Born to Belly Dance
"Dance like a peacock, not a feather duster!" -- Bert Balladine, 1987
One day as a little girl, Serafina watched "Mrs. C," the mother on the "Happy Days" sitcom, glide around the Cunninghams' living room in an orange belly dance costume (photo below). Although she didn't understand the gist of the episode, she became completely enchanted with bellydance!
At around the same time, Serafina also discovered her father's vinyl belly dance records; the classics like George Abdo, Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak and Mohammed el Bakkar. She was intrigued and facinated with the confident, beautiful women on the album colors in their bright, sparkly costumes. But as Serafina grew up, she had no idea that she could learn to belly dance here in America.
However, a serendipitous meeting with a kindred spirit led her to find a local instructor and her dance journey began on one of the most significant days in recent history... September 11, 2001.
Serafina went on to study with several notable San Antonio area instructors who are experts in different styles of belly dance including American Cabaret, Modern Egyptian, Folkloric, Improvistaional Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion. She performed in many local shows for amateurs ("haflas"), fundraisers, festivals and parades. She then went on to co-found and co-direct a professional belly dance troupe for two years. Going her own way to become a solo performer and instructor was the next logical step and Serafina opened Studio Maliha, her private dance space, in March of 2010.
Continuing her dance education is very important to Serafina. In addtion to teaching 4+ classes per week, she continues to advance and enhance her own skills and technique by taking private lessons with Alhambra Palace Restaurant's Principal Belly Dancer, Surayah (located in downtown Chicago), as well as attending many master classes, workshops and pursuing certifications relevant to this art form.
"I realize the enormous responsibility of performing and teaching such an ancient and beloved art form which respresents a culture that isn't native to me. It is of the utmost importance to represent that culture passionately, accurately and respectfully."
More about serafina
Trained and rode horses competitively in an Olympic sport called "Dressage" for 25 years.
Works as a freelance graphic designer when she's not teaching or performing belly dance.
Enjoys interior design and decorating.
Is an avid oenophile. Some may even refer to her as a "wine snob."
Is in training with her Pomeranian, Sascha, to compete in canine agility.
Has been married for over 15 years and has 2 children.