After years of teaching swing dancing, a YouTube video prompted Dawn Xiana Moon to reinvent herself as a tribal bellydancer. She studied with Stephanie Barto of Read My Hips and soon after was invited to join the troupe, performing 100 shows a year at venues like the Chicago Field Museum and Alhambra Palace for almost a decade; she's trained extensively with Kami Liddle and other teachers all over the country. She was recently named Chicago's "Best Dancer" and "Best Stage Performer" by the Chicago Reader. In addition to her work as a dancer, Dawn is a singer-songwriter who's performed in 10 states and released two albums - she fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with folk, pop, and jazz (and was also runner-up for Chicago's "Best Singer-Songwriter" and nominated "Best World Music Act" this year). She's also written cultural commentary, essays, and design articles for publications like TechCrunch; acted in theatre and independent films; designed graphics for Anheuser-Busch; and coded websites for the University of Chicago.
Research scientist by day, bellydancer by night, Kamrah is basically a superhero. Oh, and they can kick your butt too: They have 13 years of experience in a variety of martial arts, won third place at Tae Kwon Do World Championships (White Belt), and studied kung fu with Lou Illar (Sidekicks with Chuck Norris). As a bellydancer, Kamrah has been performing traditional, cabaret, and tribal fusion since 2001; they currently perform throughout the country as a soloist at places like Chicago's Double Door and were featured on NBC. Kamrah has taught at Tribal Fest in Sebastopol, CA, the largest tribal bellydance festival in the world, Tribal Revolution, Bayou Belly, and Tempest's Waking Persephone (Seattle).
Gaea Lady has been moving in mysterious ways since she was three years old. An enchantress by nature, she sees her body as her instrument to express herself. Studying classical forms to start her career, her attention soon went the way of the ethereal, including fire, hoops and hypnotizing fabrics. Dabbling amid any form she can get her toes on, her style borrows from the graceful and energetic mix of all she’s studied in the past. Featured in the Kiss Kiss Cabaret, at Untitled’s Unbridled, The Naughty Little Cabaret, The Drifter, and with Pyrotechniq Fire Troupe, she travels all over the US performing and teaching. Ranked internationally as #35 in the “Most Influential Burlesque Artists of 2018,” Gaea has performed all over the country, notably at the Burlesque Hall of Fame 2016 where she won “Best Debut” and “Most Classic.”
Internationally known, Lee Na-Moo combines bellydance with contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and several Asian styles. He won the 2010 Chicago Oriental Dance Competition, which brought him to audiences in Argentina, and was invited to teach and perform at the 7th International Oriental Festival in Spain. He has also toured with Bellydance Evolution in Morocco, Germany, and the Czech Republic as a teacher and performer and was nominated by the Chicago Reader as "Best Choreographer" this year. Lee was a longtime member of Read My Hips and is a member of Joel Hall Dancers, a contemporary dance company based in Chicago.
Michi Trota is a firespinning geek fiend. She's a former board member for both the Chicago Full Moon Jams and the Chicago Nerd Social Club, and blogs about geekery, food, fire and anything else that catches her fancy at The Geek Melange. She is also the Managing Editor of the multiple Hugo Award-winning Uncanny Magazine.