The Gilded Serpent presents...

Paola Blanton

World Dancer

I weave together experienced artistry, pedagogy, and ongoing research in the fields of Oriental, Balkan, and Lyrical dances. As dancer and world traveler, I pursue my vision of strong, wise, and graceful womanhood through a passionate interplay of the intellectual, emotional and aesthetic. The results are expressed through my pedagogy and art.

Oriental dance provides a disciplined base from which I invoke the mysteries of my female form - it provides tools that allow us to draw pictures of sinuous grace in space - supported by core strength, muscular control and isolation. A great deal of my musicality is energized by Middle Eastern music - its rhythms, instruments, and kaleidoscopic spirit. Through Oriental dance, I muse upon the ideals of fluidity through controlled strength, and the interaction between corporal discipline and emotional spontaneity, so that the dance flows with the texture of the music.

Lyrical dance by way of Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis gives movements intelligent and emotional reach. It ennobles the dancer's gestures and extends them through the audience to the greater Universe. My posture is activated through my solar plexus, linking me to Universal, Human, and Earthly levels. The Muse of Lyrical dance reminds me that each dancer is a potential vessel for Divine inspiration; that the greatest gift of the art form is the transformative evolution of the dancer herself. Through imagery, breath work, and focused movement, we clear our channels, connect to the Muse, and channel her beauties through our earthly vessels.

Balkan dance connects me to my magnetic birth Roots - earthy, purposeful, spirited, yet simple. My feet dance with the bountiful Earth, my arms stretch out to welcome Humanity, my heart celebrates my joys, travails, tragedies, and triumphs. A strong note of Roma influence runs through my work in Balkan fusion, drawing down the prismatic, nomadic Muse in my Universe - She who leads me on my journeys, inner and outer.....bridging the cultural mosaic of my ethnic roots to the cultural mosaic of today's World music and dance.

To all women I say: Dance is Life and Life is a Dance. As we move our bodies to the rhythms of music, so do our individual universes move within greater universal rhythms. We ebb, we flow, we spark, ignite, and grow. Dance channels our unique stories through the instrument of the body. Through it, we become living works of art, capable of sublime expressive reach.

My own life path and dance path are one: Moving across cultures and languages, I've similarly moved across dance genres, but my core purpose remains the same: to learn and teach and to use dance as a tool for self-evolution. To you, the reader, I extend an invitation: Walk a while with me.Let's journey through expressive realms, learn together, dance together, celebrate together. Woman, sister, friend - our time has come. We are strong, we are wise, we are blessed. Let us commune in the Spirit of the Muse, connecting, creating, and allowing the rhythms of our universal souls to resonate through our beautiful, graceful bodies.

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Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Paola Blanton

  • Balkanic Eruption, Fiery Fusion Flavors for Oriental, Tribal, and Gypsy Dance!
    The Balkan spirit brings Mediterranean fire to Slavic earthiness to Byzantine mystery. Balkan music and dance weaves these elements together in the strong and purposeful rhythms and steps of the circles
  • Europe's Newest Dance Destinataion, Split Tribal Festival in Croatia
    It's like an Italy that one can actually afford, due to the fact that it is not yet an European Union country, and therefore not subject to the massive cost of living spikes of EU member nations.
  • Chelum, a Transcendent State
    They call it chelum, another Turkish term in the Eastern Macedonian dialect. It refers to a transcendent state of dance and music enjoyment fueled by tapanje, zurli, darabouki, tamburi, and of course the ubiquitous Rakija.
  • Dance Alchemy
    Dance can be the corporeal miming, shaping, and manifestation of the soul’s intent.
  • The Broken Vessel
    We, too, must believe in our movements, believe in their purpose and message, and we must deploy them with the array of human faculties that begin to evolve when the Art of the Dance is taken up.
  • Visiting Cairo: You live a whole lifetime in one week!
    Laughter builds bridges, and in today’s world, bridges – between individuals and between cultures, are becoming more and more of an imperative.
  • Roots Raqs – An International Belly Dancer Goes Home to Macedonia
    The musical folklore of this region deserves full debut in the World Music scene, and those of us in the MED community worldwide are ripe for the breath of fresh air that Chochek and Gypsy Brass Music can bring us. It is an original, organic and time-honored fusion, brought about by history, geography, and most importantly, tolerance and mutual cultural celebration
Paola - Wild West