Who is Belladonna?

Belladonna is known as the Baroness of Blades, master sword performer and fusion belly dance technician and entertainer.

Belladonna is an ever-evolving artist & teacher. She is a tribal fusion belly dance performer and instructor from Washington DC.   She has been a guest performer with international superstars such as Amanda Palmer, Beats Antique, Corvus Corax, the Bellydance Super Stars and the Indigo. She has also had the honor of being a featured instructor at national and international festivals such as Tribal Fest, Art of the Belly, Rakkasah Spring Caravan, Tribal Alchemy, Elevation,  Awakening Persephone, Gothla UK, FesTribal de Quebec.

She is the creative director and producer of  the annual Raven’s Night Soiree’, the Vixen Variety Show and co producer of the Monthly DCTribal cafe.  She also is the director of three student troupes, BellaTrix,  DashKhaleen  and Khalasar as well as one half of the dynamic duo Skella!

Her  interest in belly dance was sparked first by a poem she read in 1997, called the Belly Dancer by Diane Wakowski. Fuel was then added to the flame a few months later, when Bella saw her first belly dance performance, by dancer Talanesea (of Utah) around a campfire at a medieval reenactment event. The rhythm of the drums and her serpentine movements hypnotized Bella and changed her  life forever.

Belly dance is powerful, sensual and fun. It has led Bella down many paths, and encouraged her to explore new ventures.  Belladonna’s  education is in art and expression and belly dance has helped her grow and evolve into a performance artist, teacher, community event organizer, show producer,  and troupe director.  She also organizes fundraisers, helps to educate the public, and supports and participates in events hosted by the Mautner Project and the DCKings.

How long has Belladonna been belly dancing?

Bella began her dance journey in 1998. A  resident of  Clarksville, Tennessee at the time, she could not find a teacher so she taught herself as much as possible from videos and took workshops whenever possible.

What shows has Belladonna produced?

In addition to co-producing the monthly DCTribal Café and annual Belly Horror Show, she serves as a board member of the DCTribal collective, a group of community oriented tribal dancers, drummers and belly dance supporters in the D.C., NOVA, and Baltimore area. And she is the host of the annual DCTribal holiday hafla.

Belladonna founded and produced the monthly Vixen Variety Show at The Palace of Wonders, circus & sideshow bar in D.C., from August 2008 to May 2010. Vixen Variety was the first monthly all-female variety show of it kind in the D.C. area. She also produced  the belly dance variety show Dance du Ventry from Aug 2009 to May 2010. Bella also hosts and produces an annual student showcase and various other variety shows, fundraisers and community oriented events.

She is the founder, and co-curatior/ producer of the annual Raven’s Night Soiree’ and festival. And continues to be the co-founder and co-producer of the monthly DCTribal Cafe’.

What motivates Bella to dance and teach?

As a dancer, instructor and community member,  Belladonna is  motivated to build relationships, and create opportunities for students and professionals alike. Her aspiration is to help people heal and explore themselves through dance, she hopes that her efforts can help others to attain their goals and have a wonderful dance experience.

What belly dance events and festivals has Belladonna participated in?

Belladonna has taught and performed across the US and abroad at a variety of festivals and private events.

Some of the most notable festivals are:
Spirit of the Tribes (FL)
Tribal Fest (CA)
Northern Migration (NY)
Night of a 1,000 Goddesses (NY)
Elevation (CO)
Tribalcon (GA)
Tribal Alchemy (TX)
Shadow dance (CA)
DurDemarion Autumn Equinox (TN)
Gothla (LA)
Art of the Belly (MD)
Rakkasah Spring Caravan (NJ)
FesTribal de Quebec (Canada)
Gothla UK

What makes Belladonna stand out as a performer?

Belladonna’s spirit and passion make her stand out as a performer. She loves dancing and it translates though her performance. Her musical choice, costuming and dance styles vary widely and therefore make her a versatile performer. Her performance history and range of experience make her adaptable to many locations and types of events.

What makes Bella stand out as a teacher?

