Hello Ohio!

I have just begun setting down roots in Chagrin Falls near Cleveland, Ohio.  It is a bit of a change from living in Istanbul, NYC, and Tokyo, but I’m enjoying the greenery and looking forward to the adventures to be found here.

While living in Istanbul I was honored to perform nightly at the beautiful and historic Hodjapasha hamam theater, and had the privilege of using the 500yr old brick dome to teach workshops and private lessons.  I could also be seen on various Bosphorous dinner cruises, as well as numerous up-scale restaurants and hotels throughout the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.  Weddings and private parties were among my favorite shows; the Turks know how to enjoy a party, and were never too shy to get up and sing or dance when invited.  Turks are also wonderful tippers, which really adds a nice element of interaction and fun.  The wonderful musicians of Turkey will also be greatly missed, but forever in my heart and hips.  Some other exciting performances included a concert with Dolapderi Big Band, a music video with May Day, opening for Asena at Kavansari, the morning show with Pitek and Alişan, Şarkafilek (Wheel of Fortune), and being the only dance artist to ever be welcomed and perform on Tek Rumeli TV for the Faruk Yildiz show.  Istanbul also gave me my first taste of trick horse riding, and I am eager for more!

While I miss my students, audiences, venues, and sipping tea as I took the boat to work, I brought my favorite piece of Istanbul with me:  my husband.  We just had our first child, and are really enjoying this amazing little girl (and for the first time in our lives, appreciating sleep).  I had to be patient with my recovery from the cesarian section, but am happy to be back on stage and in the classroom.  My daughter is already enjoying the art of belly dance very much, and is captivated by zills and a lively drum solo – she clearly takes after her mom 😉

I hope to shimmy for you soon.  Öpyorum!