Theatrical Bellydance Conference | New York City

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We wish to bring people together, to allow diverse artists to find common ground and interests. This is an environment where dancers of all bellydance styles can work together in classes, learn together and learn from each other. The instructors, who come from a variety of bellydance genres and backgrounds of experience, will be offering workshops that will have something for everyone; not just focused on genre-specific bellydance technique, but more on universals that everyone can feel a part of, and that you can apply to your own work.

Our Tribute to JeniViva

  • JeniViva was one of the pioneers of an alternative genre of dance: gothic bellydance. The fruits of JeniViva’s efforts can be seen on numerous DVDs and in magazines such as Steampunk Fashion magazine and the cover of Constellation magazine. She also has been featured on the first ever gothic bellydance DVD by World Dance New York and performed in and appeared on the cover of the Gothic Bellydance 2: Revelations DVD. Her most recent collaboration with World Dance New York was a styling and make-up DVD, Femme Fatale How To. She also developed her own gothic bellydance technique entitled “The Serpentine Method©.” Jeniviva described it as a technique that “fuses movements of Vict-Oriental, gothic, steampunk, cabaret, tribal fusion, and ritual bellydance. She has appeared on The Conan O’Brien Show, the WB 11, at The House of Blues, The Rainbow Room and La Machine du Moulin Rouge in Paris. JeniViva has performed for such clients as Jay-Z, Marc Jacobs, and Esquire Magazine and was cast as a featured dancer in the film Sex in the City 2. Her latest endeavors included her own line of bellydance costumes and headpieces called “Mystical Hipware©” and “Siren’s Kiss©,” an organic line of bath and body care products including salts, scrubs, faerie balms, and soaps geared toward dancers and performers. Both companies will continue to be run by JeniViva’s mother Annette.
  • Our 2013 Featured Performers and Presenters

  • Groove Merchant Drum & Dance Ensemble Groove Merchant Drum & Dance Ensemble, directed by Kim Leary (Alexia) and Dave Merritt, performs dances and plays percussion instruments from cultures around the world. The ensemble performs culture-specific traditional pieces as well as our own original compositions. Some compositions are more traditional, loyal to the cultures that they represent, while others are a fusion of musical ideas and traditions. Many of the group’s performances have been sponsored in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Groove Merchant Drum & Dance Ensemble is the resident performance group of Alexia’s Belly Dance & Beyond, located in Lawrence, NJ (Princeton area). Some of the group’s performances include the Monroe Arts Center, The Kennedy Center (Burlington), Two River Theater, guest performers with Jamila Salimpour’s Bal Anat, Paramount Concerts on the Beach, and the Lafayette Grill in NYC, as well at many festivals and conventions.For more info on Alexia & Groove Merchant, go to:

  • Assur is a company that is dedicated to investigating the interpretative aspects of bellydance, focusing on the theatrical, the use of montages, and the fusion of different dance techniques and elements that open other options for originality and narrative on stage. Their objective is to expand the limits of bellydance, mixing it with multiple forms, colors, and emotions that offer a mesmerizing tale to the audience on every occasion. The current members of ASSUR knew each other by the time they were part of Tania Wolfenson’s school of Oriental dance, where they perfected their bellydance technique. In 2008, Tania selected them as part of her dance company “Darsham” and the experiences with that group led them to work with new creative methods related to theater. Their personal inquiries made them take a new road together in 2010 as this new theatrical bellydance company.
    Dancers: Alondra Machuca, Alejandra Haydee Guerrero Contreras, Aulina Lathrop Quintana, Romina Alejandra Quijada Quiroga

  • The Banjara School of Dance was founded by Meher Malik in 2008, as an intiative to bring together different dancers from different styles and cultures of dance.
    Banjara is not merely a dance company but an artistic shelter where different minds,bodies and souls will meet to create higher and greater levels of dance in this country.
    The School works on fusing various dance forms creatively, to help the art evolve and promote belly dance in India.
    Meher Malik and Nitisha Nanda, have represented the school on various reality shows in India like India’s Got Talent, Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega and Just Dance. The Banjara School of Dance was most recently a part of a Bollywood project with one of the leading banners in the industry.

