Electric Nomad is a dance hive comprised of a variety of participants: dancers, artists, educators, parents, makers, movers, and activists as well as organizations and individuals who support inclusive art focused on building community and empowering one another. Dance teaches people how to work together while building strong bodies and spirits, alive with expression and universal truths. We welcome and encourage a diversity of ethnicity, gender expression, age, body, and ability at Electric Nomad. We believed that the common threads between us all, such as art, dance, music, food, and celebration are the foundations of positive togetherness. We believe that our shared human experiences can build empathy, love, and a brighter future for everyone!
Twila opened Electric Nomad, (formerly Illumination Dance Studio) Richmond’s only studio dedicated to bellydance in all its forms, incarnations, and evolutions in September of 2010. Over the past decade, she has taught an organically delicious blend of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi and Fusion bellydance, and pulls from her training in both forms. As the studio thrived, Twila produced a yearly Theatrical Fusion bellydance show featuring live music and international stars, Raqs Luminaire. She also produced three more theatrical works that stand alone, Oceanic, Eternal Forest, and Alchemy, which are boundary-breaking and fantastical works produced alongside Laterna, with a focus on collaboration with artists and dancers of every stripe.
In February 2019, a new incarnation of our studio came into being at 123. E. Main Street, almost a decade after our first studio started. In time, we grew into an artist's space that seeks to integrate many facets of the work we have done both as Illumination Dance and as Electric Nomad. While we were rooted in dance and movement, we were also a visual art space. We showcased work from local artists, handmade items for sale, and enjoyed live music and performances, as well as classes in acting, burlesque, theatricality, visual art, and even herbalism. And what a wonderful beginning we had! Our intention for this new space to be super-collaborative, with an emphasis on providing an awesome space for folks to teach, share, learn, and explore something new was met, even in our short time of being open.
In March 2020, due to the effects of the pandemic, we closed our doors. Those who are near to us and following know that this last year was already an incredibly challenging one due to illness and medical challenges for Twila, our hive mama. Laterna, Twila’s apprentice company continued on with two new co-directors, Andrea and Stephanie.
The example Twila set inspired Andrea to carry the torch and continue Electric Nomad's story. She is currently offering classes at Art Works as she begins to rebuild.