Andrea Moreira: 

Born to Dance

Andrea Moreira spends her nights dancing atop tables: shimmying her hips back and forth, front and back, while her arms create waves above her head with castanets in hand.

Andrea has studied several forms of South American dance including Latin ballroom, tango, samba, salsa and Brazilian merengue.

She came to Atlanta from Brazil in 1993 on a vacation to visit her cousin. She ended up performing with the Georgia Ballet for the next six years.

Around 1998, a good friend took her to a belly dancing show. Andrea had taken a few belly dancing classes in Brazil and had always been fascinated by the ancient Egyptian dance, also called "Oriental dancing." She began attending more performances, watched belly-dancing videos and practiced on her own.

Andrea admires the deep history of the belly dance, and enjoys the theatrics and artistic expression of it as well as seeing the reactions from people as she dances circles around them in a room.

And just in case you're wondering, Andrea doesn't do bachelor parties.

Andrea holds a degree in architecture from a Brazilian university and still dabbles in design and illustration. She also teaches several dance classes.

Belly dancers traditionally have Arabic stage names. Andrea's mentor gave her the name Azima, which means "great entertainer."

Andrea was asked to join the Middle Eastern dance troupe Jewels of the Casbah and began performing in restaurants and clubs around town. Now she is out on her own and can be seen most nights at Taverna Plaka on Cheshire Bridge Road.

Born and raised in Brazil, Andrea began dancing at an early age. Though her conservative family did not approve of her aspirations to be a ballerina, Andrea went on to dance professionally in Brazil.

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