Our dancers

Currently the House of Inanna performance troupe consists of the following dancers: Petra, Stacy/Hiya, and Cherie.

Past members include: Fox/Shannon, Tamara, Lisa, Cecy, Anitra, Rowan, Chelle, Sheila, and Jenn.

Petra

I had a life-transforming “A-ha!” while dancing in the chorus during FatChanceBellyDance practice at Noe Valley Ministry: I was “waiting” too much: I was waiting for the perfect time to start learning how to shimmy like “the big girls” in FCBD, and I was waiting for others in my life outside the dance studio, as well. Living in the waiting room, in fact. My inner voice said, ‘Stop waiting and DO it! Life is too short to wait for the perfect time to act!’ When this happened I started shimmying, and realized that I could do just about anything that I set my mind, body, and spirit to accomplish. I love sharing the potential breakthrough experience of belly dance with others.

I’ve always loved to dance, even though I was immensely self-conscious as a kid. My mom enrolled me in ballet and modern dance when I was young, but I had a hard time sticking with it — I was short and rotund, and really embarrassed about that. So I danced alone, to music in my room. As a teenager I was a little less concerned about what others thought of me and did really expressive dance at dance clubs, as well as pogoing and slam-dancing across Germany, then DC and Richmond, VA, during my punkarina years.

In 1995 I had the good fortune to find myself in Carolena Nericcio’s FCBD®Style belly dance class, having been dragged there by a friend. She took three classes and decided that it was not right for her, but I was hooked! I loved the grace of the experienced dancers, their ability to move in sync like a flock of birds, and the exotic expressiveness of the music we danced to.

Between 1995-2000 I was in Carolena’s class between one and three times a week, and was part of her understudy troupe, Second Skin. When I got a new job outside of San Francisco, though, I had to leave the FatChance fold. During the next few years I studied with a number of Cabaret teachers, including Magana Baptiste, Azar, Mashuqa Maya Murjan, and others. I love exploring all different types of belly dance, but FCBD®Style is my first love — the improvisational capacity and moves are simply compelling for me. I missed it, and couldn’t stay away.

In 2003, at the request of a few friends and acquaintances, I began teaching mostly FCBD®Style style in a small studio. Since then I’ve realized my passion and capacity for sharing FCBD®Style, as well as infusing it with other dance forms — and the occasional yoga asana, too.

Since 2004 I’ve also broadened my awareness of the Body-Mind through getting back into yoga by earning an accreditation with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Educational Seminars. I enjoy bringing asana, awareness of the esoteric body, and meditation into dance classes… this can really enhance dancing techniques and performance capabilities. Additionally, I’m on a long-term track to complete a Masters in Somatic Psychology — which is a fancy way of saying “therapy with a focus on mind-body connections for healing.”

It’s such a joy for me to dance, and I hope it is for you too!

As a troupe, House of Inanna loves to perform traditional FCBD®Style, as well as occasionally work comedy into our routines, and we also enjoy performing with our dear friends and world-music performers Fontain’s M.U.S.E. We welcome new students and collaborators, any time. Please contact us to talk!

I had a life-transforming “A-ha!” while dancing in the chorus during FatChanceBellyDance practice at Noe Valley Ministry: I was “waiting” too much: I was waiting for the perfect time to start learning how to shimmy like “the big girls” in FCBD, and I was waiting for others in my life outside the dance studio, as well. Living in the waiting room, in fact. My inner voice said, ‘Stop waiting and DO it! Life is too short to wait for the perfect time to act!’ When this happened I started shimmying, and realized that I could do just about anything that I set my mind, body, and spirit to accomplish. I love sharing the potential breakthrough experience of belly dance with others.

I’ve always loved to dance, even though I was immensely self-conscious as a kid. My mom enrolled me in ballet and modern dance when I was young, but I had a hard time sticking with it — I was short and rotund, and really embarrassed about that. So I danced alone, to music in my room. As a teenager I was a little less concerned about what others thought of me and did really expressive dance at dance clubs, as well as pogoing and slam-dancing across Germany, then DC and Richmond, VA, during my punkarina years.

