A life- long dancer, competitive runner, and gymnast, Vonika has been studying and performing bellydance since 1993, and teaching since 2000. She is well known for innovative choreography and improvisation in many styles: from traditional Middle-eastern, folkloric, tribal and dark (gothic) fusion. She regularly collaborates with other performers, DJs and live musicians. The Black Moon Bellydance student troupe is a well known group at community events and festivals all over Australia.
Her passion for dance carries through to her classes where her thoughtful and encouraging teaching style inspires students from beginners to the well advanced. She has a strong knowledge base in the safety and mechanics of movement technique. She has studied human anatomy and physiology as part of her medical degree.
Vonika has an interest in dance as a spiritual journey and also facilitates workshops and courses in ritual and ecstatic dance.. In 2005 she became a certified facilitator of Kundalini DanceTM. She has studied bodymind modalities such as yoga, martial arts, contact improvisation and butoh.
She studied long-term student of the Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, (Brisbane); Underbelly (Melbourne) and also with Cayetana Rodenas (Flamenco, Townsville). She has undertaken intensives and workshops with internationally renowned teachers including Rachel Brice, Paulette Rees-Denis, Deb Rubin, Jill Parker, Elizabeth Strong, Michelle Joyce, sword dance specialist Sabine, Dr Mo Geddawi and Aida Nour, as well as many Australian teachers.As well as solo performances, her career has included troupe membership of gypsy-tribal group Shisha Drum and Dance (Melbourne), Middle Eastern percussion group Bellyslap (Melbourne), Underbelly’s tribal troupe Red Belly Black (Melbourne), and tribal fusion outfit Opalesque (Brisbane).
In 2015, she suffered a severe, life threatening relapse of some long term neuroimmune conditions. It was discovered she has had recurrent Epstein barr Virus , Lyme disease (caused by a parasite transimtted by tick bites) and biotoxin illness from living in mouldy housing.
Recovery and rehabilitation has been full time for a couple of years. She will be hopefully be returning to limited teaching in 2020.