Why study with Erika?
Erika began her bellydance journey in 2003 when she decided to stay late after a weekly group fitness class to explore the bellydancing class that was to follow. Throughout the years, she's studied a variety of styles including Egyptian Cabaret, American Tribal Style (ATS), Gyspy Tribal Style (GTS), Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS), and Tribal Fusion.
In the years prior to discovering bellydance, she grew up with training in other dance and movement forms including Jazz, Ballet, Gymnastics, Yoga, and various competitive sports. Additionally, she maintained a certification as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for a period of time. Her foundation in musicality also took root in her early years as she played Clarinet in her high school band.
Belly Dance Experience:
She started teaching bellydance in 2007 and assembled a student troupe in 2012, which performed for several years throughout New England. In 2016, she was chosen as a solo artist to perform as an opening act for the Beats Antique Creature Carnival show in Burlington, VT. In 2019, she was the winner of the East Coast Classic Competition-Professional Tribal Fusion Category and also the People's Choice Award.
Two of her main mentors and sources of inspiration are Rachel Brice and Zoe Jakes. In 2014, she completed Rachel Brice's 8 Elements Initiates Training. For the past few years, she has been training more closely with Zoe Jakes in the Dancecraft Format and is among the first class of Dancecraft graduates to obtain a teaching certification for the format.
Performance & Teaching Approach:
Erika is currently based in the Catskill Mountains of upstate NY (teaching mostly in Oneonta) and in addition to teaching and performing as a solo artist, she is a proud member of the award-winning troupe, The Lunachix.
As a performer, Erika has been praised for her musicality, stage presence, technique, grace, and tranquility onstage. Her modern musical selections and choreographic stylization never fail to entertain!
As a teacher, she creates a fun class environment through use of humor. She also has a keen ability to deconstruct movement technique and creates engaging choreographies which challenge her students to grow beyond what they thought they were capable of. Her background in psychology, social work, and energy work enhances her ability to create a safe and healing learning environment despite common fears and insecurities of (new) students. She strives to create connection and community among those who choose to study with her.