About Eliza

 

Eliza’s dance exposure started at an early age with the standard ballet classes.  After seeing the movie Ice Castles, she joined the figure skating craze and started free style and ice dance lessons, continuing to train and compete throughout her junior years.  It proved to be an excellent foundation for belly dance by way of strength training, muscle control, musical interpretation with emphasis on grace, fluidity and poise in performance.

Eliza first discovered belly dance at a Fat Chance Belly Dance performance in San Francisco in 1998.   Enthralled by the fluidity and intensity of the dancers, she started taking classes in Chicago with Read My Hips director Stephanie Barto and co-director Heather Stants.  She was a principal dancer with Read My Hips from 1999 to 2004.  In 2005 she co-founded Jezebelly Tribal Belly Dance which continues in the tradition of improvisational (ITS) belly dance.

In 2006, she joined the teaching staff at Arabesque Dance & Fitness in Chicago where she offers instruction to intermediate and advanced level students in Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance.  Her advanced level students make up her apprentice troupes BellyRing (ITS) and Spellbound (Tribal Fusion Belly Dance).

In 2009, Eliza began performing as a solo artist.  With an intense interest to develop her technical and interpretive dance skills, she has taken advanced and teacher level intensive workshops and received certifications in 2010, 2011 and 2014 from The Tribal Massive, a week long intensive training with with some of the top fusion dancers and instructors in the world including Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Mira Betz and, her mentor, Heather Stants.  Eliza has also partnered with Chicago dancer Megan Hartmann to form MegaLiza, a modern fusion duet that draws from Belly Dance, Bollywood, Hip Hop and Modern dance forms.

Eliza enjoys being a part of the tribal belly dance community and is involved in local and regional events, performances and workshops in her quest to influence and be influenced by the broader belly dance community.