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Meet Georgia Michelle of Dance with Georgia in Boulder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgia Michelle.

Georgia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started dancing when I was four years old. I was a classical ballerina for 13 years. In my late teens I grew tall and got curves plus my brown skin limited me for different roles and companies. I pursued other careers. Within a few years, I really missed dance and decided to take a belly dance class at a local studio in Marin County. I fell in love immediately. It had a gypsy vibe and more freedom of body and age range.

Plus the music, costuming and especially the zills (finger cymbals) captivated me. I continued dancing for several years as I moved around the country. When I moved to San Diego, I found a whole new world in belly dance. I started taking workshops from instructors from around the globe, I started performing in restaurants, and eventually started participating in competitions. I quickly learned I wanted to teach and host a variety of events. I fell in love with the culture and history of the Middle East and began to study it deeply. My favorite experience was traveling to Beruit, Lebanon to co-teach a workshop and performed.

During all of this, my husband and I were raising our three children and decided to move back to my hometown of Boulder, Co. where I have opened my own home studio and have been teaching and hosting workshops and performance in the Boulder/Denver area. I picked up a passion for Brazilian Samba at the end of my journey in San Diego, and have since traveled to Brazil for a 2 wk intensive study in music, dance, and song. I enjoy experimenting with new ways of engaging and building community in dance, whether online, in public schools, or in partnering with other studios along the Frontrange.

As an instructor, one of the most fulfilling experiences I have is witnessing beginner dancers become advanced, women that come for health reasons and create bodies they love to live in, and my all time favorite is those who claim they can not dance and discover their own beautiful dancer within. As a performer, I have worked hard and have been honored to win multiple awards in dance, and have had times on stage from costume malfunctions and music delays to inspiring someone to do something new or get curious about a different culture, so exciting! Hosting instructors from out of state or country and producing local performances is a ton of work but I feel joy when I see our community together as one, dancing beautifully, and creating unique experiences for our community.

At this moment I’m taking a bit of time reviving my skills in the salon in hair and skin, but for me it all ties together. In my future, I see a space for creating dance and fitness, services for naturally beautiful hair, skin and nails, and nutrition (oh yeah, did I mention I’m also a personal trainer and nutrition specialist? 🙂 ) Where beauty from the inside and out collide. As a mother, it is important for me to own my schedule because my first desire is to be available for my kids. This leaves me to be a self-employed entrepreneur, and as I see it, you have to wear many hats to make that work. I guess overall, I am an artist, and I will make art out of whatever life puts into my hands.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
You couldn’t pay me to take the smooth road; there is no learning in that. It’s the grinding of the stone that makes the diamond. I have received so much ridicule in my ballet for not being thin enough, white enough, etc., or as a Middle Eastern dancer people have asked why is that ballerina trying to belly dance? The dance world has been very competitive for me to the point where I have asked myself, “why belly dance? it’s not my language or my culture, why do I love it so much if no one wants to see me do it, and says I cannot do it “right”?” I never really got an answer but I kept dancing for me, and then for my students.

Soon after I discovered myself surrounded in a really lovely community of dancers, and I found such great joy in knowing that I was making a positive difference in peoples lives. I discovered I could learn the rules and know how to break them, and really there is no “right” or “wrong” way to dance as long as you are dancing as yourself. It’s all about your own expression coming through, that is truly where heaven and earth meet in each of us.

Marketing and growing the business is always, of course, a challenge. With social media and free video available to everyone, anywhere, any time of the day it’s tricky to get anyone to show up for a dance class. Through trial and error, I have found that as long as I do my work and stay true to who I am, I attract the exact right students and opportunities for myself.

Please tell us about Dance with Georgia.
I teach Middle Eastern Belly dance, Samba, and classical ballet. I also host workshops and produce performances. I specialize in technique, musicality, and cultural history of each dance; that is what fascinates me. I’m known for teaching a very pure and organized stream of the dances; I’m good at mind-body awareness which really helps my students become more advanced dancers which they love. I am most proud that I bring unique experiences to the community. With a home studio, I love serving lunch in my sunny dining room during workshops, and I can let my students go through my costume closet for performances. What sets me apart from others is my background as a ballerina lends me a level of structure and ability that cannot be compared. I’ve also played several instruments in my lifetime, so my knowledge of music goes a lot deeper than most. Also, my classrooms hold up to 10 students, so I have more to offer to each individual dancer.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t have worried so much about what others thought and enjoyed the journey more.

Pricing:

  • $15 per class , $75 per 6 wk session
  • $30 per 2 hr workshop

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.GeorgaiMichelle.com
  • Phone: 6192283237
  • Email: georgiamichelle@hotmail.com
  • Instagram: @dancewithgeorgia
  • Facebook: dance with Georgia
  • Other: Georgia Michelle Belly dancer on Youtube


Image Credit:
Scott Saw Vixen Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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