Get to Know a Bellydancer: Lisa Raks

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Name

Lisa Raks, but my gothique bellydancing persona is Lisa Webb

Where are you from?

The fabulous city of Toronto.

Astrological Sign?

I am a Scorpio!

Who do you dance with (Soloist/Company/Studio affiliation)?

I dance with Dragonfly belly dance studio.

How long have you been dancing?

My bellydancing journey began with the amazing Hannan Sultan in 2003.

What is your favourite music?

Personally I love gothic, new wave and EBM music. I love to combine my passion for this music style and my dancing together when I can. But I am a fan of music in general. I am knowing for dancing to interesting versions of classic songs, like a heavy metal version of Lamma Bada and Inta Omri, and many more! As for bellydance music, I love Egyptian Shaabi. It’s the music of the people, it’s modern, it is lively!

Favourite costume piece?

How can any dancer pick just one? Can I say the one that sparkles? Seriously though I would have to choose the skirt, because the style and shape of the skirt can change the look and feel to any dance piece. I think it’s magical that one clothing item can reflect soft, romantic nuances in a song, or completely hide the legs and feet to emote floating visual effects.

Your Vices?

Coffee, chocolate, food…in fact you can always find me hovering around the food table at any of Dragonfly studio’s special events…
I can’t stop adding hip hop or modern pop songs to the classes I teach, I just love to see people’s faces light up and the laughter I get from this.

Your Virtues?

I am easy going and a huge joker. I want to make people smile and happy through bellydancing. I love to encourage my fellow dancers and student and establish real relationships with them.

Upcoming project/event?

I am really looking forward to being in the latest Mirage Bellydance production on Feb 23, and of course the talks at our Dragonfly studio Majlis events – they are always so wonderful.

Why bellydance?

Why not? I feel every woman should take time to try this artform. You discover so much about yourself through the earthy movements and music. To me it is the ultimate expression of “As above, so below.” We become physical interpretations of music and instruments that have been around such a long time. We spiritually connect with ourselves and our fellow classmates and teachers, our heart and hips become the rhythms. I have described this as a “yes” dance in my own personal story, which you can see on my website www.lisaraks.com, because you have to open your arms and your heart and give yourself persmission to feel, move and look like the goddess you are!

Who inspires you?

Everything in life and every dancer I meet. We are so lucky to be in Toronto with world class dancers and teachers. But Jamila Salimpour, her life story – her overcoming her own personal struggles, for making this dance popular and inspiring creativity within. I admire everything about this woman.

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