Algeria / USA
Amel Tafsout, was fascinated by traditional dancers and musicians in her culture since childhood. Her curiosity is still prominent today as she is always expanding her knowledge and sharing it with others. Amel wears many hats, she is a sociolinguist with anthropologist research, a scholar, language instructor, frame drummer, poet, published author, an energy worker, and an activist.
Tafsout has dedicated her life to raise awareness and knowledge about her dance culture and to facilitate a dialogue between Arab-North African and Western women. The new North African dancers look up to her.
Amel is fluent in five languages and has traveled, performed, lectured, researched, and taught in several different countries. She has been featured in various TV programs in Europe and North Africa. She has also published many articles related to dance and Maghreb women in academic and popular magazines.
The knowledge, wisdom, and care she shares is something that people from all over the world gravitate towards. When learning from Amel or watching her perform, not only does she take you on a cultural journey, but also on a spiritual journey.
In June 2018, Inanna Iraqi Dance Festival in Estonia gave Amel an Award of acknowledgment and appreciation for her longstanding contributions in Arabic dance and its heritage.
Czech republic / Belgium
Lenka Badriyah, a Czech dancer, is an experienced teacher with over 15 years of teaching and performing in various dance troupes. She danced alongside Jillina in Bellydance Evolution for a decade, showcasing her skills in over 60 shows worldwide. As the organizer of Leylet Raqs festivals, she contributes to the local dance community in Belgium.
Passionate about Raqs Sharqi and its history, Badriyah specializes in Golden Era Bellydance and avidly studies legendary Egyptian dancers. Her extensive collection of over 400 vintage items, including postcards, vinyl records, posters, and rare signed photos, is shared through her online museum. Currently, she is working on establishing a physical Raqs Sharqi Museum in Belgium.
In addition to her dance career, Lenka works as a space weather application scientist, focusing on space safety initiatives by the European Space Agency. As a science communicator, she leads educational projects for blind and visually impaired children.
Dance Archivist is a half-European half-Lebanese woman who lives in Beirut. Obsessive and passionate by nature, she is often willing to abandon her current tasks to spend hours searching and unearthing forgotten dance scenes. Rather than being an expert or an academic, Dance Archivist belongs to the community of collectors, excavators, and homemade archivists: those who record TV and radio programs from their couch, diligently explore markets, delve into personal archives, and love sharing their rare finds.
India / Canada
DRAKE VON TRAPP
Chicago, IL, USA
Drake von Trapp is a multi-award-winning interdisciplinary belly dancer and emergent scholar based in North Texas and Chicago. His dynamic style is an interplay of raqs sharqi, West African vernacular dances, and classical training in contemporary modern dance and ballet. He also holds Stage 1 and 2 Trained Teacher status in April Rose’s “Dance Cohesion” raqs sharqi format, as well as a NASM personal trainer certification.
Drake’s combined love of dance and research led him to study dance academically, earning a bachelor’s in contemporary modern dance. His groundbreaking undergraduate thesis, “Masculinity in American Belly Dance”, has been described as a “wonderful piece of dance scholarship” that has provided an “insightful and important” perspective on belly dance culture in North America, and was awarded the “Excellence in Undergraduate Writing” and “Outstanding Undergraduate Student” scholarships. His master’s thesis, an oral history of the late belly dancer John Compton, is set to be published in 2023.
Presently, Drake stays busy with thesis revisions and PhD applications while managing a busy touring schedule with both Bellydance Evolution and The Radiant Tarot belly dance shows. He also gets into trouble with his dance partner Kamrah conceptualizing dance projects as “Raqs al Taneen” (the Dancing Dragons).
Christine (“Shiraz”) Şahin is a dance practitioner-scholar and ethnographer specializing in contemporary raqs sharqi and other Egyptian vernacular and performative dance genres. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance at the University of Washington in the USA. Her research focuses on interweaving critical dance, performance, and Middle Eastern corporeality studies through creative ethnography. Şahin has a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Delaware. She has professionally performed and taught raqs sharqi and other Egyptian dances throughout the East and West coasts for over fifteen years.
