Going back to my roots….

Not everyone knows this about me, but I was a bellydancer from the age of 4. My Mum started when I was around that age and quickly found a life long passion that engulfed my family. She started teaching out of a hall in Elizabeth, and I remember performing my very first solo there in a little gold baladi dress which my Mum made. She then opened her own studio in Elizabeth Grove – Henna Nights.

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My Mum in her first studio, with my little sis in the background!

The classes boomed – bellydance was the latest thing, especially after Shakira released her debut single with tons of shimmying and shaking in it. At one point we had over 500 students in the school!

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My Mum, my sister and I in the Elizabeth Grove studio.

We moved to a larger studio space when I was in high school, in Smithfield, taking over a giant shed and turning it into a bellydance paradise with draped fabric and murals on the walls. We stood out between the auto repairs shops!

The Smithfield studio - all cleared out! :(

The Smithfield studio – all cleared out! 😦

It truly was a family business. My Mum taught the bulk of the classes, and my Dad started playing the tabla. I started teaching kids classes when I was around 12, and then adults as a teenager. My sister took over our kids classes, and then started teaching her favourite style – Tribal Fusion.

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My Mum and Dad performing

We had our little grumbles like all families do, but Henna Nights was such a wonderful experience for us. We did so many things creative things together, we often travelled in a clan to interstate events, we produced shows together and we danced together. I think I really took that kind of connection for granted when I was a kid, but looking back now I think it is one of the reasons I am so close to my family.

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My beautiful little sister

I loved bellydancing and I got to do so many wonderful things like teach and perform interstate, but I started to lose my passion for it in my early 20s and started to pursue other interests like swing dancing and burlesque. A lot of my life happened in the city once I moved out of home, and even though Smithfield isn’t that far away it did leave me disconnected (our family home was right around the corner from it). I didn’t feel like there were as many opportunities in bellydance as I was getting in swing and burlesque, and the scene was quite political in those days which really squashes creative feeling in me. I can’t stand drama. So, I moved on to other things. My sister moved to Townsville with her now husband, and in 2012 my Mum decided to retire after nearly 20 years as a belly dancer.

One of my favourite pictures of my Mum

One of my favourite pictures of my Mum

I haven’t really done any bellydancing since then. I do a bit around my house every so often, and lately I have started to really miss it. It was such a huge part of my life for a long time. Sapphire and I are expanding the Peaches ‘n’ Gin Academy this year to include different dance styles, and so I will be teaching some bellydancing again. I’m pretty rusty but I’ve started my training again recently and things are coming back to me faster than I expected. I think this year will be the right time for me to start getting back into it a bit again. I’m looking forward to checking out the first Adelaide Bellydance Festival later this year and will be taking some workshops. I’m looking forward to learning again!

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I have such fond memories of Henna Nights, and wish I hadn’t taken it so for granted. But it still lives in the bond between my parents, my sister, and I, and those who found inspiration in it’s walls. ❀

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8 thoughts on “Going back to my roots….

  1. Jenifer says:

    I joined some of yours and your mother’s classes and attended many of the Henna Night’s performances. In the outer northern suburbs there wasn’t many opportunities to explore dance and your family filled that gap. It was accessible, affordable and EVERYONE could participate. I watched your performances from a young teenage girl, where your dance was sophisticated and well beyond your years. I booked you for our childcare centre. I was there when you introduced swing and burlesque to the Henna Night’s community. AND WOW! Such energy. Such fun. Such feminine expression. Thank you Luna, for many years of entertainment. For your display of brave, feminine creativity. For helping the women around you to recognise their own possibility. Kudos to you πŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Rosemary says:

    My beautiful granddaughter you are so good at everything you do. I am so proud of you . I hope you have a wonderful holiday you have earned it .I love you Nanna xxxxx

    Like

    • misslunaeclipse says:

      Thank you Nanna ❀ Love you too! We will have to come and see you as soon as we get back and tell you all about it πŸ˜€ xxxxxx

      Like

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