About

About

HOW DID IT ALL START?

Hi! I am Sahara Piksie ~ A Tribal Fusion Bellydancer & Singer/Songwriter currently based in Tel Aviv-Israel.

I was born in England to a Scottish mama & Canadian papa with family roots from Ireland, Austria, Poland & Israel..so I guess you could say I was a product of ”tribal fusion” right from the start! 😀

I played violin and took dance classes from age 4 and at age 9 my family moved to Israel after I had already been captivated by a gorgeous sparkly bellydancer dancing with a snake 😉

I studied art & photography and eventually left school at age 16 to hitchhike around the country juggling and making hair wraps at festivals and street fairs. (I guess that was the closest I could get to “running away with circus” back then) 😉 I taught myself guitar along the way and eventually discovered I could make great money fire dancing and busking on the streets.

Choosing not to serve in the army , I left Israel and ended up travelling for 15 years around the world…

I feel so blessed....

to have been able to travel before mobile phones, internet and social media! Relying purely upon intuition and word of mouth, I had some of the most incredible adventures and experienced so much magic that one day I will have to write an entire book about my adventures  😉

Mostly living in nature and staying as far away from touristy places as possible- I would always embed myself deeply within the culture of whichever place I was staying in. Cooking on the fire, carrying water on my head up mountains, I would live with the locals and soak up as much of the culture as I could-(It was totally natural and I had no clue why or what I was actually doing at the time). I learned tribal traditions, songs, dances, languages, art and humour- I eventually picked up 7 languages on my travels.

I have lived in tipis, benders, treehouses, yurts and bushes. In (and under!) vehicles , (including our veggie oil powered ’69 school bus which we drove all across Central America). I have lived in gypsy caves in Spain and Greece, with Aboriginals on the beaches of Australia, walked barefoot through the Himalayas, spent months alone in the Amazon swimming with crocodiles, pink dolphins and fishing piranhas for dinner. I have attended potent rituals in the Pyramids of Mexico, Bolivia and Peru, participated in sacred Native American ceremonies in South, Central & North America. My first ever bellydance class was held in a fresh crop circle field in England!

Piksie age 9

"Desert Gypsies" - Spain 2005

In Thailand, at the beginning of 2001

I suffered an extreme trauma to my lower back which paralysed me for 2 weeks.

I intuitively decided I would heal myself with yoga and the circular movements of bellydance.

Sitting on my butt and playing music all day and night was now no longer an option-my body needed to move!

 

In the middle of the Brazilian Amazon

I was introduced to Christina Pontes – owner of  a bellydance studio in Porto Velho – and although I had no money at all , she saw my dance potential – gave me a place to stay, showed me how to sew costumes and told me I would come to every single class that she taught for free!

I stayed with her for 1 month and lived in her studio and learned everything I possibly could.

I practised every day from then on.. and although I loved the arabic rhythms and sequins- I was always dancing to “other” kinds of music …looking for something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I didn’t like the flirtatious sexuality of the dance-I liked to wear black and I was using bellydance as movement medicine to heal myself – not to feel sexy and entice men.

Then it happened!

2005 at The Big Green Gathering in England. In a field with painted gypsy wagons – a little wooden stage – 3 ladies dancing – MY JAW DROPPED!

They were wearing huge black gypsy skirts and covered in tribal jewellry! They wore Indian choli tops, bindis and bells on their ankles and although their hips were clearly bellydancing their upper body and arms were so graceful and poised-so flamenco?! They were smiling and dancing in a circle so beautifully in unison! They were dancing for themselves-and didn’t even seem to mind if they had an audience or not. Every now and then one of them would face centre and solo while her dance sisters encouraged her with whoops of delight! The music was tribal and rhythmic with all the traditional instruments but sometimes it was ..electronic??! And was that..breakdance pop and lock in the mix?! They were sensual yet dark! Enticing yet Fierce! No man would ever have the balls to try and mess with them !

My mind was blown!
This was everything I had envisioned but didn’t even know it!

I showed up for “Sam’s ATS Workshop” the next day ( Samatha Hasthorpe- who was later scooped up by “The Bellydance Superstars” ) After class there was a show! She immediately put a skirt on me , threw me out on stage and said “just do what I do!” She explained that this was ~TRIBAL FUSION BELLYDANCE and that I needed to seek out Fat Chance Belly Dance & Rachel Brice in San Francisco and, as luck would have it- I was headed there the very next week! I went straight to FCBD studios and took every class and bought every single DVD I could from that moment forth..

Peru 2003

2010

[ Photo by Yorai Liberman ]

Sahara 2021

[ Photo by Haim Kimchi ]

I returned to Israel in 2008

as it got to a point where I could no longer carry all the possessions I wanted and needed to create art.

