1950 - 2000
Katrina first graced
the belly dance stages of Denver in 1977. She was a professional model
and aspiring actress. Katrina was considered by many to be the most beautiful
belly dancer in Colorado. And though all the men at the clubs, both Mideastern
and American, wanted to go out with her, she could decline their offers
with humorous remarks… "I can’t go out with you," she told one
guy, "your socks don’t match."
Once, however, a customer actually
grabbed her breasts while she was getting tips and rather than get mad
at the moment, she finished her show, changed, went to his table and punched
him in the stomach.
She performed at
all the clubs in Denver before moving to Los Angeles where we literally
bumped into each other in the dressing room of an Arabic club, as we had
both moved to L.A. the same time, unbeknownst to the other.
Katrina was going
to support herself dancing while auditioning for modeling and acting jobs,
all the while taking acting classes. She also had a boyfriend who was
an aspiring rock guitarist, so they were excited about their futures.
I moved back to Denver
and figured Katrina was going to stay in California and make it to stardom
somehow. But she was back in Denver within a year and had been injured
while walking down the street in Los Angeles in a driveby shooting. Someone
shot her with a paint gun and hit her eye, damaging it permanently, making
her legally blind in one eye.
She later married
and had a daughter and was very content with motherhood. But tragedy struck
again in the coming years with the diagnosis of two cancers, one of which
caused damage to her voice, resulting in a rasp which the doctors said
might be permanent.
Her marriage, due
to many problems, ended and Katrina and her daughter, Ginger, moved to
Spain for two years before settling back in Boulder. Eva
Cernik, Naila and I ran into Katrina last year at a flamenco show
and found out she was studying flamenco dance while working as a representative
for Celestial Seasonings Tea in Boulder.
She became engaged
over Valentine’s Day to an old flame she had dated twenty five years ago.
Her life seemed to be getting back on track. But over Memorial Weekend,
Katrina and her 12-year-old daughter were killed when their plane, piloted
by her fiance’, crashed in the mountains of Western Colorado.
We will remember
her beauty and humor as well as her ability to overcome the many tragedies
I took this photo
of Katrina dancing on New Year’s Eve, 1984, in a Denver Arabic restaurant/nightclub
called "The Cairo Palace."
Go to the next article: I am Neferteri by Ann
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Mailbox Missives by Shira
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