  • Ebony has taught and performed throughout Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. She has toured internationally with the world-famous Bellydance Superstars and has performed onstage with the Grammy-nominated band Thievery Corporation and with electronic musician and performance artist Peaches. She performs with the award-winning troupe Raqs Sahara, directs fusion troupes Raquettes ShimmyPop and Raqs Caravan Urban, and is a soloist at a variety of engagements including restaurants, private parties, weddings, festivals, concerts, and numerous theater performances. Ebony is also a featured soloist in the upcoming DVD “America’s History of Bellydancers of Color.”
    Raqs Caravan Urban is a Sahara Dance company directed by Ebony Qualls. RCU is dedicated to sharing a fun and playful spin on bellydance. Through their stage performances, RCU members convey their enthusiasm for expression, as well as their passion for fusing a colorful spectrum of dance genres. The company’s repertoire merges traditional raqs sharqi with modern urban and retro funk styles, as well as world dances. RCU is honored to have been featured in the documentary “America’s History of Bellydancers of Color” and have opened for the world-renowned Bellydance Superstars.

  • Jenny C. has had the pleasure to dance for most of her life. Having been on journey of studying Near Eastern-influenced dance since 2002, Jenny C. has trained in the dance forms of hip hop, ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and Polynesian dance. Currently Jenny C. is a soloist and teacher in American style tribal fusion bellydance: a conglomerate of Near Eastern-based folk dance influenced by the art of ballet, the freedom of modern dance, and the many dynamic forms of hip hop. Please visit her website at “I believe that to dance is to find ourselves.” ~oxo Jenny C.
  • Elisheva is an internationally acclaimed bellydance fusion artist from NYC, sought after for her signature blend of aesthetics – bellydance fused with trained classical and contemporary dance, jazz forms, and street dance. She graduated with her BFA in modern dance, performs world-wide as a soloist, is the dance captain of Bellyqueen, and is co-founder of the troupe Uyum Dans. For instructional and performance DVDs, classes, and more information: and Facebook: Elizabeth Elisheva Gluck.
  • Isabel De Lorenzo and Ilhaam
    Isabel De Lorenzo is a Brazilian dancer and choreographer based in Rome, Italy. Co-founder of San Lo’ studio, director of the ATS® troupe Carovana Tribale, organizer of Roma Tribal Meeting, publisher of Bellydance Italia Magazine, FCBD® Sister Studio. Her main work is spreading concepts of dance throughout the world with an emphasis on tribal style, networking contacts and building dance community. is the only FCBD® Sister Studio in Madrid, Spain. With more than ten years of experience learning, teaching and performing, she has practiced ATS® and other styles as tribal fusion, raqs sharqi, Dervish spin, folklore, and West African dance, and props like stick, veil, zills, and sword.
    http://www.ilhaamtribal.blogspot.comIsabel and Ilhaam began a dance partnership in 2011 during Roma Tribal Meeting. Their collaboration grew up and in 2013 they will be teaching and performing at BellyFusions Festival (Paris, France) and at Sirocco Dance Festival (Bristol, UK).

  • Latifa and Banat al-Beled is one of the most popular Middle Eastern dance troupes in the Baltimore-Washington area. Over the years the troupe has built a solid repertoire of both folkloric and nightclub-style dances, derived from such different cultural influences as the African-nuanced dancing at traditional Saudi Arabian women’s parties, the melding of Spanish and Arabic culture in Andalusian Spain, the proud line dances of the Levant, the nightclubs of Cairo, and the “melting pot” of American bellydance. This troupe specializes in performing traditional dances in a way that makes them come alive for the audience.
    Their founder Latifa is a nationally recognized performer, instructor, and choreographer. She studied for over ten years with the late Ibrahim Farrah, who designated her as one of his protégées shortly before his death. Latifa holds a master’s degree in Arab studies from Georgetown University and was awarded a fellowship after graduation to study Arabic at the American University in Cairo. While there, she divided her time between her academic studies and private and semi-private dance lessons with prominent Egyptian instructors. Latifa has performed to great acclaim at Rakkasah East and West, Art of the Belly, and local shows and haflas. Latifa’s students are known for their expressiveness, musicality, and stage presence.

