Every person who has danced with Devyani has helped shaped who we are as a company. We'd like to say thank you to all of our alumni dancers and honor them with this special page.
Michelle AmaralDevyani Dance Company alumnus Michelle Amaral was a troupe member from 2007 to 2010 and enjoyed traveling the U.S. and performing at events such as Devotion, Cues and Tattoos, Tribal Con, and the southeastern leg of Raquy and the Cavemen's "Give Thanks" tour. She also had the pleasure of performing at Silver Coin Restaurant on a regular basis. Michelle handled public relations for the Company, writing press releases and articles about the group for local and national media outlets. She was thrilled to grace the cover of Jareeda Magazine after winning an essay contest describing the addictive nature of belly dance costuming. Michelle holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) and is currently employed as a scientist. She is also a self-employed communications consultant on topics such as social media, blogging, web analytics, and market research. Michelle used her communication skills to co-create a social media/blogging effort to reunite pets and families who were affected by the tornadoes that ravaged the state of Alabama on April 27, 2011. These websites are still employed as general lost and found support for animals that go missing within the state. To date, nearly 500 families have been reunited with their pets because of this effort. Michelle serves on the Shelby Humane Society Board of Directors and enjoys swimming and yoga in her free time.
Traci SmithTraci Smith FCBD Teacher Certification April 2007 Traci's entry into the dance world began at the age of 4, an impromptu performance in the center of a gymnasium prior to a junior high basketball game for which her big sister would be cheering. From this moment on Traci invested many hours of practice and play in a wide array of performance venues including but not limited to cheerleading, twirling, and aerobic dance. After taking numerous classes in jazz, tap, modern dance, ballet, and a variety of hip/hop/funk dance genres, Traci discovered the art of bellydance at a Fitness Instructor Conference in Atlanta via Oreet, creator of Sharqui-The Bellydance Workout. Amazingly enough, after some research, Traci discovered that Birmingham, Alabama was a hot spot for bellydance! Traci found Devyani Dance Company and became hooked from her first lesson. She was honored with being asked to join Devyani Dance Company as a troupe member two years later and became a certified teacher of American Tribal Style Bellydance shortly thereafter. Despite retiring from Devyani, Traci has continued her study of world dance and is very grateful for the experiences and friends made through her time with Devyani Dance Company. Since becoming involved with this company and the community of world dance in the city, Traci's knowledge and dance vocabulary have increased dramatically and she continues to share what she has learned to others in the fitness-based dance classes she teaches.
Heather ColemanHeather Coleman FCBD® Teacher Certification, April 2007 [Heather] Although her mother says she started dancing in the crib, Heather began her classical training in dance when she was 11 with ballet and has been dancing in some form ever since; from ballet to jazz, high school dance line to modern dance, hip hop to ballroom. Her bellydance career started in 2003 in cabaret and folkloric under the instruction of Penny Thomas and Liz Malcom of Birmingham's Zivah Saphirah, performing with them at an international dance performance in 2004. Shortly after Megha returned to Birmingham, Heather started taking classes with her in American Tribal Style and decided to commit herself fully to ATS® in early 2004. In May of 2004, Heather was honored with an invitation to become a member of Megha's troupe, Devyani Dance Company.