Special Election Candidate Profile: Betsi Robins (Bahaia)
My name is Betsi “Bahaia” Robins, and I am running for President. I have lived in Austin since 1991, and I currently own and operate Austin Bellydance Studio. I have been active in the bellydance community for almost 30 years, as a student, performer, teacher, event producer, studio owner, and mentor. Bellydance is my full-time job and passion.
My primary mission is to ensure that ABA can maintain its 501c3 nonprofit status. My vision is to reconnect and invigorate the Austin bellydance community through regular member activities, provide educational platforms for members, and maintain respect for the dance form within our community and the general public. I have been an active member of ABA for many years, having previously served as Treasurer in the early 90s. In February, I was appointed to the role of Webmaster. I have since designed a new website for ABA that is current, functional, and mobile enabled.
My proudest accomplishment as a dancer has been creating opportunity within our community. Many of my events have been handed down, partnered up, or become long-term collaborations. The Austin Belly Dance Convention was passed on to Stacey Lizette, then later Amara and Tatianna. Tribal Dance Camp was passed to Michelle Manx. Jamie Lynn now manages Cabaret Dance Camp. Through my studio, five teachers develop and manage independent class programs. Dancers of all styles and skill levels have performed in supportive and welcoming environments at Ladies’ Night Out, Hip Circle Hafla, and numerous other events I have produced. I have been personally successful in many ways but the opportunities I have been able to create are my biggest reward.
Teaching weekly classes since 1994
Teaching nationally since 2002
Restaurant/Nightclub performance and scheduling
Producer of workshops and events since 1996: Athens Meets Austin, Bahaia’s HOT Seminars, The Austin Belly Dance Convention, Suhaila Format Training, Tribal Dance Camp, Cabaret Dance Camp, Undulations, Cairo Heat Wave, Hip Circle Hafla, Ladies Night Out, Journey Through Egypt
Collaborations with Bellydance Superstars, Cheeky Girls Production, Project Belly Dance television show
Founded the Aria Dance Foundation 2003
Produced Ya Bahaia music 2004-2007
Opened Austin Bellydance Studio 2013