Rhea in red with SNAKE SKIN shoes!

The Gilded Serpent presents...


I began dancing 23 years ago. That's right, the same age as my darling daughter Shannon. Needless to say I was a true belly dancer. However, what I remember most is my first costume and my first recital. I chose a silky pajama material for my harem pants, a bit of stretch sequins for a belt and I performed with trembling hips to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" Once Middle Eastern Dance becomes a part of your soul it invites many exciting changes into your life. It can transform a doctor into a sensuous siren, a secretary into mysterious goddess and in my case a quality control inspector into a lively, enthusiastic performer trading her workplace for a dance floor.

With my first instructor as my partner, and with Lou Greenstien as our agent, we (The Gemini Dancers) traveled up and down the Gold Coast in Fort Lauderdale, Florida working nightclubs, hotels, Greek restaurants, and many, very lively retirement villages.

In 1983 I moved to San Diego, Ca. As most dancers do, I cased the city right away for Middle Eastern Dancing. I ended up at the Haji Ba Ba and worked there until four months pregnant with my second child, Brian. It seems with the birth of a child, there is always a lull in ones career and mine was no different. It was hard to get back in the swing of things. But, eventually I did and ended up working at the Marrekesh for 6 or 7 years.

One thing troubled me about my chosen art form. I had become accustomed to changing in dirty bathrooms, liquor closets, offices, and during my busiest gramming period even in my car. At least I pasted a star on the window! It was about that time I called a halt to my dance career. The constant "on stage" quality of my life had taken its toll and I suffered a burn out. However, It would take me a least another 5 years to completely quit dancing and replace my passion with another venue of the dance that intrigued me, Event Coordinating. With a good friend & partner at my side, Alia and I began an annual show that we christened "One Enchanted Evening" It has become a show that encourages "American Creativity in Middle Eastern Dance. With the support of Tonya & Atlantis, and the participation of the San Diego dance community Alia & I continued the show for four years. Seven years later and different partners, I am now the soul producer of an event that has at times donated all of its proceeds to charities and has been instrumental in introducing some wonderful performers into different venues.

In 1996, several performers in the San Diego Area approached me to act as President of SAMEDA. Their goals were to breathe new life into a newsletter that was barely existing through the efforts of one person.

We formed a board of directors and became tax exempt while working very hard to build an organization and newsletter dedicated to provide educational and performance opportunities for those interested in the art of Middle Eastern dance and to promote this art to the general public by sponsoring seminars, workshops and events, which are available to all. In 1997 we won the IAMED Middle Eastern Dance Award as "Promoter of the Year". This was a fabulous experience for all of us. We also just finished producing our Second Annual SAMEDA FAIRE. The event was a success due to the dedication of so many of SAMEDA's members. It is inspiring when one experiences a dance community full of passion and working towards the same goals. Today, I have resigned as president of SAMEDA to pursue teaching, video production, and the coordination of OEE, but I am still very active in the SAMEDA community.

Although I no longer dance in clubs, I have not stopped performing. I dance at every event I can wiggle an invitation to. I was also delighted to win the title of "1998 Divine Dancer of the Universe" A yearly competition sponsored by Tonya & Atlantis. And just recently, I won the title of "1999 Headliner of the Year" a competition in Reno called the Wiggles of the West. Recently, in May of 2000, in Walnut Creek, I have achieved the title of "Grand Dancer" in the Belly Dancer of the Year Pageant. I hope to experience more competitions in the future. I can't think of a better way to inspire oneself to keep growing then to face the challenge of a panel of judges. Yes, it can be scary but, as the song goes, "You got to dance like nobody's watching".