(By then I was travelling with a didgeridoo, a drum, a flute, Irish whistles, my guitar, camera, painting things, bellydance costumes, fire dancing and juggling equipment, my songbooks, a sewing machine, a kitchen, a roll up bed, an altar full of crystals and sacred objects…etc…)

I wanted to form my own band and I was super excited to bring this Tribal Fusion style back to Israel , where I felt that bellydance was mostly known as a party gimmick at weddings or purely fun dance classes for older women. There was not very much inspiration and technique being taught that would interest younger women.

 

In 2009 I participated in Eilat Festival and as the judges didn’t know how to compare my style with more classic oriental styles, they decided to create a whole new competition genre and gave me First Prize!

During those early years it was my mission to “spoon feed” tribal fusion to people. The Israelis were definitely not ready for hard core black electronic pop and lock. And most were offended if they didn’t hear arabic music and darboukas, so I would perform and teach softer bellydance moves that they were familiar with but in a more muscular fashion with lots more added layers of movement which would slowly hypnotise them over time and not scare them away from this more modern evolution of fusion bellydance.

Since 2012...

I have taught at my own studio Sahara Studios in Tel Aviv and also taught and performed around the country and all over the world.

In 2019

I certified “Integrated Dance Teacher” by Ashley Lopez

In 2020 I was voted “Professional Bellydancer of the year”

** Oh! And by the way - I also design and sew all my costumes by hand 😉

CERFITICATIONS

WHY STUDY WITH ME?

I study Yoga, Pilates, Flamenco, West African & Persian dance on a regular basis and take as many diverse dance classes as I possibly can – including modern , Indian, dancehall, hip-hop, salsa, cuban etc..

I believe that in order to be a good teacher - one must always remain a student.

After 18 years of daily personal practice and teaching experience I am confident in the healing powers of this dance form to unlock flexibility, strength, confidence and self love. It can cure injuries and chronic pain , heals traumas and assists women before, during and after pregnancy, strengthens the core muscles and promotes self love and acceptance of our bodies and unique personalities.

After exploring so many dance forms

I practise safety first and teach in a way which is inclusive of all genders, all ages, levels, shapes and sizes . I focus on bringing the power back to ourselves and for ourselves primarily – cultivating deep tribal sisterhood support networks and with a goal of dancing freely until the age of 120 at least!

WHERE HAVE I PERFORMED & TAUGHT?

I have performed with Israeli musicians such as Mayumana, Tomer Yossef, Beri Saharof, Mosh Ben Ari, Yossi Fine, Quarter To Africa, Orphaned Land, Sahara Desert Groove, Sabaya, Terra Rossa, Balkan BaMachsan, Sumsum, King David’s Strings, Tribal Dance, U.R.I.N.I.M.U., Madboojah Project, Rechela & the Khaleeji Band, La Vache Qui Rit, Baharat Groove, Nomad and many more…

…and with top International Electronic Downtempo Music Producers such as;

  • Clozee
  • Desert Dwellers
  • Bluetech
  • Kalya Scintilla
  • OTT
  • Opiuo
  • Soulacybin
  • Dunkelbunt, Symbolico
  • Mr.Bill
  • Bogtrotter
  • Master Minded
  • Sensativa
  • Sleepy Koala
  • Somatoast & opening for Beats Antique…

I have performed music and bellydance and taught classes

Burning Man festival (U.S.A.)

Glastonbury Festival (U.K.)

Jamballah NW (Portland

U.S.A.) I.M.S.D.C. ( Malta, Rhodes, Georgia )

Sunrise Festival (U.K.), The Big Green Gathering (U.K.)

Burlesque Noir (U.K.) La Chispa Festival-(Spain)

Blue Flame Dreaming (Australia), B.E., Indigo Festival, Zorba Festival

Desert Bass Festival

Sunbeat Festival, Jacob’s Ladder Festival

Knights Festival (Jerusalem)

Ancient Times Festival (Caesarea) Habibi Ya Eini festival, Oriental Rose Festival

Sufi Festival, Eilat Bellydance Festival, Doof Festival

Midburn Festival

Redancing Festival

Body Fest

HolyFlow

Glitch beach

Fusion Culture and more…

Sahara’s original music has featured in the award winning movie “Things Behind The Sun” – 2006 & the documentary “Beyond The Rainbow” – 2008.

Sahara’s vocals feature on Omer Gonen Haela’s album “A Window In Time” 2015 & Shimon Lev Tahor’s “Ethno Rainbow Project” 2016.

My sister & I bellydancing together...

