Alumni & Testimonials
We love to share where our amazing students have journeyed after graduating from Belisama, they are always a part of our family!
Hi Belisama community! I grew up dancing with Belisama for almost ten years. Belisama provided me with a community where I made some of my best friends, learned to persevere through challenges, and practiced the one of a kind art of Irish dance. In my experience, dance performances and competitions provide dancers with a unique opportunity to learn the lifelong skills of performing under pressure and working as a team to achieve a goal. When I was a student as Belisama, I loved assistant teaching in the beginner classes. Now, I have my Masters in teaching and my passion is science education. Everyone should join Irish dance!
I danced with Belisama from its founding until 2015. During this time I loved competing all over the country, and I have wonderful memories of trips to Chicago, D.C., San Francisco, Phoenix, and Anaheim. With the wonderful coaching of Adrienne Bellis and Michael Patrick Gallagher, I won the CRN North American National Championships in 2010 and 2014 and placed 7th in Worlds in 2012. My dance family shaped my whole approach to life, teaching me about perseverance, self-monitoring and self-improvement, and working as part of a team to create something beautiful. Playing fiddle for the dancers also shaped my life as a musician and I continue to enjoy playing for Belisama.
At the end of high school, I recorded a Scottish fiddle album with Brittany and Natalie Haas (The Search for Tyler Foote), and after leaving Belisama, I attended UNM. I majored in speech and hearing sciences and Russian language. Covid hit right when I graduated, and I have since been back in Los Alamos teaching fiddle online and playing the Swedish nyckelharpa.
I cannot say enough good things about my time dancing with the company. Belisama gave me my first opportunity to choreograph and to teach, as well as helping me discover my love of the stage, all of which still remains part of my life today. I am now married and living in the DC/Virginia area. I am a professional opera singer, who frequently performs, and I operate a teaching studio for a wonderful contingent of young professionals. While I did not continue Irish dancing past my time in Belisama, the values of teamwork, dedication, and love of dance shaped my path in life.