About Our Instructors
Amberetta is a Tribal Fusion Bellydancer performing and teaching in Chattanooga, TN and the surrounding area. She began performing at the age of five, studying ballet, jazz, and tap, as well as the piano. As the daughter of a former Cabaret dancer, she was encouraged to find her place in the spotlight. In 2004, she was introduced to Tribal Style dance at a Hafla and began taking lessons immediately. She quickly picked up the dance form and was asked to join the Dandasha Dance Company from 2006 to 2007. Since 2007, she has been performing as a soloist, developing a distinguishable repertoire while incorporating swords, veils, zills, poi, fans, and fire into her choreographies. In 2009, Amberetta obtained her Level 1 Certification from the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance and is currently working to obtain her Yoga Teacher Certification from Stephanie Keach through Yoga Alliance and the Asheville Yoga Center.
Aziza Nawal is a multi-award winning performer of Oriental Dance who has appeared on national and international television including a live variety show filmed in Istanbul, Turkey. She was featured on IAMED’s nationally distributed performance video Belly Dance O’ Rama.
Aziza Nawal has always continued to enrich her dance education by pursuing many styles and has proven her diversity as a dancer by becoming a member of Awalim Tribal Dance Company. http://azizaraks.net
The Jahara Phoenix Dance Company is a theatrical, world Fusion troupe dedicated to bringing family-friendly entertainment to the Atlanta area and beyond.
Based in Lawrenceville, GA, company directors Oracle and Jaki teach bellydance and other classes at Studio Dance & Fitness. Jahara Phoenix will be touring their full-length show in the Fall of 2010. Check us out at www.jaharaphoenix.com
Diana (Diane Adams), Director of Company Mezza, is a 25+year veteran dancer/instructor. Her 13-year background in ballet and folkloric dance in the western New York area, have allowed her to offer a wide range of Middle Eastern dance styles. In 2003, she received permission from critically acclaimed Yasmina Ramzy of Toronto, Canada, to recreate Yasmina’s dance, “Venus” from the Descent of Ishtar Ballet, for Company Mezza. Specializing in training for the advanced to pro level dancer, many of Diana’s students currently perform in Atlanta area restaurants, and are instructors/performers on cruise lines and dance studios.
Inara, began her bellydancing career in 1996 and has developed an amazing technique over the years. Her passion for the art form quickly grew into teaching, performing, and creating memorable choreography. Inara is well known as an energetic performer in the Atlanta area, frequently delivering incredible performances at Shimmy-a-thon, festivals, parties, and local area restaurants. She is dedicated to her performing dance troupes, Sandtrance and Rafif as-Sahara.
Kira Lang bio to come
Lee Ford has been a performing professional belly dancer in the Atlanta area since 1996 and has included fire in her repertoire from the beginning. She has performed across the country and internationally and was classically trained as a ballerina from the age of 6. For the last several years, she has become an accomplished fire performer and poi dancer, performing everywhere from nightclubs to theater shows and for every type of person from celebrities to children. Her love of the dance is translated to mesmerizing performances backed with strong technique and an electrifying stage presence. Lee loves entertaining and passing on her love of the dance to new dancers. Lee is working toward her archery goals, with a long-term goal of making it to the Paralympics. She credits belly dancing and fire performing with keeping her ability to walk after a spine injury 5 years ago. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can see her profile at facebook.com/flamegoddesslee for pictures and up to date events.
Majda is a dancer and musician of the Middle Eastern arts. As a dancer, Majda began dancing at the age of 5 with her Jordanian family at social gatherings. At the age of 11, she began her formal training and continues her studies today. As a musician, Majda picked up the violin at age 10 and played in school orchestras through high school. In the fall of 2008, Majda returned to the violin to study Arabic music with Dr. Wael Mahalowy at the American University of Cairo. She also began studying the qanoon (zither) to deepen her understanding of the Arabic mode system of the maqmat. In addition to studying music and the Arabic language during her 5-month study abroad in Egypt, Majda took private instruction from noted Egyptian dancers and choreographers such as Raqia Hassan, Diana Tarkan, Nevein Ramez, and Mahmoud Reda and joined the American University in Cairo’s folkloric dance troupe for the semester
Majda’s continued passion and dedication to the Middle Eastern arts have led her to teach and perform as often as possible. In the spring of 2006, Majda joined the Awalim Dance Company, under the direction of Ziah Ali, performing and teaching workshops with the company internationally. Since 2005, Majda has taught multi-level, weekly classes at Georgia Tech where she earned her Undergraduate degree in Marketing at the School of Business.
Marcia was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil where she studied Ballet, Jazz, and Samba. In 2000, she decided to dedicate her time to Middle Eastern Dance. She is an outstanding performer and instructor - who loves to create choreographies using the variety from her dance background. She teaches Classic Middle Eastern Dance, Belly Dance Workout, Belly Dance fusion with Salsa and Samba - and a new recent fusion of Bell Dancing with Brazilian Capoeira.
Porkchop has been developing her hoopdance over the last five years. She has performed at Atlanta clubs, galleries and parties. She has participated in World Hoop Day since its inception, organizing the past two Atlanta events on Superhooper's behalf. She shares the transformative gift of hooping with young and old. Hooping has been her gateway to the realm of dance and the study of movement.
