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.


HUGE THANK YOU to all our generous donors who contributed to our Kickstarter Campaign to support the DNA shows!!! We met and exceeded our fundraising goal!

We’ve decided to take the extra time to plan and fundraise at a more leisurely pace, so that we can present another fantastic conference in 2013, two years from now. But we are planning smaller events in the meantime. Join our mailing list at the bottom of the page to stay in the loop…

Listen to Anasma, Ranya Renee and Raqsie interviewed on the Transpacific Sound Paradise show on WFMU radio, hosted by Rob Weisberg. June 25, 2011 (TBC at 1hr 2 minutes into show)

Click here for 2011 performance photos in Gilded Serpent online magazine.

  • Anasma is the co-founder and co-director of the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference. Founder of World Citizen Dance, she is a visionary Dancer, Teacher, Choreographer . Drawing from her cross-training and international background, Anasma focuses on making dance meaningful and touching through storytelling, character development and powerful aesthetic movement. Seen in 5 continents and more than 25 countries, featured in numerous performance DVDs and instructional DVDs, Anasma currently tours Europe, North and South America and Asia to teach and perform in dance festivals, intensives, prestigious theaters, TV shows and concerts. Join her on facebook and read more on Read Full Bio
  • Ranya Renée, NYTBC co-founder and co-director, began her performing career more than 30 years ago as a theater actress and comedienne, and 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 & coaching. She produces live events in New York and tours internationally. Ranya's instructional DVDs Bellydance "Egyptian Style: The Baladi" and "Modern Oriental" have earned rave reviews from dancers worldwide. This year she launched her own company, Ginger City Productions, to produce more teaching and performance videos. For more info visit her website at

