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!
Julie grew up always playing some sort of instrument or another (an egg slicer and a plastic Smurf guitar were her first two instruments), sang and played piano, and played clarinet and string bass in her high school bands. She also danced a lot of tap, jazz, and ballet when she was young, and later explored dance forms like Middle Eastern dancing and salsa dancing. At the University of Rhode Island, she studied music and played the string bass in several jazz bands. She went on to study ethnomusicology at Tufts University and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she got to play in a wide range of world music traditions, playing in ensembles like a West African ensemble, a Near East ensemble, a bluegrass ensemble, and a couple of gamelans (Indonesian orchestras). She is currently teaching ukulele at the Rhody Center.