Jana is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and Inner Game Coach Practitioner, personally trained and accredited by the coaching
guru Timothy Gallwey. She designs and facilitates events and development programs cultivating a culture of positive leadership,
mindfulness, and coaching. Some of Jana’s specialties are leadership development, career coaching, life purpose and creative dreaming.
As an IBM leader and coach, she is known for education programs focused on leadership development, mindfulness, women in business, soft skills etc. Her business career in sales followed by 20+ years in leadership with deep passion for coaching led Jana to design and facilitate hundreds of leadership development workshops, coaching clients from more than 90 countries. Jana also enjoys helping individuals on their road to self-discovery by guiding group mindfulness practices, engaging talent, supporting women, building communities, and leading residential retreats.
She is a founder of Surf Life, which is a brand focused on coaching and experiential retreats that help individuals align with their true purpose. Jana has dedicated 2000+ coaching hours to leaders, executives and diverse teams from corporations as well as start-ups. She holds a BA in Social Science, is a certified trainer and Kenexa specialist with work background in Sales, IT, Marketing and Project Management.
Jana is also certified as an Organizational Mindfulness Facilitator with the Oxford Institute for Organizational Science Mindfulness.
She supports clients in the following key areas: authentic presence & leadership, life purpose & everyday mindfulness; alignment with personal strengths, values, and priorities; work-life balance; energy management; harmony of body, mind, heart; growth mindset and free choice, creative focus and optimal flow; confidence to express oneself; resilience to prevent overload and burn-out. Over the past 10 years, she has accompanied people from all over the world on the path to finding meaning in life and in discovering their natural talents. She supports her clients in increasing their awareness and in assuming full responsibility for their state of mind, body, and energy, while guiding them to realize their life mission.
Jana is a passionate explorer and spends a great deal of time visiting places that have a profound natural, cultural and spiritual meaning. She loves singing, dancing, writing songs and spends much of her free time by the ocean. Relying on the depth of her experience and well-honed intuition, Jana helps individuals activate their inner wisdom, and to remember who they are, what unique gifts they bring, and how to best
apply them. Her business and leadership world coalesced with the gift of lucid dreaming, something Jana developed as a child and which she has continued to hone, also by completing a 3-year Active Dreaming program with Robert Moss. Jana is the author of Through the Eye of the Whale, available also as an e- book and audiobook, in both Czech and English.
JASIRAH – professional international dancer, teacher and judge, organizer of Raks Glam Festival in Poland. For over 15 years she has taught regular classes of oriental dance in Poland and master classes around the world. Since 2014 member of Bellydance Evolution.
In 2016 she played the main role of Cheshire Cat in “Alice in Wonderland” during a 3 month tour in China, in 2017 she played the main role of Mermaid and Florist in “Scheherazade 1001 Night” show during the United States East Coast Tour.
She built a strong online bellydance community all over the world giving regular Zoom workshops and providing detailed tutorials on Patreon. Owner of Jasirah Dancewear brand producing training sets for bellydancers. Author and founder of the very first in the world notebook for bellydancer “My Inspirational Bellydance Journal”.
Over 30 years experience, she has been producing results with dancers all over the globe.
1999-2020 – Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers Company. 2003-2009 – Artistic Director and Main Choreographer for the Bellydance Superstars. Highlights include Lollapalooza, Follies Berger, Paris, and Theater Mohammed V, Morocco. In 2009 Jillina created Bellydance Evolution which has taken the art to a higher level, appearing in over 29 countries and featured at Mawazine festival in Morocco.
Since 2016 she established Jillina’s BDExeprince that presents theatrical dance and serves to elevate and educate dancers globally.
In 2020 she supported over 300 dance studios/teachers with her #2getherWeMove program.
She continues to find deep reward in sharing the art of bellydance through coaching, choreography and productions.
