MARY SNOW WYGA
Mary discovered bellydance in 2003 in one of Ishra’s classes and instantly fell in love with all aspects of Middle Eastern dance – the movement, the music, and the culture. She progressed through Ishra’s levels by taking multiple classes at a time and became a member of Invoketress Dance Troupe where she is currently a principal dancer, instructor, and choreographer. She is concurrently taking Advanced Bellydance classes with Ishra, Advanced American Tribal Style (ATS) classes with Valizan, and Arabic drumming with Sheldon Valeda.
She is the founder, instructor, and director of InvokeTribe, a newly formed group under the Invoketress umbrella which focuses on ATS and Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) Bellydance. She has studied ATS under Valizan, Orkideh, Susan Warner, and Les Tribelles and was a member of ITS/Tribal Fusion troupe Tribe Aurealis. She ensures she stays connected to the ATS community by regularly attending ATS Drillhouses, private and class instruction with Valizan, taking workshops, and engaging with the local ATS dancers.
While continually studying traditional bellydance with Ishra, she also enjoys experimenting in bellydance fusion, learning, performing and choreographing bellydance fused with other styles. She has had instruction and taken workshops from great teachers in a variety of styles such as Rachel Brice, Sahar Samara (weekend intensive), Yasmina Ramzy, Michelle Sorensen (weekend intensive), Henna, Nada El Masriya, Badia Star, Hiba, Dr. George Sawa (Arabic music appreciation, Arabic drumming rhythms), Karim Nagi (finger cymbals, performing with live musicians), Mayada, Melissa Gamal, Roula Said (Arabic Musicology and singing), Joharah, Teressa Bellydance (Bollywood), Andrea Fryett (Tribal Fusion, Bollywood, Beledi), Esmeralda Enrique (Flamenco), Lynx (breakdance), Lorna Deeth (Irish), Kealoha (Hawaiian hula), Neefa from Khafif (Romany), Zahira (Steampunk), Audra Simmons, Khizmet (Arabic drumming) and more.
Mary derives great pleasure from connecting with an audience through performing and has extensive experience doing so, having performed at many weddings, parties, corporate events, community and cultural festivals, charity events and fundraisers. One of her favourite types of performances is improvisation with live music and has had the pleasure to dance live with twice Juno-nominated Eccodek, nuevo-Flamenco guitarist Cuneyt, The Light of East Ensemble, the Guelph Concert Band, and with the Bhadra Collective. She has performed at many Bellydance shows including at the International Bellydance Conference of Canada and at the Great Lakes Bellydance Convention. In 2017, she was part of the Invoketress ensemble who won 1st place in the Hamilton International Bellydance Competition. Mary is also a regular workshop instructor at parties, events, and at the Flying Dance Festival. She loves introducing new people to the rich, historic world of Middle Eastern dance.
For Mary, Bellydance is not solely a hobby or a form of exercise. It has become an intrinsic part of her life: artistic discovery and expression, an emotional outlet, entertaining audiences, connecting with other artists, a means of bonding with fellow dance colleagues through a shared love of the art form, a celebration of life, a continual exploration of cultures, and deep and meaningful relationships with her beloved Invoketress troupe sisters.
Contact Mary here.
“My Favourite Things” Halloween Show
Latin-Bellydance Fusion (choreography also by Mary)
Check out some more videos of her performing American Tribal Style (ATS) on the Invoketribe page.