Sanam is a professional Middle Eastern Dance and Bollywood (Indian) Dance performer and teacher, with years of experience in Bellydance and South Asian dance styles including bhangra, bollywood, rajasthani and indo-pak folk dances. Other forms of dance training include ballet, jazz, modern and flamenco dance. Sanam has performed at many cultural events, weddings, workshops, restaurants and universities. Sanam's genetic makeup is as diverse in cultures as the gypsies that traveled from land to land. From Iran to India - from Pakistan to Yemen, Sanam's heritage covers it all. Born in Pakistan to parents of Persian, Indian and Arab decent, raised in Brooklyn, NY, Sanam is a true essence of a modern day bellydancer, with deep roots to the origins of bellydancing. She's also a trained actress, model and show host. She has hosted several South Asian and mainstream morning shows, appeared in South Asian soap opears, featured in beauty magazines, walked the runway for designers and continues to appear on camera for commercials. Sanam's style of dance and teaching reflects the gypsy in her. To learn more about sanam, visit www.sanamstudios.com
Taylor is a professional fusion bellydance choreographer, instructor, and performer, whose unique ability to convey a range of emotions through technical expertise sets her apart. Her creative and fluid style of dance incorporates elements of Turkish, Indian, Latin, tribal, and jazz, all solidly grounded in Egyptian cabaret technique and keeps audiences delightfully surprised and mesmerized. She has performed around the United States, including New York, L.A., and Atlanta, and performs regularly at many top bellydance venues such as Imperial Fez, Persepolis Cuisine, Café Istanbul and Taverna Plaka.
Originally from New York, Taylor comes from a background of jazz and hip hop. She was introduced to the world of bellydance after moving to Atlanta in 2001, and has been pursuing her career in this ancient art form ever since. Taylor’s commitment to bellydance is demonstrated through her many classes and workshops from beginner through professional levels. She is founder and artistic director of Aasifa Dance Company and is the bellydance instructor for Dance 101, one of the largest in the Southeast. Her first instructional bellydance DVD will be released in Spring of 2010. http://www.taylorgerard.com/home.html
Ziah Ali, Director of Awalim Dance Company, is an internationally recognized Tribal bellydance performer, instructor, and event producer. Her dynamic style is technically complex, historically informed, musically sensitive, and keeps the pure joy of bellydance front and center in every performance.
Jendayi is a professional Middle Eastern Style belly dancer, choreographer and instructor based in Woodstock Georgia. Jendayi first began her belly dance studies in 2000 under the direction of Sarai and was a principal dancer of Ora Serena Dance Company and The Bad Habibis. Later she went on to direct Banat Jendayi Dance Company, Sihir Al Hawa Dance Company and Badalna Dance Company. She began studying hula under the direction of Kuma Hula Olahana in 2008. During her dance career, Jendayi has performed for thousands at events such as The Partnership Walk, for Moroccan Ambassador Aziz Mekouar and at restaurants, nightclubs, festivals, showcases, weddings and the like. She is recognized and noted for her captivating, intriguing and graceful performance dance style and for her ability to connect with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Darbuka Dave has been studying the goblet drum for 9 years. He began as a hobbyist in the Society for Creative Anachronism, but quickly sought out instruction from some of the best teachers in the country, including Kevin "Nevik" Hartnell, Jeremiah Soto and Issam Houshan.
Dave is considered an excellent instructor and performer by his contemporaries, known for his technical precision and emotional expression. He has performed and taught at international festivals, workshops and shows throughout the country. He currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama but travels widely.
Diane is a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level, certified
by the Yoga Alliance with over 1600 hours of teaching experience. She trains every year with Yoga Masters like Patricia Walden, Rodney Yee, and Judith Lasater. Diane, is also a licensed Neuromuscular Therapist, Thai Massage Therapist, and a Certified Reflexologist. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology and has been a healthcare management/IT consultant for 30+ years. Her advanced clinical training and education combined with her compassionate spirit shines through, in her open hearted teaching style. Her classes are inspirational, educational, and fun! http://www.sacredmovementsacredtouch.com/
Amy is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor and a certified Zumba Instructor. She has been in the dance and fitness industry for 20 years and believes that Zumba is the ultimate in fun and fitness!! Her students are dancing, laughing, shaking their booties, having fun and transforming their lives!! Some of her student testimonials are just incredible from amazing weight loss and fitting into clothes from years ago to feeling like a brand new person! Amy is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Marietta, GA, where she counsels people of all ages and life stages to help them look forward and find strength in life’s circumstances.
Ayanna says that she was brought into this world to teach. As a preteen she began working with day care aged children as a "teacher's helper". This progressed to camp counselor, mentor and many other leadership roles as a youth but she always felt that something was missing. Two years ago she began teaching yoga and hooping to 4 year olds. It was not meant to be a life change but when she instructed the children in movement, she felt that she had found what was missing. She was able to meld her spiritual beliefs, her passion for a healthy lifestyle and her love for her students in a way that she could teach to anyone. It was at this time that bellydance and energy work found their way back into Ayanna’s life. Ayanna comes from a deeply spiritual background and has had a continuous and experimental meditation practice for over 6 years. She has an open heart and holds great respect for the relationship between student and instructor, as will be obvious when you experience her teaching style. She’s been studying American Tribal Style Bellydance, reiki, pranayama and yoga, and is eager to share those passions with her students.