Get to Know a Bellydancer: Laura Selenzi

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Name?

Laura Selenzi

Where are you from?

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Astrological Sign?

Gemini

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

I often perform solo, as well as with my duet partner Monique Ryan as Cabaret Serpentine. Together we own Serpentine Studios, where I direct the Serpentine Studios Student Troupe as well as the Serpentine Dance Company.

When I lived in Toronto (2005-2010), I danced with the Arabesque Dance Company; Yasmina Ramzy has had a huge influence on my dancing.

What is your favourite music?

Too many to choose! Oum Kalthoum’s Ente Omri will always be one of my favourites. I love dramatic, dynamic orchestral pieces by groups like the Al Ahram Orchestra and Raul Ferrando, classics like Warda, fun Arabic pop (Haife Wehbe, Saad el Sogheer, Nancy Ajram) and I also love more fusion-y artists like Natacha Atlas, TNGHT and lately, XXYYXX. I also really love Hip-Hop and funk! Basically, anything that makes me want to move.

Favourite costume piece?

Oh man. Probably my turquoise costume (a Bella), or my new gold and purple Bella… my favourite designer by far. I’m also really excited about these new bedlahs I made for Monique and I last year, they were inspired by vintage showgirl costumes and feature nude sparkly velvet and rhinestones. Oh, and all of my A’Kai silk veils!

Your Vices?

I’ve always had a hard time organizing myself for self-practice, which is why I’ve tend to take a million classes, and it’s why working within a duet works so well for me. I need a little push sometimes!

Your Virtues?

I take my role as teacher very seriously; I studied bellydance for 7 years before I began teaching; and also studied anatomy, which led me into becoming a registered massage therapist. I think it helps me to be a better teacher.

Upcoming project/event?

Monique and I are collaborating with April Rose, along with Michelle Sorensen and Kimberly Larkspur, for a performance at Tribal Massive this year. We are so excited about this project; it has really pushed us into new artistic areas of our dancing. We are also thrilled to be bringing Aziza (of Montreal) to Halifax in May!

Why bellydance?

There is something about the juxtaposition of soft, relaxed, feminine movements and strong, precise muscular control that just makes me fall in love with bellydance over and over again. The ability to express any emotion and concept. The music. The costumes. The amazing community. I could go on!

Who inspires you?

Lately working with April Rose has been a huge inspiration and challenge for me. A few of the other artists that inspire me these days are Aziza, Daria Mitskevitch, Randa Kamal, Kami Liddle, Tito and many more!

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