Raised by parents working the Renaissance and Dickens Faire circuits, Mareeshka grew up watching Jamila Salimpour create the modern American bellydance tradition with her Bal Anat troupe. This love of dance took Mareeshka through the familiar path of ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop with stage/screen star Pepper Von. In college, she studied African dance and afterwards studied Flamenco.

Mareeshka with Ultra Gypsy in 2004
(from left to right) Mareeshka, director Jill Parker, Rose Harden, Teri Sage, Lee Kobus

Then, in 1998, she came back to her dance roots when she was recruited by Jill Parker to join her seminal Ultra Gypsy dance company. During nearly a decade with Ultra Gypsy, Mareeshka moved into a key management role with the troupe, while dancing on stages across the country alongside the likes of Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Heather Stants, Mira Betz, and Elizabeth Strong. Mareeshka danced at major events including the Crucible Fire Arts Festival, Kosmos Camp, Undulation, Spirit of the Tribes, and many more. She performed on stages from Northern California's Tribal Fest to Washington DC as part of the Spark Tour with Urban Tribal. During this time, Mareeshka performed the gamut of styles from traditional Tunisian fare taught and performed with the legendary Malia DeFelice to some of the original burlesque-inspired styles that dominate today's most popular tribal fusion acts.

After Ultra Gypsy, Mareeshka joined Cera Byer's breakthrough fusion company Damage Control Dance Theatre along with fellow Ultra Gypsy alum Gibson Pearl. There, she was able to combine her deep foundation in bellydance with a unique theatrical fusion of modern and hip hop vocabulary. As a member of Damage Control, Mareeshka performed on stages ranging from San Francisco's prestigious Yerba Buena Center to the Tribal Massive in Las Vegas, including performances at Unmata's Blood Moon Regale and the massive Sea of Dreams New Year's event. They performed at 2007's Nouveau Nights on a bill that included Ariellah, Frederique, and Zoe with the Extra Action Marching Band.

Mareeshka with Damage Control in 2007
performing at the Sea of Dreams New Year's event

Mareeshka with Boiler Bar in 2008
Mareeshka performs a fire act with Janice Solimeno
Recently Mareeshka found her voice as a soloist, dancing regularly at Marrakech in San Francisco, where she reconnected with the traditional Egyptian styles. Many of these were learned during her intensive study with bellydance superstar Ansuya. In addition, Mareeshka has studied folkloric dance with Aywah!'s Katarina Burda and Unmata's unique high-energy fusion with Amy Sigil. She has taught Tribal at San Francisco's Rhythm and Motion (now known as ODC) and teaches occasionally at select workshops and the Solimeno Studio on the California coast. She also performed regularly as part of the travelling Boiler Bar ensemble, where she dances everything from belly dance to saloon-girl cabaret, including fire dancing.

Contact Mareeshka at info@mareeshka.com

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