Julia Farid – a professional oriental dance artist, instructor and choreographer from Ukraine. Organizer of Isadora Cup Festival, “Dream & Dance” Intensive Course, founder of Tips4hips online platform, Isadora Dance Academy based in Ukraine and Isadora design studio that creates unique costumes for dancers all over the world.
By virtue of her excellent teachings skills, deep knowledge of oriental dance and bright performances Julia Farid has become an internationally renowned artist and has been invited to teach to more than 30 countries. Annually she gives workshops and performs at 20−30 bellydance events worldwide.Julia Farid is known for her elegant and feminine way of dancing as well as for introducing Golden Era style on stage mixed with modern oriental dance.
Kaidi Udris is an Estonian oriental dance teacher and choreographer with a Bachelor degree in choreorgraphy from Tallinn University. Before moving to Egypt, Kaidi worked as full-time dance teacher in Estonia and travelled to about 1001 bellydance festivals across Europe to learn, teach, perform and grow as an artist.
She moved to Egypt in 2011 and soon signed a contract with Cairo Opera House. She was a soloist dancer in the modern dance heritage company “Forsan El Sharq”. In addition to her work in Cairo Opera, she also danced for video clips, flash-mobs, TV-series and Egyptian movies.
Nowadays Kaidi is back in Estonia, a mother to a small prince and a princess, organizing annual student concerts and Tallinn Oriental Dance Festival. She has released 2 comedy short – films: “Bellydance Nightmares” (2022) and “Bellydance Addiction” (2023).
Denver, CO (USA)
Teacher, dancer, ethnologist of African in origin dances and choreographer for 22 years. I am very thankful to be considered one of the most influential names in Arabic dance and folklore.
I am based in Denver, CO (USA), I am of Kenyan descent born in KSA. I am known for having unique didactics of Afro-Arabian Folklore, music and its cultural aspects. In fortunate addition to being highly sought after in the Denver community I can be seen performing live in Denver’s top establishments. I am thankful to have been invited in the past and current to teach and perform in various US states and abroad.
I continue to perfect my dance education by studying with great masters and composers of Afro-Arabian Dances worldwide. I constantly travel to improve my approach, stylization, technique and cultural aspects of the dances and the culture embedded deep within the foundations of the African diaspora.
I am the owner and creator of various online platforms that already have students, dancers and musicians from all over the world to enjoy.
Chicago, IL, USA
Kamrah is Chicago’s first (but not only!) trans masculine belly dancer. He has been dancing since 2001, and has traveled all over the USA to teach and perform in multiple styles of belly dance. Kamrah is known for his killer isolations, creativity, and theatrical pieces, as well as his informed and compassionate teaching methods. As he was recently diagnosed with both autism and ADHD, Kamrah has started focusing on how to work with and use those “superpowers” in his practice, as well as advocate for neurodivergent performers.
Coach Katie (formerly known as Katie Sahar) is a vibrant and spirited individual originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, now calling Cairo, Egypt home. With her social media savvy, she has become a true maven in the online world. She’s the brain behind the #SocialShimmy challenge, dedicated to helping dancers level up their game both online and in their businesses. Through her courses and coaching, Katie guides artists and creatives in embracing personal branding, social media mastery, and essential business principles. Her mission? To free them from scarcity mindsets and empower them to transform their dreams into reality.
Laska performed in Bellydance Evolution’s Seattle Wizard of Oz in July 2022. She also earned her Bellyqueen Teacher Training Certificate from Bellyqueen NYC in 2022 and completed Journey through Egypt Levels 1 and 2. She produced a MENAHT Dance show in 2021 thanks to a grant from the Connecticut Dance Alliance. Laska trained primarily in raqs sharqi in New York, Boston, and Hartford and extensively online with master dancers around the globe. She spent five years dancing with the Fat Chance Belly Dance troupe, Lynchburg Tribal, in Virginia. She contributed a short video of her research on Little Egypt to the al Raqs Conference October 2022. She will give the full presentation this year. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her love of dance and art history converged in this topic. Her presentation stems from research on Little Egypt and the introduction of belly dance to the US, which she is currently revising to publish as an article.
