Interview with Shakti Prema Ananda – Lima, Peru


1. How long have you been belly dancing?
10 years.

2. How did you get into belly dancing?
A friend saw me dancing and he said, “do you practice belly dance?” I said, “nope.” However, I followed his advice and I just went to my first class. I cried the first day, I was so excited! I just keep studying, and in this way I found very especial people and friends.

3. How often do you teach?
Throughout the week.

4. How often do you perform?
Twice a month.

5. Can you tell us about your local performance venues?
In Lima every school has their own show, some schools invite us, but not all. Cause we are dedicated only to tribal style. Every year we have more support. We hope in the future we have more festivals here. The biggest tribal festival here is SEMANA TRIBAL in October. We invite dancers form Latin America, and the United States.

6. What is your favorite belly dance style? Why?
I really enjoy tribal fusión belly dance and can’t say exactly why. Its like when you fall in love, you don’t know exactly why. In an certain way you find lots of components to in love. In my case I started to learn tribal fusión, and then as a necessity I started with American Tribal Style. Both dances are without a doubt my favorites.

7. Can you describe the popularity of belly dancing in your country?
I think Tribal style is popular but not a boom yet, actually when we perform many people like it, but I think its not as popular as belly dance.

8. In the United States those who are not familiar with belly dance have different ideas of what belly dance is. This at times can create misconceptions. How do you think belly dance is perceived where you are from?
I think many people look belly dance as an art expression, but since ancients times belly dance its perceived as a sensual dance and a way of entertain man. Luckily now days people in my country start to appreciate it more.

9. How did belly dance affect and/or change your life?
Belly dance affected my life on all levels. It changed my body, introduced me to many things, and gave me more security and happiness.

10. Any plans for the future?
Keep learning and learning, continue organizing La Semana Tribal. Bring to people the opportunity to learn, and enjoy with tribal style.