Soul Aerial and Performing Arts studio has been a wonderful time so far. Everyone at the studio is friendly and helpful, and the instructors really want to see you succeed. You’re sure to walk out of classes with new skills and some new friends. I’ve never taken dance classes in a studio before, but I’m really happy about my experience. The studio itself is clean and kept up too!
Lauren ‘Onça’ O’Leary is a career entertainer, event
producer, internationally touring performer, and published author
and artist with twenty years in the arts
business. She has taught and performed in Germany,
the UK and Czech Republic, as well as across the US, and in
international waters. A veteran Tribal Fusion Bellydance
instructor, she was the first in the world to be certified by
Carolena Nerriccio in General Skills, and has worked with thousands
of students of all ages in competitions, colleges, festivals, and
everywhere in between.
Onça has a background in visual, movement and music arts,
co-founding and directing the Future of Tradition Center for
Folkloric Arts from 1999 to 2006, a 3500 sq. ft. multi-purpose
dance and art studio complex in Asheville, NC, that was home to
many of the burgeoning fire, circus and world dance arts in the
city in its formative period.
She stages several festivals and events annually. Produced in
Asheville, NC, her award-winning ABSfest: the Americana Burlesque
& Sideshow Festival, is now is in its eighth year of bringing
together artists from around the world to perform, study and
network. The Virginia Burlesque & Sideshow Festival is in its
second year bringing the Revival of Vaudeville Arts to Richmond,
VA. Bandit Queens Tribal Cafe is her monthly family-friendly
bellydance showcase, drawing artists from Florida to NYC to share
their skills with audiences in Richmond, VA.
Onça’s North Carolina bellydance festival, TribOriginal: Tribal
Dance, Music & Culture Camp ran for seven years, and was
nominated for Best Event in the Golden Belly Awards. Her dance
company, Baraka Mundi Live Music & Dance Ensemble, was
nominated likewise for both Best Kept Secret and Best Dance
Company. Madame Onça traveled steadily for five years with the
Balkan fusion project the Mezmer Society, and for over ten years
with the Accidental Circus, directed by Jester of England’s
Muncaster Castle, Paolo Garbanzo.
Under her given name, Lauren O’Leary, she also co-authored The
World Spirit Tarot, and illustrated it entirely, with 79 original
color block-prints. This work was hailed as an instant classic, and
has been translated into Spanish. She writes for numerous national
bellydance magazines. In 2014, she will release the first two in a
series of instructional bellydance DVDs.
It is her stalwart belief is that “The greatest expression of
Rebellion is Joy.”