In 1995 I had the good fortune to find myself in Carolena Nericcio’s FCBD®Style belly dance class, having been dragged there by a friend. She took three classes and decided that it was not right for her, but I was hooked! I loved the grace of the experienced dancers, their ability to move in sync like a flock of birds, and the exotic expressiveness of the music we danced to.

Between 1995-2000 I was in Carolena’s class between one and three times a week, and was part of her understudy troupe, Second Skin. When I got a new job outside of San Francisco, though, I had to leave the FatChance fold. During the next few years I studied with a number of Cabaret teachers, including Magana Baptiste, Azar, Mashuqa Maya Murjan, and others. I love exploring all different types of belly dance, but FCBD®Style is my first love — the improvisational capacity and moves are simply compelling for me. I missed it, and couldn’t stay away.

In 2003, at the request of a few friends and acquaintances, I began teaching mostly FCBD®Style style in a small studio. Since then I’ve realized my passion and capacity for sharing FCBD®Style, as well as infusing it with other dance forms — and the occasional yoga asana, too.

Since 2004 I’ve also broadened my awareness of the Body-Mind through getting back into yoga by earning an accreditation with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Educational Seminars. I enjoy bringing asana, awareness of the esoteric body, and meditation into dance classes… this can really enhance dancing techniques and performance capabilities. Additionally, I’m on a long-term track to complete a Masters in Somatic Psychology — which is a fancy way of saying “therapy with a focus on mind-body connections for healing.”

It’s such a joy for me to dance, and I hope it is for you too!

As a troupe, House of Inanna loves to perform traditional FCBD®Style, as well as occasionally work comedy into our routines, and we also enjoy performing with our dear friends and world-music performers Fontain’s M.U.S.E. We welcome new students and collaborators, any time. Please contact us to talk!

“She has an attitude to kill for. Petra looks like she just arrived from Egypt, and that dance is her everyday life routine!” ~ Alika

Hiya/Chaiya

I first saw belly dancing at a party in Honolulu. I expected to be disgusted by this insult to the feminist I am. What I saw instead was beauty, strength, and a sensuality that was completely owned and gifted by the woman who danced. Years later I moved to California and joined the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism, which tries — with varying levels of authenticity — to recreate the Middle Ages. There were belly dancers there too, and soon I was taking classes from one of the teachers: Siobhan of Cloverdale. I began to understand the differences between Cabaret and what was then called “Tribal” dance, because I was always drawn so strongly towards “Tribal”.

I joined the “bellydancer invasion” at Burning Man, and eventually a group of about 30 dancers — many of whom did not know each other — ended up in front of “The Man.” It was a dance celebration, not a performance. There was no stage, no particular audience — though we certainly attracted a crowd. Someone began leading, and we all followed — a scattered clan come together as one. The lead changed; someone else gave a cue and the rest of us followed along. It was magical. I wasn’t very experienced in “tribal style” at this time so I knew some of the moves, but not the cues (in my favorite picture of the group of us, I’m facing the wrong way!), but my heart sang with the joy of it — a collective of dancers dancing as one. I came home with a rededication to the dance, and to group synchronized improv in particular.

I am happy to be a member of House of Inanna, having joined in 2005. Since 1998 I have been dancing with great joy in my living room, on the playa, and in the SCA. I can usually be found wearing purple, petting dogs and posting on Facebook. I am also known as “The Cookie Lady” for gifting cookies from my head-balanced basket!

I first saw belly dancing at a party in Honolulu. I expected to be disgusted by this insult to the feminist I am. What I saw instead was beauty, strength, and a sensuality that was completely owned and gifted by the woman who danced. Years later I moved to California and joined the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism, which tries — with varying levels of authenticity — to recreate the Middle Ages. There were belly dancers there too, and soon I was taking classes from one of the teachers: Siobhan of Cloverdale. I began to understand the differences between Cabaret and what was then called “Tribal” dance, because I was always drawn so strongly towards “Tribal”.

