Helen Patrice

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Helen Patrice

You can blame James Bond for me becoming a belly dancer. I saw one of the 007 movies where Bond watches a belly dancer. She held me transfixed. I remember thinking "That's it, that's what I want to do". And immediately forgot about it until years later when I'd been dancing for a while, and saw the movie again. It all came flooding back. I now have faith that the universe listens and will fulfill our wishes, even if we don't realize it at the time.

I've been belly dancing on and off for thirteen years. I got started at the local community college, doing it for fun and to keep fit while pregnant. It quickly became an addiction and sleepless nights due to heartburn or overactive baby weren't so stressful when I could think about the fabulous costumes I was going to wear when I didn't look like a beach ball anymore. After I had my daughter, my life got busy with her and belly dance became an intermittent affair.

Five years ago I got back into it seriously, finding an excellent teacher in Barbara Wolfkamp. I am still with her, learning more each week. This year I started teaching and that side of my life is growing each term. On the more mundane side of life, I have been a writer for many years, and professional for twenty. I write mainly science fiction and fantasy, but have a Bachelor of Arts in Non-Fiction writing. So I can whip up a good article at a moment's notice. I'm an assistant editor for Aurealis magazine, and have been a judge in the Aurealis Literary Awards for the past two years. I've published in magazines such as Aurealis, Orb, Interzone, Meajin, Southerly, Pandora, and Starlog.

I teach creative writing subjects at my daughter's school. I'm also a mum. I have two children, aged 11 and 9. My son is the house champion at Nintendo and Snap, and my daughter educates me on the latest music by playing it while I'm in the bath and can't escape. We have three cats that have possibly all attended Nuttiness School. All have an obsession with chiffon veils. I am involved in the deaf community here in Melbourne, and also the Autism Association. I've just finished teaching belly dance to my son's class at his Special School and we did a spectacular performance to the Bird Dance.

My ambitions are to be able to sing on key, write a fabulous best seller, and lose my stage fright.