Dance has been an integral part of my life. Thanks to my aunt who was a bellydancer, she took me under her wing as a youngin’. Dance came natural to me as walking. Alone in the corner of her dance studio, I emulated her movements when she rehearsed or taught class. Her students were amazed at how a 5-year-old girl caught on so quickly. She brought me on stage performing dance duets and solos. I wowed the audience with challenging choreography for my age. Many people remarked that I danced beyond my years. My ability to interpret the music through movement was visceral, a skill only conveyed by a dancer with years of experience. I continued to train in several dance forms: Brazilian samba at 9 years old with my mom, Afro-Haitian dance during my teens, and flamenco in my early 20’s to present day. I’ve spent subsequent years on and off learning different genres but my journey forward always took me back to my roots — bellydancing!