  • Mariyah is a dance artist, choreographer, and instructor based in NYC. She draws on a variety of movement forms, the depth and diversity of bellydance, and her passion for myth, mysticism, and poetry to create dances which evoke archetypal figures and a journey of the spirit. Her performances have been described as “innovative and inspiring,” “timeless,” and “passionate.” As an instructor, Mariyah encourages students to work deeply within the body both physically and energetically to find a uniquely expressive physicality.
    Mariyah has been an active member of the renowned Dalia Carella Dance Collective since 2001, dance director and choreographer for the Arabic music and dance ensemble Zikrayat since 2010, and has most recently collaborated with her dance partner Layla Isis to create Entelechy Dance. Mariyah co-created and is featured in the instructional dance DVDs Chakra Dance Flow and Belly Dance Drum Solo.
    For more information about Mariyah, please visit

  • Marthyna and Les Shuvanies
    Founded in 2007, Les Shuvanies is a bellydance troupe from Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec. Chosen from the best of Marthyna’s Dance School, they are creative minds and passionate women who are aiming at exploring and developing their own unique interpretation of bellydance in Oriental, fusion, or tribal style. They are inspired by the beauty and mystery of the dances of the Middle East, India, Turkey, and the Roma people from around the globe. They are “sisters” in dance.

  • Sarah Johansson Locke and Zoe Anwar
    Sarah Johansson Locke is a performer, choreographer, and educator whose work is inspired by her experience with several forms of traditional and contemporary dance, theater, yoga, and somatic modalities. As the artistic director of Alchemy Performance, Sarah has been at the forefront of establishing and cultivating the New York tribal/fusion scene since 2001. She directs two companies, Alchemy Dance Theater and the Alchemy Tribal Collective; teaches dance, yoga, and anatomy; curates the HYBRID performance series; and performs frequently. Sarah began her study of tribal bellydance in 1994 and was a member of Gypsy Caravan for several years before returning to NYC (where she grew up) to develop her own style of contemporary tribal fusion as an alchemy of her wide-ranging theater, dance, and movement experience. Throughout her career, she has been involved with projects ranging from site-specific installations and street theater to international arts festivals and large theater productions, both across the U.S. and in Zoe Anwar is one of the most elegant and avant-garde Oriental and ethnic dancers residing in Spain. She is internationally recognized as an artistic director, producer, choreographer, performer, and master instructor of Oriental and ethnic dances, Sufi whirling, flamenco-Oriental fusion, and a technique of her own creation, Natural Dance, which is designed to connect the essence of movement and emotions. As artistic director of the Tandava Oriental Dance Company she has choreographed, produced, directed, and performed in several full evening-length dance theater productions. She also produces numerous events in Madrid as the creator of WOM (Women in
    Movement). Zoe combines her artistic multidisciplinary experience with a strong social commitment to women’s empowerment and intercultural and gender issues. She conducts numerous workshops on sexuality and female empowerment, and is the editor and creator of the FEMKEYS portal.

  • Shakra
    Shakra Dance Company is an experimental bellydance company based out of Washington DC. We fuse bellydance, West African dance, theater, and our individual senses of humor to come up with a unique fused dance form which tells our tales. We do our best to help each other learn and grow as women in modern day America and take turns reminding each other not to take life too seriously. When all else fails, we dance.

