An Interview with Monica Arnold: local TCBBA Member, dancer, choreographer, and instructor.

By Rachel Morris

On Saturday, July 20th 2019 we will have the pleasure of learning some fabulous choreography tips from one of our long time TCBBA members. I sat down to ask Monica a few questions in preparation for her upcoming workshop.

Monica Arnold has been a member of our organization for going on 11 years and served as Vice president for 1 of those years. Over her Coastal Bend Belly dance years she has performed with Shireem’s Mystic Dancers, The Texas Gypsys, Hourglass Bellydance and now as Co-Founder of Gypsy Roulette Dance troupe.

1. What led you to dance and when did you first learn about how to make a choreography?

“I danced in my uncle's studio at age six. In high school I developed a fascination with choreography, and I was always making up dances in my head. I did some theater and stage directing in high school, so I got familiar with moving people around on a stage. I did a lot of babysitting in high school, and I spent hours teaching little kids dances to perform for their parents. Looking back it was hilarious. Even the little boys wanted to get in on it. Every time I got called to babysit, the parents came home to a performance with dances that I made up. In college I finally got to take classes in choreography. I did several small performances for my residence hall and in the dance department. “

2. How long have you been belly dancing?

“I started Belly dancing in 1994.”

3. About how many “belly dance” choreographies do you think you have made over that period of time?

“At least forty. Maybe fifty.”

4. How long have you been a TCBBA Member?

“Since the very beginning! Eleven years.”

5. What should we expect from your upcoming TCBBA workshop?

“Expect to start off by coming up with some moves on your own (don't worry; you'll get plenty of structure, guidelines, and examples) and then join with other dancers to combine your moves into a choreography. Be ready to share with the class!”

6. Are there specific items we should bring?

“Just comfortable clothes that you can move in.”

7. If you were to pick one important take away from your workshop what would it be?

“I would like for everyone to learn how to transition, move around on the stage, and interact with each other in a choreography. It is so much more interesting than everyone just standing in one place doing the same thing.”

8. Will you be performing any of your own choreographies in the evening show?

“Yes. Two and a half.”

All proceeds of this workshop will go to support our 2019 Charity, The Corpus Christi Hope House. For more information on the Hope House visit .

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