Karolina was originally trained to perform and instruct in traditional styles of Middle Eastern Dance. Also referred to as Raqs Sharqi or Oriental Dance, this ancient art form was first introduced to American audiences in the World Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Since then it has been modified for large-scale, stage production with influences from ballet and other western dance forms. It is here in the theatrical context that Karolina found her choreographic niche and passion for belly dance performance. The quality of theatrical style belly dance is to add to the base of strong belly dance technique engaging plots, characters, story-telling, and a new, captivating depth and dynamic to the beauty of the dance. From simply embodying a classic archetype, historical character, or even an abstract idea in solo dance movement, to putting on a full-length theater show with a diverse cast of dancers, theatrical belly dance takes the art to a new level. Often dramatic costumes and elaborate props will be used to add to characters or ideas portrayed. Solid, consistent training in Arabic rhythms and dance technique keep this art form rooted and consistent in dancers’ presentation. (NOTE: Raqs Sharqi is one form of Middle Eastern dance; however, many modern performances continue to present a variety of other folk dances, which maintain stylizations unique to specific regions.)
Karolina has over seven years of training from teachers offering expert, first-hand knowledge directly from "the source". From Egypt, she has studied with Sahra Saeeda, Mohamed Kazafy, Mohamad El Hosseny, Aida Nour, and Karim Nagi; Ahmet and Suzy Tekbilek from Turkey, Elizabeth Strong, Turkish-Roman ("Gypsy") authority, Dabke master Hassan Harfouche, and Amel Tatsouf. Among the popular names of belly dance she has trained with are Aziza, Ansuya, Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour, Morocco, Bozenka,Tamalyn Dallal, Dalia Carella, Angelika Nemeth, Kaeshi Chai, Ranya Renee, and her original dance mentor, Shoshanna! She has also received formal training from world dance B.A. programs at Humboldt State University, University of Massachusetts, Smith College, and San Francisco State University. For a full list of training, see resume page. For more information on these fabulous instructors, see links
Karolina is currently a member of Belly Dance Soul Fire, , a multi-award winning theatrical dance company, based in Portland, Oregon. Belly Dance Soul Fire is Belly Dancer of the Universe troupe champions 2009, Troupe of the Nation 2009, can be enjoyed as a feature in Soul Fire Productions' "Belly Dance Power and Passion", and in their most recent DVD appearance in Hollywood Music Center's "The Soul of Belly Dance". Belly Dance Soul Fire is also the founders, producers, and feature dancers in theoriginal, full-length theatrical belly dance production of “Dance N.O.W”. (also starring Unmata). This show is set to tour in the fall of 2012, and will feature the two base companies alongside local troupes, in an extravagant, theatrical show. Karolina has taught theatrical style belly dance in such acclaimed contexts as Cheeky Girls Productions DVD “Final 6”, and Ranya Renee’s Theatrical Belly Dance Conference in NYC. . Karolina was also a member of international superstar Suhaila Salimpour's Repertoire Ensemble in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Shoshanna's Ya Habibi Dance Company in Northern California. Karolina is the 2010 winner of the Ya Halla Y'all Peoples' Choice Fusion Category in Dallas, Za Beth's Diva Rising Competition in Boston, and placed two years consecutively at the Belly Dancer of the World competition in California. Karolina has danced with such acclaimed musicians as the Georges Lammam Ensemble, Karim Nagi, Faisal Zedan, and Souhail Kaspar. She has been "house dancer" at many restaurants and clubs such as Morroccan restaurants, El Monsour and Cossu in San Francisco, CA, or Marrakech and the Greek Alexis in Portland, OR. She has also taught workshops in props, choreography, and technique at a variety of other studios and schools. To see Karolina dance, please see upcoming events. For a full listing of work in cabaret and fusion styles, see resume page.
Belly dance is a dynamic art with diverse styles perfect for a variety of celebrations, gatherings, or events. It is bright and full of joy, but also brings the depth of an ancient wisdom in its movement. Not only is the dance itself enthralling, but a variety of props can be added to any show to bring another level of drama and fun to a performance. Karolina is trained to dance with sword, zills (finger cymbals), canes, veil, or fan veil. Karolina's belly dance is versatile, and suitable for any type of event; her colorful costumes and dramatic lines bring a wonderful addition to any staged or festival show, while her detailed muscular work, and engaging gestures are perfect for a more intimate setting. Audiences at birthday parties, weddings, etc. will be guaranteed to be out of their seats dancing, clapping, and guests of honor will go home with memories of a special evening of lively music, and fun. All cabaret-style belly dance shows are performed to Middle Eastern music. For shows requiring other music styles or aesthetics, please see Karolina Fusion Belly Dancer.
Note: Belly dancers do not do private shows. Belly dance performances are done by professional artists and shows are strictly suitable for family audiences.
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