Hi! Thanks for stopping by. This is my life story. So far. It’s been quite a wild ride and I consider myself a high-mileage model. I love all of it: the good, the bad and the ugly. But, I could have fun in a paper bag (I think).
I have Bulgarian Gypsy in my blood, the soul of a surfer, the heart of a hippie, the mind of an artist, the spirit of a yogi, a green thumb of a gardener, the sparkle of a showgirl, the magic of a mermaid, the life of a dancer and I am devoted to empowering a tribe of Goddesses.
Long ago, in a far away land, I used to be confused, baffled about how to take my next step in life. I couldn’t imagine what it felt like to be confident; insecurity was my identity. When The Goddess Workout and The GoddessLife Philosophy were sent to me as a gift from The Divine Feminine when I was 20, my life was transformed. Today, I am dedicated to helping other women discover their Goddess within, and certifying them to become Goddess Workout Instructors, being ‘The Goddess’ in their community and empowering other women from all over the globe: from Saudi Arabia to Vietnam to India and all over The United States.
Hello! My name is Dolphina. (Yes, that’s my real name, but no, I wasn’t born with it: I was given it when I was 19 after a near-fatal boating accident in the Caribbean). And yes, it’s my legal and sole name on my Driver’s License, Social Security and Passport (which always makes for interesting adventures.) I’m a dancer, teacher, author, traveler, activist, business owner, star polisher for the Milky Way and My service is to make everyone shine bright for millions of years. It all began when was born in a purple tepee in San Francisco.
When I was 5 years old I wanted to grow up and marry a bellydancer! Not BE a bellydancer, but marry one! My family moved to Morocco when I was I was 4 years old to live on a commune. We were on a routine trip to a souk - Morocco’s medieval version of a farmer’s market. In all this chaos, I saw her - jingling like Santa Claus’s reindeer. I was mesmerized. My family continued to navigate the souk without noticing that I was missing. Finally, they panicked and after a long and harried search, they found me – shaking it with the bellydancer!
We returned to San Francisco when I was 10 years old and I changed my birth name which was: Charity Shasta Sunshine to: Vickie because I wanted to be a typical California girl. If you had told me then, that I would become a professional bellydancer, I would have swatted you with my tennis racket. At the time, I was rebelling against my alternative parents (hippie) by rejecting their (before it was called green) ideals and embraced being a preppy prissy tennis-playing teenager. I had no idea at the time, that being immersed in in Arabic culture would profoundly shape my future.
However, drawn by my love of dance and art, I moved to New York City when I was 17 to study. I lived in the infamous Chelsea Hotel, studied dance at NYU by day and shimmied for bohemians and royalty alike by night. I eventually traded my sequins for seashells and left NYC on a spiritual quest. It was in the tropical turquoise Caribbean waters of the British Virgin Islands that I nearly drowned due to my foolish arrogance and insufficient sailing skills. I was unconscious when a pod of dolphins guided me to safety. It was a life-changing event that altered me in every conceivable way. I continued to live in the Caribbean in a treehouse for a year. After this experience, I was honored to have the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins for photographer, Todd Essick.
I returned to NYC to continue my studies. The other dance students at NYU were fascinated with my “night job” of bellydancing at a Moroccan restaurant in Greenwich Village and vice versa. So one fateful night, I taught a bellydancing lesson to my NYU classmates at the Middle Eastern eatery. It was pure magic. The Goddess Workout was born. I knew that night: this is my raison d’etre. I adore dancing and performing, but my true reason for existence is to empower women.
Soon after, I returned to my California roots, where I filmed the first Goddess Workout DVD and began teaching packed classes at CRUNCH Gyms. "Bellydancing is suddenly the hottest workout and much of the credit goes to a bellydancer named Dolphina, who a year ago released a DVD called The Goddess Workout," said US Magazine. I was blessed to receive a lot of wonderful publicity, including one of my students at Crunch who wrote The Goddess Workout class into an episode, "Sex and the City".
Women responded to The Goddess Workout DVD by proclaiming its appeal was more than just bellydance, but a lifestyle. I founded my company, GoddessLife, on the belief that every woman is a goddess. Life doesn’t have to be ordinary – it should be extraordinary! And this GoddessLife philosophy serves as the inspiration to all my DVDs, CDs, books, workshops, Teacher Training Retreats and Online Teacher Training Certification.
I opened The Goddess Center, an uber-girly studio in Los Angeles that offered fun classes, one-of-kind workshops, empowering events, luminous parties and a community for fabulous women. In addition, I have been a presenter at the fitness industry's crème de la crème - such as ECA, IDEA and Festival del Fitness in Italy.
My first book, Bellydance (DK Publishing) has been published in 13 languages and countries. The entire Goddess Workout DVD Series is currently available on HULU.
In case you wondering: Astrologically, my Sun is Libra, my Moon is in Cancer (ugh!) and my Ascendant is in Aquarius.
I have an urban sustainable garden and this year my watermelon grown in my garden won “Prettiest” Melon at the LA County fair. I’m beyond proud.
My dream dinner table is: Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Anais Nin, Jacques Costeau, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Sir Issac Newton, Albert Einstein, Mary Magdalene, Maya Angelou, Hunter S.Thompson, Steve Jobs, Billie Holliday (with her choice of musical accompaniment), Dorothy Parker, the dolphins that rescued me and Dom Perignon.
I believe what Einstein said (about everything) but especially, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."
I dream big – for the entire GoddessLife Community! This incredible tribe of Goddesses and Certified Goddess Workout Instructors constantly inspires me! I am currently expanding The Goddess Workout Teacher Training program, writing a new book, filming new dance workout & lifestyle videos and striving to make a difference in the world…one Goddess at a time.