Our World Belly Dance Day preparations are in full swing. Our first guest celebrity we are introducing to you is Natalie Clark from Johannesburg.

Natalie has over 17 years of dance training under her shimmy belt. This includes Egyptian oriental belly dance, Folkloric belly dance, Western Cabaret belly dance, Tribal fusion belly dance, American tribal style belly dance, Gyspy (Dunyavi / Balkan / Russian), World Fusion belly dance, ballet, poi spinning, fire dance, hula dance (Hawaiian and Tahitian), Salsa and Samba dance and most recently hoop dance. She is an eternal student with a hunger to learn as much as possible.

We are super excited that Natalie will be giving workshops here in our city. She will be presenting the following workshops to students:

  • Hula
  • Voi for beginners
  • Wings

You can contact the studio to find out more about the workshops on offer.

Natalie’s studies in belly dance began under the phenomenal local teacher, Candida di Giandomenico. She is forever grateful to Candida for being her inspiration to start belly dance.

Other local teachers that Natalie has trained with / attended workshops with include:

  • Angela Sanders,
  • Heather Read,
  • Bhana van der Walt,
  • Marissa Cuenoud,
  • Kash Athanatos,
  • Sascha Olivier-Sampson,
  • Ava van Aarde,
  • Beverli-al-Masrah,
  • Thelma Rose,
  • Senta Duffield,
  • Asja Samia,
  • Tarryn Rego,
  • Ioanna Piagalis,
  • Tina Kapp,
  • Astrid Lewis,
  • Marina Basson,
  • Aviva (Donelle),
  • Natasha Barbolini,
  • Shalimar Harrison,
  • Charlotte Blignaut,
  • Bianca Pieters,
  • Saret Steyn,
  • Chrystal Noakes and many more.

Over the years, Natalie has had the opportunity to study with many international belly dance teachers, priding herself on always continuing her education in this art form.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Jillina,
  • Sharon Kihara,
  • Heather Aued,
  • Lauren Boldt,
  • Louchia,
  • Khader Ahmed,
  • Margarita Kamjaka,
  • Kapua,
  • Danielo Mendes,
  • Karim Nagi,
  • Bozenka,
  • Aziza,
  • Kami Liddle,
  • Michelle Joyce,
  • Tamalyn Dallal,
  • Ansuya,
  • Yasmina of Cairo,
  • Mohamed Kazafy,
  • Mahmoud Reda,
  • Liza Laziza,
  • Rania,
  • Samantha Emanuel,
  • Medhat Fahmy,
  • Sandra Danse and many many more.

Natalie has also travelled to Cairo, Egypt to study under Master Dance Teachers and also studies online through Datura Online. She is an affiliate member of SADTA Belly Dance Division.

Natalie has been teaching belly dance for 13 years and recently celebrated the 12 year anniversary of her studio, Dancing Divinity Dance Company. She has a soulful, free spirit with a colourful personality and an affection for the eclectic, with a love for all styles of belly dance, and dance in general. Adding color, excitement and variety to her dancing, brings her great joy, she is proficient in a wide variety of dance props.

Together with her close friend and fellow belly dance enthusiast, Angela Sanders, Natalie runs the highly successful Goddess Divine Productions. The producers of not only the annual Goddess Divine Festival and the Miss Belly Dance South Africa competition, but also the international Belly dance Evolution Alice in Wonderland performance which took place in South Africa in May 2015.

Some highlights of Natalie’s belly dance career have included performing in Bellydance Evolution’s Alice in Wonderland in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015. As well as attending Bellydance Evolution’s Artist Development Program in Frankfurt, Germany in 2017. Natalie is truly grateful to have Jillina Carlano as her mentor.

She has recently joined forces with Sascha Olivier-Sampson, Bhana van der Walt, Senta Duffield and Mandy Lapperts to create Nova Nouveau Productions which is a travelling Theatrical Belly Dance Production uniting our ever-growing local talent.

Natalie has a passion for sharing her love of dance and thrives on seeing dance students grow and flourish.

Women of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds are transformed by belly dance into more passionate, confident and happy people and having part in this transformation is an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation for Natalie. From something as simple as seeing postures improve, to delighting in the joy of a first-time performance, teaching dance is one of the aspects of her career that Natalie holds most dear.

You can see Natalie perform in Port Elizabeth on World Belly Dance Day on 12 May. Book your tickets here.

Melanie Wallis

Melanie started dancing and performing for Janka’s Oriental Dance Studio in 2006.  Under the mentorship of Janka Kliment, Melanie began her training to become an Oriental Dance teacher in 2008 and completed it under Asja Samia in 2011.  Melanie is also a certified health and fitness instructor.   Following Janka’s return to Slovakia in 2013, Melanie and Jessica chose to carry forward the vision of their friend and mentor.  They purchased the studio and continue to teach the art and beauty of the dance to all aspiring belly dancers.