Syria / UK
Hailed as ‘queen of the qanun’, Maya Youssef is a globally renowned, and award-winning qanun player and composer from Syria. Born in Damascus, as a result of the war in her home country Maya arrived in the UK in 2012, under the UK Government’s Tier 1 visa scheme, endorsed by Arts CouncilEngland as an Exceptional Talent.
Since then, Maya has pushed the boundaries of the qanun (a 78-stringed plucked zither traditionally played by men) and has performed at the South Bank, BBCProms, Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, Shakespeare’s Globe and WOMAD Festival. Maya has collaborated with Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz) and recorded for ‘The Beatles & India Documentary in Abbey Road Studios.
Her debut album, Syrian Dreams (a prayer for peace), was produced by Joe Boydand released by Harmonia Mundi. The album received critical acclaim from the media. “Exquisite…a powerful homage, twists Arabic musicclichés”, The Guardian. “An album of skill and power…a dizzying sweep of genres from flamenco to jazz. A transportive cinematic listen”The Musician Magazine (The MU). Syrian Dreams won the German Record Critics’ Award and Songlines Music Award. This led to many UK and international sold-out concerts.
Maya was awarded a PRS Women Make Music Grant and an Arts CouncilEngland Project Grant Towards recording her second album, ‘Finding Home’ which was released March 25th 2022. The album received 5-star reviews from international and UK press and was nominated to the prestigious German Record Critics’ Award. In September 2022 Finding Home was no.1 in the Transglobal World Music Chart; in December 2022 Songlines Magazine listed as one their 10 BestAlbums of the year. Alongside the composition and performance aspects of her career, Maya is also a consummate and skilled educator, leading her own online qanun academy with students all over the world, contributing to a wide variety of learning and participation opportunities through talks, lectures workshops and broadcasts. Maya’s compositions, recordings, performances, and her life story have been the subject of extensive reviews, and she is a frequent broadcaster. Her website, mayayoussef.com, provides a comprehensive archive, as well as more detailed biographical information, audio and video.
Melissa is an award-winning dancer based in Toronto, Canada. Her fluid movement style and refined musical interpretation have made her an internationally admired Raqs Sharqi (bellydance) artist.
Melissa has been invited to teach and perform across Canada, the USA, Europe and Egypt. As an experienced instructor, her classes and workshops are sought after for her attention to technique as well as her knowledge of historical and cultural contexts. Melissa also regularly travels to Egypt for her own training, in order to bring the most informed and up-to-date teachings to her local and international students
Melissa is known for her Golden Era dance styling, and her mastery of Sagat (finger cymbals), for which she was invited to play at the Cairo Opera House in 2021. She was also honoured to train Egyptian actress Nada Moussa for her role as the feisty Sha’abi singer/dancer Azza in the popular 2022 Ramadan series “El Meshwar.”
She is the Director of the Ya Amar School of Dance, with the goal of providing comprehensive training in various Egyptian dance styles. Melissa has also gained a reputation as a top-notch event producer for bringing rising stars, scholars and master instructors to the Canadian dance scene.
United Arab Emirates
I’m a self-taught belly dancer, it started when I was 10 years young dancing in a family gathering. It only needed that one person to realize my talent for it to be unlocked! I embraced it ever since, watching myself in the mirror as I feel the music and follow the rhythm. The movement was translated through my body for me to enjoy every moment.
Growth and expansion are two of my core values, I always want to learn more. I take classes, courses, workshops mainly related to belly dancing Khaleeji styles. Also, I love discovering my own potential so I keep challenging myself by trying different forms of dance such as Ballet, Salsa, and Afro.
I teach belly dancing for beginners in the UAE. I believe that dancing has a great healing aspect to us as human beings. That is why my methodology when teaching is creating a safe space for the person to feel comfortable to connect to their body and to allow them to feel. This generates a sense of awareness to the body and to the emotions being experienced.
