We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeni Paradiso and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jeni, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
As a young child of 7 years old, I became enamored with belly dance. One night while dining with family at a Lebanese restaurant in Philadelphia. I was befriended by one of the dancers who took me into the studio above and introduced me to the art of belly dance, She gave me personal lessons and the adoring and star struck child that I was practiced and performed for anyone who would entertain my new passion. Not only is this artform magical, but looking back, I believe it was passed on to me to help the world in some way. Belly dance is helping me heal from my own trauma and now it is my personal mission to help others who have also experienced trauma to find a fun, expressive and artful way to heal.

I passionately advocate my approach of Belly Dance Wellness. It is safe and healthy for the body and allows women to feel powerful while expressing themselves and their own sensuality. I’ve created Shimmy Well to guide in the connection of the mind and body and help women feel powerful. Unlike traditional therapy and workouts, belly dance is fun!

I am new to Miami and am looking forward to sharing this transformative art form. I invite anyone who is interested in checking out my approach to healing trauma through belly dance to go to shimmywell.com and register for the first Intro to Belly Dance Wellness Workshop, held Sunday May 1st at 12pm noon in Key Biscayne. Contact to reserve your spot. I look forward to helping the women of Miami one shimmy at a time!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Starting as a belly dance performer first, my style of belly dance is my own unique high-energy fusion, trusting in the music and connection with the audience. This receipt gives me an understanding of a creative “conversation” among all participants that fuels my soul. But what continues to bring me the utmost joy, keeping in line with my passion of sharing the beautiful ancient art of Belly dance, is my creation of Shimmy Well, helping women heal from trauma in a magical and fun way!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Before moving to Miami, I was enthralled with the myriad of cultures and varied experiences within one city. I adore swimming in aqua waters so a beach day off of Collins Avenue would be a must, followed by a crisp Cuban Mojito and fresh seafood. The next day we would walk around Wynwood sipping cold brew coffees and snapping photos in front of murals. Because I have many friends who are also dancers and love world music like I do, we would check out dancing on Calle 8 and visit hidden treasures like Palapa. The Grove would be a beautiful place for an outdoor lunch and I couldn’t miss a full day of exploring the botanical gardens, and other amazing outdoor lushness.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mom always believed in me, She has consistently recognized my talents and understood my deep-rooted passion, my story and what’s closest to my heart. She understands why I want to help other women. She encouraged me to follow my dreams and referred often to a magnet on our fridge wisely worded, “If you do what you love, you will never ‘work” a day in your life’. This has always resonated with me, as I feel this path is a calling, rather than only a career in the cultural arts.

I also have an unbelievably talented and patient mentor who is forever along my side, sharing her wisdom. She offers support and coaches me in the right direction to helping me to see my life’s vision along the way.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I must give credit to my very special students who have become my supporters and many who I call great friends. It was through my conversations with them where I learned of their transformational life experience and the impact of my work. This helped me realize the potential of what I could share with other women who struggle with their own trauma. It gave me the courage and confidence to reach out to others so they too could experience the healing power of belly dance. It helped me to understand my mission of sharing this amazing ancient art and how it is so much more than glam and sparkle.

Website: www.shimmywell.com

Instagram: @shimmywell

Twitter: Shimmywell

Facebook: Shimmy Well

Youtube: Shimmy Well

Other: TikTok: Shimmy Well

Image Credits
Photo 1. Ashley Sherick Photography Photo 2. Emma D’Alessandro Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.