Born and bred in Oklahoma, Heather Shoopman began her journey
in cheerleading, dance team and country/western dancing.
Then came the 80‘s, aerobics and her first introduction to hip hop–MTV.
Add to the mix tai chi, yoga and various bellydance styles, along with an extensive background in acting and theatrics and you get the strong, fluid, zany style that is uniquely ShOOp.
Her bellydance path started over a decade ago with Mesmera, followed by the discovery of tribal and tribal fusion through Subee Djinn, The Indigo and Fat Chance Bellydance. She then saw Unmata, Suhaila, Frederique, Ariellah, Heather Stants (and many more) and began to appreciate the different personalities that come to fusion. She immediately got to work in the dance lab, came up with some cool stuff, won a few awards, and created a troupe called Se7eN who put themselves on the map with a body image piece in Unmata’s Blood Moon Regale. This piece helped set in motion Bellyqueen of NYC’s touring show PURE Reflections: Beauty Reimagined.
Past collaboration highlights include Calamity Sam, Sherri Wheatley, Aubre Hill, Khani Zulu and Jillina. She also held a regular spot at Zulu Lounge LA in it’s heyday.
Don’t miss a rare opportunity to see Shoop solo, as these days she mostly performs with Heavy Metal Tribal , a bellydance group improvisation collective she founded in 2012.
She is a proud co-founder of BFLA-Belly Fusion Los Angeles, a collaborative of LA based dancers focused on public awareness of Fusion Bellydance as an art form.
While Heather teaches and performs regularly in LA, she also travels worldwide to spread the delight and healing power of dance. Always approaching class with a sense of heart and humor, her experience in the healing arts brings inspiration for personal growth to both teacher and student.
Heather has also walked a path of healing and inquiry over half of her life studying various modalities in body and energy work. She is a Reiki master with a passion for self care. She leads individual and community sessions in art therapy, meditation, restorative yoga, ritual and sound healing. She is dedicated to the exploration of all that connects us to lifes natural rhythms.
Heather’s dance partner in Heavy Metal Tribal and teaching assistant AZZA:
Lisa Fullerton was inspired to learn bellydance after being mesmerized by the Trader’s Market dancers at the Northern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire in the late ‘90s. She was lucky to have such a great teacher, Kajira Djoumahna, in her area of Sonoma County, Ca and started taking classes in 2001. She immediately fell in love with Tribal Improv and was performing in Kajira’s troupe, BlackSheep BellyDance within a year. Kajira dubbed her “Azza”, meaning young gazelle. While being a principal member of BSBD, Azza traveled near and far assistant teaching workshops and took over BlackSheep level 2 classes when Kajira moved to Maui. In 2006, along with other former BSBD members, Azza became a founding member of EvilEye BellyDance in Berkeley, CA. Their commitment to taking Tribal Improv to the next level included complicated finger cymbal patterns as well as adding more traditional and folkloric bellydance into their vocabulary. After relocating to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a costumer, Azza started taking classes from Princess Farhana, Zahra Zuhair and Heather Shoopman. Azza and Shoop found that they had a real connection when dancing Tribal Improv together and soon were dancing together in Heavy Metal. Azza’s 13 years of dance experience also includes regular classes with Jill Parker, TerriAnne Gutierrez, Suhaila Salimpour and Helena Vlahos as well as countless workshops from many more. She believes deeply in this art form and is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of Group Improvisation. She is excited to continue sharing her extensive knowledge and experience as Shoop’s assistant teacher.