May Featured Dancer: Odessa

Odessa (Jessica Menasian) was born into troupe Little Armenia four decades ago, as much a gypsy as one could be. Thanks to her Mireeg’s enchanting dancing and singing as she grew up, her background is rooted in folk music and dance passed down from mother to daughter. She fell in love with “bellydance” in 1996 and quickly recruited her mother (Sirana) and sister (Araylia). In 2004 her dance audition was accepted by her mentor, Halima (creator and director of Desert Gypsy Dance Company). Over the past two decades Odessa has accentuated her folk foundation by taking dozens of professional dance intensives, boot camps, and workshops from masters such as Cassandra Shore, Ava Fleming, Dalia Carella, Paulette Rees-Denis, Helena Vlahos, Suzanna Del Vecchio, Carolena Nericcio, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Ruby Beh, Colleena Shakti, and so many more, on going… Currently Odessa is an instructor for the Covey Center Middle Eastern Dance program in Provo, UT; as well as dance member of troupe Desert Gypsy and co-director for Desert Gypsy Dance Company. But her greatest joy is as a member of Little Armenia, a troupe of 3 (mother/daughter/sister), which continues to bring her closer to her roots. Outside of dance Odessa strives to be the mother that her mother is to her; and with three incredibly creative children to inspire her, dance holds unlimited possibilities. She has come a long way, and has a long way to go in her search to be what others have been for her in the world of dance.