honoring the power of womanhood through dance, creating community, and guiding others towards reconnecting to their bodies and deeper creative essence through movement.
*Classes start November 13th.
I discovered my love of dance not long after I learned to walk – through my Afghan culture of music and Indian Bollywood movies. My first stint in dance training was 7 years of ballet from age 7-14. It wasn’t until college, that I discovered Kathak dance and later Brazilian dance.
I began my kathak training under Gita Jhan in Santa Cruz, CA who then introduced me to my guru Shrimati Anuradha Nag and the Tarangini School of Kathak Dance in San Jose, CA. She has been my dance mentor for over 20 years with 7 years of intensive training and performing as one of her senior students. I was also blessed to regularly learn from Smt Anuradha’s gurus – Pt Birju Maharaj, Pt. Vijay Shankar and Swapna Saswati Sen.
I have discovered that no matter how distant dance feels at times, it is always the most direct route to my inner joy and the most natural way for me to connect with others. I aim to use this forum and classes I teach as a way to help people connect with their dance joy and to share with one another our inspirations.
Zora Phoenix is a Portland-based burlesque production powerhouse, producing two monthly burlesque shows (including Portland’s Longest Running Burlesque Show) as well as two bi-monthly events and quarterly burlesque & variety productions, all with a goal of bringing incredible burlesque to Bridgetown since 2009 with an emphasis of the diversity and variety in the art of striptease. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Rose City School of Burlesque, as well as founder and webmistress of BurlesquePDX.com.
*Stay tuned for next burlesque series.