Ep 22. Jillina Carlano: Building Community Around the Globe

Wow!!! I have goosebumps right now! On today's show I'm excited to feature Jillina Carlano, a successful performer, teacher, choreographer, director and producer!

She shares insights into the Bellydance Evolution company, their activities, projects and goals. We also expand our dance discussion into the idea of giving back and serving the global community on different levels. To be honest, I don't even know if I need a description for this episode at all... It's Jillina! Just listen to her. :)

Also, a great surprise to all our listeners from Jillina! It's giveaway time! Find details in the episode.

Listen HERE

Ep 21. Alex DeLora: Every Drum Solo Has Its Own Mood

Alex DeLora on the Belly Dance Life podcast!!! In this episode, we get to know this artist from a completely new perspective that usually is hidden from the audience's eye.

Could you imagine that in the beginning of her dance journey, Alex was told that dance was not for her, and that she never would be able to dance on stage?! Discover what happened next, and how her first experience of a belly dance competition was surprising even for Alex herself! Also, we get a change to glance into the insights of her creative process, how she thinks about training and choreographing, as well as what fascinates her in drum solo compositions. Very remarkable points of view from a remarkable dancer.

Enjoy listening and share with us your favorite take aways!

Listen HERE

Ep 20. Apsara Afsanesara: What Do You Know About Persian Dance?

It's our 20th episode!!! And it's a special one. We deeply explore the topic of Persian dance culture, with all its richness and nuances.

I'm joined by Apsara Afsanesara, a dancer, choreographer, as well as an alternative model based in Poland. She specializes in the dances of the Silk Road (Persian, Afghan, Central Asian, Caucasian, Indian) Her recent project, a dance theatre production called Shirin, got recognition in many European countries and beyond. At the beginning of the episode we learn about Apsara's dance journey, and what exactly captured her attention in the Persian dances. She also gives us a mini-lecture on the variety of Iranian dance styles (at least 10-15 types of dances!!!), and towards the end of the interview we discuss common mistakes and misinterpretations of Persian dance by Western performers, especially Bandari dance when presented at belly dance competitions.

Hope you enjoy listening to this episode that will definitely widen your horizons and understanding of Persian dance culture!

Listen HERE

Ep 19. Jasirah: How to Practice on Your Own. Tips & Tricks

Yay!!! On today's show Jasirah is helping you to improve your dance skills and start practicing with purpose and results!

Jasirah is an international dancer, teacher and judge based in Poland, and her top Youtube video has reached more than 10,000,000 views! Want to know her secrets of daily dance practice? How to find motivation and be consistent even when you don't have a teacher to push you forward? You'll discover this and much more in the epic episode of Belly Dance Life podcast.

Listen HERE

Ep 18. Amar Lammar: Twelve Years of Performing Every Night in the Arab Emirates!

In this episode our featured guest is the amazing Amar Lammar who had a successful 12-year dance career in the Middle East!

Amar explains what are the requirements for a professional dance show in the Arab Emirates, and shares how her dance journey wasn't always smooth and right away successful. You'll find out her top secrets on how to stay engaged and passionate about dance even after performing daily for the last 12 years, as well as how to survive and put together a thrilling 45-minute show. Yes, you've read it correctly: a 45-minute nonstop performance! And she digs really deep into this topic. Also, we'll hear different stories about working together with musicians, as well as why the 1st day of each month is always so challenging. Enjoy!

Listen HERE

Ep 17. Luna of Cairo: Is Belly Dance Life in Cairo Always a "Fairy Tale"?

Curious about living a professional dance "dream" in Egypt? Luna of Cairo takes you behind-the-scenes of her 10-year belly dance experience in Cairo.

In this episode, we talk about the current situation of the Egyptian dance scene, and how foreign dancers bring changes into the style itself. She explains the significant difference between dance managers and agents, and what role each of them plays in the entertainment business. Also, Luna shares how her fluent knowledge of the Arabic language, in some sense, made her professional and everyday communication there more challenging, as well as tells us why after 10 years of an active belly dance career, she decided to leave Cairo and close that page of her life in order to explore something new.

