Bahaia was once a beginner belly dancer

Bahaia was once a beginner belly dancer


We recently had Bahaia from Austin join us in the studio. Surprisingly, we found out that before becoming a belly dancer, she was a competitive Scottish Highland dancer and that her love for it waned because there was no room for expression in the dance.

Something that also came up several times was the importance of having a guide; someone with more experience or knowledge who can lead you into a richer belly dance experience.

During this episode of the Baby Boomer Belly Dancer, we talk about:

00:00  How Bahaia got into belly dancing at the age of 15
07:07  First solo belly dance performance in Austin
07:55  When Bahaia came onto Karen’s radar
12:45  Great training from early instructors and making connections
15:31  Bringing in a dancer from Greece to Austin and doing events/workshops
20:31  Having enthusiasm and skills from outside of the dance world
21:30  The rise of the Austin Belly Dance Convention
23:24  Karen’s CD release of “Mystery and Mastery” at the convention
24:42  Taking a “back seat” to strong, definitive instructors
26:07  Dancing at The Sands in Houston before 9-11
28:40  The “real deal” vs fantasy… friendships and music
31:07  Being a third generation “camper” and fun hosting belly dance camps
36:36  Everyone was coming down to San Antonio to take Karen’s classes…
38:07  Belly dancing to live music and “How do I get in on that?” with Project Band
40:58  When the National Arab Orchestra (NAO) Takht Ensemble came to San Antonio
44:10  Having a different mindset and soaking in every bit of the music
49:50  Collaborating to have belly dancers on stage with the NAO for the first time
50:20  Bahaia’s new project with belly dancers performing to new original compositions
57:16  Who is Bahaia’s “hero’ in the belly dance community?
58:59  Greatest pet peeve(s) and greatest benefits of the belly dance industry

Bottom Line: Just do things and get out there; knowing that getting recognition as a dancer and teacher can bring out the snarky in some folks.


With over 40 years in her chosen craft of belly dancing, Karavan Studio owner and professional belly dancer, Karen Barbee Adkisson, has been teaching students the art of belly dance techniques for more than 30 years and is dedicated to keeping live music performances as part of this artful cultural dance.

Join us as Karen’s inquisitive mind and unique perspective on a wide array of topics inspire, educate, and even entertain your sensibilities… because everything comes back to belly dance.

You can also subscribe to her YouTube channel and/or the Baby Boomer Belly Dancer podcast.