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“Karen has the ability to teach body control in a way through which all can learn. She is one of the hardest working dancers that I know. She is very sincere with her teaching and she is willing to share her knowledge.”
— Tambra

Karen Barbee shares the history of belly dance!

Folkloric dances of the Middle East are the foundation for the more refined formal dance known as “belly dance”, the classical women’s dance presented on the stage. The great dancer, Ruth St. Denis, saw in this dance a true art, deserving appreciation as a form of legitimate artistic expression. She and other pioneers of modern dance presented their interpretations of belly dance to American and European audiences during the period of great Western fascination with Orientalism in the early parts of the 20th century.

The intrigue to learn belly dancing comes to America!

As waves of immigration brought new citizens to the United States from the Middle East and Mediterranean areas, music and dance came with them. American dancers found both good teachers and an audience that recognized and appreciated skillful and authentic dancers and the desire to learn how to belly dance became strong. In the 60’s and 70’s, belly dancing went mainstream when American women embraced it and made it their own. Belly dance classes and “bellygrams” popped up everywhere as people began to realize this dance’s value as both exercise and entertainment.

Karen Barbee stresses the importance of maintaining the tradition of Belly Dancing!

The new performers of belly dance in the United States were (and continue to be) challenged to add enough pizazz to hold the attention of the American audience while still maintaining as much tradition as possible. In belly dancing, the dancer ideally becomes an expression of the music. The extraordinary excitement and beauty of the belly dance executed by a skilled and practiced professional, transcends time and culture. It is this very training that students at Karavan Studio receive when learning how to belly dance.

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