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November 27, 2017

Ancient Dance Promotes Well-Being, Fitness

Elena Harrison’s movement is mesmerizing. Dressed in the full, traditional belly dancing bling, she effortlessly shakes her hips, incorporating twirls and twists throughout her routine.

It is something that she has practiced extensively, first beginning back 13 years ago in Russia, her home country. Life was very different for her then. Instead of being as she is today — a mother of three happily living in South Georgia — she was trying to immigrate to the United States to join her husband, Chris, who was living in the Golden Isles.

The two had met while she was an exchange student and both were working on Sea Island. She was frustrated with her situation. Luckily, her spirits were lifted when she found belly dancing.

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February 27, 2020

Belly Dancing Beauties

It was a chilly, misty day in downtown Brunswick. But a burst of billowing cobalt cut through the gray, as a woman draped in a bejeweled outfit slipped through the side door of Golden Isles Mindful Movement on Newcastle Street.

Inside, the rooms were awash in color and laughter. Chiffon skirts swirled and coined belts jingled as the members of Golden Isles Belly Dancing prepared for one of their typical Friday night sessions.

Their fearless leader, Elena Harrison, took a sip of her wine and smiled. She then took her place at the front of the room, calling the group to attention.

“OK ladies, thank you for being here tonight,” Harrison says in her sleek Russian accent. “Let’s get ready for our warm-up.”

The music begins and the ladies take their positions. Arms and hips begin to sway. Soon, the room is alive with twirls and smiles.

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June 22, 2015

Writer's Personal Story Stranger Than Fiction

As a girl growing up in Voronezh, Russia, Lena Mikado loved the Southern classic novel, “Gone with the Wind.” Of course, she was reading it in her native language — Russian.

“I was the biggest fan of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ I read it probably like six or seven times,” she said.

But, she says, none of the strength or charm of the story was lost in translation. And it made her long to see the American state where the plot unfolds — that, of course, being Georgia. As fate would have it, she got her chance.

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June 21, 2019

Book Signing and Sipping

Please join me to celebrate my new novel, A Year in the Sky, at the beautiful gallery in downtown Brunswick - Sawgrass Artist Market, which will be carrying both of my books starting June 21! I will do a little reading and a little signing, and all of us will do a little wine sipping. Yes, you heard me right - there will be wine! I hope to see you there!

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June 18, 2019

Author, Dancer to Hold Book Signing

Elena Harrison is a woman of many talents. Author, linguist, belly dancer, wife and mother of three — the Russian native-turned Brunswick resident fully believes in embracing life.

And hers has been a wild ride. Harrison first visited the Golden Isles as a foreign exchange student in the early 2000s. There, she worked on Sea Island and met a local musician, Chris, who would soon become her husband.

It was a whirlwind love affair with a string of events that seemed to pop out of the pages of a rom-com. Their story was so incredible that Harrison decided she best write it down, mostly so that the couple’s children would have an account of how the unlikely match happened.