Danielle will be familiar to some belly dancers as the other half of Las Musas, with Debra Napier. In 2010 she moved to the North Coast and started the Barefoot Gypsies Tribal Belly Dance Company in Lismore and Byron Bay, which encompasses a tribal belly dance school (ATS) and a performance troupe.
Interview with belly dancer Danielle Sansom
1. How did you get started with belly dancing?
I’ve always been fascinated by belly dance from a very young age. I dabbled with a variety of other dance styles, jazz, latin, ballroom, tap, Irish…but belly dance (ATS) is the only style that has really held my attention and sparked my passion.
2. What is your favourite belly dancing style and/or prop?
My favourite styles are American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion, and my favourite props are the silk veil fans.
3. Who or what has had the greatest influence on your belly dance style?
I have a few mentors and influencial dancers, mainly; my first teacher and ‘Tribal Mum’ Jacqueline Peperkamp from Tribal Jewels Dance Company, Devi Mamak of Ghawazi Caravan, Carolena Nericcio – FCBD, Rachel Brice and Jill Parker.
4. What advice would you offer an aspiring belly dancer?
Find a great teacher you’re comfortable with and who explains things clearly, consistent practice, if possible with a group of other women at your level or just above – one of the most enjoyable things I find about belly dance is the connection created with other women and the joy of dancing together. I’m so lucky that my job is also my socialising, my exercise and my creative outlet!