  • Krista Sassani
    My life is about movement. When I’m not dancing, I am a massage therapist. The two are intrinsically tied in my practice, though the costumes are completely different. I am so appreciative of those who are passionate and open-hearted about what they love – and I am thrilled to be studying with teachers in the dance and therapy communities alike. My dance career started formally when I was eight years old, and I have been a massage therapist for the past five years. Holistic studies helped me break out of preconceived ideas I never bothered to or knew I could question. Bellydancing brought me home to myself and for that I am forever grateful. I can’t wait to see where this art form takes us all.

  • Karen and Erica – Tribute to JeniViva
    Erica Joan is a dancer, teacher, and yoga enthusiast. A lifelong passion for music and dance has led her on some amazing dance journeys. She is a certified yoga teacher and has a Master of Science degree in Education/Dance. She draws on her extensive background in modern dance to bring forth the emotive elements of bellydance. Sharing the same enthusiasm for the theatrical side of bellydance, she quickly joined forces with her belly sister JeniViva. In 2009, she became the assistant troupe director of JeniViva’s troupe, Mystical Hips. She has performed in numerous venues and stages across the United States and abroad as both a solo artist and a member of Mystical Hips. Erica currently performs American cabaret and theatrical fusion belly dance. She continues to study, perform, and teach belly dance throughout NYC and the Hudson Valley. For more information about Erica Joan, please visit Karen is thrilled to return to the DNA stage as part of the 2013 Theatrical Bellydance Conference, where she previously performed in 2010 and 2011. In pursuit of her lifelong passion for dance, Karen has studied various forms, from jazz to ballet to Irish step dancing.Karen began learning the art of bellydance five years ago by taking classes in New York City with the late JeniViva– one of the East Coast pioneers of gothic bellydance. Karen connected instantly with JeniViva’s unique and passionate dance style. Eventually, Karen became a principal dancer and core member of JeniViva’s theatrical fusion bellydance tribe, Mystical Hips. She has had the privilege of performing with the Hips at a multitude of shows at various venues over the years, ranging from nightclubs and theaters in New York City and New Jersey, the House of Blues in New Orleans, and even La Machine du Moulin Rouge in Paris! Today Karen continues to expand her experience and knowledge of the art of bellydance by training and attending workshops with such master instructors as Nourhan Sharif, Dalia Carella, and Sadie Marquardt. Karen currently performs as a solo artist in the New York City and Long Island areas.

  • Vadalna Tribal Dance Company
    is one of the premiere professional dance companies to bring the cutting edge dance “tribal fusion” belly dance to the Boston area. Having found its roots in New York City, Vadalna spans the bridge between classical Middle Eastern dance and the New York City and Boston Underground. Vadalna has grown into a theatrical performance arts company, weaving dance with contemporary mythical story. This evolution is reflected in Vadalna’s full-length featured work “Menagerie,” performed annually at The Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center in Cambridge, MA. “Menagerie” offers passage into the Victorian cirque, where festival goers may glimpse into the past, present, and future forms of mythical creatures and exotic beings and yet on second glance, “cultures blend, time bends, and the creature you perceive may be closer to you than you think.” (Taken from the Menagerie playbill.)

  • Olivia Kissel is a vibrant voice in contemporary ethnic dance, known for infusing concept-driven work with passionate expression and smooth technique. Her emotive and elegant approach to dance results in lyrical, dynamic stage presentations. Olivia explores the expressive potential of folkloric, urban, and classical dance forms in her solo performances, choreographies, and theatrical productions, creating work that weaves a rich tapestry of movement, light, and texture that is fresh, modern, and relevant to both historical and current perspectives.Olivia travels tirelessly to teach and perform her unique approach to dance, teaching workshops and performing throughout the US and abroad. Olivia uses her travel experience to collaborate with other dancers and study from artistic sources in Europe, Russia, and the US. Olivia enjoys the cross-pollination between artists and disciplines that happens with collaboration. She has worked with vaudeville comedians, musicians, visual artists, burlesque and modern dancers, and side-show artists as well as opera and theater companies.