    Photo: Greg Kessler

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  • Elena Lentini trained in Middle Eastern Dance with Ibrahim Farrah, Mime with Stefan Niedzialkowski and Christopher Yeatmanof the Polish Mime theater, and Flamenco with Maria Alba and Victorio Khorjian. During the 1980`s, much of which was spent teaching and performing in Europe, the Middle East and America, she formed her company Caravanserai. Drawing on her own individual experience for inspiration, her work became more universal, presenting an abstract vision of the myths and rituals of ancient civilizations, returning again and again to her celebrated themes of evolution and metamorphosis...... Read Full Bio
  • Wendy Buonaventura was among the first to pioneer Middle Eastern dance as an art in the West, and is well known for her book Serpent of the Nile. Her theatre work, uniting dance and text, explores cultural myths about women, and a documentary has been made about her for British TV. She celebrates dance as a key to tapping our creativity and hidden energies, her style drawing on a broad experience of dance, theatre and bodywork. Her recent part-fictional book Midnight Rose is based on the life of scandalous Edwardian dancer Maud Allan. She is programme director of Sirocco. Read Full Bio
  • Dalia Carella is a renowned world fusion artist, choreographer and master teacher. Founder and Artistic Director of the Dalia Carella Carella Dance Collective. Ms. Carella has delved deeply in the studies of dances from the Near and Middle East including Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, as well as North Africa (including Morocco and Algeria), India and Spain. Her dances are both traditional and contemporary with a spiritual and mystical essence behind each and every dance that she creates. Some of Ms. Carella’s new works represent both traditional and contemporary movement ranging from sacred rituals to global contemporary theater pieces to post modern works. Her dance background also includes studies in Flamenco, Indian, Bollywood/Bhangra, Afro-Haitian, Samba, Salsa, Bomba and Plena from Puerto Rico as well as jazz and ballet. Read Full Bio
  • DaVid of Scandinavia is an internationally touring Middle Eastern and Indian dance artist, choreographer and dance coach and co-owns the Ethnic Dance Academy in San Diego, CA. He is known for his precise technique, delicacy in artistry and expressive finesse along with his refined musical sense. He has authored comprehensive dance study materials. He has performed at multiple international festivals and stages including Oslo Oriental Dance Festival, Stockholm Bellydance Festival, Raqs LA and been featured in national media in Norway, Sweden, and Germany. DaVid is featured on several performance and instructional DVDs. His choreography is currently featured in the new Bellydance Superstars show - Bombay Bellywood. Read more at Read Full Bio
  • Zoe Anwar Trained in classical ballet at the Royal Academy of London and oriental dance with acknowledged masters such as Shokry Raqui Hassan and Mohamed, Zoe Anwar has an extensive career as a director, dancer and choreographer. She has worked with some of the greatest Arab artists all over the world and performed on international tours in Europe, America and Arab countries. She currently heads the oriental dance company Tandava and created the dance-theater plays "Aluaan" and "Karah", to great critical acclaim and success. Read Full Bio
  • Autumn Ward, ever a trailblazer, creates compelling dances that combine scholarship and imagination with technical virtuosity. Working within and beyond cabaret, tribal, and ethnic styles, Autumn is best known as a star of genre-defying artistic belly dance. Her repertoire also includes authentic cultural dances from across the Islamic world, including Arabic, Turkish, and Persian styles. Autumn’s body of work reflects her expertise and training across many disciplines, including a wide range of classical and folkloric dance styles, music, theater, circus, and variety entertainment. Read Full Bio
  • Ayshe is a New York dance artist, choreographer and designer. Ayshe blends her Greek and American heritage to create an exotic and unusual dance style. She has trained extensively in classical ballet, modern dance, yoga, and numerous ethnic dance forms, particularly Middle Eastern dance, ancient Pharaonic dance, and Indian dance. She holds a B.A. from Hunter College in Dance & Human Movement, Archaeology, and Middle Eastern Studies. Ayshe's dance styles include: Turkish and Egyptian style bellydance, Indian dance, ancient Egyptian Pharaonic dance, and fusion/ fantasy bellydance. Read Full Bio
  • Yael Becker, a performer, choreographer and instructor, is immersed in Middle Eastern Dance, and has contributed to its field since 1996. Yael studied Middle Eastern dance in Israel, Egypt and in the United States. In addition, she is trained in contemporary dance, theater dance, acting, singing and guided-imagination technique. Yael holds a B.A. from Tel Aviv University in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Art. Yael Becker has created the theatrical dance shows “Rikdi Tamah” (2009) and “Raks 2” (2006). Her performances and workshops are featured internationally - she recently collaborated with “Ozu” (Italy), Kaeshi Chai, and the Dalia Carella Dance Collective (NYC). Read Full Bio
  • Fayzah is a dancer who focuses on expressing music through various integrated movement languages. She is an accomplished Tribal-Fusion dancer, Fire Circus performer, Argentine Tango dancer, innovator of Tango-Bellydance Fusion, and DJ. Her own "United Styles Dance Method" blends elements of World Dance styles, Popping, Waving, Hip Hop, and Groove theory. Sea creatures (both real and imaginary) inspire her. Live performances include Top Talent USA. She is featured on several performance DVD’s and has created the instructional DVD’s "Fluid Tribal" & "Android Goddess". Fayzah is currently teaching & performing worldwide. For more information visit: her websiteShe is delighted to be a part of this theatrical production. Read Full Bio

And Our Returning Instructors from 2010 (Thursday Only)

