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Ruby is based in Los Angeles, CA und fell in love with belly dance in her early years. She has a bachelor degree in Environmental Chemistry, but has never worked in this field. For that she loves dancing to much.

That she prefers Turkish raqs sharqi over the Egyptian version struck us last year at Leyla Jouvana’s 18th Oriental Festival, where she made it to the 2nd place. This year she will come again to Germany, but this time she will be dancing at the gala. We are very curious as to what she has in store for us.

Interview with Ruby

by Marcel Bieger

Why do you prefer Turkish style, when most of the other belly dancers prefer Egyptian style?

I decided to take up the Turkish style when I was coming into bellydance because everyone else was either doing Egyptian or Tribal. I wanted to be different and I loved the high energy and athletic performance style that comes from Turkish and American Classic Bellydance. I liked the finger cymbals, floor work and large sharp movements that are generally absent in the other styles.

In my view, the main differences in Turkish and Egyptian style come from the energy or motivation behind the dancing.  The difference isn't necessarily in the music it's in the interpretation of the music. I think of Egyptian style as being more of an inward focus while the Turkish would be more outward. Also, I think the influence of the Romani people have an important role in the stylization of Oriental dance. For example, in Egypt, the dancing has become more influenced by ballet and modern stylization where as in Turkey the dancers are more influenced by the Romani and other folkloric styles.

This year you are not for the first time in Germany, what makes you come back?

Well, I'll be coming back for many reasons.  My experience last year in Germany was life changing. Leyla and Roland’s festival is jam packed and extremely well run. I met dancers from all over the world and really enjoyed being a part of the festival. When Leyla invited me to come back this year I was honored and excited to be a part of it.

What will we see this year, when we see you on stage?

It's always my goal to express joy and create a connection with the audience when I perform. It's important to me to create an experience with the audience, the music and the movements, hopefully that is what you'll see this year. I am a cabaret/oriental/Raqs Sharqi dancer, what ever you like to call it but I don't consider myself one style or another. I work hard to transcend stylization and to just be myself in the moment.

Ruby is guest at Leyla und Roland Jouvana's 19. Oriental Festival of Europe, November 18th - 28th 2011 -
Ruby's Homepage:
The only thing I think that my training in Environmental Chemistry brings into my bellydance is complete appreciation for what I do. I love science and enjoy learning, but nothing could be more FUN to me than bellydance. I can't imagine going back to wearing a lab coat and protection goggles!
Does your Bachelor degree expert in Environmental Chemistry influence your dance style in any way?
What will your students learn at your workshops at Leyla Jouvana's festival?

The workshops I am teaching at the festival will focus on dancing with creativity and unique movements to interesting rhythms. Both workshops are focused on how to express rhythm through melody and will focus on combinations incorporating expressive movements utilizing the entire body.