Lacy Jo (Zanzibar) Dances To Music In Style

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - by Mark Herndon

The Chattanooga  music scene is rich with a variety of venues that share their space with local talented singers, song writers, musicians and dancers. They bring people both young and old to the universal language “Music”. There is just so much to see and hear… other Chattanoogans are becoming more interested in the local music menu too.

One of the young rising duos, “Sundy Best,” that consists of two natives from the coal mining camps of East Kentucky last year was booked at Track 29 to open for another more controversial but very popular music artist, Cory Smith.  I had the opportunity to meet Cory before the concert and Sundy Best guys Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley after their sets.

During the 70s and 80s, I spent a number of years in East Kentucky working as an exploration geologist for a major coal company in Nick and Kris's families' back door before they were born.  It is then I learned to appreciate their Appalachian foot-stomping bluegrass country music genre.  I could immediately relate to the duo acoustic band who as singers write most if not all of their own material.  As a results of my photography and video of Sundy Best, I was introduced to their manager Van Fletcher. 

Side note, recently the boys from Prestonsburg, Ky.'s popularity is gaining (https://www.facebook.com/SundyBest)  momentum and they recently played the Grand Ole Opry stage. (Check them out on iTunes)

So it was Van Fletcher in Nashville who asked me if I had heard of another local band “Strung Like A Horse” or SLAH (http://www.strunglikeahorse.com/ ).  I asked him to repeat the name of the band.  He mentioned a friend of his was the group’s manager.  He asked me to check them out and give him my observation of their music, style and stage presence.   Since this introduction I have been entertained and photographed them at several events and thoroughly enjoy the simplistic but moving songs.  Most recently they were the closing band at The Honest Pint on Patten Parkway for New Year’s Eve bash.

It was last October when I was asked to check out the band while they played a gig at Miller Park.  After introducing myself, I was kindly received by the SLAH members Clay Maselle, Ben Crawford, Sloth, BJ Hightower and Mark Fiddler.  Again, these guys are talented songwriters too. Are you capturing my vision here?  Local talented young people who have forged their music by branding it at home in Chattanooga.  So here is the connecting part of this story…… when I reached out to contact Strung Like A Horse last October, it was on Facebook (a book with many faces but no chapters), a beautiful young lady associated in many ways with the band SLAH responded. 

Lacy Jo who is best described as artist, instructor, dancer, educator and small business owner was the band connector for me when I met SLAH last October.  She assisted in pulling the band members together before stage time to capture a group photo of the band.  The other photos of the band were during their sets at Miller Park.  Those photos were published Chattanoogan.com and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/LastingVisionStudio). Lacy Jo is a dancer and not just any dancer… but the most talented, artistic belly dancer.  She is the owner/director of Zanzibar Studio, located 600 Georgia Avenue (https://www.facebook.com/zanzibarstudio)  

I can only share a few snap shots of this talented and beautiful young lady dancing. I was able to spend some time talking with her New Year’s Eve as she prepared to dance prior to SLAH taking over the stage.  The Zanzibar Studio has a philosophy to personally use the empowerment through growing awareness.

Lacy Jo believes that Body Awareness in particular opens up so many doors, especially for women. Women have such an intuitive nature and it can be very powerful once realized. More importantly, it helps us tap into our more creative and spiritual selves. Tapping into this energy can assist us in learning how to channel emotion and thought more constructively for a more nurturing and positive environment.  Belly dance is a great way to learn the tools for cultivating that awareness.

There has been such an increased interest in both belly dance and yoga classes. Zanzibar offers Belly Dance and Yoga classes all year round.  If you are interested in starting classes with Zanzibar, please visit:www.zanzibarstudio.com or email Lacy at: lacy@zanzibarstudio.com

Email us your feedback to M.A.Herndon@comcast.net

Mark A Herndon, CPG
Professional Photographer


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