The term “free spirit” is admittedly a bit overused, but it’s perhaps the only way to describe Ann Martinez. A graduate of the art and design program at the University of Northern Colorado, the ink on her diploma was barely dry before she began freelancing as a graphic artist—leading her to forgo a regular 9–5 job and start her own design studio.
“There are so many wonderful things to do here.”
Drawn to belly dancing’s grace and beauty, Ann took some lessons. Turns out she was a natural and ended up teaching her own classes and workshops. Today she’s part of Tribe Sidysaan, a “belly dance fusion” group that, in addition to traditional Middle Eastern music, performs to the likes of the Black Keys and the B-52s. The most unexpected aspect, she says, was the sisterhood she found. “It’s amazing to have students from 19 to 72 years old.”
Meanwhile, the artistic bent that brought Ann to Greeley in the first place is never idle, whether it’s creating her Tribe Sidysaan costumes or frequenting Greeley’s Clay Center or simply enjoying the work of the next generation of up-and-coming artists. “There are so many things to do here,” she says, almost surprised that someone wouldn’t know that. “But the trick is you have to get off the couch to experience them.”