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.

We have brought together teachers from all styles and genres of bellydance to bring you a well-rounded and inspiring learning experience. This year we are incredibly proud and excited to welcome the following new and returning artists to our conference family for 2016!


Ranya Renée began her career more than 30 years ago in acting and comedy. She moved to NYC in 1992 to continue her work as a theater director. She was gradually sidetracked by bellydance until it became her life! One of New York City’s leading Egyptian-style dancer-instructors, Ranya specializes in teaching holistic technique and theatrical performance skills and coaching. Ranya’s signature “Breathwork for Performance” method has enabled thousands of artists worldwide to more effectively connect with their own art, and with their audiences! She strives to create a supportive atmosphere in her workshops for both technical precision and artistic growth. It’s no surprise, Ranya would be one of the masterminds behind the development of the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference!

To read more about Ranya:

Anasma1FB_ Jorge Dengo

Anasma draws from her cross-training in academic, ethnic and urban dances, acting, pantomime, yoga, and martial arts. Her focus is making dance meaningful and touching through storytelling, character development, truthful emotions and aesthetic powerful movement. She is recognized by her peers for her wild creativity, great expressiveness, and for pushing the creative envelope! Director of World Citizen Dance Inc and World Citizen Dance School, Anasma has been touring since 2006 in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and North Africa to teach and perform in the Oriental dance and Oriental Fusion dance festivals and intensives. With the release of her full length album, “Chance Is Back”, she has proven to be a truly versatile and complete artist!

To read more about Anasma:

Photo courtesy of Jorge Dengo.

Aaliyah Jenny1FB_TheDancersEyecom

Aaliyah Jenny is best known for her moving and autobiographical fusion performances which tell universal stories. She incorporates her fascination with the dance of the Near East, hip hop and contemporary dance into all of her performances. She is a professional dancer specializing in world fusion with Near Eastern dance influences. Aaliyah Jenny is currently teaching at Velveteen Serpent Studio in Salt Lake City, Utah and most importantly is a student of movement every opportunity she is given.
To read more about Aaliyah Jenny: courtesy of The Dancers Eye – Fine Art Bellydance Photography.


Alura for seven years has served as Artistic Director of CU Bellydance, the official bellydance troupe at Columbia University, where she earned her M.A. in Anthropology. While at Columbia, her academic work included media studies, film, and screen writing, as well as socio-cultural anthropology. Alura’s dance journey began at the age of four with Classical dance classes. At Binghamton University, she studied Jazz Dance extensively while earning her bachelor’s degree in Management. Her dance education expanded to include many forms from Samba, Salsa/Mambo, African, Haitian, to Middle Eastern Dance. She decided to focus creatively on Middle Eastern dance at the age of 23. She has also performed as one of the original members of the Dalia Carella Dance Collective. She also served as an assistant facilitator of PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) under the direction of Kaeshi Chai.

To read more about Alura:

Photo courtesy of Pixie Vision Productions


Anahid Sofian has a career spanning six decades as a dancer, choreographer, producer and teacher. She established her studio in New York in 1972, where she offers instruction on regional dance styles, choreography, structured improvisation, and music and rhythms. She has also taught at NYU, Sara Lawrence and Hunter Colleges. Internationally recognized as one of the most versatile and innovative artists in the field, Anahid was one of the pioneers in taking Oriental Dance out of the nightclub and onto the concert stage, performing with her Company in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.

To read more about Anahid:

Photo of Anahid taken at the NY Dance Festival at the Delacorte. Aszmara, a teacher of teachers, fiery performer and a master at her craft, has vast knowledge and experience in technical as well as performance skills. Her passionate connection to the music and her informed teaching are truly unforgettable with an electric excitement of music and dance created in the space between choreography and improvisation.

Throughout her over four decade career, she has captivated audiences with her wide range of performances which include cabaret entertainment, full concert stage themed events, folkloric and innovative dances for four decades. As one of the leading figures in the field of the Oriental Dance, Aszmara is also one of the founders and principal dancers of the AMMED Award Winning Middle Eastern Dance Company, Oriental Images as well as co-founder/co-director with Roberta Koch of SaZ Dance Theatre, a multi-cultural woman’s dance company.

To read more about Aszmara:

Photo of Aszmara courtesy of

Ava Ava Fleming holds the 2004 Bellydancer of the Universe and Miss Congeniality titles and brings a truly unique, modern approach to Raqs Sharki. Her distinct approach to teaching earned her an invitation to instruct accredited courses at Arizona State University and Scottsdale Community College. Ava’s instructional and performance videos have inspired and challenged many who have taken on the task of studying her elegant example of the classical modern belly dancer through which novices and masters alike will gain challenge and insight.

To read more about Ava:

Dalia_5756 Dalia Carellais an internationally renowned Near/Middle Eastern and world fusion solo artist, choreographer, master teacher, and the Founder/Artistic Director of the Dalia Carella Dance Collective. Dalia has delved deeply in Near Eastern and Turkish Romani dance, as well as Flamenco, Indian, Bollywood/Bhangra, Afro-Haitian, Samba, Salsa, Bomba and Plena, Tango, jazz and ballet. The dance forms Dalia teaches around the world are Dance Orientale Cabaret, Belly Dance Contemporary, Flamenco Araby, Turkish Romani and Belly Dance Tango Fusion Dalia numerous concerts and teaching tours have led her throughout the US, Canada, England, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, Italy, and Turkey.

