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Alexandra King, Founder, Director

Alexandra King is recognized as one of the foremost Middle Eastern Dance artists in the United States.  She has traveled extensively throughout North Africa and the Middle East to observe and study the dances of this region, later teaching and performing throughout the world. Her career began in 1975, and since she has accrued many accomplishments and awards for her work as a performer, choreographer and instructor.

"She is a bawdy courtesan, star-making teacher, ground-breaking director and a provocative and engaging performer. Her love of the dance is an obvious extension of her soul." ~ Belly Dance Magazine

"When you danced my mouth dropped and I wasn't able to breathe...your performance was incredible"! ~ G.B. Bakersfield, CA

"There are no words to describe your dancing".~ L.S. Forest Hills, N.Y

"Alexandra King "Wows" the audience!" ~ Arab American News

"When Alexandra King dances it is beautiful" ~ SB Independent

"Your dancing sets my soul free" ~ B.T. Los Angeles, CA

"Alexandra's enthusiasm, extensive knowledge of the dance forms and cultures, and obvious enjoyment of teaching combine to make one of the most enjoyable and exciting classes I've had!". ~ UCSB Student

"Alexandra King is one of the most knowledgeble, dedicated and brilliantly inspirational women I know. She is a true gift to the Middle Eastern dance community". ~ S. T., Sponsor, N. C.

 "She is amazing". ~ J. S., Sponsor, Pacific Grove, CA. 

"She is so settled and steeped in her physical and intellectual understanding of the art of belly dance that there is a relaxed natural way about her teaching.  When I am in her class, I am actually dancing, not just learning movements and drilling/repeating them.  There is a balance between technique and personal creative expression".~KC, beginning student, Santa Barbara, CA.

 

PERSONAL BACKGROUND

Alexandra  was raised in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, where the blend of African, Latin, and East Indian cultures planted the seeds of her love of ethnic dance and music. Her inspiration came growing up in a family with three generations of performing artists, including silent screen star, Molly King, Uncle Charlie King, (star of Melody of Broadway), her beloved mother, Broadway actress Peggy French, and her maternal grandparents, Edward and Virginia French, both composers and concert pianists. She began dance classes at the age of ten which stoked the fire to become a dancer.

CAREER

  • From 1975 – 2000 she was an itinerant teacher and performer, working internationally.

  • In 1990 she co-founded the UCSB Middle East Dance Ensemble with Dr. Scott Marcus and was its director, choreographer, costume designer and principal soloist until 2010, when she retired from the group. 

  • In 2001, she was appointed lecturer in the first accredited ethnic dance class at UCSB in the Department of Dramatic Arts and Dance.

  • Between 1983 to the present she has worked in theatrical productions as well as private and academic events and, she has produced dozens shows and festivals.

TRAINING

The roster of her teachers includes:

  • Ballet, jazz and tap dance:: Jayne Miles, NYC,  St. Thomas, VI.

  • Ballet and Modern::  Julie McLeod, Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Ballet and Point :: Beth Bartlett, Santa Barbara, CA

  • Belly Dance:: Diana Ferarri, (formerly with Kos Kadas, San Francisco), Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Belly Dance:: Jenaeni Rathor, Ojai, CA.

  • Bharata Natyam:: Sandya Keller, Ojai, CA

  • Persian and Uzbek:: Laurel Victoria Grey, Carolyn Krueger, Robin Friend, Shahrzad Khorsandi, Los Angleles, CA

  • Lebanese Dabka:: Hassan Harfouche, Los Angeles, CA

  • Turkish Folk:: Ahmet Luleci (Turkish folk), CA

  • Greek Line Dance:: George Alexiades, Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Egyptian folk and BellyDance:: Raqia Hassan, Mahmoud Reda, Sahra Saeeda, Los Angeles, CA

  • Armenian:: Tom Bozigian (Armenian), Santa Barbara, CA

  • Saudi::  Hallah Mustafah and Kay Campbell (Harvard), Los Angeles, CA

  • Flamenco:: Carmen de Torres, Seville, Spain.

HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • In 1983 she produced her first concert, “A Tribute to Ethnic Dance” featuring Santa Barbara’s top ethnic dancers.

  • In 1984 she founded Santa Barbara’s prestigious Middle Eastern dance company, SEHER, which, since 1995, has been the official dance ensemble of the UCSB Middle East Ensemble, the largest Middle East Ensemble in the US and the only one, which includes dance.

  • In 1985 she produced the popular performance video "A Very Special Evening at the Plaka”, featuring herself and both of her teachers, Diana Ferrari and Jenaeni  Rathor, (Ansuya's mother).

  • In 1989 Alexandra wrote, choreographed and mounted the first full-length Middle Eastern folk ballet, "SERAGLIO”, which she toured in California and Utah.

  • 1986 -1992 she also produced the best-selling four-part DVD series, “The Ancient Art of Belly Dance” which is a complete course in the basics of American cabaret belly dance.

  • She founded and produced the Santa Barbara Middle East festival, MOON OVER MOROCCO in 1998 and produced it for ten years before the recession forced her to stop.

AWARDS

  • First place in the 1988 at the Belly Dancer of the Year pageant, Walnut Creek, CA.

  • Best Instructor, the 1995 Nafisa Gem Award for Best Instructor.

  • Nominated Best Instructor, 1998, International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (IAMED).

  • Best Instructor, 1999, IAMED

  • Best Cabaret Dancer 2003, IAMED.

  • Nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award, 2005 by the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance

Her Family

Ken Alexander, Actor, Dad

Peggy French, Actress, Mom

Silent Screen Actress,

Molly King (Grandma)

Uncle Charlie King,

Star of Melody of Broadway

Grandpa "Papi"

Ward French, Composer and concert pianist

Grandma "Baba",

Concert Pianist 

A Few of Her Teachers

A Few of Her Students

Monica
Ansuya!
Genisa and Hip Blessings
             PAULINA www.paulinabellydance.com
            ELVAN
www.elvandance.com
         Cris! Basimah
www.bellydanceland.com
                     Saundra
https://www.facebook.com/calpolybellydanceclub/
          TAMRAHENNA www.middleeasterndancer.com
Faith Daniels
A Few of Her Productions
Seher, Her First Company: 1984 -2010
First Cast of SERAGLIO, The Middle Eastern Ballet: 1989, Music Academy of the West
A Few of Her Awards
1988 Belly Dancer of the Year
Winner, Best Instructor, 1999, IAMED
Winner, Best Cabaret Dancer, 2003, IAMED
Winner, Best Instructor, 2005 Nafisa Gem Award

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