Long before she started learning about Middle Eastern dance, Amaya used dance to embody the sacred and celebrate the divine. She believes dance has always been and should continue to be a powerful venue for creation, expression, and passion. When she was very young, she had dreams of ballet and figure skating, but became quickly discouraged when she noticed that her not-at-all-thin body seemed to be unwanted. Bellydance, in all its many forms, Amaya eventually found, was instead a form that embraced all bodies – including her own – as they were, with out need for change. She began exploring bellydance in 2008 and shortly discovered (and fell in love with) American Tribal Style – particularly its focus on community and the unapologetic strength with which the dancers carry themselves. While her bellydance “homebase” is American Tribal Style, Amaya also has a passion for the more traditional American Cabaret style and utilizes it to explore the historical roots of the dance while indulging her love of props. Since beginning her studies in earnest with the eponymous 12 Houses class she has since had opportunities to take workshops with Megah Gavin of Devyani Dance Company, and Anita Lawani and Carolena Nericcio of FatChance BellyDance in American Tribal Style and Aradia of Las Vegas, Saroya of Atlanta, and Lauren Boldt of Bellydance Evolution in more tradition styles. Having the opportunity to perform with not only local but regional dancers is a great blessing and Amaya cherishes every moment as this community grows.
Amaya currently teaches classes at Lovely Dozen Studios, including American Tribal Style and Bellydance 101, and has previously worked with students, in class and private lessons, specializing in props such as veil and sword. Along with performing with the Lovely Dozen, she is also the Social Media Manager for the troupe on the web, which can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, and the Studio Manager on the ground.