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Our Committee!

Free Spirit Dance and Wellness Inc is a registered not-for-profit incorporation, governed by a Constitution and administered by a Committee. Here we introduce your Committee.

 

 

Madame La Presidente
Kerry Mace

Hi, I’m Kerry and I am the Chairperson and WAMED representative of the Free Spirit Dance Community Inc. which means that I am a really good organiser. In my other life outside of the community I am a Coordinator, I coordinate 2 camps per year for kids with Arthritis and I am the office manager for Short Fuse Speaker Repairs in partnership with my husband John.

My other passion is as a Volunteer Health Consumer Representative, I am the chair of the Fiona Stanley Consumer Advisory Council, within this position I sit on the Hospital Executive committee and work within the hospital to give a consumer’s perspective to the staff, as well as other health related committees. I am also involved with the Arthritis Foundation running support groups for those with Inflammatory Arthritis, which I have lived with since a child.

I am one of the founding members of the Free Spirit Dance Community, which started in the hall at South Fremantle High School since 2008, in this time I have been Treasurer, Secretary and have now been chair for 6 years. I am also the WAMED Representative for the community and love being involved with the wider Bellydance community. 

 

Vice Chair

Melinda Ware

My name is Melinda and I think I have settled on the dance name of Saphira meaning Blue Eyed Dragon. One of my swords is also called Saphira so together we can really cause some havoc. I also have three other swords, Mateo, Lady Grey and Ruth. My love of dance started in primary school, you know the barn dances you used to have to do with boys with warty hands, I was first in line for the dancing not the warty hands, then I tried ballroom dancing. I remember boogieing around our lounge room to Glen Millers In the Mood, its still one of my favourites. I also did Physical Culture which had a very small dance element all through school and then I joined the Navy, when my first son was little I did a term of Jazz ballet. Then life got in the way and very soon it was all about my boys, surf life saving and athletics and footy committee and junior and senior secretaries of their club and work until my dad passed away and my sister and I decided to try out new things together, Tai Chi, line dancing, then bellydancing. In 2006 I found Jamila and Arabian Nights. Sadly Jamila passed away but Arabian Nights have stayed together as a troupe and continue her legacy. Along the way I have danced with the lovely Bianca-t Castro and her Tribal Fusion Troupe. Currently as well as performing with Arabian Nights I am dancing with the Irrepressible Princess Fee and am part of her Sayyida, Bellyslink and Ruffles of Doom troupes. Performances do get a bit manic with all the costuming. Must admit, slow and slinky and grounded and earthy are my preferred styles of belly dance and I hate free dance, robot man comes out, and being the centre of attention is not my favourite spot. I have been on the Free Spirit Committee for a couple of years as Arabian Nights representative, General Committee Member, Secretary and Vice Chair. I have had a wonderful journey through the belly dance world learning from and becoming friends with some truly amazing teachers and dancers locally and through WAMED. I am honoured to be included in the small but hard working group of exceptional women who make up the FSDC. Now that I have retired, I don't know how I fitted stuff in before, my life is full of grandchildren of which I have 5, my 2 boys and husband Steve who are all athletic, holidays (following the husband around the country and world while he is competing, he is a Triathlete,) my Chiball, Pilates and Aqua classes and reading and of course my belly dancing. Hopefully I can continue to enjoy what life is throwing at me for a while yet, my only regret is I didn't find you all sooner.

 
Treasurer
Fiona Watts


Hi! I'm Fiona and I'm the wearer of many hats in Free Spirit, which means I'm the Type-A with the clipboard. My mild-mannered alter-ego works full time as a manager, so that means I have mad time management, organisational and spreadsheeting skills, which I bring to my role at Free Spirit. I've been a member of Free Spirit since 2011 and first got involved with the Committee in 2012 (I think!) and have been a Free Spirit Teacher (running Princess Fee Bellydance) since about that same time. I enjoy volunteering my time to create events for my students and my Community to enjoy and working to create those human connections, creative partnerships and sacred space for dancers to dance. Nice to meet you! Photo by Richard Stein's Little Studio.

 

Webmistress/Membership & Events

Hayley Birch

Hayley was a child of the 80's and started her dancing career with music tuned into the likes of George Michael, Madonna, Queen and plenty of one hit wonders that you now only hear on 94.5fm Saturday Night Party Mix. 

