When it comes to Mali, you can truthfully say that she really gets around. In fact, some may call her “indiscriminate” (possibly, even “promiscuous”). Perhaps, it is kinder to say that she loves all passionately but equally and cannot bear the idea of settling down with just one. One dance troupe, that is…
While Mali did dance in her youth (ballet and tap), it wasn’t until her mid-20’s that her true nature became apparent. She was faithful to ballet for a while but soon began experimenting with jazz, hip hop, modern, and hula. Despite a brief fling soon after high school, it wasn’t until 2007 that Middle Eastern dance truly caught her eye. She began by taking classes with Oralia, but it wasn’t long before she started exploring her options…In the years that followed, Mali had a long list of people she was seeing on a regular basis (although, to be fair, not usually more than 3-5 at any given time). Here is a hopefully complete list in relative chronological order: Oralia, Mary, Sabine, Lola, Dona, Heather, Salome Bahar, and Amani. She also made a point of seeking out Razia and Astryd whenever the chance presented itself (plus, any visiting dancers that dropped into town). Still, it wasn’t enough…she had a brief infatuation with flamenco (with Elena Villa) but soon discovered this was one area in which she was a better voyeur than participant. Time and again, she has returned to ballet (most recently with Ruby) and, in the last couple years, she made time to tango, too. Sadly, these have (temporarily) fallen by the wayside as Mali has finally begun to learn the meaning of the word “commitment”.
In December of 2010, Mali was asked to join the gorgeous dancers of An Noor (Annette, Dona, Narmira, Sabrina, and Zahia) and in the spring of 2011, she became a part of Tribalation’s advanced student troupe Azhaar (also including Cheri, Natasha, Karen, and Magali). She also continues to study with Amani and performs with her student troupe Raks Zeina. In 2012, Mali became the treasurer for Middle Eastern Dance Guild of Eugene and can regularly be found spending every 1st Tuesday from 5:30-7:00 with the other MEDGE board members, along with most 3rd Fridays.
The march to dance maturity continues in January 2013 when Mali begins to make commitments to her own students (before steering them in the direction of her mentors for further education): Heather Sterling has asked her to take over the introductory class at Amazon Parks and Rec and, after much consultation, Mali agreed in the hope that she will be able to impart her knowledge of and passion for “belly dance”…and the value of doing it with everybody in town.