Kendra Ray: Bellydance Entertainment
Referred to as the “Persian Dance” consultant for the USA ice dance pair, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, Kendra was brought in to guide the team on the Persian nuance used in their free dance program “Scheherazade” which won them the Gold Medal at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Kendra’s approach to movement is driven by applying her field experience and educational training in performance technique and media production to a foundation of classic and modern belly dance styles. Kendra creates performances and provides consultation and workshops for festivals, concerts, video and theater productions, athletes, and Middle Eastern venues in the USA and Canada. She won first place in the 2013 Bellydance for a Cure Competition and was nominated for the 2014 Dahlal Internationale’s Spirit of Aphrodite Award.
She is the Artistic Director of Tableau Cadre Movement Ensemble and Fab Cab Student Troupe, an active member of Unveiled Bellydance Company since 2006, a consultant for the Amazan Arts Project and formerly the International Liaison and Rehearsal Director for Evolution Dance Theatre in Toronto.
Some career highlights include: performing alongside music artists such as Chantal Chamandy, Christopher Lawrence, Konqistador, Victor Ghannam, Jacco Muller, Naghmeh Farahmand, The High Strung, King Jazzy, DJ Joey Pistoles, The Green Sky Project, and Enigma. She has been a featured performer in many events such as the 2011 and 2013 Club Bellydance Tour featuring The Bellydance Superstars, the “World For Change” 2011 Concert in the Glenn Gould CBC Studio in Toronto, the Small World Music Festival 2012 in Toronto, the Kingsville Folk Festival 2014, Sean Blackman’s “In Transit” 2014, and the 2010 Detroit Greektown TV commercial.
As a performer and instructor, Kendra aims to inspire others improve their quality of life through encouraging wellness, social interaction, and intercultural respect. Above all else, she puts an emphasis on dancing from the heart. She regularly teaches private dance lessons and workshops in the USA and Canada.
Since 2004, Kendra has studied the history, culture, and various subgenres found in the art known as “belly dance”, heavily concentrating on authentic nuances found in Middle Eastern styles and merging them with modern dance forms and theatrics. Her first teacher, Aziza Ammar, gave her a strong classical Raqs Sharqi foundation, and as a member of Unveiled Dance Company since 2006 she has gained experience in modern, fusion, and theatrical choreography. Kendra continues to study from various teachers in the USA and Canada and is very influenced by classic entertainers such as Badia Masabny, Tahia Carioca and Naima Akef as well as modern dance figures and entities such as Ciara, America’s Best Dance Crew TV show, and Bollywood films.
1st Place in the “Bellydance For a Cure” 2013 Competition,
Nominated for Dahlal Internationale “Spirit of Aphrodite” Award
Artistic Background and Resume Highlights:
Kendra has been emulating dance forms since her youth, studying choreography videos for hours, acting as a member of her high school dance team, and even practicing freestyle forms of street dance at Detroit area venues and festivals. In 2005, she discovered bellydance and began classes with Aziza Ammar, where she studied Middle Eastern music, classic Oriental cabaret stage presence and show structure, and Lebanese, Turkish, Egyptian, and American Cabaret bellydance forms.
She furthered her knowledge by joining Unveiled Dance Company in 2006, founded by Crystal (Dunlap) Esteves, which explores traditional cabaret, tribal fusion, and the modern theatrical aspects of bellydance. Since then, she has studied with several dance teachers throughout the nation, exploring ethnic dance forms and various bellydance styles.
For nearly a decade, she has dedicated her life to studying the etymology of bellydance and the anatomical aspects of the art. In addition to endless hours of research through reading and analyzing videos, she has taken workshops with:
Suhaila Salimpour (Modern Belly Dance and Core Strength), Faten Munger (Egyptian, Spanish Flamenco), Zahra Zuhair (Egyptian), Sahra Saeeda (Egyptian Folkloric), Kelly Holder (Romani Folk Dance), Aziza of Montreal (Egyptian and Modern Cabaret), Leilani (American Tribal Style, Tribal Fusion), Zoe Jakes (Tribal Fusion), Rose Harden (Tribal Fusion), Ava Fleming (Cabaret Fusion), Sandra of California (Modern Cabaret), Sevdiah of FL (Turkish and Modern Cabaret), Daniela of FL (Tribal and Hip-hop Fusion), Samantha Riggs (Bollywood and Classical Indian Fusion) Ranya Renee of NY (Classic Egyptian)
Film and Production Experience – (Dance Only):
Featured talent for:
Greektown Casino merchant commercial, One Last Call short film, the Unofficial music video for “Sexy/Beautiful” by Tony Bahu, and as an extra in the music video for “Who Owns My Heart” by Miley Cyrus.
Provided choreography for the music video “The Mercy of Bullets” by The Octopus
2014 Olympic Gold Medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White, assisted with their Free Dance Program “Scheherazade” which they used to win the Gold Medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Detroit/Windsor Dance Academy (2009-2011), Fabulous U in Detroit (2010-2011), Vixen Fitness in Detroit (2010), Unveiled Dance Company in Ann Arbor (2013, 2014), FAB Music School in Dearborn (2012-2013), Private Dance Lessons in Home Studios (2012-present)
Detroit Raqs Bellydance Convention (2011 and 2013), HIPnotique Studio, Chatham, Ontario (2012), Bellydance BiZARre Event in Kitchener, Ontario (2012), Greenville High School Dance Team (2011) Greenville, Tennessee, One Spirit Dance Studio (2013), Belly Dance Grand Rapids (2014), Boheme Tribal in Kalamazoo (2014), Kingsville Folk Festival in Ontario (2014) and more upcoming dates.
Lectures and Interactive Demonstrations:
7th grade students at the Henry Ford Learning Institute in Detroit (2012) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Detroit (2012)
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Listing Title: Kendra Ray: Bellydance Entertainment