By the time she was seven she started Ballroom Dancing and became a Medalist in her early teens. After dabbling in Jazz, Contemporary and hip hop, Hayley started bellydancing back in 1996 when she was in high school. Bellydance in Perth was fairly new back then and she was lucky enough to see some of Rose’s first performances at “The Cedar Tree” before Rose became the bombshell she is today. Inspired by Rose, Keti and her private tutor, Hayley  pursued bellydance in Fremantle, then danced in Queensland before coming back to Perth to Oasis. She eventually became a member of Free Spirit and then enjoyed tuition by Janet Hof. Her preferred dance style is Oriental but occasionally dabbles in Tribal. 

Since sustaining car accident injuries, Hayley has taken a backseat from bellydance and is currently on the Free Spirit committee where she fiddles with website thingys and background digital admin. She has a strong passion for the community and fundraising focusing on all things bellydance. 

 

Studio Manager

Leanne Shannon

Hi my name is Leanne, more commonly known as Lea Lea, I have been dancing since June 2004 when my sister talked me into taking classes, we completed 2 terms of Egyptian belly dance with Ayesha. At the start of our third term Ayesha introduced to Paulette Rees Denis,  Gypsy Caravan Tribal belly dance and my journey as a Tribal Bellydancer began, becoming one of the Free Spirit Gypsies. 

I have been a part of the Free Spirit Dance Community from the beginning, from before the community became a not-for-profit organization in 2010, so next year is our 10th birthday. 

I have been on the committee from the beginning in various positions, I am currently in my second year as the studio manager, so contact me for all your studio hire questions and bookings. 

Outside of dance I am an upholstery machinist with Rocky Bay Inc.



Secretary
Elisabeth Purser

After my first Bellydance class in Kununurra many, many years ago, I was hooked. When I arrived back in Perth I danced with a few teachers until I found my home with Shaheena and the Mystique Troupe at Bellydance Central. Life saw me back in Kununurra for a few more years, where I danced with Monsoon Nights. These days I have been back in Perth since 2015 where I danced again with Mystique Troupe but with Shaheena’s daughter Nikki at the helm, and more recently in Princess Fee’s Sayyida Troupe. I am also a regular attendee and performer at the annual Western Australian Middle Eastern Dance Festival (WAMED).

I like to combine my love of dance with my love of travel, having been to Egypt six times (soon to be seven) and Turkey three times. During these trips I have immersed myself in music and dance, and made many friends in the worldwide bellydance community. My favourite styles of dance are raqs shaqi, Egyptian folkloric, and Turkish Roman. 

 

General Member/Book Club
Liz Grzyb

Hi, I’m Liz. I’m one of the newest members of the Free Spirit Committee. I started belly dancing about 20 years ago when I happened to see a flyer for the Wheatbelt group Oriental Fantasy and was addicted within seconds of starting the first class.

When I returned to Perth, I found a new dance home with Bellydance Central, was part of Shaheena and Nikki's Mystique Dance Company and more recently helped to build the collaborative troupe Iridescence Bellydance. I’ve also danced with Kim at Studio44 and with Princess Fee. 

In my “other” life, I’m a teacher librarian and English teacher, and have edited a dozen speculative fiction anthologies.


General Member

Andrea Orlowsky

Hi – I’m Andrea (or ‘Andriya’ when on stage – same pronunciation, funkier spelling). I’ve been dancing and performing Middle Eastern Dance in various forms since 2003, when I was first welcomed to the Perth bellydance scene by Shaheena.

I’ve dipped my toe into most available forms of bellydance at various times, and have developed a personal preference for Egyptian dance in its many styles and flavours. I revel in theatrical dance styles and working with props (I may be the owner of a disproportionately large number of these, particularly the shiny or pretty coloured ones). Handy with the sewing machine and the ol’ needle and thread, I enjoy the challenge of restoring, repurposing or adapting old costumes, and designing and creating my own costumes.

2022 is my first year on the FSDAW committee; I’m looking to give back to the community that has given so much to me over the last 20 years. 

 

General Member

Lesley Watson

I have been involved in the Bellydance community as a teacher, student and editor of Bellydance Oasis magazine for 30 years. The dance has flourished here in the west largely due to the energy and effort put in by various groups of people and Free Spirit is one of those groups. We serve the community through education and entertainment and enjoy supporting other dancers.


ADDRESS: Free Spirit Dance & Wellness Inc.
PO BOX 5109
SOUTH LAKE W.A 6164

EMAIL: hello@freepspirit.org.au

(C) Free Spirit Dance & Wellness Inc. 2021


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