Image from Serena Studios

What can I say about this amazing woman? She was my mentor, instructor, belly dance mother, inspiration. She gave me my career and is the reason why I am who I am. I loved her with all my heart. Here is how I met her…

I took a class in the beginning of December 1978 with another instructor. I think it might have been Carnegie Hall. I thought it was a beginner level but it was not. It was a “fast beginner” level. I struggled to keep up in the class and mentioned afterward that she went a little too fast for a beginner level. She did not appreciate that comment and with a sarcastic tone she said, “Go to Serena. She’s good with beginners.” That’s exactly what I did and the rest is history!

I called Serena Studios and found out there was a fundamentals class that Saturday morning. I remember walking into the studio and it was like taking a step back in time to a beautiful harem scene! Tapestries, lamps, paintings, statues — it was beautiful! I walked up to the woman behind the desk and said, “I’d like to take a belly dance class.” As she was signing me in this beautiful, statuesque woman walked into the room and came over to me and said, “First we have to do surgery to take your ears out of your shoulders” as she pressed my shoulders down with her hands to elongate my neck. It was love at first sight.

I never left…

Pictures of Serena