The Gilded Serpent presents...


The Perpetual Intermediate

Natasha, (Nancy Beck), began taking belly dance lessons at Simone’s Seventh Veil Studio in St. Louis, in about 1977. She was a member of the troupe, (did Tunisian, very hard on the feet!), but never really made the break into dancing out regularly. She was fortunate enough to take a few workshops from Jamila Salimour, who came to St. Louis. She even flew to San Francisco with Simone in 1978, went to a Salimpour workshop, and saw the original Bal Anat. A few life changes, and she reluctantly left the dance scene in the early 80’s.

Fast forward to 1997. Natasha was living in Fort Pierce, working 12’s on the night shift on a big construction project at the nuclear plant in Document Control. Not much happened after midnight, except you had to stay awake. She decided that when this five month job was over, she was going to take dance lessons again. As luck would have it, the only teacher in town began to teach again, just then in January, 1998, after several years off. Nancy has been to lessons faithfully every week since then. She is especially fond of zills, (Thank you, Jamila), and plays dumbek and djembe. Her teachers in the past five years have included Setareh, Zayda, Melanie LaJoie, Azuri, and Suspira. She taught a class herself in Fort Pierce.

Besides regular lessons, Natasha has been to as many workshops as possible, and is consciously pursuing a “dinosaur program”, trying to take workshops from the greats before they disappear. She has seen Ma*shuqa, Aszmara, Margo Abdo O’Dell, Dahlena, Suzanna del Vecchio, Yousry Sharif, Nourhan Sharif, Raquia Hassan, Mesmera, John Compton and Rebaba, Delilah, Fahtiem, Judeen, Laurel Victoria Gray, Elena Lentini, Horacio and Beata, Aziz, Paulette Rees-Denis, Suhaila, Uncle Mafufo, Vince Delgado, Mary Ellen Donald, Momo Kadous, Bert Balladine, Amaya and more, all since 1997!

Natasha now lives with her Boris in Orlando, and takes three classes a week.