Rachel in 2006. Photo by Kristine Adams.

Rachel in 2006. Photo by Kristine Adams.

Rachel Brice first fell in love with Belly Dance at 16 years old, when she saw The Gypsy Moor Dancers (who later became Hahbi'Ru) at a Renaissance Faire, and started classes with Atesh immediately. Soon after, she discovered a video of Suhaila Salimpour which she obsessively studied. She began making her living by performing American Cabaret Belly Dance at restaurants and teaching yoga while putting herself through school.

A decade later she discovered Carolena Nericcio's American Tribal Style, which shifted her aesthetic from nightclub to nomad, and Jill Parker became her technique inspiration. She then studied several world and contemporary dance forms as she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Ethnology. The fresh immersion in these dance forms and exposure to San Francisco culture began to mix with her 10 years as a restaurant dancer, and she (unwittingly) started to blend these influences and create something new.  

In 2001 she was accidentally discovered by rock mogul Miles Copeland, and toured for several years with his company, The Bellydance Superstars. Through The BDSS, Rachel had the opportunity to work with the incredible Mardi Love, who quickly became her hero and muse. Mardi had also started with Cabaret before discovering Tribal, and as they made dances and costumes together for BDSS, a new style, influenced by the late 1800s to 1920s, emerged. These international tours, along with the newly born YouTube, sparked a global interest in this emerging style of Belly Dance, which has gone on to grow, change, and evolve.

Today, Rachel studies with her teachers Carolena Nericcio and Gary Kraftsow. Whenever possible, she takes classes with her colleagues.

When not teaching on the road, she lives and teaches at her home studio Datura, located in Portland Oregon.