Gitane began her studies in Folkloric Middle Eastern Dance in 1994. When she started the class she expected to be learning the more popular "cabaret" style of belly dance, but instead discovered an "earthier" side of the dance form. Since 1998, she has been a passionate student of dance and has studied with popular instructors specializing in Turkish Rom, Flamenco, North African, Ruska, and Egyptian. Beginning in early 2020, she began and continues intense studies with Assala Ibrahim and other instructors who specialize solely in Raks al Kawliya and other dances of Southern Iraq.
She is the director of Indigo Rose Belly Dancing. She and her troupe have performed at many local and out of town venues, including regular performances at the State Fair of Texas since 1999. Gitane's award-winning choreography made available opportunities for coaching competitive champions in the Society of Creative Anachronism and Miss Diva US of A. Gitane's unique style has taken her across the state of Texas teaching workshops and seminars to dancers who share a passion for her "Romantic" Rom style. She currently teaches Middle Eastern Dance at The LINK Richland Hills Event and Recreation Center in Richland Hills, TX.
As well as being a fabulous dancer, Gitane is also a master metalsmith. She has a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in metal smithing from North Texas State University. All of her work is original and handcrafted. Many national and international Middle Eastern Dance stars have worn one of her custom costumes and her metal works have been published in popular MED magazines. Gitane's inspirations for all of her treasures come from many countries and cultures as well as the hearts and visions of her customers.
The Kawliya are the Romani people of Iraq and their dance can be traced from the early days of Mesopotamia. Today, the authentic version of this dance is threatening to become extinct. This style of Iraqi dance is unique in its use of hair and footwork. You will learn a short history of the Kawliya, proper body and hair technique, shimmies of the Kawliya, a variety of Raqs El Kawliya steps using terminology created by an expert in dances of Southern Iraq, Assala Ibrahim, and an introduction to the Ruba's rhythm. You will need a hip scarf, some tennis shoes or other supportive footwear, and your passion for dance!