I joined the “bellydancer invasion” at Burning Man, and eventually a group of about 30 dancers — many of whom did not know each other — ended up in front of “The Man.” It was a dance celebration, not a performance. There was no stage, no particular audience — though we certainly attracted a crowd. Someone began leading, and we all followed — a scattered clan come together as one. The lead changed; someone else gave a cue and the rest of us followed along. It was magical. I wasn’t very experienced in “tribal style” at this time so I knew some of the moves, but not the cues (in my favorite picture of the group of us, I’m facing the wrong way!), but my heart sang with the joy of it — a collective of dancers dancing as one. I came home with a rededication to the dance, and to group synchronized improv in particular.

I am happy to be a member of House of Inanna, having joined in 2005. Since 1998 I have been dancing with great joy in my living room, on the playa, and in the SCA. I can usually be found wearing purple, petting dogs and posting on Facebook. I am also known as “The Cookie Lady” for gifting cookies from my head-balanced basket!

Cherie

Cherie has been dancing on the earth — or under the moon — in one form or another since she was a young girl. Back in those days it was jazz and ballet at the local dance studio; after high school she took a few belly dance classes in Boston, but getting in and out of the city during the week, especially during the winter months, was a bit of a challenge from where she lived in the ‘burbs. It wasn’t until she moved to Northern California in 2009 that she was able to more fully pursue belly dance with the myriad of options here in the Bay area. She has practiced with several different instructors but found her home with House of Inanna during the summer of 2010.

Cherie left a long career in the Information Technology field back in Boston, and is now interested in pursuing opportunities that challenge the right side of her brain in addition to or instead of the left. An avid reader ever since she could hold a flashlight under her bed covers, she now has her fingers in a lot of book-related projects and online groups, and even manages a small forum for a close-knit group of BookCrossers.

Besides belly dancing and reading, Cherie’s other passions are bunnies — of which she is mommy to two very adorable sweeties — aerial yoga, Pilates, hula hooping, fitness, clean eating, & various other witchy pursuits. She describes herself as an eclectic tree-huggin’ bookworm geek chick, which seems pretty spot on if you ask me!

You can follow her book reviews at her blog at http://books.cheriepie.com or via her Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/cheriepiesbooks.

Cherie has been dancing on the earth — or under the moon — in one form or another since she was a young girl. Back in those days it was jazz and ballet at the local dance studio; after high school she took a few belly dance classes in Boston, but getting in and out of the city during the week, especially during the winter months, was a bit of a challenge from where she lived in the ‘burbs. It wasn’t until she moved to Northern California in 2009 that she was able to more fully pursue belly dance with the myriad of options here in the Bay area. She has practiced with several different instructors but found her home with House of Inanna during the summer of 2010.

Cherie left a long career in the Information Technology field back in Boston, and is now interested in pursuing opportunities that challenge the right side of her brain in addition to or instead of the left. An avid reader ever since she could hold a flashlight under her bed covers, she now has her fingers in a lot of book-related projects and online groups, and even manages a small forum for a close-knit group of BookCrossers.

Besides belly dancing and reading, Cherie’s other passions are bunnies — of which she is mommy to two very adorable sweeties — aerial yoga, Pilates, hula hooping, fitness, clean eating, & various other witchy pursuits. She describes herself as an eclectic tree-huggin’ bookworm geek chick, which seems pretty spot on if you ask me!

You can follow her book reviews at her blog at http://books.cheriepie.com or via her Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/cheriepiesbooks.

Former dancers

Fox

2009 - 2019

Tamara

2016 - 2019

Lisa

2017 - 2019

CC

2017 - 2019

Anitra

2005 - 2013

Rowan

2005 - 2010
Chelle 2010

Chelle

2011 - 2013

House of Inanna: House of Who?

