Virginia is the director and principal of Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, the Illawarra's largest centre for the study of traditional Middle Eastern dance and contemporary belly dance. An experienced and dynamic performer Virginia is well known for her charismatic stage presence and down to earth teaching style.
Virginia's love of Middle Eastern Dance was cemented in 1996 when she took her first belly dance class. Inspired by both the practical and theoretical aspects of the dance Virginia has dedicated the last 20 years to the study, performance, and teaching of belly dance both nationally and internationally. After completing two Bachelor degrees at the University of Wollongong (Australia), she was awarded a prestigious scholarship to undertake her Doctorate of Philosophy which she completed in 2005. Virginia wrote her thesis on the history of belly dance in literature and culture and has since presented numerous papers and seminars on belly dance at both national and international conferences in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. Virginia has published a number of academic works on belly dancing and plans to publish her full thesis in the form of a printed book in the near future.
Virginia has traveled extensively to study, teach and perform the art of belly dance. Her specialities include Egyptian, Turkish and North African dance. She is a regular guest artist at Australia's major belly dance festivals and continues to travel regularly to hone her skills. Some highlights include Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival (2006, 2011- 2015), in 2015 Virginia was awarded the prize for “Most Innovative Choreography” (SMEDF 2015), she has also been sponsored to teach at Fire in the Belly Festival (Albury-Wodonga 2014), Tasmanian Middle Eastern Dance Festival (2012, 2013, 2016), Western Australia Middle Eastern Dance Festival (2012-2014), Bahar Bayram: Middle Eastern Dance Festival (2012, 2016), Newcastle Bellydance Festival (2012-2013). Virginia has performed at numerous high profile shows including Pena Pachamama with Georges Lammam Band (San Fransisco, 2006), Hathor Dance Theatre's - Belly Dance Evolution in Oz: Red Carpet Night (2014), Hadia Showcase (2015), Aziza in Oz (2015) just to name a few.