Get to Know a Bellydancer: Ioana




Where are you from?

Transylvania. However I live downtown Toronto, just east of Yonge. I am envious of West End where all the good parties happen and all the fancy brunch places are located.

Astrological Sign?

Scorpio. Isn’t that a great answer?! Scorpios are the juiciest of the signs, the tabloid sign. Everybody loves to make references to our alleged abuses. I maintain that my personal misdemeanors are completely unrelated to my astrological sign. Totally coincidental.

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

I choreograph for Undine Dance Company. I am currently affiliated with Om Laila Studio, as I am a life long student of Roula Said. She believes in me and therefore I close my eyes and trust to do what otherwise I wouldn’t.

How long have you been dancing?

I’ve been taking classes since 1996. I was 25 when I took my first dance class.

What is your favourite music?

We are 80’s kids. So, The Cure, Kate Bush, Nick Cave, Dead Can Dance, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Rasputina. Recently adopted Lamb, Rebekka Karijord. Sayyed Bassam Bishara. Oum Kalthoum. Cesaria Evora. Nomadica. Maza/Meze. Flying Bulgars Klezmer Band. Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Yvette Tollar. Maryem Tollar. Daft Punk. Amy Winehouse. How much space do you have here?

Favourite costume piece?

Long long flowing hair. Flowers. Ivy. Lace. Silk veils. I leave costuming in the hands of my talented colleague Victoria.

Your Vices?

Passion. See above, “astrological sign”.

Your Virtues?


Upcoming project/event?

Undine Dance Company is performing Sat May 31 at The Lavish Project: Samantha Emanuel and Heather Stants.

Why bellydance?

At first it was random. I live so. If I had goals, I would be limited by the knowledge I had at the start of my journey. Passion drives me in the direction that my mind does not know that I want to go, and I end up in amazing places. Trust. Do first. Think later. Eventually, the mind catches up, understands, justifies.

I ended up in some amazing places. I am incredibly fortunate to have in my life the friends I made through dancing, this fierce living breathing community of artists.

Who inspires you?

Cherry trees blooming. The oppressive sun of July. Desire. Compassion. Pain. All my loses. My friends and mentors. Roula Said. Maggie Gillis. Amy Sigil. Victoria. Stella. Serena. Denise Fujiwara. Denise Mireau. Toronto!! Love you, you crazy city. You are our canvas.