Photo by Darkchild Photography 2008

The Gilded Serpent presents...


Lara is founder and director of Alaska Awalim School of Dance in Fairbanks, Alaska. She started studying Middle Eastern Dance in 1991 with Robyn Russell and later performed with Robyn's troupe Noor Shimaal. Lara began teaching dance in 2002 and helped found the UAF Middle Eastern Dance & Culture Association in 2003. Since then she has moved on to join Tundra Caravan, a non profit performance troupe in Fairbanks.

In addition to Middle Eastern dance, Lara has dabbled in many different dance forms including ballet, modern, African and Mexican Folkloric. She is also a certified Dancing Thru Pregnancy instructor.

Outside of dance, Lara is a small business owner and mother of 3.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Lara

  • Choosing Finger Cymbals
    Learning finger cymbals can be intimidating for many dancers. It is not just another prop, it is a musical instrument that should be used to enhance the dance and help accent the music. One the major barriers to learning finger cymbals is simply finding a good pair of cymbals that you like.
  • Whose Dance is This, Anyway? Where Do Men Fit into the Belly Dance World?
    As soon as he was born, dancers of all stripes immediately started in with "Oh, a new little drummer for the troupe!". Excuse me? Why is there an instant assumption from birth that all little boys will be drummers and all little girls will be dancers just like mommy.
    ---Added Feature! See our Gallery of Men in Middle Eastern Dance