Your Instructor

Hello! My name is Annie and I’ve been teaching exotic dance since 2004. I received my national exotic dance training immediately after attaining a degree in Dance Education from Winthrop University. I’ve taught in several exotic dance studios in the region. I was Co-Artistic Director of a small modern dance company from 2005-2014. I am also burlesque performer. I perform locally and travel for performances as well. I recently won Best Burlesque Performer (critic’s choice) in Creative Loafing’s Best of Charlotte! Go me!

I enjoy the simple pleasures in life. When I’m not teaching, you can bet I’m snooping around an antique mall looking for treasures or trying to find another object to adorn with rhinestones. If I can dance, sing, teach, choreograph, and perform, then I would say that I this old soul is very content. Playing the violin is therapeutic for me, but I probably won’t do this in front of anyone. I go swing dancing when I can and I still try to take ballet to keep up with pointed feet. I get to the beach when I can and the mountains when I can. I love my cat, Professor.

For several years (perhaps since college), I thought I had to set my biological clock to everyone else’s sense of timing. That I had to have a certain job, please important people, and fit it into a prefabricated mold. I had folded my wings, and I had stopped focusing on teaching exotic dance. I had become a cocoon, living as the constricting sac, instead of the butterfly that I am.

So much for planning and living like everyone else: My relationship ended suddenly, my career transformed, and I had to experience a great deal of diminishing of my spirit. It was exotic dance that gave me confidence again. I suddenly remembered what I wanted to do with my life. I experienced my own metamorphosis. Moving my hips, being expressive, and having fun was, in a sense, me shrugging off the cocoon and releasing myself. I had found my true love again…Exotic Dance.

What is Exotic Dance?

Exotic dance, to me, always made me feel as though I was a good dancer, whereas other types of dance made me feel unsure about my movement. Freedom is at the core of exotic dance. Exotic dance is empowering. The freedom expresses itself in the moves, in the music, in the message, in the intention, and comes from within you; however, it is up to you to release that freedom, and to bring it back out of yourself every time you do it. As long as you maintain the basic exotic dance technique, the rest is up to YOU.

What’s my opinion about Exotic Dance?

Self empowerment, intention, confidence, communication, allure, liberation, and fun are just a few words that come to my mind when I think about exotic dance. I believe the person who is dancing, no matter where they are dancing, is the person with the power. This is the person who commands the room, and, therefore, I strongly believe that you should always dance for yourself, first, before you choose to dance for another person. It’s all for YOU.