Photo of Thalia by Paul B. Goode

The Gilded Serpent presents...


Jennifer Sears(Thalia) performs and teaches belly dance in New York City. She currently teaches many inspiring, beautiful students at New York University, CUNY Graduate Center, and other locations. Also a fiction writer, her work has received awards from the Money for Women Fund, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Millay Colony for the Arts, and Columbia University School of the Arts (Fellowship/MFA 2005). Her writing has appeared in So to Speak, Fence, Ninth Letter, and The Boston Globe and was cited in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007. In 1986, Jennifer began dancing during recovery from adolescent anorexia nervosa with the inimitably graceful Lebanese dancer Leila Gamal. In 1992, she began studying and teaching with the Boston-based The Goddess Dancing and Sacred Source Belly Dance, collectives presenting belly dance for healing and transformation. During this time, she also studied traditional belly dance and performed in clubs. Since moving to New York City, Jennifer has studied Sufi dance meditation with Dunya, Butoh with Maureen Fleming, belly dance with Elena Lentini and Yousry Sharif, and Arabic at American University Cairo (2007).

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Thalia

  • More is More, Mohamed El Hosseny
    Some might find El Hosseny’s creations busy. The popular approach is to slow down to interpret the music whereas El Hosseny’s approach is just the opposite.
  • The Muwashahat with Mohamed Shahin and Karim Nagi
    The Muwashahat genre is inspired by tenth century court poetry of Arab-Andalusia, developed when Arab intellectual and artistic culture flourished in Spain. The rhythms are complex.
  • Review: "Allure of the East: Orientalism in New York, 1850-1930" at the New York Historical Society
    This small one-room exhibit with its narrow geographic focus--the city O. Henry dubbed “Baghdad-on-the-Subway”--presents much for dancers to consider. As belly dance continues to gain popularity, what is this continuing "allure" of the Orientalist inspired arts? When is attraction to this aesthetic drawn from a desire to understand other cultures and when is it driven by desire to market ourselves?
  • Tarot:A Fantasy Belly Dance Concert
    The large, well rehearsed cast--musicians, temple maidens, acolytes, and servants with a variety of props--deftly played up the campy quality of the piece, contrasting the work's darker messages about the fickle cycles of gain, loss, and impermanence