My Other Life: Katherine Fahrig, belly dancer

Katherine Fahrig, nail technician. In her other life: belly dancer.

“I dance to express the woman I am.”

“I do nails the way my clients want them; I dance to express the woman I am,” says Katherine Fahrig, a nail technician at Panache Hair Salon in St. Louis, who recently launched a professional career as a belly dancer. She started belly dancing a year and a half ago for exercise. When her husband requested a performance for his birthday, she was eager to oblige. “I learned three ninety-second choreographies, complete with costume changes,” she says. “My husband had a smirk on his face when the music started because he was expecting a comedy act. The smirk was quickly replaced with amazement and adoration as I started my dance. We both enjoyed it so much that I decided to dance professionally.”

Fahrig began taking professional classes and has been working as a guest dancer with local dance troupes. “The highlight of my belly dancing career so far was an Earth Day celebration performance in front of about 70 audience members,” she says. More recently, she entered the “So You Think You Can Belly Dance?” contest at the Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire and took first place.

Clad in a 25-yard circle skirt and a Pakistani tribal headdress, Fahrig performs under the stage name “Adalia” (her grandmother’s name). She’s adopted a style called Tribal Fusion, an Americanized form of belly dance blended with a traditional Egyptian style.

She is also working on her improvisational dance skills so she can start dancing in restaurants and plans to form her own troupe. Apparently, her enthusiasm for the art is contagious; two of her salon clients have started belly dancing as well. Check out photos and video of Fahrig’s Earth Day performance at

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