Athena is the founder and former leader of Belly Babes, Hawaii’s premier belly dance troupe, which features an exciting line-up of original solo and group choreography using unique blends of traditional and modern-pop Middle Eastern music.
Athena was suddenly and unexpectedly catapulted into the world of Belly Dance in 1998 while attending an overnight dream work retreat taught by Alice Anne Parker, www.AliceAnneParker.com, a mentor and friend whose philosophy and dream instruction have informed all of Athena’s creative work. There she heard the songs Ariadne and Saldek by the group Dead Can Dance. The music compelled her to belly dance and she soon began her studies with Sondra Laverty, a Canadian belly dancer living on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Sondra inspired and nurtured her love of the dance with her gentle spirit and elegant and sensuous dance style. From Sondra she acquired a solid foundation in classical belly dance as well as a strong sense of aesthetics, which have influenced her own dance and choreography.
After moving to the Big Island of Hawaii, she met Jill Brantley, her teacher at the Hawaii Island YWCA, whose use of contemporary music and new influences in dance, further expanded Athena’s sense of possibility for movement and choreography. Jill also first opened the door to teaching belly dance. Delilah Flynn, www.VisionaryDance.com, has inspired with her virtuoso performances, riveting style and passionate commitment to bringing out the “voice of each individual dancer.
Athena was the Middle Eastern Dance instructor for the Big Island YWCA and Hawaii Community College. She founded Belly Babes in 2003 and currently performs in numerous venues and offers customized private instruction.
Zoya Mirage has been dancing "Danse Orientale" for several years. She enjoys studying the cultural roots of Belly Dance and loves the way the dance sets you free and allows you to become one within it.
Jewel's love for dance has been a part of her life since early childhood when she began learning Latino Dance from her mom and Hula from her older sister. At age seven Jewel began formal training in Polynesian Dance. She danced professionally for Kumu Hula Johnny Lum Ho and entered many competitions until her senior year in high school. After many years of being out of the dance circuit Jewel's hunger and love for dance lead her to pursue Oriental Middle Eastern Dance. In May of 2000 she began taking Belly Dance lessons at the YWCA in Hilo, Hawaii with instructor Jill Brantley. One again her spirit had been awakened to the healing magic of dance. In 2004 she began dancing under the direction of Athena Lou for Hilo's premier Belly Dance Troupe "Belly Babes". Jewel has taken numerous workshops from various renowned instructors such as Erna Woo, Zaina Hart, Willow Chang, Wendy Buonaventura, Delilah and Saqra. All of whom have inspired her to continue this beautiful and sensual dance form. Jewel is a dancer whose dance emanates from her heart and soul.
Diviana's love of the performing arts led to a major in musical theatre, and continued with a passion for dance ranging from Jazz, Tap, Ballet, and Modern dance to Hula and Tahitian. After moving to Hawaii in 1996 she discovered the magical world of Belly Dance. She was immediately drawn to the exquisiteness of this dance form, as it teaches women to celebrate the sacredness of their bodies and the beauty of their spirits. Diviana has been performing Bellydance in various venues of Hawaii since 2000, and currently enjoys dancing with the fabulous ladies of The Belly Babes!
Maisha hails from Chicago. She has studied many forms of dance over the last 16 years, including ballet, modern, jazz, African, hula and tap. Maisha also holds a BFA in dance. She currently choreographs and dances in Hilo.