I’m currently in my journey on being a professional dancer which boosts my knowledge, enhance my skills and support my clients in various ways possible.
Mercedes Nieto is an internationally acclaimed oriental dance artist form a Hungarian-Spanish family, based in Budapest, Hungary. World famous of her delicate, elegant, yet passionate dance style, which is innovative and unique. Her drive is her willingness to share, her main inspiration is the dancer’s ability to express feelings and connect people and worlds.
She has spent a decade touring around the World: since 2009 she had been teaching and performing in more than 50 countries at around 30 different oriental dance events worldwide yearly. While constantly traveling and sharing her knowledge, passion and personal vision of belly dancing, she kept organizing the now internationally highly acclaimed CAIRO! Fest Budapest. The festival attracts hundreds of dedicated dancers to Hungary from all over the world every spring to share and connect.
Mercedes is producing Middle-Eastern music specifically for oriental dancers since 2012: creating music in Cairo, Egypt, in collaboration with some of the best musicians and composers the scene has to offer, producing and releasing the material in Europe. She has released five albums that continue to inspire dancers all over the World. The newest one “Zikrayet” has just been released in 2021.
Meanwhile focusing more on her international career, festival and music productions, Mercedes is still teaching in Budapest in her own dance studio called the “Nimfeum” whenever she’s in town, performing annual shows with her students, organizing charity galas as well as directing the professional oriental dance company “The Nymph Oriental Dance Company”.
During the pandemic times she has started her RAQSoul project: a series of online workshops and weekly classes for dedicated dancers to stay connected and inspired.
She believes in the power of dance as a personal language that meant to express something beyond dance itself, let it be joy, pain, love or life.
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Nisaa (Heather D. Ward) is a Middle Eastern dance instructor, performer, and researcher based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. As an instructor and performer, Nisaa specializes in Egyptian raqs sharqi (belly dance). Her repertoire also includes Egyptian folkloric dance, including baladi, ghawazi, and sa’idi dance styles, as well as folkloric styles from the Levant and the Persian Gulf. As a researcher, Nisaa focuses on the history of Egyptian dance and its professional practitioners. Her investigations into the transition from awalim and ghawazi dance styles to classical raqs sharqi at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries led to the publication of her first book, Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890-1930, in 2018. Nisaa’s research has also been published in a variety of Middle Eastern dance related books and magazines, including The Gilded Serpent and The Belly Dance Chronicles.
Nisaa began her studies of Middle Eastern dance with several well-known dancers in Missouri and Illinois, and over the course of her dance career, she has continued to attend master classes, seminars, and workshops with internationally-renowned dancers such as Aisha Ali, Farida Fahmy, Mahmoud Reda, Sahra Saeeda, and Yousry Sharif, among others. She travels regularly to Egypt for research. In addition to her dance training, Nisaa holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and history from Kent State University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nisaa’s academic background rounds out her dance training and provides the foundation for her meticulous approach to the study of Middle Eastern dance.
Through excellent instruction, outstanding performances, and original research, Nisaa presents Middle Eastern dance as a living, dynamic folk art and a window into the rich heritage of the peoples and cultures of the Middle East.
Raphael Cormack is an Assistant Professor of Arabic at Durham University. His research focuses on modern Egyptian performance and popular culture. His latest book, Midnight in Cairo, is a history of Egypt’s early 20th century entertainment scene.
SAHRA C. KENT
Sahra C Kent (aka Sahra Saeeda) is a Dance Ethnologist with decades of experience in performance and research, with Degrees in Dance, Cultural Anthropology, Archeology, and Dance Ethnology.
Sahra’s performance background is in both Raqs Sharqi and Egyptian Folkloric stage. She danced nearly 6 years at the Meridian-Heliopolis, over 1600 hour-long shows with her live orchestra and often with her folkloric dancers. She then performed and taught across continents around the world.
Sahra’s interest in, and her passion to share, the Dance Ethnology of the regions of Egypt led her to develop the “Journey through Egypt – JtE” Program of Classroom instruction and On-site Tours in Egypt.
