Meet the Ladies of Divine Chaos
Divine Chaos Tribal Fusion
Director & Co-Founder of Divine Chaos Tribal
Shannon fell in love with the emotion, creative expression and sense of community that came along with tribal style belly dance beginning in 2003. As a student of the Domba Studio in Tempe, Arizona, Shannon had the privilege and opportunity of dancing as a member of Bedouin Tribe, sister troupe to Domba, and collaborating with many other amazing artists. With a strong foundation in Domba ITS (improvisational tribal style), fire bellydance, skirt, and sword, Divine Chaos Tribal Fusion was formed in 2008. Shannon served her Arizona dance community as Vice President of Levant al Sonora, Arizona's MECDA Chapter, and as President for three years. Shannon has a MAEd in Adult Education and Curriculum Development and infuses her dance instruction with her professional knowledge of teaching practices to meet the needs of dancers worldwide. Shannon has had the privilege of teaching in England at festivals like Tribal Gathering, Scotland, Norway, Mexico City, LVBDI, and national workshops throughout the USA. She released her first skirt instructional DVD in 2012, their second instructional skirt DVD in January 2015, and the 3rd installment in December of 2016 with her DC Tribal family.
Director of Divine Chaos Tribal
Claire fell in love with tribal fusion belly dance in 2006 and has been dancing ever since. She’s studied a variety of dance styles, from Latin ballroom to Modern, but no style of dance speaks to her more than Divine Chaos’s unique blend of belly dance fusion. Originally drawn in by the Spanish flare of their 25 yard skirts, Claire has found her home and true calling in the DC style and troupe. She first joined DC on-stage at Tribal Fest 11, and has been in the DC family ever since. Claire now joins Shannon in teaching DC tribal and prop styles at Toolbox Dance Studio.
Kelly Bender, one of the founding members of Troupe Harmony and past Vice President of the Arizona MECDA chapter, has trained in several different styles of belly dance. She has a passion for the Indian styles of Bollywood and bhangra, and is continuing her exploration and training in the classical Indian styles, including kathak. She loves prop work, especially skirt. She is also the co-creator and owner of H and K Designs, costuming some of Arizona’s most prestigious performers.
Melissa was first introduced to belly dance when she was about 12 years old, seeing Helena Vlahos famously rolling quarters up and down her belly on TV – and immediately went searching for quarters to try it herself. She would go to the renaissance festival every year to watch the dancers and began belly dancing in 1996 in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Seeking out classes to learn this beautiful art, she began taking lessons with Yasmina Parker, she has studied with some of the Valley’s most notable tribal and fusion instructors, and is currently expanding her dance knowledge with Indian styles such as Bollywood and Bhangra. Melissa likes to infuse her dance with props, her favorite being sword and skirt, and also enjoys playing hand drums and percussion to Middle Eastern, African and fusion style music.
Melissa was one of the founding members of The Red Hands Tribe and loves performing the many styles of Divine Chaos Tribal Fusion.
After being introduced to the belly dance world in 2009, Sophia (“Fia”) started studying tribal belly dance in the Fall of 2011. Even with no prior dance experience, Sophia quickly discovered that she DID have balance, coordination, and a bit of grace, and the flame was lit! She progressed quickly after that through the study of ATS and some tribal fusion classes, when she found out that Shannon and Tammy, the women who had introduced her to bellydance, were going to start teaching at Plaza De Anaya. The rest is history. She was always attracted to DC Tribal‘s strong sisterhood, passion, and the incomparable "flare" of their signature skirt moves and was invited to join them in 2012. These days, she continues to have fun studying Tribal Fusion, and is excited to grow and learn alongside her sisters as a peer and Assistant Director.
Stephanie began dancing at the age of three and has been dancing ever since. She began with ballet and tap, dabbled in competitive cheerleading and won two National titles with her team. During college she was eager to expand her dance vocabulary and challenge herself physically. She soon found cabaret style belly dance and took classes and performed for 2 years before finding her passion and niche in Tribal Fusion. At Plaza de Anaya she found exactly what she had been searching for and was immediately captivated by the high-energy style of Divine Chaos and the obvious camaraderie of the troupe. Through the guidance of Shannon, Claire and Tammy, her passion for Tribal Fusion grew. While growing as a member in the troupe, she again wanted further expansion of her dance knowledge and stumbled upon Fred Astaire Dance Studios. There she became proficient in all 16 ballroom dance styles and became a certified instructor and professional dancer. Although she has left Fred Astaire, she will continue with ballroom dancing and use her knowledge to enhance her dancing with Divine Chaos. She hopes to create and explore more means of expression through movement and cannot wait to see where this dance journey takes her and her sisters!
Kristina began her belly dance journey in April of 2012 with Sabine of Tribalation in Eugene, Oregon. Shortly after she moved to the Valley, she discovered Plaza Studio (formerly Plaza de Anaya), where she immersed herself in several dance classes and, simultaneously, the culture within the studio. What started as a general interest in tribal belly dance quickly grew into a passion, which only grew stronger when she started DC’s tribal class. Needless to say, she was hooked. In being introduced to DC, she found a “kick ass” group of sisters and a sassy style that she loves! She continues to grow as a dancer by taking DC’s tribal and prop classes, as well as American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion classes. She is excited for what lies ahead on her tribal journey as a member of Divine Chaos Tribal Fusion.
Alicia first fell in love with tribal bellydance while working at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in 2005. She immediately started taking classes and jumped in with both feet a couple months later when asked to join Makara’s student troupe, Natium. Since that time, Alicia has also been a member of the short-lived SinAesthesia show and more recently, Makara’s Diamond Divas, and has taken classes with a number of instructors in the valley.
Alicia loves prop work and is especially fond of palm flames, sword, fire tray, skirt, skirt and fan, fire fans and veil. A lover of dance movement since she was a small child, Alicia says that she is happiest when in motion.