jennifer belly dancerI love surprises,  and I received a pretty sentimental  one about a week ago from Rebecca Hagen who owns Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts. We met on Facebook where she had wanted to verify if I had ever belly danced at Taverna Opa Orlando (which I do). You see, she had taken photographs of me and her friends one night back in 2008 while I was performing and was kind enough to send them over. I want to send you the warmest and sincerest thanks Rebecca because these photos really brought back a lot of memories. I moved to Orlando in 2006 and began landing belly dance gigs in 2007. Taverna Opa has been my home here in Orlando since January 2008, and it is here where I have been able to conquer most of my shyness and become the performer I am today. I still continue to work there every week and love it because it is completely different than all my other venues in that it is non-traditional world music and I can do as much fusion as I want.  I still cannot believe it sometimes that I will have been dancing at Opa for four years coming this January. It seems like time has flown since I moved to Orlando and I hope to continue to grow, inspire, and have fun in this amazing city.

As you can see from the photograph, I have always had an affinity for Turkish costumes and this blue one was a “re-fab” I did. The veil was one of the first I had ever made and I get so sentimental when I see this photograph because it lets me see how far my sewing has come and how I have grown as an artist and performer. It will be funny to look back at all my photographs five years form now and hopefully think the same. I am still shy in some situations but it is almost night and day from where I was back in 2007.