I’ve been looking forward to taking classes at the Rhody Center for a while. I finally signed up for what will hopefully be the first of many classes. Yesterday I was excited to take my first belly dance class. Kristen was very friendly and helpful. She took the movements slowly, broke them down and explained the mechanics. In addition, Kristen sought our input and geared the class toward our needs, making it indivialized. The added benefit was the small class size of wonderful, like minded people. I love the music, the dance space (colorful), the instructor, and the variation in styles (Arabic vs. Egyptian, etc.). Thank you for an amazing first experience and thank you Julie for hooking me up with a coin hip scarf. Can’t wait to spend next week learning more with everyone!
Michelle is a singer/songwriter who blends jazz, folk, and rock
in her music. Cruz's songs from her album, “The Recovery,” have
received high praise from music critics, and the album received the
“Album of the Year” award at the 2011 Motif Magazine Music Awards.
Named “Best Jazz Female” at the 2011 New England Urban Music
Awards, Cruz has appeared on NPR, FOX, and CBS. Michelle was asked
to perform for her music hero, the late Jeff Buckley, at a Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame Fan Gathering and Tribute concert in Cleveland;
she opened for Judy Collins; she paid tribute to the late folk
legend Odetta; and she was invited to sing for the Grammy
award-winning ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock. Michelle has made
appearances at venues such as The Bitter End (NYC) and the Black
Woman's Art Festival (Philadephia), and locally at the Sunset Music
Festival in Newport.
The Michelle Cruz Quartet were the featured performers at
“George Wein and Friends” in honor of the Newport Jazz Festival
Founder, George Wein, for the past two summers. Michelle was asked
to sing her Portuguese composition, “Deixa," for the President and
First Lady of the Azores during their recent visit to the US, which
was documented by international TV station RTP.
Michelle founded The Lost Chord—a program that provides music
accessibility to all. On her first trip to Cabo Verde, Africa, Cruz
developed “Sounds Across Waves,” a workshop allowing children from
two nations to interact through music.