For Tamara, dancing started as a physical thing. She’d always wanted to dance but never tried since she felt she was overweight and lacked coordination. Fortunately, when she fell and broke her foot and elbow Tamara decided it was time to learn how to control her body in motion. She dragged her best friend to a “belly-robics” class, and shortly after that they decided they wanted a “real” belly dance class. Tamara studied with Alima, an amazing dancer who had been dancing Egyptian cabaret for over 30 years, for about a year before moving from northeast Georgia to the metro Atlanta area.
A friend told her about Jahara Phoenix, a troupe offering classes in the area to which she’d moved. After attending a local performance, Tamara fell in love with their more theatrical tribal fusion style of dance. Gone were the sequin bras and hip belts — these women were fierce in metal jewelry with flaring pants and voluminous skirts. The Co-Director taught ATS®, but initially Tamara was intimidated by how challenging it was. She kept trying though, and her “aha!” moment was learning the Ghawazee shimmy combo. Within a year she progressed out of level 1 class and started performing with the student troupe Sherar.
In December of 2014 Tamara and her family moved to the Bay Area; the very first thing she did was look for an ATS® Troupe. She officially joined House of Inanna in February of 2015; and as she puts it, “They are my people!” Their combination of sacred and silly made her feel right at home.
ATS® has helped Tamara learn to accept and appreciate her whole self, including her body, and to become more assertive. The physical, mental, and emotional support she received were all things she didn’t realize she was looking for until she found it in belly dance. She’s been dancing for almost 10 years, and recently started student directing and choreographing larger pieces. Occasionally she’ll solo, mostly a mix of ATS® with some tribal fusion and cabaret moves thrown in. Her greatest enjoyment is the costuming and telling a story through the dance.
In her spare time Tamara is an avid reader, mostly of romance and fantasy. She also loves British period dramas based on books, and considers herself a total fan of TNG Star Trek, Doctor Who, and everything comic-book related.