What’s love got to do with it? Well, Middle Eastern dance in Northeast Ohio has been enhanced by the incomparable Andrea Love. Andrea has been dancing almost as long as she has been walking.
“I starting dancing at 5 years old with tap, then found my new dance home with my teacher Melissa Popovich in Minerva, Ohio. From there, I trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and gymnastics and Hawaiian. Then, I started belly dance at ten with Rosemary Popovich (Melissa’s mother), and also trained with Leslie Yoder. I began assisting Melissa with classes at thirteen and eventually taught my own classes later on. I was also a competitive dancer (mostly jazz and lyrical dance) through my teen years,” Andrea explains. “At seventeen, I auditioned for Carnival Cruise Lines as a dancer and got the job. I left that summer after turning eighteen, having had completed a one-year contract as a dancer on the ship. Returning home, I began teaching at different studios until I opened my own studio called Love 2 Dance Studio, which I ran and operated for 10 years.”
Though she no longer operates a studio, Andrea is kept busy instructing and performing. She teaches a 10:30 A.M. Saturday morning belly dance class in Akron at Martell School of Dance. With dancer Leyla Soleil (with whom she used to co-direct the troupe Dance du Soleil), she collaborates on classes and events. She also instructs at many workshops, including the prestigious Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive, where she also performed. Performances keep her busy, as a soloist or with dance partner Alissa Mbimba. She dances at weddings, clubs, restaurants and at the Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland.
Known for her lyrical Cabaret style, Andrea loves veils and swords, though she prefers for the dance to speak for itself.
“Work hard on your technique and dance from your heart,” Andrea advises. “Train in many different styles of dance and with different instructors. You learn something new from everyone. Don’t just do the movements. Sweat and dance from your heart.”
Andrea’s BellyDance Technique class is held from 10:30 A.M. -11:30 A.M. at the Martell School of Dance, 788 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44303. For more information, call 330.253.9900 or 330.606.1031 or e-mail email@example.com
Andrea will be conducting a workshop on Spins and Turns at The Hive, 100 44th Street in Elyria, Ohio on April 9. She will be performing at Kan Zaman, 1616 West 25th Street in Cleveland on Saturday, February 20 and on March 20 at 11:30 P.M.
When not dancing, Andrea lives in Akron with her husband Mike, children Gavin and Lola and a dog named Max.