I’m Aleksie, a 20-something year doctoral graduate student in physics education. I’m also a dancer who primarily studies Middle Eastern dance. This is where I share my adventures and thoughts on those topics.
That’s the short version. Here’s the longer version.
During my first year at Smith College, I went downtown to get something from the drugstore. It was raining. The way I prevent myself from getting completely drenched is duck into shops along the way. This time, I was fortunate enough to enter Gypsy Heart. This was an eclectic shop that housed a lot of belly dance stuff in Northampton. The store owner is unbelievably kind; she ended up talking to me about belly dance. I credit Sasha, the owner of Gypsy Heart, with why I began belly dancing. That summer in Philadelphia, I took classes from Habiba and it was love.
Fast forward to summer 2005, which is when I began Bharatanatyam with Dr. Carla Guggenheim in Lansing, MI. A big change of pace from what I have been doing, but I loved it as well.
My senior year of college, I wanted to continue Bharatanatyam and belly dancing. Under Dr. Guggenheim’s suggestion, I received permission from Smith’s dance department to take both as independent studies. In Western MA at the time, there was no Bharatanatyam teacher, so I switched my Indian dance training to Odissi, studying under Ranjanaa Devi that year. I continued my Middle Eastern Dance training under the late Rose Champagne.
After Smith, I ended up in Boston, MA. During my year away from academia, I worked many contract jobs and continued to dance. I continued on with Middle Eastern Dance, studying under Najmat, and Odissi, studying at Neena Gulati’s Triveni Dance School.
I returned to academia in 2007 past year, which has been quite an adventure. I lived in Chicago, IL, pursuing a masters in physics. I was a teaching assistant, an owner of three cats, and an avid walker/taker of public transit (I don’t drive). I studied Middle Eastern Dance under Sonya of Arabesque for Egyptian-based cabaret and Danielle, for tribal fusion. I have no idea where my non-Middle Eastern dance is going right now, but I hope it’s interesting and fun.
Right now, I’m in graduate school in the Boston-area, working towards a doctorate in education. If I’m not in school or working on school things, I’m often found working on dance or dance-related things. Within dance, I study, enjoy performing, and have recently dabbled in organizing classes for other teachers and other promotional work.
That’s where I stand present day. Read my blog to find out more