  • Alia Thabit
    An Arab-American and a Vermont Juried Artist, Alia draws from four decades of technique, history, regional and folkloric styles, props, theater, fusion, costuming, music, choreography, improvisation, and performance.
    Alia has received grants in Vermont and New Hampshire, appeared Off-Broadway and on radio and television, presented seminars with international stars, and performed with some of our greatest living musicians. Influences include Ibrahim Farrah, Dunya McPherson, and Elena Lentini; study of several ethnic dance genres; visits to Lebanon, Palestine, and Brazil; and three trips to Egypt. A novelist and playwright, Alia teaches writing at Lyndon State College.
    Alia specializes in solo and group performance, improvisation, and choreography developed with collaborative, narrative, symbolic, and movement-based structures. As a teacher, she highlights creativity and self-expression. As a performer, she unites dancer, musicians, and audience in a radiant oasis of warmth and delight.

  • Brenna Crowley What started as a hobby became an obsession, and after much practice and dedication she has become a performer, teacher, and choreographer.
    Rooted in American cabaret bellydance and later discovering and immersing herself in tribal fusion, Brenna is an active performer in NYC, performing in many theatrical shows, bellydance festivals, and other venues each year. She has performed as a member of Sera Solstice’s Solstice Ensemble, Solstice Project, East Coast Tribal Solo Salon, Altagracia’s Caribbean Rose Dance Company, Ayshe’s Cult of Isis Ensemble and many others. She is the director and main choreographer for her troupe Zilla Dance Ensemble. She is an instructor at both Solstice Studio and Serena Studios. Overall she could be classified as a fusion bellydancer, drawing from both styles as well as movement influences from hip hop, martial arts, modern dance, jazz, flamenco, Indian dance, and especially Michael Jackson, who ignited her love of dance.

  • Darkstar (UK) Darkstar is a tribal and dark fusion bellydancer. She has developed her own unique style evolving elements of popping, ballet, Oriental, and ATS, which she has encompassed in a darker aesthetic. She loves to use robotic, tutting, and fluid stylizations to create dynamic, engaging routines. Renowned for her creative choreography and musicality, Darkstar has performed all over Europe and the USA and teaches regular weekly classes in London. Visit her on the dark side of belly dance at
  • Iron Pixie Iron Pixie is a theatrical tribal fusion bellydance duo that uses experimental ideas and strong story to entertain their audience. Their style is a combination of dark, weird, and beautiful, utilizing their combined backgrounds in various dance forms which include raqs sharqi, circus fusion, sideshow fusion, ballroom, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. Iron Pixie has taken the Vancouver scene by storm – pushing the boundaries of every performance by putting on a theatrical showcase that tests the emotional limits of the audience.
  • Meher Malik lived in the Middle East (Muscat, Oman) for 17 years before moving to Delhi, India for her further studies in fashion design. But as life had it, Meher did not continue her studies in fashion because deep inside she wanted to explore the possibility of being a dancer. Meher started dancing strictly as a hobby at the age of 10 with bharatnatyam, a classical Indian dance from the state of Tamil Nadu. She studied bharatnatyam for two years and then slowly moved into experimenting with different styles like bollywood and hip hop. Muscat, at that time, wasn’t exactly the perfect place to pursue dance, since as in many Islamic countries, dance was not very big in Oman. But Meher was constantly exposed to the Arabic language, music and culture, since she travelled quite a bit among Middle Eastern and North African countries. At 14, on a school trip to Cairo, was when Meher realized she felt an urge to study the beautiful art of bellydance. Since then it has been a journey across various countries to study bellydance with some of the best teachers throughout London, Paris, and Egypt. In 2008, Meher set up Banjara School of Dance, India’s largest and first professional bellydance school. Banjara’s focus is to shed light on the similarities between the Indian and Middle Eastern cultures through fusing dance forms from both worlds. Meher was a semifinalist on India’s Got Talent, 2009 (the first season), and recently went on to being top eight on Just Dance (a reality show on the lines of So You Think You Can Dance)
    In November 2012, Meher will be the first Asian of non-Middle Eastern descent to teach a master class at the prestigious Nile Group festival, a property of Mahmoud Reda in Cairo, Egypt.

