Best Belly Dancer with Goth Flair 

Frédérique David

Oakland teacher and performer Frédérique David turns the ancient art of belly dance on its tired old spangles. Her avant-garde adaptation is a shimmying mix of underground tribal fusion and Gothic flair with a burlesque edge. Think of "liquid hands, snake arms, and amazing belly control," to quote one fan; this done to a blend of electronic techno underground music she mixes herself. David's style is as eclectic as her background and says a lot about the progression of belly dance in the Bay Area. Born in Lebanon to a mom who is a mix of Italian and Armenian and a French/Assyrian dad, she came to the United States at age two. While "drawn by my ethnicity to belly dance," she shunned "the cabaret or Egyptian version I saw — flashing body parts, hair flying, a sexual edge, and cleavage. It's fine for whoever wants to do it; but I was a tomboy wearing jeans and sneakers and it wasn't for me." Then, when she was 23, a friend took her to a show featuring American Tribal Style belly dance, the genre inspired by folklore and techniques from North India, the Middle East, and Africa. Captivated, she signed up and practiced rigorously until, at some point, she developed her own style. And the rest continues to win her fans.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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