Male dancers are a rarity in Australia so it's a pleasure to welcome Jimmy to our shores. What makes it even more interesting is to see the differences between our home-grown male belly dancers and a European dancer (Jimmy hails from Athens, Greece). Watch these videos and compare them to Shiva or Jamil, and you'll see what I mean:
Jimmy's favourite prop is the sword:
Interview with belly dancer Jimmy
How did you get started with belly dancing?
I started belly dancing when I was 19 years old (2003), when it was very popular in Greece. I started taking lessons in cabaret belly dance, and also commenced lessons in oriental belly dance. I became an accomplished student of Diana Rhea, the first sword dancer in Greece. My belly dance style is modern, and I incorporate ballet, contemporary, jazz, and latin in my routines.
What is your favourite belly dancing style and/or prop?
My favourite belly dancing style is modern/contemporary and I love dancing with swords.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your belly dance style?
I was always fascinated by belly dance when I was younger watching belly dance shows on TV, and I enjoy incorporating other dance styles into my belly dance routines to give my audiences a different perspective of belly dancing and that something extra special.
What advice would you offer an aspiring male belly dancer?
Don't listen to people who advise you that male belly dancing is a hard market to get into and that there is not much interest in male belly dancers. Listen to your heart and follow your dreams, and keep your eye on the prize!
You can read more at his website, JimmyDance. Jimmy is a qualified belly dance teacher but unfortunately is not teaching in Melbourne yet - keep an eye on his website, you never know!