Off the northeast coast of the Greek state of Peloponnesus lies the tiny island of Hydra (or Ydra). Here in the spring of 1948 Helena Vlahos was born, surrounded by the crystalline blue Aegean Sea and sky.
When Helena was eight years old, her father moved the family to the United States, the “Land of Opportunity”. Her family had chosen Los Angeles, California as their home.
It was as a teenager in the Middle Eastern and Greek clubs, in the company of her mentor FoFo De Milo, that Helena first really took notice of the Raqs Sharqi Dance form. As Helena grew to adolescence, the world of La Danse Oriental was weaving its way into her heart.
Helena started her dance career in Los Angeles, California in 1964. She moved to Texas in 1971, where she was asked to perform at various Greek nightclubs. While there, she ran and operated two belly dance schools.
Helena is well known for her “Unique Abdominal Dexterity” and when she moved back to Los Angeles in 1978 she was invited to perform her unique nine quarter act on television shows such as “AM Los Angeles”, “That’s Incredible”, “Spectacular World of Guinness Records” and many more.
*(The famous act involves first flipping, folding, and unfolding a dollar bill in the crease of her belly. Then she proceeds to lay out a row of nine quarters across her tummy just below her navel. Using her belly muscles, she flips the quarters; twice up and down, one at a time, and finally every other one at a time!)
In 1990 Helena moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she taught classes at numerous colleges, dance studios and resorts. She also found time to perform at the Bacchanal Greek Restaurant.
She is on the Executive Panel of Judges for Tonya & Atlantis’ Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition every February in, California. https://www.bellydanceroftheuniverse.com/
Helena’s finger cymbals can be heard on Damon the Gypsy’s original (1969) and re-mastered (2009) album “Song of a Gypsy” and in his new re-mixed album “Gypsy Eyes”, she is also featured in Damon’s DVD “Dance Little Gypsy”.
Helena moved back to Los Angeles in the fall of 2011, where she teaches online classes via Dance Garden L.A.( www.dancegardenla.com) and is one of the Dance Garden’s “L.A. Belly Dance Legends”. She teaches online master workshops and performs in online events. Helena’s next online show will be for Nizana El Rassan’s “Night in the Global Village” on November 14th “Harvest Festival in the Global Village”.
Helena is looking Forward to teaching a master workshop December 19-20, 2020 for Soraya Shoheib’s “Bellydance Global Workshops ” and to judge the “Bellydance Global Championship competition in January!
Television and Film Appearances