  • Elisheva is an internationally acclaimed Tribal Fusion dancer from NYC, sought after for her signature fusion of aesthetics- Bellydance fused with trained classical dance, jazz forms, and hip hop’s popping & locking. She currently performs as a company member and the Dance Captain of "Bellyqueen”, and is part of the creative NYC collective production team “Venus Uprising”. She will be this years featured Artist and Instructor at Hiptastic! 2010, and teaches classes weekly in NYC and Long Island. Elisheva is currently featured on available performance DVDS and has 2 DVD instructionals available; “Tribal Fusion, Pop & Lock” and “Hard Candy”.Read Full Bio
  • Aszmara "Dance is emotion in motion" describes accurately the quality of Aszmara’s dance. She impresses through her expressive stage presence and interprets the music with her own blend of modern and ethnic Arab and Turkish dance which The New York Times describes as "intense". Throughout her over three decade career, performances range from cabaret entertainment to full concert stage creating themed concert events, folkloric and innovative dances. As one of the leading figures in the field of the Oriental Dance, she was one of the founders/principal dancers of the AMMED Award Winning Middle Eastern Dance Company Oriental Images as well as co-founder/co-director of SaZ Dance Theatre, a multi-cultural woman’s dance company. "Dance is Emotion in Motion" visit Full Bio
  • Kaeshi Chai is an internationally recognized performer and instructor. She is the director of the professional company, Bellyqueen Dance Theater, the healing community PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) as well as the Rising Sirens. In 2003-2004, she was part of the Bellydance Superstars, and held the position of dance captain for the 2004 US & Canadian Spring Tour. She has performed at Central Park's Summerstage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Folie's Begere in Paris, Bloomsbury Theater in London, Teatro Smeraldo in Milan and has made television appearances on Conan O'Brien as well as BBC's Blue Peter. Recently, she was invited to team up with the one and only Jillina for her Bellydance Revolution project. Read Full Bio
  • Blanca Born in Mexico and based in New York City, Blanca is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and workshop leader. Trained in diverse disciplines, her main love has always been bellydance and its many facets: a performing art, a social dance, a fitness practice, a storytelling device and one of the most powerful healing tools she has encountered. Credits include a dance scene for the upcoming film Sex and the City 2, 11 bellydance DVDs, and a series of dance concerts at Merce Cunningham Studio with her previous dance collectives Venus Uprising and CollexArts. She is a faculty member at the 92Y, teaches weekly classes at Serena Studios and leads workshops throughout the US and abroad. Full Bio
  • Aepril Schaile is "An American priestess of the Dark Goddess" working through the ancient and ever-evolving arts of Bellydance, Music, Ritual Theater, and Divination. Aepril has taught and performed at curated events in Paris, NYC, L.A., Hollywood, and San Francisco. Aepril directs Exquisite Corpse Productions and is Artistic Director of Exquisite Corpse Dance Theatre. Aepril teaches ongoing classes in Boston and Salem, MA, and teaches traditional, theatrical, and shamanistic Bellydance workshops nationwide and internationally. In performance, Aepril becomes Trickster, Warrior, Ghost, Storm, Grieving Mother, Killer, Snow Queen, Seductress… Aepril’s performances invoke the archetypal Feminine as a force of nature and magick. Aepril is an astrologer, musician and composer, dancer and dance teacher, writer and storyteller, mythologist, animal rights advocate, and witch. Aepril is an AAFA certified Group Fitness Instructor, and she holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art.Read Full Bio
  • Lotus Niraja is a professional Middle Eastern dance artist specializing in Urban, Contemporary and Modern Egyptian and Lebanese belly dance styles. As one of the top performers and instructors on the East Coast, Lotus is widely recognized for her dance style, dramatic energy, and vibrant interpretation and technique. Known for her drum solos and shimmy technique, her dance style is dynamic, infused with glamour and style! Lotus teaches Belly Dance classes and offers private lessons as well as national and international workshops. In her classes and workshops, Lotus combines elegance, grace and crisp movement technique with stage dynamics and audience participation in order to help the student give a polished theatrical performance. She offers an extensive library of workshop topics including Raks Modern, the Art of Belly-o-graphy, Raks Sabor, the Icing on the Drum Solo, Egyptian Style Dance Boot camp and Shimmilicious Shimmies.Read Full Bio
  • Sarah Johansson Locke is a performer, choreographer, and teacher whose work draws on a deep knowledge of the body as well several forms of traditional and contemporary dance, theater, yoga, and somatic modalities. As the Artistic Director of Alchemy Performance, she directs and performs with two companies; teaches dance, yoga, and anatomy; and curates and produces events. Her dance explores sacred space, that within us and that around us. Sarah has extensive training in a wide range of contemporary and folk dance styles including Ballet, Modern, Tribal and Tribal Fusion Bellydance, North Indian Khatak, Butoh, West African, North African, and many styles of Rom (Gypsy) dance including Rajasthani, Turkish, Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, and Spanish (Flamenco). Read Full Bio
  • Hanan (Tiffany Madera, M.A.), has been a leader in her field for over a decade. Specializing in contemporary folkloric styles of Egypt, Yousry Sharif wrote “Hanan can easily pass as a native dancer of Cairo… this is no easy task”. The Miami Herald describes hanan as “boundary crossing”, “bold” and “a dominant force in contemporary dance”. She is the Founder of Cuba’s first Bellydance Troupe and band; Aisha’ Al-Hanan and has created and developed two documentary films on the subject. She is currently in post production of her film “Havana Habibi” in collaboration with Beeloved Creations. Hanan is a prolific and avante-garde dance theater artist and is a critically acclaimed director and producer of the Habibi Trilogy (Hip Hop Bellydance hybrid theatre) and Hanan with Other Friendly Gods and Goddesses, which made the Miami Herald Top 10 Performances of the Year. Hanan is a world renowned protégé of Tamalyn Dallal and Yousry Sharif. Read Full Bio

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