An open letter to my potential clients and students
Thank you so much for visiting my website and I’ve hope you’ve come here to learn more about belly dance. My name is Andalee and I am a professional belly dancer (also known as an Oriental dancer) based in Durham, NC. The picture on the right is a recent picture taken of me in August 2015. Yes, I have short hair! And yes, I am a little curvier than most belly dancers! In fact, my size and hair styles change a lot; you might even have noticed a lot of different pictures of me throughout the years on this site. What doesn’t change, however, is my love of belly dance. Even though I may not look like the stereotypical belly dancer, I’ve got the knowledge, skill and talent to be performing and teaching at a professional level. In fact, I’ve been belly dancing for a decade already!
I love sharing the joy of belly dance with new learners and clients from all across the Triangle. I book private events and teach classes. I also make an effort to be a part of our vibrant local belly dance scene, so you might have seen me at some of the area’s recurring belly dance events like Undulation Nouveau at FullSteam Brewery and Oasis at Beer Durham.
I also love everything Egyptian! I mostly study Egyptian-style belly dance and I even went to Egypt at the beginning of the year to study belly dance and learn more about Egypt’s culture and history. That experience really changed me and I am a better dancer because of it. I believe that every single belly dancer should have an opportunity to take a pilgrimage to Egypt at least once in his/her life. I’ve also been to Turkey and have seen some great music and dancing there…but I am an Egyptophile at heart (I’m not sure if that is a real word, but I like the sound of it!).
I’m a nut for costumes, too, and I even make my own. My belly dance wardrobe changes frequently and I often have costumes available for sale. The costumes pictured on this page are made by Bella, one of the best belly dance designers and they cost me a pretty penny. I could seriously talk to you about costumes all day! If you’re interested in booking me for a private event, such as a wedding, and would like my costume to match your event, just let me know, and I’ll see what I can do (gold goes with everything!).
And speaking of booking, you may think my rates are a little high. That’s because I’m worth it! Belly dance is an art and over the years we’ve seen rates plummet due to the economy and competition (Remember the Bellydance Superstars? That was the height of it all). However, belly dance is an expensive business. Remember my costumes? And that trip to Egypt? I’ve also been to dance camps and workshops, I always keep my music library fresh, and have purchased enough ballet slippers to keep a small dance studio stocked for a year! I do all of these things because I love dancing, but it also has value that can be passed on to the client through amazing and artful performances. I hope you’ll understand why I’m not the cheapest dancer in town. If you want lower rates, you can find them, but I hope you’ll stick with me.
Ready to learn some belly dance? Students are my main source of joy when it comes to belly dance either by teaching them at weekly classes or at Shimmy Party events. I teach belly dance in a safe and comfortable way, and I am always just waiting for that spark to ignite in students when they truly fall in love with the dance. It’s there! But you can’t let it burn out because belly dance is hard. A good dancer makes it look easy–but belly dance is never easy. Fun? Yes! Exciting? Yes! A good workout? Yes. Easy? No. So stick with it and try to get over those little roadblocks along the way. You can do it! I’ll be leading you gently through it while helping you move your body in a healthy way and improving your self-esteem!
Thanks again for coming here to check me out. Please feel free to poke around and see what I have going on. You’re also welcome to contact me at any time.
And now for my typical bio…
Experience the joy of belly dance with Andalee. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor based in Durham, NC. Her dance style is based in Egyptian-style belly dance and American Cabaret (or American Nightclub) belly dance. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008.
The name Andalee is a derivative of Andalib, which means nightingale. In the Persian poem, the Conference of the Birds, the nightingale represents the lover. Andalee is a lover of Middle Eastern dance and music. Through her movements you’ll discover layers of passion, love, joy, sorrow, musicality and fluidity–much like the layers of a nightingale’s song.
Andalee is grateful to her teachers in the Triangle Area, including her first teacher Aziza Fadwa, who taught her control and the understated beauty of belly dance; Deirdre, a long-time mentor; and Asyia, Sharifa Asmar, Leigh Brown/Johnson, and Hannan Sultan. Additionally, Andalee continues to take many workshops with nationally and internationally renowned performers and instructors, to keep her dance technique fresh and to expand her knowledge of the many styles of Middle Eastern dance. For more information on Andalee’s belly dance training, please view her resume.
Now a teacher, Andalee hopes to share the love of the dance with others. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (aka belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art. View her class schedule for more information. Andalee directs and choreographs a student troupe, the Nightingales, which performs at student recitals, halfas, stage shows and other community events. Interested in having the Nightingales come to your event? Contact Andalee for availability.
Andalee belongs to the Association of Central Carolina Middle Eastern Dancers (ACCMED). Andalee is also a member of the Khâhari Belly Dance Collaborative troupe based in Chapel Hill, NC. The name, Khâhari is Persian for sisterhood and this three-woman ensemble is truly a sisterly group. They work together on choreograhies for solos and group dances. Other members of the group are Seher and Milagros.
Andalee founded Belly Dance at Any Size an online magazine designed to build self-esteem and positive body images for dancers.
Andalee has some belly dance stuff for sale. Check it out!