“And when you dress in my robes, I shall dance in your feet and sing in your throats. No man shall be able to resist your enchantments…”

— Randy P. Conner, author: “Blossom of Bone”

Inanna is a goddess of ancient Sumeria, unique among female deities in her personal journey and characteristics. She is one of the earlier known goddesses on the Inanna-Ishtar-Asherah-Aphrodite-Venus continuum.

Inanna (pronounced i-NAH-nah with a short “I”) is variously represented as a goddess of love, war, and fertility. She was a major goddess during those ancient times, with many priest/esses worshiping her. She is a very human goddess, multidimensional like us, as opposed to representing only one aspect of life — for example, Venus was reduced to only being a goddess of sexual love, although I’m sure she started out representing far more than that.

Inanna’s stories start off with her as a young woman who has nothing too special about her, except that her parents are gods. Fairly uniquely among female deities*, she initiates a trip into the underworld for herself. She lets go of clothing and accoutrements that symbolize, among other things, wealth, status, and beauty. She is flayed alive in the underworld — a sort of shamanic dismemberment — and is eventually saved by allies and born again into the land of the living.

There are several variants on this story, but the main thrust of it — a young woman finding her own way, dealing with troubles, having to give up some things to have others — resonates with me. So many myths of this type have a male hero — notably the Arthur cycle, as well as Ulysses, to some degree. It’s nice to have a female role model!

At one time our troupe name was Gipar Inanna, translating roughly as “Dwelling (or Temple) of Inanna.” But that was too confusing for the poor announcers who were attempting to roll this name off their tongues, so we made it simpler. “House” can also mean “temple” or “dwelling,” as seen in many religions of the African Diaspora.

~ Petra

* Another such goddess: the Boddhisattva Tara. It’s told that the male monks in her village taunted her regarding her devotion to Buddhism, saying, “Too bad you’re a woman — if you were a man, you would be a Boddhisattva!” Then… she became one. A good resource for her: taradhatu.org. Om! Tare Tutare Ture Svaha!

Inanna is a goddess of ancient Sumeria, unique among female deities in her personal journey and characteristics. She is one of the earlier known goddesses on the Inanna-Ishtar-Asherah-Aphrodite-Venus continuum.

Inanna (pronounced i-NAH-nah with a short “I”) is variously represented as a goddess of love, war, and fertility. She was a major goddess during those ancient times, with many priest/esses worshiping her. She is a very human goddess, multidimensional like us, as opposed to representing only one aspect of life — for example, Venus was reduced to only being a goddess of sexual love, although I’m sure she started out representing far more than that.

Inanna’s stories start off with her as a young woman who has nothing too special about her, except that her parents are gods. Fairly uniquely among female deities*, she initiates a trip into the underworld for herself. She lets go of clothing and accoutrements that symbolize, among other things, wealth, status, and beauty. She is flayed alive in the underworld — a sort of shamanic dismemberment — and is eventually saved by allies and born again into the land of the living.

There are several variants on this story, but the main thrust of it — a young woman finding her own way, dealing with troubles, having to give up some things to have others — resonates with me. So many myths of this type have a male hero — notably the Arthur cycle, as well as Ulysses, to some degree. It’s nice to have a female role model!

At one time our troupe name was Gipar Inanna, translating roughly as “Dwelling (or Temple) of Inanna.” But that was too confusing for the poor announcers who were attempting to roll this name off their tongues, so we made it simpler. “House” can also mean “temple” or “dwelling,” as seen in many religions of the African Diaspora.

~ Petra

* Another such goddess: the Boddhisattva Tara. It’s told that the male monks in her village taunted her regarding her devotion to Buddhism, saying, “Too bad you’re a woman — if you were a man, you would be a Boddhisattva!” Then… she became one. A good resource for her: taradhatu.org. Om! Tare Tutare Ture Svaha!

More information:

Images of Inanna: