I was 17 and waiting in the hallway of a dance studio in Helena, Montana for my ballet class to begin. Wanda Weston, the bellydance teacher, arrived to teach her class and initiated conversation with me, inviting me to take her class the following week. I attended and a new passion was born. In a short amount of time she sent me out on bellygrams (balloon deliveries) and asked me to take over teaching her class so she could pursue other interests.
I moved back to California in 1998 and continued learning, teaching, and performing. On a whim I decided I wanted to dance with a snake. I don’t recall what inspired this, as I knew nothing about snakes and had never handled one. In my early 20s I purchased Jasmine, a red-tailed Columbian boa constrictor, who was with me for 17 years. We performed countless private parties, French Cabaret shows, stage performances, dinner showcases, video shoots, and our final performance together was a Nat Geo documentary.
Jasmine passed away prematurely and it was quite a tramautic experience. She was my animal familiar, my dance partner, and companion.
A few years later I felt ready to get another snake. I now have Mystique, the same type of boa as Jasmine, who is quickly proving to be another slithering performance star.
Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball, Los Angeles, Aug 2018
Nat Geo “How to Party Like a Roman Emperor, Los Angeles, May 2011