Karma Bellydance is an Ann Arbor based belly dance troupe that was founded in 2012. With an emphasis on fusion-style dance, Karma creates unique performances with traditional Middle Eastern music and modern favorites from around the world. Audiences love the fun, playful spirit of the troupe and are mesmerized by the skill and synchronicity of our dancers. Karma performs regularly in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan at festivals, haflas, community celebrations, and a variety of private events.
Kristen has been dancing almost all her life, starting with tap, ballet, and jazz before she was drawn to the shapes and flow of bellydance. A passionate educator, she teaches elementary school by day and bellydance by night. When she’s not helping her little students develop their brains or her bigger students develop their shimmies, she loves to be active outdoors or inside curled up with a book. Since 2020, Kristen has been Karma’s Creative Director, helping to guide the style and development of our troupe.
Lindsay started her dance journey with ballet, tap, and jazz after being inspired by her French-Canadian grandmother (memeie), who loved to ballroom dance. A healthcare marketing/informational technology project manager by day – musician, dancer, and community organizer by night; when Lindsay isn’t dancing with her Karma sisters, she enjoys laying down melodies on her marimba, creating playlists, constantly having her hands in the dirt of her garden, and building community with her REO Town family.
Nan‘s first experience of bellydance was watching a Karma performance on her birthday! The sparkles, the skirts, the veils…she knew immediately that this was the group for her. She started taking classes the very next week and was a Karma member by her next birthday. Nan loves that bellydance is for ‘every-body’ and that it is one of the most expressive, inclusive forms of movement she had encountered. Our resident costume lead, Nan’s creativity extends to other hobbies like photography and snow sculpture. She is also an avid reader and passionate about nurturing the passions of others.
Rhiannon found her way to bellydancing after taking a BollyFit class. Like so many new moms, she was struggling to lean how to continue to be herself in her role and new body. Though bellydance, she has found a new, powerful connection to her body and a wonderful group of friends. She is such a positive force in Karma and always reminds us to stay grounded! Rhiannon LOVES babies, and has two beautiful children of her own. She loves being a mother and going on hiking adventures and cooking with her family.
Rosie knew it was love at first sight when she saw a bellydance performance in high school. Now a seasoned dancer, she has developed a deep appreciation for the music, grounded movements, and rich folk history of bellydance. Rosie keeps herself busy, and when not dancing enjoys trying out new recipes, inventing new clothing out of old material, camping, and playing video games. She is very passionate about the environment and is always interested in a chat about resource preservation.
Sarah was hooked on dance at an early age but for many years felt she was a better spectator than performer. After taking the leap into bellydance classes she was able to develop her fledgling skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the athleticism required for the artform. Sarah now dances every day, whether with the troupe, out on the town, or in her kitchen. A natural entertainer, she also enjoys performing standup and writing stories and will do anything for a laugh.
Shannon felt enchanted by the fluid movements of bellydancers at Ren Fests and decided to try the dance form out herself. After her first class she was empowered to continue as a dancer, and not just a spectator. Shannon loves that bellydance celebrates hips of all sizes and shapes without trying to squish all women into one form. Truly a ray of human sunshine, Shannon believes strongly that it is important to put good into the world. She is interested in anything that crosses her path, but probably loves writing the most. Under the pen name Shannon Halley she has published a collection of microstories titled Glimpse, and is currently working on a series of children’s books.
Vu hails from Turkey and loves celebrating her culture through bellydance. We love that no encounter with Vu is complete until you are trying to catch your breath from laughing so hard. Vu is not only the mother of two beautiful children and an entrepreneur who makes custom crystal bracelets, she is also earning her counseling degree while working full-time. We don’t know how she does it either, we’re just glad to have some of her time!