It might be a bit of a heavy talk, but there are lots of interesting and useful insights that every dancer should be aware of before pursuing a career in the Middle East, and specifically Egypt.

Listen HERE

Ep 16. How to Deal With Annoying Clients: Unpaid "Showcase" Offers

Today geeking about business side of belly dance. :)

Have you ever received those annoying calls from people who think that if they provide you big enough audience, you should be happy to present your art for free at their event? And I'm not talking about bridal shows, or event planning conferences, but  about regular private or corporate events where number of guests has nothing to do with the number of your potential clients...

I strongly believe that every work should be paid and compensated, but in this episode I won't focus on trying to prove why belly dance performance should cost this or that much. Instead I'm giving a few tips on how I deal with such clients, and some examples of my replies to their typical questions and offers. Hope you'll find some useful take away to make your business dance life easier!

Listen HERE

Ep 15. Cassandra Fox: Healthy Does Not Have a Face

As I said before, on each episode of the Bellydance Life Podcast I try to bring amazing guests and topics, so here is one more! Please welcome Cassandra Fox to the show, a queen of social media dance videos! :)

Here are only some of the topics that we've discussed in this episode:

- how listening to her first impulse and intuition led Cassandra into the belly dance world of performing and teaching;
- going for it despite all fears and concerns;
- tips on training and self-improvement;
- how to deal with people's feedback on the Internet; where is line between constructive criticism and negative comments;
- what are the stereotypes about being healthy;
- getting motivation from the artistic expression, not perfection, and so much more!

I can’t wait for you to dig into this episode, and listen to the incredible conversation with Cassandra Fox!

Listen HERE

Ep 14. Sadie Marquardt: Before & After Social Media Hit

On today's show Iana is joined by Sadie Marquardt, the most watched belly dancer on YouTube, with over 30 million hits on just one video alone. She was a featured star of the show "America's Got Talent", producer of dozen of bestselling instructional videos, as well as an experienced performer and passionate educator.

Sadie talked about her belly dance experience, and how the field have been changing over the last 20 years since the time she just started her dance journey. It was really impressive to hear how in any circumstances and market realities, she managed to create her own opportunities in order to stay connected to dance, and how it led to discovering her true gift of teaching and supporting other dancers.

Listen HERE

Ep 13. Esmeralda Colabone: Music as Your Guide & Mentor

This is truly a sensational conversation! Esmeralda Colabone talks about her training path, which was different from a regular "go to belly dance school" way, and how she got significant influence from musicians into her dancing. We discuss not only what is an individual dancer's style in general, but also the importance of studying everyday life and behaviour of people for whom this dance is a part of culture.

Also, Esmeralda shares the story of adding turbans to her costumes, one of the signature features of her stage look, as well as her experience of dancing throughout her pregnancy.... and so much more! I literally can’t count all the important points in this episode, and at the same time we went really deep into each topic. I'm extremely excited to release this interview, and looking forward to hearing what are your take aways from it!

Listen HERE

Ep 12. Mr. Ozgen: Turkish Dance on a Big Stage

Today Iana talks to Mr. Ozgen, an internationally successful Turkish belly dancer who travels all around the world teaching, performing and putting together full-length productions in different countries.

Ozgen shares insights into being a part of the Fire of Anatolia dance company in Istanbul (later renamed to Sultans of the Dance), and what it meant to dance from 10 am in the morning to 6 pm in the evening at least five days per week (and sometimes all seven...). He also talks about his transition into a solo dance career, and how he found his artistic voice, combining strong stage presence, passion for different dance styles with storytelling via movement, and Turkish folklore traditions.

Listen HERE

Ep 11. Valerick Molinary: Different Ways to Develop Your Belly Dance Career

Valerick Molinary has brought up so many important points about different belly dance paths that you'll find a treasure tip in every minute of this interview.

