2004 began her 10 year journey of living and studying on and off in Istanbul, Turkey where she studied Turkish Roman Dance primarily with Reyhan Tusuz.
Jessaiah was Reyhan’s second ever “student” and now her recognition has grown worldwide as she now teaches international travelers in her home.
As the years progressed she met more people and danced and studied with many more dancers: professionals, women in the kitchen, Anadolu Atesi dancers and more. The locals in Istanbul were amazed at Jessaiah’s natural familiarity with the music and dance. While she was there, Jessaiah was a featured dancer at many local events, weddings, shows, written about in newspapers and asked to be in movies as a dancer. Her presence there garnered much attention, as she danced “like a real Roman.” With this she became a well known Roman dancer in Istanbul, and now here in the States as well. She has continued to gain respect for this form Internationally by dancers and academics alike.
Through her years of study, investigation and discovery in this dance style. She has come to see the value of teaching dancers how to differentiate the “Roman” style from the “Karslima” style.
Jessaiah has become aware of the various influences that have shaped dance styles over time. The customs that bloom out of a regions climate, the era, social constructs, and beliefs; the availabilities and scarcities of spices, materials, dyes, water, sun, food, animals, human rights -all seem to define the cultures of our humanity.
This is what she strives to communicate and impart to every student in her path- all of these influences find expression in the pulse, movement , gestures and regional dress.