Elizabeth Ann is unique as she is versed on several forms of international folkloric dances.  She has performed Middle Eastern, Poluynesian, Cancan, and other folkloric dance styles in several states, countries, and continents. She is only one of a handful of dancers in the United States that can do the candelabra dance [raks shamedahn], a Coptic Egyptian dance where a lighted candelabra is balanced on the head while dancing; and one of only a few in the country that can do the Moroccan candle tray dance. She is the only known dancer anywhere that can do the intricate circle veil with 10 veils at once or the Bedouin sword dance balancing a record seven swords simultaneously. She has been to four of the Hawwiian Islands to study and perform Polynesian dance. She is engaged in active research concerning historical dances of America such as Old West Cancan and various forms of American "Belly dance".

Before her career in dancing, Elizabeth Ann was a professional model. She graduated from Tiffany's School of Modeling and is certified in Advanced Photography Modeling. She has combined that knowledge to become the only bellydancer to offer seminars for dancers on professional performance makeup and photo shoots. She has won awards for sewing dance costumes and teaches costume workshops.

Elizabeth Ann has extensive teaching experience.  Elizabeth Ann was originally trained in Classical Egyptian  and Folkloric Dance. She traveled to the Middle East and studied Egyptian Classical Dance in Egypt. She has since explored and mastered several other styles of belly dance. Her first troop experience was with the Desert Winds Dance troop, which is the longest sustained bellydance troop in the state and one of the oldest in America, having been formed more almost 35 years ago. She became the third director of the Desert Winds and is known for her innovative choreographies and costuming. She is the only Indiana member of the Middle Eastern Dance Instructors of America. As an academically awarded registered nurse with her masters degree and a Clinical Nurse Specialist, she has an understanding of  learning theory and  the anatomy and physiology of dance moves, which is unique to belly dance teachers.

Elizabeth Ann gives to her community. She has volunteered at community festivals for over a decade and a half. She has served as the President, Vice President, Annual Seminar Chair, Costume Workshop Chair, and Major Stage and Festival Manager for the not for profit organization:  Indiana State Association of Middle Eastern Teachers and Dancers ("ISAMETD").  Founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1978, ISAMETD is dedicated to the education and promotion of Middle Eastern dance and the culture surrounding it. (See www.ISAMETD.orgShe is a regular performer and teacher at such events as Penrod Arts Fair (the largest single day art fair in the United States), The Indianapolis International Festival, and was the first Middle Eastern/Belly dancer to perform for the prestigious Indiana Black Expo (which was attended by the Mayor of Indianapolis, Governor of Indiana, and President George W. Bush).

What is Middle Eastern Dance?
Middle Eastern dance is the oldest known dance form in human history. It encompasses the cultures of some 20 different countries over ten thousand years, and countless number of languages and dialects. Most scholars agree that the dance originated in east central Africa and/or India, and then traveled throughout central then eastern Asia into Tahiti and then to Hawaii. Gypsy merchants took the dance and music north with the Russian trade routes into Romania and eastern Europe. The dance traveled west through northern Africa to Morocco  and into Spain where the drum rhythms and dance movements were brought to the New World with the Conquistadors, merged with the indiginent peoples, and became Latin American dance. To a smaller degree, even Native American dance has been influenced as seen in the women's shawl dance.

Having been incorporated into so many different cultures over eons of time, the dance, related costumes, and traditions are therefore extremely varied. In Algeria they dance with scimitars or swords during wedding ceremonies. In Alexandria, Egypt, a dancer may balance a church candelabra on her head. Also from Egypt is the country cane and basket dances. Turkey is known for it's Whirling Dervish and for a completely different attitude, it's cabaret dance and the gypsy dancers. Both Greece and Turkey have their line dance: the Debke. Resurrection of the ancient Egyptian ceremonial dances as seen on the tomb paintings are known as Pharonic Dance.

Middle Eastern Dancers will act out through dance different personalities and roles from the innocent, playful, to the sensual. Dancers may also play the instruments of the region, namely drums [dumbek, darbukka, and the def], tambourines [riks], and finger cymbals [zils or zighats].

 

You too, may learn this ancient, spiritual, mystical, and lyrically beautiful dance form and Elizabeth Ann can teach you how.