Photo by Gayle Mitchell

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Vashti began dancing at age three. At age twelve she belonged to a professional Filipino dance troupe. Vashti has formally studied ballet, Polynesian dance, flamenco, ballet folklorico, and Filipino ethnic dancing. In 1991, Vashti took her first belly dance class from SeSe Geddes and fell in love with Middle Eastern dance.

In addition to her training with SeSe, Vashti studied with a significant array of master teachers, including Carolena Nericcio, Dalia Carella, Elena Lentini, Rossah, Artemis Mourat, Cassandra, and Tayyar Akdeniz. Most recently, Vashti has re-energized her study of the dance by studying with the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance.

ad 4 Vashti Vashti has performed with Dajti (directed by SeSe) and Rossah’s Hand of Fatima.

In 2000, Vashti turned her attention to the formation of her own production company entitled Bellydance Odyssey. She began producing events featuring Middle Eastern dance and music in Santa Cruz, California – most notably the Luna Gitana Bellydance Festival which has featured artists such as Kamaal, Shoshanna and AZIZA of Montreal.

Vashti has served as Artistic Director for several ensembles including Shikha Mahasim and Sagheera. An award-winning performer, Vashti recently re-configured her dance company to include four new partners. The group continues to produce high quality Middle Eastern dance and music events and performs as the ensemble: Shaala. Shaala is choreographed by Vashti and performs at belly dance venues as well as private and corporate events.

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