To read more about Dalia:

Donna Image Donna Mejia is a choreographer, scholar, instructor, and performer specializing in contemporary dance, traditions of the African and Arab Diaspora, and emerging fusion traditions in Transnational Electronica. This genre provides a rich arena for the study of cultural imperialism, gender representation and electronic/digital globalization. Donna is also an authorized instructor of the Brazilian Silvestre Modern Dance Technique and is a lauded representative of this esoteric study of dance after 20 years of practice.

To read more about Donna:

Photo of Donna courtesy of Carrie Meyer.

ebony-headphones Ebony Qualls has performed and taught both traditional raqs sharqi and her own dynamic fusion belly dance style, which is fueled by her background in both raqs sharqi and urban dance genres for over 11 years. A founding instructor of Sahara Dance – Washington DC’s Center for Middle Eastern Dance, Ebony has also taught and performed throughout Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States — touring internationally with the world famous Bellydance Superstars and Bellydance Evolution.

To read more about Ebony:

Photo of Ebony courtesy of Stereo Vision.

Elena Lentini Elena Lentini ,choreographer, teacher and dancer trained in Middle Eastern Dance with Ibrahim Farrah Mime with Stephan Neidzialkoski and Christopher Yeatman of the Polish Mime Theater, and Flamenco with Maria Alba, Victorio Khorjian and Mariano Parra. As oriental dance soloist with Mr. Farrah`s Near East Dance Group. She performed at Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center`s Avery Fisher Hall and at The Kennedy Center`s New Life Hall. Lentini formed Caravanserai Dance Theater in 1988 presenting choreographies expressing an abstract vision of the myths and legends of ancient civilizations, returning again and again to her celebrated themes of evolution and metamorphosis. The company has performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Yale University Repertory Theater, LA Mamma Theater, Washington Square Church, The Angel Orensanz Foundation, a gothic revival Synagogue as well as other venues. Lentini has taught and performed throughout the United States, in Canada, Greece, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, Australia, South Africa and Japan.

To read more about Elena:


Luna1FB Luna Poumian (Ornella) was born in Mexico City and is a professional dancer and graphic designer. With a background in ballet, jazz, synchronized swimming, hip-hop and contemporary, she eventually found her passion with belly dance. Luna has several certifications and awards recognizing her dance accomplishments. In addition to being cast in Bellydance Evolution’s “Alice in Wonderland” show in Mexico, she was most recently selected by Munique Neith to be part of her “International Ballet” performing at the Festival Egipto in Barcelona 2016.

To read more about Luna Poumian:

Oreet_n (1) Oreet holds the titles of Bellydancer of the Year, Jewel of the Nile, Entertainer of the Year and Middle Eastern Dance Champion of North America. With over 20 years experience as a fitness instructor, this creator of SharQui – The bellydance workout®, the FIRST fitness accredited bellydance workout in the world! SharQui fuses both cardio fitness and the art form of bellydance for a fun, total body workout. Oreet is no stranger to leading packed classes and workshops in the U.S. and Japan.

To read more about Oreet:

Photo courtesy of

Puela Lunaris1FB Puela Lunaris is an internationally acclaimed performer, workshop leader and multimedia producer​. She was born in the ancient Morisco castle of Montanchez (Spain). With a B.A. in Dance Education from SUNY, Puela is a sought-after teacher in Bellydance circles because of her expertise in Zambra and other Morisco, Gypsy and Sephardi traditions from her native Spain. Puela leads ​in​novative​ dance teacher training​s​ at her online school with a comprehensive curriculum that includes Barefoot Flamenco, Spanish Gypsy Skirt Dance, effective teaching methodology and savvy marketing tools, so her graduates can generate multiple streams of income teaching dance. She has taught at Rakkasah Festivals, NYC Pure Conference, Juilliard School, NY Open Center, Omega Institute, Hudson Jungian Society, Hollins University (Virginia), Performing Arts Network (Miami Beach), Centro Andaluz de Danza (Seville) and Peter Gabriel’s W.O.M.A.D. Festivals (Spain). Puela is the founder of Dances of the World Society, dedicated to saving dances in danger of extinction.

To read more about Puela:

IMG_5096 Ramzi Edlibi and his People Of The World team bring dances from around the world to classrooms and studios to give students a visual experience in the art of dance and performance. With over 30 years of dancing around the world, he’s also an accomplished drummer. Originally from Lebanon, Ramzi studied Middle Eastern Dance with Caracalla, Flamenco with Jose Granero, Classical Ballet with Dukodovsky, Jazz with Luigi, Ballroom with Pierre de Leine, and Tango with Carlos Gavito.

To read more about Ramzi:

IMG_5096 Sandralis is a visionary dancer, educator choreographer and dance/movement therapist with a solid belief that the arts are powerful tools for healing. Her diverse dance experience and training includes Modern, Contemporary, Raks Sharqi, Ballet, Jazz and African-Caribbean. She has performed nationally and internationally on stages throughout United States as well as in Europe and Asia.

Beyond her extensive experience as a performer, she also is a highly regarded, charismatic and dedicated dance instructor. Through her dance and teaching she has experience healing for herself and others. Sandralis decided to combine dance and therapy to heal deeper scars and traumas of others. That is when she get her MA in dance/movement therapy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Lately she became a mother and has taken time to spend with her child. Also, she collaborates with different artist of diverse disciplines and is gestating new challenges and adventures to be discover.

To read more about Sandralis:

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