I was so thrilled to learn that Gabriela was going to perform at this event. Houston, Texas has talented belly dancers, but Gabriela stands out above the rest.
Seeing Gabriela at the HABDA (Houston Area Belly Dance Association) events is a treat. She is so beautiful and graceful. Everything that a belly dancer should be and more. She served as the President for the organization in 2006, and was once their newsletter editor.
Gabriela has been dancing since she was eight years old. Growing up in Mexico, she learned Folklorico dance and later Tahitian dance. She later learned belly dance, and took classes at a well known Houston studio called Sirrom School of Dance. At the same time, she learned from other dancers, including Bozenka of Miami, who choreographed one of Shakira's videos.
Keeping busy, Gabriela has her own troupe and they are now part of her schedule. Right now she has an advanced and a beginners class. Classes are held at Barnevelder Movement Arts Complex in Houston.
On August 29, 2009, Gabriela and her troupe performed for Vibha Vibe. Vibha is a non-profit organization that ensures underprivileged children the right to an education in India. Founded in 1991, Vibha has hundreds of volunteers. There are so many projects, and there is much work to be done.
Arriving before the show, I got to see all the wonderful dancers getting ready to deliver an amazing show. There were women in Indian costumes, as well as Salsa and Flamenco dancers.
Gabriela greeted me and sat down to talk to me before the show. She is so down to earth. Her beautiful smile and personality can light up a room. Gabriela told me that an organizer contacted her, asking if she would be willing to perform for a good cause. Gabriela said, "of course!". None of the dancers that night were paid for their time. It was from the heart, giving to such a worthy organization. Gabriela said that she looks forward to doing more performances such as Vibha Vibe.
The troupe was backstage rehearsing. I asked Gabriela what she tells her students before a show. "Go over the steps before the show and take it easy. I want them to relax and most important, have a good time". Like a proud mother, Gabriela watched her troupe perform. I saw her expression of happiness, as she sat in the audience looking on.
With her wings of Isis, Gabriela performed to "Fi Yom Wi Leila" by Elie Attieh. It was magical. Several people from the audience got up to take close up pictures of Gabriela. A young boy was in awe with her. The music had some fusion to it, so to keep the audience captivated. Her video is posted on YouTube.
Her website is artbygabriela.com. I also posted some pictures of Vibha Vibe on my website, raqasanirvana.multiply.com.