With a penchant for thinking outside the box and an insatiable drive to create and inspire, 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. Her dance education includes training in prenatal and postnatal yoga instruction; she has earned her Level 1 certification, and has studied in level 2 in the Suhaila Format, has earned her Journey Through Egypt 1 and Cairo Style 1 certifications with Sahra Saeeda, and has studied with world-traveled instructors in many forms of bellydance. She received her SEEDs teacher certification from Myra Krien in June of 2015. Twila has recently delved into Hot Pot ITS (improvisational tribal style) dance, and continues to study with innovative, thoughtful movers in the dance world. She recently completed a teacher training for level 1 and 2 Hot Pot ITS with Amy Sigil, and is working on her certification to teach this form. When she's not dancing, she is busy being a mama, singing and playing music, reading tarot professionally, creating costumes and other wearable art, shooting photos and working on her own little urban homestead.
Twila is also a co-author of several books, including Dance Vines, a dance journal and resource guide, with Arlechina Verdigris with RDI Publications.
She has offered all levels of classes over the last decade, and continues to directs her apprentice dance company, Laterna. Her goal as an instructor is to provide a strong technical foundation while having fun, and allowing students to become better acquainted with their bodies, spirit, and individuality through dance, while staying rooted in the cultures and traditions that are the foundation of transnational dance, the movement and fusion she is part of. She is also a sought after internationally traveling performer and producer of events in Richmond, which included the yearly Theatrical Fusion bellydance production featuring live music and international stars, Raqs Luminaire. She has 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. Twila has also collaborated with dancers across the country, is honored to be a member of Rin's Myriad Project, and was also cast as a principal dancer in Zoe Jakes House of Tarot in Asheville, NC. Explore Twila's solo dance, musical, modeling, and other creative work here.
Yoga Instructor, Visual Artist:
LeVar began his investigation into yoga as a teenager, and has learned from Ellen Farrell in Savannah, GA, Darren Main in San Francisco, CA, and Aaron Star of Hot Nude Yoga, NYC, with whom he did his teacher training in 2007 in Costa Rica. LeVar has been leading nude yoga classes in RVA since 2009, fostering a sense of body acceptance, cameraderie and spiritual evolution. He believes that practicing yoga without clothing is a liberating experience, allowing the body to flow through poses without any restrictions, and can be a powerful experience psychologically as well as physically.
Dance Instructor, Performer
Andrea began her dance journey in 2006. She has taught classes and performed in Farmville, the New River Valley area, and Richmond. Her dance style has been cultivated over the years studying American Cabaret and Tribal Fusion, while also including techniques from Orientale bellydance and other dance forms. Additionally, Andrea is working on her level 1 skills in ITS (Improvisation Tribal Style) Amy Sigil's version of group improvisarion based out of Hot Pot Studios. Currently, she trains and performs with Twila’s studio dance company: Laterna.
As an instructor, her goal is to explore fun ways to strengthen core dance movements and breaking them down so that are easy to understand.
When she’s not in the studio, she balances her time as a graphic designer, community activist, and playing board games with her partner.
Burlesque Performer and Instructor
New Jersey built and Richmond bloomed, Jo'Rie Tigerlily is poised to rip your face off in sexiest way possible. Known as the Ferocious Flower, she always brings the house down with her untiring energy and never fails to leave audiences wanting more! With a background in all things music and theater, this singer, dancer, mover and shaker is no stranger to the stage. Her accomplishments include performing in Jeezy’s Juke Joint (Chicago), The Show Me Burlesque Festival (St. Louis) and claiming the Burlesque Bunny title at the 2016 Edmonton Burlesque Festival (Alberta,ON). She is a student and staffed teacher of Boom Boom Basics Burlesque and Performing Arts Studio (Richmond, VA) as well as a member and choreographer of Deanna Danger's Boomettes dance troupe. She has also been a featured performer in the Butchertown Burlesque series and can frequently be found shimmying and shaking all over the state of Virginia. A furious force of passion and power, raising your adrenaline one performance at a time.
Visit her at http://www.jorietigerlily.com!
Herbalist, Writer, Kitchen Witch, Activist
Mo has been studying herbalism since childhood, most recently in 1.5 years in the apprenticeship program at Owlcraft Healing Ways in Scottsville Va. Mo lives in Cuckoo, VA at Raven's Feather Farm. Mo works in construction by day, and juggles family, writing haiku, caring for animals and plants, running, and practicing herbalism by night.
