Acushla Mkrtschjan

Based in Adelaide South Australia, Acushla Mkrtschjan is one of Adelaide’s longest running contemporary belly dance teachers offering a range of tribal fusion styles and professional belly dance shows. She founded Body Temple Dance in 2005 and her passion and dedication has led her to regularly perform and teach in Adelaide and around Australia, as well as feature in music video and film.

She has provided dance programs, teacher training courses, instructional DVD's and intensive technical and creative workshops for many years, while she constantly expands her own knowledge and experience in dance and body conditioning practices.

With over a decade of teaching and performance experience, Acushla is passionate about creating new and innovative projects including professional shows and Intensive workshops with a holistic approach.

She began her study at Belly Dance Arabesque under the instruction of Shamira, and has since studied with teachers from all over the world. While Acushla has been largely self taught, her main influences and teachers have been:

  • Carolena Nerricio, who she completed ATS teacher training and is now a certified ATS teacher.
  • Classical Indian/fusion dancer and teacher Shakti, inspired Acushla to expand her creative movement vocabulary and largely influenced her yoga practice
  • Suhaila Salimpour, whom finally provided the clarity on muscular isolations, timing and a structured way of viewing this dance form.

Over the years Acushla has attended training and intensive workshops with International artists Rachel Brice, Illan Riviere, Amy Sigil, Matt Jacob, Mardi Love and many more.

My Intention as a teacher:

I have taught hundreds of women the art of tribal belly dance, and what I feel most passionate about is inspiring women to feel empowered and and creative through the vehicle of their body, mind and spirit. I believe that with the right mind set, balanced with consistent inspired action taking is the key to feeling great and achieving your desires.

Creating is so rewarding, and I love guiding more experienced dancers to craft their own work that feels alive, authentic and aligned with who they are. I believe that while technique is important, there is something missing when a dancer expresses without authenticity. And that when there is an alignment of technical skill, creative expansion and authentic expression, the greater the sense of confidence, love and fulfilment (and stage presence!)

Understanding how the body, mind and spirit thrives, is something I’ve been passionate about for as long as i can rememember. My journey has led me to learning many body work practices such as Sufi Yoga, hatha yoga, pilates, weight training (for a short time!) Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I studied Qi Gong as a part of my Advanced diploma in Chinese medicine and happened to meet the love of my life under a tree while at my first Qi Gong Class!

How belly dance became my career path

There was a difficult decision I had to make many years ago. I just completed my advanced diploma for Traditional Chinese Medicine, had also started teaching belly dance classes and then fell pregnant! It soon became clear that I would only have the capacity to nurture and develop one area of my career. While practicing as an acupuncturist was a reliable source of income, Belly dance awakened something within me that was so creative and powerful that I chose the unknown and unpredictable path of Belly dance, and i haven’t looked back! My other “job/passion” is a jewellery designer, so in between being a mum, teaching, performing, practicing yoga and dance…i create unique, powerful crystal jewellery with an intention to inspire and empower those who wear it. You can view my work HERE