One of the last things I wrote for Orange Coast magazine before leaving to work full time on novel No. 2 was a nomination of Angelika Nemeth as the best belly dance teacher in Orange County for the magazine's annual Best of O.C. issue. I'm happy to say that the July issue is now out and available just about anywhere magazines are sold in the county.
I'd also like to say that choosing a best teacher in Orange County isn't nearly as easy as it used to be. I chose Angelika because she is not only the teacher who has been teaching the longest in the area, but also because she is the teacher of so many terrific dancers who have gone on to great performing and teaching careers of their own.
The fact is, we're lucky in Orange County to have many wonderful teachers. Some of my personal favorites are Marlena Shaw, Mara, Sashi, Abby Duval (although she's soon heading for the big A.Z.) and Jheri St. James, and there are so many others I have heard terrific things about but haven't had the pleasure of studying with. Teachers like Sooz and Tina Enheduanna and Lilla Varese. I'm sure I have left some of them out, and that's where I'd like your input. Who has most inspired and motivated you? Who is your favorite local teacher, and why? Don't be shy, there are no wrong answers... :-)