Lisette Natalie began her dance journey in 2004 shortly after moving from Texas to Hawaii due to her father's military career. She joined Kumu Noelani Dabis's halau (school): Na 'Olapa 'Opio O Mililani, where she learned and performed Tahitian dance and different forms of Hula such as: kahiko and 'auana. Her halau's performances included events such as weddings, Hawaii Bowl (2005-07), charities, hotel receptions, and more! She continued to perform when moving to Virginia in 2008.
Lisette has long been interested in bellydance, and studied independently until she was able to find in-person classes. When she moved to Virginia, she joined Twila Jane's dance studio in 2011 where she learned the very basics to intermediate level of belly dance, and later asked Twila to help her come up with a routine to perform for her own wedding in 2018!
Although Lisette Natalie is not a graduated/trained Kumu (teacher), she is very keen on sharing her experiences of Tahitian dance and culture with others willing to partake on this journey!
Jasmine A. Barber
Color Me Zen, Family Welcome Coloring Sessions
Jasmine is a self- proclaimed dream maker and an advocate for small business
owners. She prides herself on understanding the needs of the business owner and being able to connect entrepreneurs with their passion and the necessary resources to move their dreams and businesses forward. Highly qualified with a Master’s in Business Administration in Business Intelligence from Capella University and a bachelor’s degree in economics with a civil engineering minor at the University of Pittsburgh, most of Jasmine’s work has been in geographic information systems, construction management, and civil engineering. Jasmine is also a sought-after speaker in the areas of geo-
marketing development for the implementation of high-return marketing initiatives and an in- demand executive management consultant.
One of Jasmine’s greatest accomplishments was winning the Association for Enterprise
Opportunity (AEO) Power of One Award for Sustaining Business Entrepreneur. AEO
collaborated with Citi Foundation to recognize microbusiness owners in Pittsburgh, PA, who had a positive impact on their family and community. Ward Computer Services (her then-business) placed first out of three finalists and received $15,000 to expand their business operations. She also spearheaded the microbusiness development initiative of a $1 million program to conduct business development training and build resilience within low-wealth neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh.
This modern-day renaissance woman is CEO of Alerio Management Group LLC (business
management coaching), Owner of Jasmine Annette Company (a luxury artisan craft company), and a Beauty Consultant for TruAura Beauty.
Jasmine is a single mom of three adventurous boys, ages 1, 8, and 12 and 1 adorable toy poodle. She enjoys gardening, yoga, healing arts therapy, bellydance, Afro-Caribbean dance, and Ayurvedic living.
Reiki Practitioner, Yoga Instructor
Ariana has always had a passion and strong urge to help others heal. She attended VCU and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with an Addiction studies concentration, and a Philosophy minor in May of 2019. Ariana spent slightly over two and a half years assisting patients through the practice of yoga at a chiropractor’s office, which was intertwined with teaching them functional movement and corrective exercises. She now works at a massage and bodywork practice as an office assistant, hoping to soon provide clients with a therapeutic and relaxing yoga practice.
Ariana’s interest in self-healing has been nearly lifelong, but she started showing interest in yoga in middle school when the school staff began a yoga and mindfulness after-school club. Her love for yoga grew, and led to her completion Karuna Yoga’s 200-hour yoga teacher training in June 2018. She received her Usui Holy Fire Reiki levels 1 and 2 training in March 2018. Ariana will be completing her Reiki level 3 and Master’s certification in July 2019. She often opts to lead the Buddhist recovery group meetings, Refuge Recovery, at The Well on the VCU campus, which involves a guided meditation each week. She has recently made plans to take Reiki meditation workshops to different festivals and events.
Ariana has a strong ambition in assisting others in realizing their own power to self-heal. She is excited to help awaken you to the abundant and available resources that are available to you WITHIN yourself, as well as around you. Ariana looks forward to accompanying you on your journey while you manifest healing and find relaxation.
American Tribal Style (ATS) bellydancer and instructor
American tribal-style belly dance's movements are inspired by folkloric dances of the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and India, created by Caroleena Nericchio of Fat Chance Bellydance. ATS is a method of improvisational choreography, using a vocabulary of movements and cues allowing the dancers to improvise together while dancing. The knowledge of the dance vocabulary allows ATS dancers from different regions to collaborate even if they have not previously danced with each other.
Stephanie teaches this wonderfully community-based style of dance, and is co-director of Ajna Tribal. Check her out on Thursday nights for open-level ATS classes.