Last May, during our monthly Midnight Dreams Lingerie show at Harry David's, spectators we served up a special surprise performance from Missoula's own emBody Bellydancers. This elegant form of dance has never had much of a chance to be in the local spotlight, mostly due to the fact that up until just recently this Middle Eastern form of female expression had never had a talented team to fully represent it. That all changed when a group of young Missoula ladies decided to take their love for this form of dance out to the public and not just perform, but educate everyone in this truly unique art of dancing.

Let's get acquainted with Missoula's emBody...

 

1. Greetings, ladies. Tell us, who is all part of your existing emBody crew?

Up until just recently is had been just Kymila, Kathryn, and Carscallen.

We since have added Jennifer.

2. How did emBody get started?

Well the three of us met in a Cabaret Bellydance class, about 2 years ago. We got together first for extra practices, and then as we discovered that we really got along well and danced well together, we started creating our own choreography and branching out into the dance genre that interested us called Tribal Fusion. After a summer of playing around with that, emBody was born.

3. How often do you perform, and where?

We do not have a set schedule. we have performed bellydance and burlesque at a variety of venues so far this year, such as Southgate Mall, the Stensrud Event Center, MCT, university events, and private parties. This summer we will also be performing Hawaiian Hula.

4. What does it take to become a professional belly dancer?

DEDICATION! You have to love it! There is a lot of training and practice required, even more so in a troupe. Anyone can learn; there isn’t a set body type or age group, unlike other dance genres.

5. How can people in the Missoula area become part of your crew?

For anyone interested in learning bellydance or burlesque, we periodically offer workshops and private lessons, for individuals or for groups. You can reach us via email: embodydance@yahoo.com, or our Facebook page.

6. What inspired you to become professional bellydancers?

Each of us has our own answer to this one----

Kymila: I think the real inspiration is how this troupe came to be—I was a cheerleader in high school, and danced Jazz in college, but after college comes many other responsibilities, and I really did not expect dance to be a part of my life again, but after a back injury just a couple of years ago it was recommended that I try Belly Dancing to assist with the healing process, had it not been for that, I probably would not have met Kathryn and Carscallen. I also found a form of dance that I really enjoy, and it has been very therapeutic, we all have our physical limitations that keep us from participating as dancers in the other strict dancing genres, with Belly dance there aren’t any requirements- you can be any body type.

Kathryn: A love of movement I think- I grew up with dance and movement as a way of life because of my mother who has been a dancer all her life. I have always had the talent for dance but never pursued it because most dance styles seemed to be so restrictive and rule bound to me. Belly dance gives me the freedom to move and have fun being creative.

Carscallen: For me, dance combines the two things that inspire me most: music and the capabilities of the human body. I have always loved music, but didn’t think I’d be able to dance because of some serious physical issues (such as a steel rod in part of my spine). However, it actually turned out to be incredibly restorative. Bellydance in particular makes you find and take control of every muscle; including ones most people don’t realize they have. That kind of body awareness assists you in all parts of everyday life as well. I am living proof that anyone can dance if they have the desire.

emBody performs again this Wednesday at Harry Davids during this months Midnight Dream Lingerie show starting at 9:30pm. Plus, the ladies of emBody are holding their first Bellydance and Burlesque workshops this weekend June 18th, at the Barn Movement Studio; Bellydance 1:30-3:30pm, and Burlesque 4:30-6:30pm.