This life we's strange, painful at times, but oh so beautiful.

I am a fusion dance artist and teacher, a fire dancer, and a visual artist. I draw inspiration from nature, music, and the amazing people that come into my life. I am also a conservationist who makes jewelry and found object multimedia craft type art in my spare time (when I'm not reading, writing, or lighting things on fire and dancing around with them). I love to dance barefoot on the beach, watch the stars move inexorably across the heavens, and to laugh with the people that I love. I am currently based in Greenville SC, working with Discordia Arts to provide unique and exciting entertainment to the Upstate.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Busy busy bellydancer

A lot of changes and new things have been afoot here. Discordia Arts is hosting a monthly dance at music show here in Greenville. Our goal is to provide a venue for exploration of collaboration between bellydancers and live musicians of many different genres and to provide a professional level dance show experience that showcases a variety of styles of bellydance. Our first show, in March, saw us teaming up with Synergy Violins, a fabulous electric violin trio here in Greenville.

I've opened a studio space to allow me to take private henna appointments. It's in the Ward art studios and is called Niad, for Naturally Inspired Art and Design. I hope it's a first step on a long road of creating art. We shall see. With all of this, our regular shows with Wasted Wine, gigs with Discordia Arts, and my 6 weekly classes, I haven't had a lot of time to write. So, as will have to be worth a thousand words, and maybe next time I land here, I'll have more interesting things to say

Jaidra Photo by Scalcione Photography

An Evening of Music and Dance with Discordia Arts March Show

Jaidra with fire staff at Greenville's Indie Grits Variety Show by Film House

Brandy and Jaidra of Discordia Arts

Jaidra dances indoors at Greer's International Festival

Setting up the Niad studio

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An Open Letter to a New Dance Student

Dear New Student,

Congratulations to you. I know how hard it is to decide to take a dance class, to put yourself out there in a way that you haven’t done before, and to try something new. You’re doing a great job. I mean that. I know that the movements may be uncomfortable or awkward, and that you’re looking around the room surreptitiously eyeing everyone else, thinking that maybe you don’t belong here because your moves aren’t as fluid or as sharp as the dancer next to you. That’s OK. It’s alright to be uncomfortable. That’s why you’re here, to learn something new, and the first time we do something new, it’s rarely easy and almost always awkward. Everyone learns at their own pace and you will learn how to do this if you stick with it and practice. I know. I’ve been there.

I’m your teacher. I’m not here to teach you how to dance like me or to get you to perform. I’m here to provide you with the tools to dance like you. If performance is your goal, then I will support you and help you along the way. I will guide you, and I will correct you, but ultimately, whether or not you learn this dance is up to you. What you get out of this dance is up to you. This dance is my joy and I hope you find joy in it as well, but all of that – it’s up to you.

There may come a time when you choose not to dance with me anymore, or just not to dance. I respect that, and I understand that life gets in the way, that sometimes I’m not the right teacher for someone, and that sometimes you will need to spread your wings and do your own thing. I’m OK with that. I want to be here to support your dance. Remember that I’m a dance student too. I’ve been there. If you have questions, you can ask me, and if you have problems, you can talk to me; just not while we’re in class. Class time is for dancing.

At the end of the day, I’m glad you’re here. I’m proud of you for choosing to try something different and something new, and I’m proud of you for working hard in class and doing your best. I’m humbled that you chose me to be your instructor, and I promise to do my best to honor and respect the trust that you’ve placed in me by continuing my own education, working hard to plan my classes, and creating a safe and supportive atmosphere for you to learn in. 

Thank you for dancing with me. Love and shimmies,