compsolo_by_Monique RI’ve always loved music and I sang and played on every possible ocassion. I was singing in a great choir for almost 7 years, I played flute and started to learn piano… but it never occurred to me that I could be a dancer, I just believed to be absolutely untalented in anything that required coordinated movement.

When I was 16, a bellydance teacher from Bratislava gave a workshop in my hometown and spontaneously my mom and I decided to try it. That was when I met Xenia Chalasova, and thanks to her found my way to bellydance. My body seemed to know the dance, like I remembered it from the past, and I kept doing hip circles anywhere just because it felt so good. For the next year I religiously went to the only bellydance class in the town, at dance studio Xoana.

In 2005 I moved to Vienna, and the first 5 months my main focus was to learn the speaking language and get to know the city where I was going to live. When I finally felt comfortable enough to attend a bellydance class, I was positively surprised at the amount of studios and classes. I still felt as a total beginner and therefore decided to go to beginner level taught by Jasmin Mirfakhrai at the University Sport Institute.

It was a lot of fun, and I learned valuable lessons, but still it was something I did as a free-time activity and was gone as soon as I stepped out of the class. The costumes were something I could never imagine myself wearing, and while the music was joyful and fun to dance to, I had about enough of it during the class to last for the whole week.

In 2006 I discovered youtube and one evening googled „bellydance“. Among all the bright colorful costumed ladies with sparkling fringes and bright smiles, there was Rachel Brice. I had no idea then about Tribal, but when I watched her, I knew this was what I had to do. This was what I wished the bellydance to be like, the music to sound like. It touched a part of me so deep, I didn’t even know it existed. I immediately searched for Tribal Bellydance in Vienna and among others found Hildegard Kirchweger, who invited me to be at the beginning of a new Tribe.

In november 2006 I became one of the 5 founding members of Wüstenrosen (Desert Roses) with Hildegard as our artistic leader and „Mother of the Tribe“. Next 2 years I studied ATS, took workshops from various internationally known teachers and gained experience in numerous performances. The tribe grew, and among our new members there was this girl, who every now and then sneaked some tribal fusion in… So I got to know Doro. Naturally we ended up being good friends and with time dance partners, starting a fusion formation under the name Nakari.

Other than dancing, I love to hang out at the teahouses in my homeland Slovakia and in Czech Republic and dream about opening one such in Vienna, because as much as I love this city, it hasn’t got one real teahouse. Fleamarkets are one of my obsessions, going through junk-filled boxes and finding old, weird and beautiful stuff, bargaining, and getting strangers to give me and my new huge treasure chest a ride home (that really happened)… I write a lot and own at least ten empty notebooks at any time. I can also endlessy stare at really, really old houses and churches and walk through them if given the chance. I wish and plan to own and restore some more than 100-years-old houses in my village in Slovakia.

Once more big thanks to my teachers who inspired me and helped my dancing! You can find some of them here: Hildegard KirchwegerMartina Crowe – HewettSharon Kihara, Bri Hurley, Olivia KisselFatChanceBellydanceKami LiddleTjarda van StratenSamantha Emanuel, Xenia Chalasova.