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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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. :)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Ep 02. Why I Have Decided to Create This Podcast

I was really debating if I need to have this, sort of, introductory mini-episode, but after receiving all the amazing feedback from you since our first episode with Marta Korzun, including all your questions and comments on the  social media, I've decided that it would be nice to share my plans for this project, as well as to tell where the idea came from. :)

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Ep 01. Marta Korzun: About Competitions and Individual Style

I'm so happy to have world-known dancer, teacher and choreographer Marta Korzun as our first guest at the Belly Dance Life Podcast.

In this episode we talked about Marta's first experience in belly dance competition world, her ups and downs, as well as highlights of further dance career. She shared her opinion on the current situation and future development of the belly dance competition scene, as well as gave interesting perspective on the artistic search of individual style. There are honestly countless valuable takeaways from this conversation regardless if you are into competition world or not. 

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