Dancing since the age of 11, Tarryn has some major titles under her name. We sat down to ask her a few questions.

1.       So, you’re a Chemical Enigneer by day and belly dancer by night? How does this work?

Balancing the two careers is challenging to say the least, but I love the challenge, and the excitement and the thrill drives me to achieve and work my best to succeed at it all! The more I can do, the better for me! I also have had huge responsibilities financially at home, so that is also a driving force.

And finally of course, I love what I do. I love the people I meet, and the places I get to go. And each job, show, and customer or problem helps me learn more and grow as a person.

But it takes hard work. I am up early and off to Sasolburg, or a mine somewhere, as I work for Senmin, a company that makes mining chemicals. And I dance almost every day. The rest of the nights are for shows, or rehearsals, or when I can, a night off to relax at home and watch a movie or go out.

2. What does your belly dancing job entail?

I am Part of Samoka Entertainment. We put up various shows, including Dance Extravagazas which I choreograph & put together. I perform every Friday and Saturday night, at my regular venues, such as Emperors Palace.  I was also a resident Belly Dancer at The Sheikhs Palace in Rivonia for over 10 years. I do functions such as weddings, corporates, birthdays, launches, hens parties, children’s parties and so on.

I  teach my professional ladies, the Hizi-Hizi Belly Dance Troupe on Saturday mornings. We do a variety of functions, as well as being the resident performers for Lusito Land, the Annual Portuguese Fund Raiser for the Lusito School for Handicapped children based in Johannesburg.
4.        When did you take up belly dancing and what made you decide to do it?

 My Mom went to Egypt many years ago on holiday, and saw this beautiful dance form there, and fell in love with it. So after about six years of mom taking Belly Dance classes, she eventually convinced me to give it a try at the age of 11 (I had been doing Tap and Modern dancing since the age of 4.) I found to have a natural knack for this form of dance and developed a love, passion and dedication to the art form, and it was just full steam ahead from there.

5.       What do you love most about it?

Everything! Belly Dancing is a form of dancing that is very self expressive. Every belly dancer is different, as each person will have their own style, way that their body moves, and way that they interpret the music. It is my escape, my passion and my life. When I don’t dance I miss it!

The South African community has also grown tremendously since I first started dancing, and its lovely to see the growth, and how we have become more and more connected to the rest of the Belly Dancing community around the world.

Belly Dancing has changed my life. I have been given the most amazing opportunities because of my dancing. I was dancing at the Hilton in Sandton for South African and Egyptian Ministers at the age of 14. I have danced for various Saudi royal family members. I have appeared on TV various times, in South Africa, as well as on 2 Portuguese prime time Talk Shows in Portugal. I have traveled to various places such as Belgium, Portugal, Egypt and the Seychelles.

8.       Can anyone belly dance?

 Well, I think anyone can try belly dancing! I say it is the most forgiving dance form, as you can be any age, any shape or size, have any cultural background, have done any form of dance before, or none at all, you can do classes! It is a fun form of exercise to do. It improves your strength, fitness, and posture, strengthen your core muscles, works your abs, thighs, back muscles and legs.

9.       Any other talents or hobbies that we should know of?

 Well, I love Martial Arts, so I attend my weekly Tai Chi class. I like trying and learning new things, so I am aiming at learning a new Instrument (when my time permits of course.) I would say another passion of mine is Traveling. And in Dancing, my next main passion besides Belly, is definitely Tap Dancing. Does Twitter & Facebook count as hobbies?

Tarryn and her group have been asked to perform in the Montenegro Dance Festival later this year. They are hosting a variety of fundraising events to be able to take part in the event. You can email Tarryn  tarrynrego@gmail.com or visit their website www.hizi-hizibellydance.com Facebook Group "Hizi-Hizi Belly Dance SA" for more information.