Rachel Brice first fell in love with belly dance when she saw the famous Hahbi’Ru in the early nineties. When she saw curvy, gorgeous, proud women with strong carriage and charisma adorned with spectacular antique tribal jewelry, facial tattoos, and rich textiles, it changed the way she saw beauty. She started classes in American Cabaret style right away, and shortly came across Suhaila Salimpour’s videos. Suhaila’s videos changed her life, and she spent the next few years training with them.
Fast forward about 10 years when Rachel moved to San Francisco in the early 2000s to pursue a degree in Dance Ethnology. While there, she studied American Tribal Style® Belly Dance, African Haitian, Flamenco, Modern Dance, Kathak and Odissi Classical Indian Dance forms, as well as doumbek with Tobias Roberson. At this time she was also in Jill Parker’s Ultra Gypsy, the world’s first Tribal Fusion troupe. She began to be influenced by the various forms she was studying, which swirled together to begin to form a personal approach to belly dance.
She also began to dance with Mardi Love, one of her biggest aesthetic influences. In 2001 she was discovered by rock mogul Miles Copeland and toured for five years with his company, Bellydance Superstars. These tours sparked a global interest in this very San Francisco style of belly dance, now known as Tribal Fusion, which continues to grow, change and evolve. Today, Rachel studies belly dance with her teachers Carolena Nericcio, creator of American Tribal Style®, and yoga with Gary Kraftsow.
Whenever possible, she takes classes with her colleagues. When not teaching on the road, she lives in Portland, Oregon where she’s opened a studio (Datura), has begun a production company (Little Scarab), and an online school (Datura Online) with her partner Sol Crawford. Together they’ve created a belly dance training program called the 8 Elements™ Approach to Belly Dance.
Someday they hope to own a dog and tend a garden.