Wednesday, February 29, 2012
DANCERS BACKSTAGE RITUALS PART EIGHT: LISA ZAHIYA
Lisa Zahiya is one hot ticket!
An incredibly versatile and strong dancer, Lisa travels nationally to perform and teach traditional and contemporary belly dance ( incorporating many different styles!) as well as Bollywood, Bhangara, and hip hop. Based in Asheville, she also owns Studio Zahiya, and is on the faculty at the University Of North Carolina, where she teaches-you guessed it- dance.
I first met her at Onca O'Leary's ABSFEST 2007, and the next year was sitting on the judging panel at Belly Dance Of The Universe when she won the fusion competition, with a hawt Fosse-inspired number. Since then, she's won many more competitions and is getting lots of recognition for her fabulous work.
March 3 & 4, 2012 She will be teaching and performing in Pittsburgh, PA, and March 16 & 17 Lisa will be in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Here, in her own words, is how she prepares for her shows:
"When I put on my makeup I listen to a playlist called "songs I love" either at home or wherever I'm getting ready. I imagine that is the transformation from Lisa Newton (my legal name) to Lisa Zahiya. I use that time to put aside whatever is happening in my life and focus on what I'd like to do in the performance.
Right before I go on I take 5 deep breaths with my eyes closed and try to remove myself and my ego from my performance, I say thank you as gratitude for being able to perform and devote my life to this and then say "please allow me to do whatever this audience needs today." This makes me try to focus on who I am performing for and not myself..."