  • The Young and the Restless Group Description: Created in 2012, The Young and the Restless is a collective of artists dedicated to exploring the creative process and furthering their craft. We are young, because we believe that staying young of heart is crucial to finding inspiration in the world around us, and we are restless, because we are devoted to transforming what inspires us into dance. Gabrielle has been dedicated to bellydancing for nearly a decade and has extensive training and performance experience in traditional Oriental style bellydance as well as tribal fusion. She has studied intensively with Jillina, Rachel Kay Brookmire, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, and Mardi Love. Gabrielle has been cast twice in Jillina’s world-touring production of Bellydance Evolution, “Dark Side of the Crown” in 2012 and “Immortal Desires” in 2010. Her style includes a blend of Egyptian and American influences, and her personality contributes a dynamic and spontaneous energy to every performance. Gabrielle currently performs with Sahara Dance Entertainment as a soloist and company dancer throughout the DC area. Elena Faye is an award-winning performer and teacher based in the DC metropolitan area. She first began bellydancing at the age of 14, under the instruction of DC-based dancer Najwah (Karen McLane). During her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, Elena had the opportunity to study and collaborate with such respected artists as Nourhan Sharif, Ranya Renée, Luna of Cairo, and Kaeshi Chai. She also spent three years as president of the Columbia University Bellydance Troupe, which is host to the annual Collegiate Middle Eastern Dance Conference. In 2010 and 2012, she was honored to perform with Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution show, and was recently featured on Michelle Joyce’s Project Bellydance. After earning her degree in Middle Eastern Language & Culture with a minor in dance, Elena returned to DC, where she performs as a soloist as well as a member of the Nomad Dancers and Ancient Rhythms Dance Company. She is also on the faculty of Saffron Dance, where she teaches weekly classes. Born and raised in a family of Balkan music and folk dance fanatics, Jenna Shear has been moving to groovy Slavic tunes from the womb. In the fall of 2009, while earning her bachelor of arts in dance and Asian & Middle Eastern cultures at Barnard College, she became a member of the Columbia University Bellydance Troupe, where she became vice president and a leading choreographer. In 2011 she received third place in the East Regional Bellydance Championship and was a featured guest soloist in The Crowning of the Woodland Queen, a production by DC-based Ancient Rhythms Dance Company. Since then, Jenna Shear has danced with the Ranya Renée Dance Company, La Troupe Sabah, and BellyTrance. In 2012, she received first place in the fusion soloist category at the Miami Bellydance Convention and created The Young and the Restless, a dance collective designed to enable individual artists to explore and further their craft within a supportive group environment.

  • Aria Michaels Paradise is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of New England based ABRAXAS Dance Theatre. Her dark fusion, theatrical style of movement is based in the mystical realm of Romantic sensibilities. As a performer she is known for her effortlessly graceful and ethereal style; powerful, character-based narratives; charismatic stage presence; and distinctive choreography. As a classically trained dancer in ballet and modern dance, Aria has performed in Romantic ballets such as Giselle and Coppelia and borrows from ballet’s otherworldly, fairy tale elements, stylistically fusing them with vocabulary from modern dance, lyrical, cabaret, gothic, and tribal fusion bellydance. Website:
  • Armineh Keshishian is a Certified Financial Planner who has been in the financial industry for over twenty years. A business graduate from York University in Canada, Armineh has authored several financial articles for local and community newspapers, appeared as a guest speaker on television, and led a variety of seminars and workshops in the field of finance. Middle Eastern born, Armineh’s passion for the Middle Eastern dance combined with theater, writing, and producing led her to the production of multimedia and multidisciplinary shows of “Evolution … of the Human Kind” and “Behind the Veil,” which both received public and media attention. Her next scheduled production is “Follow Your Heart,” which is a Middle Eastern love story of taboo and tradition.

