Anaheed's instructional video, "Classic Cabaret Floor Work with Anaheed," is available on DVD! Visit the Videos page for details.
About Anaheed (a.k.a. Mary Ann Cappa)
am a native Californian with a mixed heritage from the paternal side
(Greek, Italian, and a lil' Armenian). For 30+ years I've combined two
very different life styles by being both a professional Belly Dancer and
a Librarian. ("Librarian by day, Belly Dancer by night!," as one
interesting magazine article put it...)
have always loved moving to music throughout a childhood of ballet,
gymnastics and Hawaiian dance. I met the Belly Dance bug in the early
1970's, and partially supported myself through graduate school by
dancing three to four nights a week, along with working a day job, and
carrying a full class load for the M.L.S. (Masters in Library Science). I
experienced the rise and fall of the Hollywood belly dance scene, and
worked so many places that are now gone: The Fez, Coco's, Ali Baba's,
Hadji Baba's, Grecian Village, Seventh Veil, etc., etc. I survived
through sheer flexibility of dance style (much credit to teacher Diane
Webber, of the former "Every Woman's Village"), learning to enjoy all
music styles from the Middle and Near East (Arabic, Greek, Persian,
Armenian, Moroccan) to American - whatever the setting called for!
I became the Managing Director of the Perfumes of Araby Dance Company
in 1979 when our "founding mother" Diane Webber scaled back her group
activities. This was the same year as my marriage to my still
understanding husband, Larry Rotunno. I have enjoyed the challenges of
solo and group work, and gratefully acknowledge the contributions of
many wonderful women (and men!) whom I've met through the dance, both in
the U.S. and elsewhere.
this time, I continue to work in the Los Angeles City Library system
(to pay the mortgage!) and I teach and perform the dance as much and
possible, for my heart and soul. I truly love sharing this art form, and
try to communicate to students that you receive as much as you give to
this dance. I've seen some roller-coaster decades, but as long as the
endurance and the bod holds up, I'm on for the ride!
Happy dancing to all!
What's in a name? "Anaheed"
is an Armenian or Persian girl's name, sometimes spelled differently
(for foreign languages it's usually phonetic choice!) as in: Anahid,
Anahed, Anahita, or variation Nahed. The meaning relates to the Goddess
Diana, or Moon Goddess, as well as a famous ancient Persian Queen named
Anahita known for her good deeds toward her people. Anaheed uses the
name to honor a little bit of Middle Eastern blood in her background and
as part of her real name. The spelling has been altered for easier
pronunciation (although she still gets called called "Miss Heed" on