|I began my professional Bellydance career in 1974, at the age of 18, after studying with Alexandria Cairo, formerly of California. I grew up north of Boston, Mass. and the 70's throught the 90's proved a most opportune time, in that region, for Bellydance due to the large populations of ethnic Middle Eastern people. I became a regular featured performer at many of the numerous Greek, Arabic, Lebanese, Armenian and Turkish clubs that graced eastern New England from southern Maine to Rhode Island. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to dance with such legendary musicians, singers and friends as George Abdo, Mike and Buddy Sarkissian and Mazin Hamden.
I was a main performer in venues that Mike Sarkissian and his band presided at, and I personally thank him for enhancing my career in Bellydance.
Due to the rich, cultural diversity of ethnic venues in that region, I was able to incorporate a mix of Armeno/Turkish, Greek, Arabic and Lebanese traditional and contemporary movement into my dance style. I also have a passion for Egyptian style dance. I owned and operated "Bellygrams by Ismalia" from 1982 until 12/1994 when I got married to a Vermonter and moved there and began teaching in Vermont in 1995. In April, 2001, (after finally getting connected to the internet in Feb, 01) I resumed my performance career in the greater Boston area venues. don't mind and travelling I continue to teach different level classes in southern Vermont and am offering private/semi private coaching for the aspiring cabaret dancer.
In addition to my passion for Bellydance, I am a lifelong horsewoman in both riding and driving. My husband Dan and and I have eight horses and ponies on our very small farm in southern Vermont. My favorites are Andalusians, Arabians and American Classic Sheltand Ponies! Our farm is the home of Blue Chip's Betsy VB (ASPC #134367A), the 1984 and 1985 National Champion Classic Shetland Mare. This is also the home of our Modern Shetland stallion, Town & Country's Bob Cat (ASPC #140573B) who is a son of the legendary 5 time World Grand Champion and Hall of Famer, Georgetown's Tom Cat (ASPC #134488A).
In my "Real" other life outside of the world of Bellydance, I own and operate a small dog grooming/pet retail shop on our property. I have been grooming since 1986 (besides my other careers as tour escortorting and the medical and human services fields). The shaggy clientele that come to my "salon" are groomed and crooned to the tunes of the Middle East! I am also a FANATICAL cat lover!
THANKS FOR VISITING!