Sandy Keller took her first belly dancing class at the YWCA in El Paso, Texas in 1973. After a lukewarm year of classes, Sandyís interest in belly dancing finally took hold and warmed up considerably after Sandyís hometown friends Doug and Darrell Adams introduced her to DeAnn Bonham Adams of Light Rain and Magi Production fame. Taking private classes with DeAnn forged Sandyís love of the dance and prompted her to work towards performing and ultimately teaching.

In 1977, she moved to Austin, Texas where another year later, she met Amaya, herself a new arrival to this beautiful river city in the rolling hills of central Texas. Amaya and Sandy (dance name in those days was Tarika), shared some great times before Sandy took a hiatus from the arts to secure a college degree. Now, she loves to go to Shake and Bake because: a) itís a very fine festival; b) she gets to see her friend, Amaya; c) play with her old and new pals alike, while having fun dancing and shopping and itís in Albuquerque, a city she loves in a part of the country near and dear to her heart.

Sandy taught for several years and realized that preparing new dancers to explore dance in all of its many facets was in her blood. Although, Sandy no longer teaches and has performed infrequently over the last several years, she has remained true to the spirit of the dance by mentoring and supporting all the dancers both new and seasoned. Over the last several years, Sandy and her significant other, Gary Haas, have volunteered their time and talents to Austinís longtime and premiere belly dancing seminar, Shimmy into Spring and Shimmy in September (SIS) shows put on by Jeanette The Bellydancer.

Sandy occasionally contributes articles to the Austin Bellydance Associationís (ABA), (http://www.abda.org/) newsletter, the OPA!. Sandy doesnít have to travel far to find wonderful dancers, and events in Austin to support and extol! Sandyís philosophy: May all the beautiful dancers always have a wonderful time, because if they arenít, they arenít dancing.