Hey! I’m Samantha Karim….so nice meeting you! I LOVE dancing. It’s been a part of my life since I was a little girl. And now I get to share my love of dance with the world. I help women learn belly dancing and love themselves in the process. I believe that you have everything you need within you to get where you want to go. I’m a no BS kind of person, down-to-earth with a soft ooey gooey center of love and kindness.
I love nature, reading, napping, loving my family, and laughing hard until drool comes out my mouth.
Other fun details about my dance history:
- I’m internationally known for my One Minute Drills and thought-provoking videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
- I have an online belly dance membership where I help women all over the world learn belly dancing and reach their goals.
- I coach belly dancers on a 1:1 basis and support them in achieving their goals quickly without hustling.
- I’m a Life Coach and blend my skillset of coaching with belly dance to best serve my students and clients.
- I was the 2016 Belly Dancer of the Universe Egyptian Champion and Fusion People’s Choice winner.
- In 2013, I became the USA Belly Dance Queen Pro-Soloist winner.
- I’ve been featured on TLC’s Four Weddings (super fun to dance for TV!)
- Early on, I was nominated for Arizona’s Favorite Cabaret/Oriental Artist in 2012.
- I have been teaching belly dance for over 17 years.
Turkey / Belgium
International award winning bellydancer & teacher. “Male Bellydancer of the world 2008” and winner of “Brandon Oasis 2006.” Organizer of Rakkas Istanbul International Oriental Dance Festival.
A 10 year old Turkish boy arrives in Arabic countries. Living there for 3 years, he gets charmed by the oriental dances of the Arabic women on festivities such as weddings. The sound of their music touched his soul and opened his door to dance. Back in Turkey, he goes deeply into the Egyptian and Turkish style bellydance. The working out process on especially body sensation, muscle control and ligthness gets its reward when Serkan performs for the first time at the age of 17.
Not only in Turkey but also in Germany his numerous performances are a great success and soon he decides to share his experience by teaching the dance that has swept away his heart. After developing himself and educating others in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir, Kusadasi) and Germany, he enters the millennium in Belgium.
He has performed and instructed workshops all over Belgium, Hong Kong, Singapore, Israel, Germany, France, Egypt, England, Austria, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Holland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, Bosnia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, USA, Alaska, …. And more.
He is teaching Turkish style bellydance, Modern Egyptian style, Baladi, Saidi, Shaabi, Turkish Gypsy style, Veil dance (double and single), His signature “Crazy drum solo’s”, and many more dance styles,…
He is continue to dance and give workshops in all over the world.
For more info, contact and booking don’t hesitate to write him or call him.
Sheyla devoted her dance path in connecting and educating the community in her homeland, the Czech Republic. She is one of the pioneers in bringing Egyptian folklore to the knowledge of dancers and teachers in the country, and abroad. Falling in love with Egypt in 2004 brought her to oriental dance and soon Egyptian folklore studies. Her teachers were also a legends such as Kharia Mazin, Mahmoud Reda, Nesma, Mohamed Shellaby, Fifi el Saed, Kamal Naim, Sahra Saeeda and many more. Thanks to her work and research she could be part of cultural projects organized by EU, Ministry of Interior and Center for foreigners with aim to educate youth about cultural differences, doing lectures and exhibitions for public and activities for foreigners. Sheyla founded and directed an international festival called Tales of Sahara for 8 years with aim to create a safe space for dancers to connect, create together, perform and learn.
Sheyla performed and taught classes in many countries such as India, South Africa, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Korea etc. She founded a folklore group Al Fayyum Dancers with whom she got honoured by many awards, Awaleem Performing Arts group with whom she focused on vintage or golden era dance style. Currently she is working with group Aphrodisia Dance Company on cabaret and public shows.
Sheyla is continuously awarded not always with prizes but with passionate students and audience she love to perform for.