Darwin, Australia - 2000

Israel - 2020

[ Photo by Ran Biran ]

Timeline

[ Photo by Ascaf ]

2021
Sahara & Big Daddy ’s comedy corona song goes viral around the world with 1 million views in 1 week!
2020
*VOTED INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL BELLY DANCER OF THE YEAR!* 2020 By www.professionalbellydancers.com

Teacher/Performer @Yalla Bella Festival
Teacher/Performer @HolyFlow Festival Ambassador @Fusion Culture
9/11/19
Produces first Sahara Studios showcase to a SOLD OUT audience! "SIFTACH!" @Jaffa Theatre.
2019
Teaches "OPENING" Movement Workshops for all ages @ UMINA's Detox Retreat ( CYPRUS )

Completes Ashley Lopez "Integrated Dance"-Part 2 Program ( Offenburg, Germany )

Teaches at Oriental Rose Teacher training course.

Performing Original Music & Teaching Bellydance @ Glastonbury Festival (U.K.)

Performing at Jamballah NW ~ Portland Oregon U.S.A.

Certifies in Rachel Brice's Datura format Phase 2 - Cultivation.

Certified "INTEGRATED DANCE TEACHER" by Ashley Lopez.

Joins “Rujum” as dancer
2018
Performer and teacher @ IMSDC Georgia

Producer of "The Flying Camel" stage @ Midburn

Joins "Fusion Culture" crew as guest performer TLV

Performer @ "Midnight Legend #3"

*Certifies Kami Liddle's "Krysalis-Invocation" Program ( San Francisco, U.S.A.)

*Certifies Zoe Jakes' "Dance Craft~Key Of Diamonds" Program (Oakland, U.S.A.)

Completes Ashley Lopez "Integrated Dance"-Part 1 Program ( Portland, U.S.A. )
2017
Performer @ "Blue Flame Dreaming" Byron Bay~AUSTRALIA

*Certifies Part 1 of Rachel Brice's "8 Elements" Program ( Portland, U.S.A.)

Performer @ "Midnight Legend #2" with Violet Scrap (Italy)
2016
Performer & Teacher @ "Burlesque Noir" Liverpool ~U.K.

Joins "COUSINS" Original Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.

Forms "CHAKRUNA TRIBE" Dance Company

Performer @ "Midnight Legend #1" with Violet Scrap (Italy)

Performer @ "Torquoise & Indigo" @ Suzanne Dellal

Performer @ Tel Aviv's first Burlesque Festival
2015
Co-ordinator & Translator for IDAN RAICHEL's Special Guest performers: Danay Suarez (Cuba) &Antonio Zambujo ( Portugal ).

Co-creator of the show "MINOTAUROS" with Internationally acclaimed Flamenco Dancer: Domingo Ortega (Spain), Sharon Saguy & Neta shezaf touring Israel January 2015.

Teacher & Performer at IMSDC International Style Multi Dance Convention ~ RHODES.
2014 - present.. .
Dancer with Nava dance Collective & "Bustan Vradim" Ensemble directed by Miriam Peretz.

Teacher & Performer at IMSDC International Style Multi Dance Convention ~ MALTA.
2013
Choreographer of group performance-"The Goddess Dances" show @ Inbal theatre.
Performs with Sigal Ziv's ensemble "Fata Morgana" & "Zman Kishoof".
2012
Producer/choreographer of "Tribal Fusion Lionesses" & co-producer/choreographer "Datura Project".

Teaches troubled teenagers in Cfar Saba and 5-6 & 6-7 year olds at Tal Bar studios.
2011-2014
Backing singer for WAKACHAKA Reggae Band.
2011
Opens "SAHARA STUDIOS" Private Tribal Fusion Studio in Tel Aviv/Yafo
2010
Formed own band "SAHARA PIKSIE BAND"
2009
Winner of International Eilat Festival Competition.

Taught gypsy tribal fusion bellydance at "Sahara City" belly dance academy in Tel Aviv & various Go Active gyms across Israel.
2008 - 2010
Formed "SAHIDA PROJECT"-Original Music. With Hidai Liberman, Elyasaf Bashari, Yishai Ben Yaacov, Liran Pas Kehat. Performed extensively for 2 years throughout Israel.
2003
Recorded own album "Random Acts Of Violet" in Qusqo, Peru-Playing all instruments, singing, designing, artwork and mixing. (Available on iTunes & Spotify)

Formed 2 music groups while travelling:
”I FELT THE ELF"-Traditional Celtic, Irish, Scottish, French and old English songs.
“DESERT GYPSIES"-with Guy Tiram. Traditional Arabic, Bedouin, Hebrew songs and Belly Dance.
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