This past winter, Angelique Hanesworth offered to give my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and the girls’ moms, a free belly dancing lesson. I had never taken a belly dancing lesson. I’m guessing that many of you could probably say the same? We jumped (or should I say danced) at the opportunity!
On a cold day in February, we all met at the Living Seed Yoga Studio in New Paltz, where Angelique taught us the basics, and then an entire belly dance. We worked up a sweat and had a lot of fun. At the end of the lesson she mentioned wanting to build a space in Gardiner for “creative stuff.” She and her husband had been working on an idea. I told her to reach out to me if the time came to tell people about it. That time is here.
Angelique Hanesworth and her husband, Jeff Frey, are excited to announce that Kaleidoscope Arts Center, at the corner of Albany Post Road and 44/55, should be opening this fall. The center will host Angelique Belly Dance, Black Sheep Recording Studios and Eye Spy Photography as resident businesses, but also has space for any other creative types who have a business to grow. The couple says, “We are hoping to attract other teachers across the performing arts fields to teach at the Center. We will have a great space that will be able to cater to a lot of different disciplines and our vision is to host a creative playground for creative people.”
Angelique says, “Our goal is to provide the community with premium facilities for dance, audio recording, music and photography. In addition, the facility will be available for rent to other locals to support their creative pursuits. We are looking to help build and strengthen the arts community in this area.”
Angelique has been a student of dance since 1997 when she moved to this area to work for IBM. Having such a technical job prompted her to look for a way to get some balance in her life. Belly dancing filled the void. She studied with the Salimpour School of Dance and, after many years of hard work, is one of only five teachers in the world authorized to teach the Salimpour format.
This fall, she will offer belly dance classes for adults and kids. “I’m proud to bring this type of education to the area,” she said. “My classes are very diversified, with instruction for the beginner all the way up to the professional. I think dance should be celebrated by everyone, and my doors are open to anyone interested in learning.”
While belly dancing is a primary focus, Angelique also developed a passion for photography following the birth of her first child. Her strong technical background and creative nature worked in perfect harmony to help hone her skills and eventually led her to start Eye Spy Photography. She offers all aspects of portrait photography—from families to head shots to weddings—and takes pride in “quality work that clients will be proud to show off for generations.”
Angelique is not the only creative person in the family. While Jeff also worked at IBM for many years, from an early age his real interest was music. He says, “I was four years old when I saw The Beatles’ U.S. debut on the Ed Sullivan show. I think I knew at that moment that music would forever be a passion in my life. I started playing the drums, and as time went on, the need for music in my life continued to grow stronger.”
Jeff played in rock and roll bands in college, but put music on hold to focus on his career at IBM. Once he retired, he landed a recording engineering internship in New York City, with Grammy-awarded engineer and producer Steve Addabbo. Jeff says, “After a couple years working with Steve, it was time to pursue the dream of my own studio, and helping talented musicians realize dreams of their own.”
Jeff explained that beyond the expected services of a typical recording studio, which include tracking, mixing, and mastering of audio recordings by in-house engineering staff, the studio will also be open to artists with their own engineers, who want to take advantage of a wonderful space, first rate studio gear, and a professional environment.
Opportunities for broadcasting live performances over the internet will also be offered. In addition, they expect to offer studio time for educational programs, not only for musicians but for audio engineering as well.
Call 845.625.8716 or email Angelique@AngeliqueBellydance.com.