SIGRID VAN ROODE
Sigrid van Roode holds an M.A. in Egyptology from Leiden University, The Netherlands. During her studies in Egypt she was introduced to the history of traditional silver jewellery and has been researching jewellery ever since. She is currently working on her PhD into jewellery and ritual, also at Leiden University.
Sigrid provides consultancy to museums and collectors about traditional jewellery with her company Bedouin Silver. To her, jewellery is a historic source and cultural heritage, not simply adornment. Raising awareness about this aspect of jewellery is her main driving force: she curates exhibitions, authors books and gives talks and workshops both online and offline.
In 2021, Sigrid started a new initiative to ensure collected jewellery items have a long future as heritage. Her non-profit organization The Qilada Foundation brings jewellery that has been collected decades ago into its care, offers research and educational possibilities and transfers collections to museums (preferably) in their countries of origin.
Since she was young her passion for artistic activities and dance have influenced her life.
Known and appreciated for her graceful, elegant style, her strong technique and teaching methods, currently she performs and teaches Internationally, Europe, Africa, America and Asia.
She is based in Italy where she also runs her school and directs her own dance company Silvia Raqs Group. Producer of the dance event Oasi Giornata di Danza (oasis dance day).
Winner of several international dance contest, Silvia was also a dancer in two of the most famous bellydance companies in the world: Bellydance Evolution cerated and leaded by Jillina Carlano and Amaya Dance Company, leaded by Manca Pavli, with whom she has been in tour in 4 continents.
The growth of a dancer is never-ending and she’s constantly researching and training locally and abroad in several dance styles, influencing the development of her own unique style.
New Zealand / Netherlands
Siobhan is a multi-award winning raqs sharqi (“belly dance”) artist, and the founder of Greenstone Dance Arts. Her love of music is equaled only by her love of movement, making belly dance her perfect match. Her joyful movement and 1000-watt smile captivate audiences across the globe.
Siobhan Camille’s precise movement and playful style have been winning her dance accolades since 2014, most notably a 3rd Place and Judge’s Award for Excellence in Presence in the Professional category at the Hamilton International Belly Dance Competition in 2020.In 2021, her hard work earned her the amazing opportunity of joining the cast of Bellydance Evolution’s performance of The Wizard Of Oz in Copenhagen as part of the Oriental ensemble.
Siobhan Camille has also been producing dance events since 2019, hosting workshop and show events featuring renowned dancers and musicians such as Badriyah, Aziza of Montreal, Amanda Rose, Rachid Alexander, Chudney, Danielle Hutton, and Issam Houshan.
Siobhan Camille has an extensive background in exercise science with postgraduate level degrees in Exercise Prescription and Rehabilitation Science. She takes a particular interest in the safety, strength, and performance of dancers, and conducted the first-ever formal research on injury incidence in belly dancers. She draws on this background to emphasise safe dance technique and teaches her students how to find and activate muscles to create clear movement.
Zara Abdelrahman (AKA Zara Dance) is a Professional Egyptian Raqs Sharqi “Bellydance” performer based in Egypt. She is beloved in the bellydance community for her dynamic and empowering teaching style and her incredibly entertaining shows mixing authentic emotion with her oricinal styling.
Zara has used her insight from over 20+ years’ experience and her mixed Egyptian/British heritage to work on many projects bridging the gap between the worldwide commercial bellydance world and Egyptian Dancers. This work includes talks and articles (including for Egyptian Streets, NADA, Mosaic, her own magazine Zameena), on topics such as the domination of foreign dancers in Cairo and appropriation of Egyptian Dance. She has used her social platform to empower Egyptian Women to reclaim their dance by forming a YouTube series teaching professional Raqs Sharqi. During Covid lockdowns Zara started a successful monthly online Hafla “Party” bringing together people in isolation and a much needed income for Artists in Cairo, put out of work by the pandemic. She’s has traveled across the world to perform and teach.
Alongside dance Zara studied Physics. She obtained a first-class degree from Kings College, graduating first in her year, she also has a Masters and PhD in Laser Physics from Imperial College.