Q & A with Sophia Ravenna

written by Andalee on May 11, 2015 in Q & As with no comments
Sophia Ravenna by The Dancers Eye Photography

Photo Credit: The Dancers Eye

This Belly Dance at Any Size Q & A features Sophia Ravenna. Sophia is a regular contributor on the site and has been a welcome addition to the writing team. She lives and dances in Tucson, AZ.  She enjoys performing fusion belly dance and the occasional tribal jam. In addition to performing as a soloist she is a proud member of Fire & Gold Belly Dance.

Primary style of dance: Fusion

Favorite dancer(s): Mira Betz, Mardi Love, Jolie Roberson, Donna Meija

Number of years you’ve been a belly dancer: 8

Tell me about why you are involved in Belly Dance at Any Size? 

I love that there’s a website that combines two things I’m passionate about: belly dance, and body positivity! I think it’s important to let people know that no matter your size or physical limitations, if you want to dance, you should!

Additionally, I love to write, so it’s nice to have another outlet to share some thoughts and opinions with the dance community!

What qualities do you admire most in other dancers?

I admire dancers who know that sometimes, a simple accent at the right moment is more impressive than the most insane layering trick…But by the same token, I admire dancers who have taken the time to train hard and master their technique. To me, technique and artistic expression are equally important, so the dancers I admire the most are the ones who have a perfect blend of those two things.

Sophia Ravenna

A dance performance at the 2014 Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive

What is your biggest challenge as it relates belly dance?

I have all kinds of weird issues going on in my body, largely stemming from the fact that for most of my life, I walked around on tip-toes. I have really tight hips which make some moves really difficult and uncomfortable. I’m ashamed to admit that I have never mastered a walking quick 3/4 shimmy because I can’t get my hips to relax enough to move that fast.

How do you work to make your belly dance community a positive environment for all dancers?

When my teacher Jolie Roberson moved away, my troupe mates and I inherited the Open Stage event that she hosted. Our event is open to dancers of all shapes, sizes, genders, ages, experience levels and dance styles. We’ve partnered with a great venue that allows us to have the event for free, with no cover charge, so everyone can bring lots of friends and family to build a really supportive audience. Because it’s open to the public, we’ve also helped random people learn that men can be belly dancers too, that tribal fusion is a thing, and that of course, you don’t have to have an idealized figure to get up and dance.

What is your most treasured belly dance possession?

Easily the small fascinator/hat I bought from Snake Church. It’s made out of color-shifting silk shantung, adorned with all sorts of vintage textiles, lined with velvet, but most importantly, it’s decorated with a giant insect made out of jewel beetle pieces and vintage rhinestone chain. It is the most “me” thing ever made. I completely blew my budget to buy it and I’ve never regretted it for a moment.

Find out more about Sophia Ravenna at sophiadances.com and check out her articles on Belly Dance at Any Size here.

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About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.