My Dance Resume

1990-present (mostly) bellydance

community dance and movement experience:

American Tribal Style Belly Dance, Egyptian cabaret and cane, Turkish kashlima, Moroccan schikhatt, Saudi Arabian kheliji, and Tunisian folkloric; Aikido, Sacred Circle Dance, International Folk Dance, Dances of Universal Peace, Womyn’s Sacred Dance with Laura Wyrd

bellydance workshops:

Aisha Ali, Palika Bender, Rachel Brice, Cassandra, John Compton, Kajira Djoumahna, Carolena Nericcio, Troupe Salamat, Sahar, Colleena Shakti, Shoshanna, Kathy Stahlman, Helené Stakem, Heather Stants, Amel Tafsout


2009 “A Sampler of World Dance” Temple Beth El with Marlene Pitkow and Varvara Pariz

2009 Mountain Tribal at La Posada Senior Center

2009 soloist at Cypress Raks, a monthly dance showcase

2008 “An afternoon of world dance” Dominican Oaks Senior Center with Marlene Pitkow and Varvara Pariz

2007 performed with Helené and Sisters of the Desert Sky at annual Santa Cruz Hafla

2004 & 2005 marched with prize winning parade group “The Boulder Creekistan Occasional Dance and Drum Troupe” Fourth of July parade in Boulder Creek, CA

2004 performed with Helené and Sisters of the Desert Sky at annual dance convention “Desert Dance Festival” in San Jose, CA

2003 “Dance for Peace Concert,” a benefit event to promote peace and understanding with the Arab World through dance, with Helené and Sisters of the Desert Sky, Pacific Cultural Center, Santa Cruz

2009-2010 Instructor “Bellydance for the Rest of Us” Boulder Creek, CA

service to dance:

2009-present Administer and Write original content for  a blog about dance and American culture

2010 Audition Volunteer, San Francisco Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

2009 Founding Member Santa Cruz Dance Salon

2009 National Dance Week, Santa Cruz, stage manager

2004 Audition Committee, San Francisco 26th Annual Ethnic Dance Festival

2003 Backstage Assistant at San Francisco 25th Annual Ethnic Dance Festival photography session

academic teaching experiences:

2001-2004 Instructor Dance in World Cultures, San José State University

1996, 1998, 2001 Instructor Anthropology of Dance, UCSC


1971-1985 modern dance


1976-1985 General studies at Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and Luigi Jazz Center, New York, NY

1976-1984 Hartford Conservatory of Music, Limon technique with Evan Williams; Kaschmann technique with Truda Kaschmann

1975 Hartford Ballet, Graham technique

1971-1973 Rutgers University, Livingston College, New Brunswick, NJ modern dance major

1984 Performing Arts Management Institute, (4-day training) New York, NY

1981 “The Early Years: American Modern Dance from 1900 through the 1930’s”

a four-day festival of master classes, performances, film, and panel discussions sponsored by State University of New York, produced by University-Wide Programs in the Arts, hosted by SUNY at Purchase, April 9-12, 1981

master classes:

Pilobolus, Gus Solomon, Kathleen Quinlan-Krichels, Barton Mumaw, Bonnie Bird, Judy Tolomea, Nancy Meehan

performance experience:

1983-1985 Last @ Last Dance Company, Managing Director, Choreographer, and Performer, Hartford, CT

1980-1983 Evan Williams with Company, Evan Williams, director, Hartford, CT

1978-1980 Hartford Conservatory Modern Dance Ensemble, Truda Kaschmann, director, Hartford, CT

1980-1986 Guest performer for Margo Knis Jazz Dance Ensemble, Karin Whitley’s Connecticut Jazz Dance Company, Moving Theater, Crystal Theater Company

teaching experience:

1974-1985  modern dance, ballet, and jazz; taught repertory parts to new dancers in three companies in the Greater Hartford area

My current research lies squarely in the field of dance, though my interest in sensory communities remains as my theoretical interest. I am examining how American bellydancers respond to both historical and contemporary feminist desires by bringing together feminist body politics with the growing interest in and availability of Middle Eastern dance forms. Bellydance is in every way a celebration of female adornment and bodily skill created in a context of self-empowerment and bodily ownership. Dancers freely and openly draw inspiration from North Africa, India, and the Middle East for movement patterns as well as for music and costume.

This research will contribute to our understanding of 21st century American body politics and the development of women’s self image as well as providing an analysis of meaning-making in cross-cultural exchanges. It will also provide a specific example of bellydancing and communitas by focusing on the local bellydance community of Santa Cruz County, California. I joined this bellydance community in 2001 as a student and sometime performer. I am currently conducting fieldwork and collecting formal interviews for a book. If you would like to participate, drop me an email at

1 Response to My Dance Resume

  1. Thank you, Renee, for your insight into “political danger dance”. Though it is horrific to think how dancers have been persecuted for doing what we are moved to do, it is a reflection on how powerful our art form is. That is an impression that even the lovers of dance forget — that this very power works into one’s soul and acts as conduit for inspiration and new ideas.

    I am often struck by how the evolution of our art form — actually any art form — is catalyzed by the infringements (or annihilation) of others. Without the underground dance movement’s response to Nazi Germany which planted its secret seeds and fertilized them in the caberet, we might not have seen and felt the affects of German expressionism on Dance as profoundly as we do today in the works of Pina Bausch and others.

    Your piece reminded me of the wonderful day I danced in Cambodia. We were in Siem Riep provence to dedicate the opening of a 10 year project. Our good family friend Thiang, now an American business man, had built a temple in his home town to replace the one destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. The ceremony began as it always does in Cambodia with music and with dance. The dancers processed through the mud filled streets behing the oxen pulled cart, dressed in our traditional rust colored and golden robes for our two mile boogie through the jungle to the temple. As we arrived at the final stretch, the temple seemed to float over the water filled rice fields, elevated and shimmering through our copious perspiration, each dancer’s drop a prayer to its sanctity.

    I was approached after that ceremony to sponsor some dancers in Siem Riep who wanted to revive their art. I am heartened that dancing never dies in places where it is oppressed. It goes underground and finds new forms and with it a new body of work to carry on.

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