  •  Kierra Foster-Ba has studied the 5Rhythms® with Gabrielle Roth, the founder, for 15+ years. Kierra appears in Gabrielle’s Power Wave video and in the documentary “Dances of Ecstasy.” She also dances with PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment), an international organization of artists devoted to using bellydance to promote peace and end suffering. Kierra has been offering 5Rhythms® classes in New York City since 2008 and has led workshops in Brazil, Connecticut, Philadelphia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Kierra is a graduate of Yale University Graduate School, is a veteran New York City educator (20+ years), and has been an adjunct professor of education at the City College of New York.
  • Shira Shira is known worldwide for her work as a researcher, author, lecturer, and publisher of information on Middle Eastern dance, music, and culture. She has been interviewed by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for stories on Middle Eastern dance, and is highly sought after as a contributor to magazines centered on this art form. Her web site,, is the most comprehensive and most linked-to Oriental dance internet resource in the world. Although she had already been dancing many years by then, in 1997 Shira began her serious study and research into the historical and cultural foundations of Middle Eastern dance. For continuing education, she has traveled three times to Turkey and nine times to Egypt. Her academic credentials include a 1979
    Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa with a double major in journalism and French, and a 1982 MBA, also from the University of Iowa.

  • Sandralis Originally from Puerto Rico and currently residing in New York City, Sandralis is an outstanding dancer and performer who has studied dance since the age of eight. Her diverse dance experience and training includes Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Bellydance, Contemporary, African, Puerto Rican Bomba, Salsa, and Merengue. Sandralis ‘ dance experience is versatile and her dynamic performances have captivated an array of audiences around the world. Formerly known artistically as “Nawal”, she has been the
    recipients of several recognitions for her bellydance performances including First Runner Up and Troupe of the Year in the 2001 at Bellydancer of the Year Pageant. Since 2006, Sandralis has been a principal dancer with Bellyqueen, a professional world dance company based in New York City. Beyond her extensive experience as a performer, Sandralis is also a highly regarded, charismatic and dedicated instructor with Bellyqueen where she also led the advanced beginner troupe, Fire Blossoms. She has
    completed Tamalyn Dallal’s Teacher Training and was one of the winning contestants selected by Jillina to perform with Bellydance Evolution in New York in January 2010.

    Through her extensive performance career, Sandralis has developed a passion for make- up. The art of make-up has been an avid interest of Sandralis’ since her teenage years and she has translated this passion and training for make-up into real life experience as professional dancer. She learned first-hand the importance of presentation – especially first impressions – as key to success as a performer. As a full time dancer, she has had extensive opportunity to practice and perfect make up tips and tricksfor a range of artistic settings and venues including modeling promotions, stage, theater, photo and video shoots. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and helping bring out the beauty that lives inside each and every woman.

    Sandralis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts/Dance from SUNY Brockport, and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Dance/Movement Therapy at Pratt Institute, NY.

  • Zahava Griss is the founder of Love Making Dances. She uses yoga, dance, holistic sensuality, and health coaching for women to live sensually empowered lives. Her training as a professional dancer includes working with legends such as the Joffrey Ballet, Katherine Dunham, and Urban Bush Women. Her training in the spiritual arts includes extensive training in tantra, sexual shamanism, Anusara yoga for birth, and Sufi dance meditation. She is also a health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Zahava served as a core yoga and meditation teacher at the Deepak Chopra Center and co-director of Spiritually Sustainable Activism. Her workshops and performances have been televised on BET and presented at New York University, the international Inspiring Women’s Summit, the Kennedy Center, Joe’s Pub, the Blue Note, the annual NY Midwifery conference, prenatal yoga teacher trainings, and Ina May Gaskin’s Farm. To learn more visit:

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