The Gilded Serpent presents...

Martha Duran

Since the age two, Martha attended MGM Dance studios in California owned and directed by Marion G. who in time named her assitant teacher and director of one of her California Dance School. Every summer she went to dance summer camps, dance caravans, workshops and competitions in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. Martha also attended California locally based dance schools back in the 1980s and 90s where she took up acting, ballet, jazz, tap and oriental dance. She attended workshops all over the country with master teachers like Mahmmoud Reda, Farida Fahmi, Yousry Sharif, Nourhan Sharif and Faten Salama. She also attended internatonal folk festivals.

Martha studied Folkloric dance in IBA in Mexico City and later on received a Masters Degree in Arts and earned a degree in Folk dance. She has taught dance in Baja California’s State University and in locally based private schools and international workshops for the past 17 years. For the last 10 years she has been the director of her own school called, DANCEME Academy in the city of Mexicali in Baja California. Within bellydance styles she teaches: Arabic, Egyptian, Turkish, Tunisian, Morrocan, Gypsy, folkloric and tribal.

Martha has directed musicals such as Mame, Grease, Peter Pan, Annie, Chicago, Cabaret, Aventurera, The Nutcracker, Scheherezade(first bellydance musical in Mexico), Hairspray , A La Turca, Aladdin, and Gypsy.

Martha was an assistant producer in Televisa Mexicali for 3 years for a local televison program, producer of a regional children's TV show for TvAzteca for 2 years and writer for a local magazine Ahitv's for 3 years as editor and writter of the children's section. Artistic director for Fiestas del Sol for 2 years. Coach of 5 dance and cheer teams.

Contributor to the Belly Dance Reader Volumn 1

Teacher and Choreographer for more than 17 years. She was recently named by the city's governor ¨Pionera de la Danza Oriental¨ traslated- it means a bellydance pioneer since she was the first teacher to introduce the art of bellydance 17 years ago to our city. Martha is considered the first bellydancer teacher in Mexicali B.C. She started teaching Bellydance in 1992 when she participated in Aladdin's musical show production. She was the choreographer of the musical choreographing with very basic bellydance as it was getting introduced to Mexicalis ambience. Since then she has had full classes 8 hours a day. She first started teaching it to teens and young children who were fans of Disney's musical Aladdin, after that she started introducing to youngsters and adults the different styles of Middle Eastern dance and has inspired many localy based teachers to teach the appropiate ethics of the dance. She hosted the very first bellydance intensive in our city of Mexicali featuring Rahana with Egyptian Pop instruction Zills and Drum solo Technique and Ana Goebel as a special guest artist who gave a VIP workshop for Danceme´s Advanced Students.

Active Member of SAMEDA and ASAMED and writer for Jareeda bellydance Magazine. Active member of INNIA (Association for Arts research Mexico) and Bhuz co-writer . She got her masters degree in Communications in 2002. Active member in fundraising activities for the CRDC Cancer Resource Center of the Desert.

Biography by Oscar O. Meza

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Martha

  • Tribal Fusion in Mexico, Its Phenomenal Growth
    To dance Tribal Fusion in Mexico is to dance beyond tradition and criticism; there are Oriental dancers who consider “technique” a form of folklore and “stylization” as a boundary. Despite their lack of dance education, most Tribal Fusion Belly dancers grow on passion, dedication, and their love for Middle Eastern music.Tribal dancers in Mexico carry their colorful, heavy skirts and their abundant jewelry proudly; turbans and tassels adorn their hips–just as any other “Tribal Fusionista” from around the world!
  • Paula, 2011 Champion of Champions, Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition
    I do not know exactly what will happen, but I know it’s a beautiful start to present a Dominican dancer to the dance world. One very important thing also is that this award means to me that dreams do come true. I always wanted to be a dancer, and I could never really make it work because my country does not considered it a true profession.
  • Interview with Yamil Annun, An Argentinian Belly Dancer
    Yamil Annum has created his own dance style and has evolved his specific style of Oriental dance by using the well established foundations of classical Ballet, Ukrainian dance, Ballroom dancing, Celtic dances, Jewish folk-dance, Bhangra, Armenian and Argentinian Tango. His elegance on the stage has revolutionized stages all over Argentina and Latin America.
  • Hot Bellydance Event in Tijuana
    Leila Farid from Cairo Egypt is a sweetheart! She is what many Mexican dancers aspire to look and dance like. Wow! She is gorgeous and mesmerizing - as well as extremely nice, polite and down to earth! My star struck students were amazed to catch her snacking on Mexican Rancheritos (chips) and eating breakfast like a Mexican, with tortillas! She’s so fit that we couldn’t imagine she snacked on chips tortillas like the rest of us. Her master class was magnificent.
  • Bellydancing Fashionably
    Always remember that you’re representing a country’s culture!  Sometimes, less is more; sometimes, more is less.”
  • Its All in the Flavor! Bellydance in Mexico
    Those were tough times for us teachers. Students were very shy in the classroom but eager to learn; some of them even thought that Shakira had created Bellydance! They didn’t have much information about Oriental Dance, its origins, or different styles. Some aspiring dancers even sat through several classes just to check out what Bellydance was or if we teachers danced it as well as Shakira.