As a teacher Belladonna stands out in her ability to break things down into a language that is understandable and clear. She also has a fun personality, which keeps the mood light and entertaining. Bella is kind, patient and supportive, time flies in her classes and her students always leave feeling better than when they came in.

What does Belladonna have to offer that is unique to her?

Her artistic background paired with her love of energy healing, personal empowerment and expression make her stand out as a unique creative visionary. She is very passionate and driven and loves the arts, collaboration and incorporating various technique and ideas in new ways.

How can people benefit from hiring Belladonna as a teacher for a workshop?

Belladonna is kind, supportive and knowledgeable. She is also technically savvy and creative. Her sword work is second to none, and her tribal fusion improvisational style is unique, challenging and fun.

What can people expect from hiring Belladonna for a party?

A skilled and professional performance customized for the event.  All musical choices, costume and props are selected upon request. Patrons of this art should expect a  passionate and entertaining dance performance.

What has Belladonna accomplished in her belly dance experience?

Belladonna first began performing at the Mediterranean Cuisine on 21st Ave in Nashville, Tenneese as well as various mediveal and multi-cultural events in 1999.  With the urging of her mentor, Talanesea she began teaching her first weekly classes at Body Mind and Spirit in Clarksville, Tennessee in May of 2000.

Bella was one of the original members of  the troupe Gypsyville  and in 2003 she left Tenneese and  moved to the D.C. area.  After moving to Northern Virginia in 2003 She became one of the first American Cabaret style dancers to perform regularly at Alf Laylah Wa Layla in Chantilly VA.  Shortly there after she began performing tribal fusion belly dance regularly in the winter of 2004, along with Mavi and Asharah at the Shisha Lounge in Sterling, Virginia.

In 2004, she also started the troupe ROMKA’ and was joined by the creative and daring  Mavi. The duo  worked hard together to bring a new form of sword dancing to the belly dance community. Belladonna has since had the pleasure and privilege to share the stage with countless amazing and talented performers at many wonderful events and festivals. A few of her  favorites include, but are not limited to,  Corvus Corax,  Beats Antique,  Zafira,  Unmata, Shakra, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes & Mardi Love (of the Indigo) Mab Just Mab, Li’l Dutch, and Ken Vegas.

ROMKA’ began traveling to festivals to perform in 2005 and began teaching across the US in 2006.  Although they ceased performing together in 2009 their  partnership led to the creation of and continuation of the monthly DCTribal Café dinner show and the annual Belly Horror Show and Festival. Both Shows celebrated their 5th year in 2010. 2011 marked the final Belly Horror Show and DCTribal Cafe’ continues each month at the Reef in NW, DC.

Bella  began teaching full time in 2007 and released her first instructional DVD Sword Stylization by Insidious Media Group in 2010.

After the ending of ROMKA’ Belladonna set her focus on her solo career and her classes. She has founded and acts as creative director to BellaTrix, a tribal fusion student dance company and DashKhaleen a dark ATS student company.

In 2012 Belladonna began a new venture at the legendary Birchmere music hall, by curating and  producing the inaugural Raven’s Night Soiree’,  which she continues to produce with partner Ken Vegas. The event includes a showcase of theatrical performances all based around a creative theme. As well as a weekend of workshops, events and shopping.

2011 was a productive year, where Belladonna developed her teaching style, the BellaFuse method and began her teacher training certification program in February of 2012. Early 2012 was also the time when she launched the Bohemian Belts of Achievement program.

In April of 2012 Belladonna teamed up with the fierce and fabulous SuperKate to form the creative collaboration, Skella. Skella took Tribal Fest 2013 by storm with their original double sword duet.

IN 2012 her company Bohemian Belly Dance LLC produced it’s first cd, Devrim with drummer Servitor Sanctum 7. As well as advanced Sword instructional DVD Scintillating Scimitar and double sword instructional DVD Flesh and Fantasy. Belladonna continues to push the boundaries of modern belly dance and to develop her specific style and teaching methods.