We start with discussing Valerick's recent festival, Lebanese Love Affair, including their panel discussion about different approaches to potential careers in belly dance. Some of the highlights of our conversation were: how to start your commercial belly dance work, how to approach undercutting issues in the market, the need for self-promotion and developing supportive relationships with your colleagues. This and more in this brilliant and honest interview with Valerick!

Listen HERE

Ep 10. My Five Discoveries About Podcasting!

It's our 10th episode!!! In celebration of our first mini-anniversary, I've decided to share some insights into the creation process of this podcast, and what surprised me during the last month. You'll find out about my process of inviting and interviewing guests, and post-editing details to make sure that each episode is ready for you to listen. Also, I announce our first podcast GIVEAWAY!!! You can win an amazing set of Lavishy jewelry that goes absolutely great with belly dance costumes, as well as casual outfits. :)

Listen HERE

Ep 09. Founders of Orientalisimo: Social Media as a Bridge Between Dancers & General Public

Alina Babayan and Angel Infante take us behind-the-scenes of the popular social media platform "Orientalisimo", as well as share details on their upcoming events.

Have you ever wandered how they choose content to post on their social media? Interested in being featured on their Instagram page? Have doubts about the impact of social media on the dance world? Didn't know about their amazing website, and upcoming festival? You'll discover this and much more in the epic episode of Belly Dance Life podcast.

Listen HERE

Ep 08. Restaurant VS Theatre Shows

In this episode I'm talking about differences and similarities of performing in diverse environments such as restaurants or theatres. You'll find out details about various show durations, space layouts, and audience engagement, as well as why I think that professional dancers should approach restaurant and/or private functions (such as weddings, etc.) as an opportunity to popularize belly dance among a general audience.

Listen HERE

Ep 07. Kateryna Siham: Dance Contracts in the Middle East

Get ready for a hardcore conversation about various aspects of a dancer's life in the Middle East. Kateryna Siham, a successful dancer who has been collaborating with one of the most prestigious entertainment agencies in Dubai, shares tips and stories from her own experience, so that you can avoid many potential mistakes in your dance career. I feel we dived directly into the essence of this topic right from the first minutes of the episode, so if you are someone who is curious about dance contracts in Arabic countries, tune into this episode right now!

Listen HERE

Ep 05. Julia Farid: Challenges of an International Dance Career

Did you ever dream about an international career as a belly dance teacher? Or maybe it's your current goal? Then this episode is exactly what you are looking for.

I'm still on a high from the epic conversation with internationally established dancer and truly amazing person Julia Farid. She openly shared her entire story from attending a belly dance class for the first time, to the current point in her career, where travelling to different festivals and events all around the world consumes most of her time. Balancing a busy schedule with improving skills, taking care of health, and developing yourself as an artist and teacher were the highlights of our talk.

Listen HERE

Ep 04. How to Overcome "I'm Not Good Enough" Block

Do you ever catch yourself in the middle of negative self-tall? I surely know this feeling of thinking you are not good enough... and I guess 99% of artists face the same issue from time to time. 

I believe the key is to figure out how  to forward this feeling into motivation rather than frustration. Of course, the is no magic pill, or talk, or thought to switch the mindset in one second, but there are some tricks to, at least, start this transition. In this episode I'm sharing tips from my own experience that hopefully can help you to break the loop as well. It is time to put intention in the messages that we keep sending to ourselves, and take over our artistic development.

Listen HERE

Ep 03. Shahrzad: Inside Cairo Dance Life

All you wanted to know about belly dance life in Cairo, and how the local dance scene has been changed recently.

On today's show internationally acknowledged dancer Shahrzad gives interesting insights into the Egyptian belly dance scene: from popular music trends to current costume fashion. She also shares her passion for being a professional belly dance performer, as well as her story of how she decided to move from the United States to Egypt. If you ever dreamt about performing in Cairo, or if you are just curious about the dance life there, this is a must-listen episode!

Listen HERE