I'm a an artist and teacher who co-founded Bellyqueen, a professional dance company and school, and PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment), a global community focused on empowerment and social change through dance. I've performed and taught extensively internationally, and I am an alumni member of the Bellydance Superstars, Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution and Kenji William's Bella Gaia.
One of my all time joys is dancing to live music. In addition to years on stages from Las Vegas and beyond, from 2007-2017 I curated the weekly Djam Under Jebon event for dancers and musicians to create and play together in the East Village of NYC.
I teach at the Bellyqueen School of Dance, lead creative labs using Sprint methodology to create full length theatrical dance shows in 3-4 days and curate the annual PURE Conference. My mission is to explore the transformative power of dance and theatre to cultivate deeper connection to self and others.
One of my greatest joys in life is sharing my love for bellydance with others by teaching. I regularly lead Bellyqueen teacher trainings covering teaching tools, anatomy, music, history, culture, and business with Lissa Michalak, Brad MacDonald, Nancy Eder and more.
Tours and gigs
I have performed and taught all over the world including the US, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Carribean, Morocco, Bali, Australia, South America and throughout Asia. In 2002, I was booked with Bellyqueen on a 6 month contract performing 5 shows a day to live Arabic music at Aladdin's Desert Passage in Las Vegas. In 2003-2004, I was part of the first professional touring bellydance company in the world, the Bellydance Superstars, and held the position of dance captain for the 2004 US & Canadian Spring Tour.
I have performed with Natacha Atlas, at Central Park's Summerstage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, BAM, Folie's Begère in Paris, Bloomsbury Theater in London, Teatro Smeraldo in Milan and have made television appearances on Conan O'Brien as well as BBC's Blue Peter. In 2005, I made history as the first foreigner to teach bellydance in Taiwan, and in 2006, I was the first US-based dancer to teach in mainland China. From 2007-2009, I toured with 6-13 dancers as Bellyqueen Dance Theater, traversing the United States 3 times, Canada 3 times, Western and Eastern Europe and Japan.
In addition to Bellyqueen and PURE, I've had the pleasure of dancing with: Bella Gaia (2012-2017), Jillina's Bellydance Evolution (2009-2014), Ahmet Luleci's Collage Dance Ensemble (2009-2010), Elly Shu's Chinese Dance Company (2004), Bellydance Superstars (2003-2004), Dalia Carella Dance Collective (2001-2002), Ranya Renee's Maqamikaze Dance Company (2000), Shoshana's Dance Company (1998-1999), Serena Studios (1997-1998), Chinese Youth League (1988).
In 2009 and 2010, I was honored to be the featured soloist in Turkish dancer Ahmet Luleci's Collage Dance Ensemble Psiphas / Rituals shows. From 2009-2014, I toured as a principal dancer and choreographer with Jillina's Bellydance Evolution show and in 2012 I danced and choreographed for Kenji William's NASA-sponsored Bella Gaia project. I was also a judge for the UltimateBellydancer.com 2012 competition.
Although becoming a professional dancer seems like an unlikely path for someone who was very shy as a child, I've found it has given me tremendous strength by facing and my overcoming fears of performing, and learning to accept myself for who I am.
On February 20th, 1996, I started my belly dance training under the guidance of Jeannie Kasis and soon after, Terezka Drnzik from Sydney, Australia. I continued studying, in the US, Egypt and Turkey, with many top dancers. I am especially grateful to Serena Wilson, Shoshana, Jillina, Tamalyn Dallal and Dalia Carella for the opportunities they have given me and for their support through the years.
I am an eternal student and attend as many workshops and classes in personal growth, contemporary dance and theatre to ensure I am continually inspired. I am also trained in anatomy and fitness to ensure that students thrive in a safe and supportive class environment.
I practice daily meditation and I'm inspired by buddhist and taoist philosophy. I also believes in supporting worthy causes, and have been the sponsor to a child living in the Dominican Republic since 2006 (through Children International) to help care for children in developing countries by making monthly donations to cover medical care, education and clothing.
I graduated with honors from a 4 year degree in Visual Communication Design from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia and I'm an award winning designer and illustrator. I have illustrated over 20 books and designed extensively for MTV, Beliefnet and countless other clients.
Avram Pengas and the NOGA Group
Baharat (Michael Burdi, Jeff Campoli, Enrique Mancia)
Bella Gaia Ensemble (Kenji Williams, Kristin Hoffmann)
Ben Sutin and Klazzmatazz
Mission on Mars (Vin Scialla, Neel Murgai)
Next Tribe (Rob Mastrianni, James Criscitiello, Phil Scotti)
Instructional DVDs and Documentaries
Crazed: The Bellydance
Training and certificationS
2019 July Simonson Modern Jazz Teacher Training with founder Lynn Simonson + Te Perez Ceccon (40 hrs)
2019 June MICHA Michael Chekov Acting Workshop + Teacher Training (2 Full-Time weeks)
2019 March-April PADI Open Water Certified Diver through Rey Diving in NYC + Poni Divers in Brunei
2019 Feb-March PIT (People Improv Theater) Level 4 with Patrick McCartney (8 weeks)
2019 January Third Rail Projects Immersive Theatre Intensive with Jennine Willett (5 days)
2018 Conflict Resolution and Violence Prevention Using Dance with Martha Eddy (1 day)
2018 Playback Theatre with Randy Mulder (Weeklong)
2018 Mastery at Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts (4 months)
2018 92Y DEL Dance for Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum (4 days)
2018 Third Rail Projects Ritual & Performance: Rites of Passage with Tom Pearson (1 day)
2017-2018 DEL Dance Education Laboratory with Jody Arnhold and Catherine Gallant (22 wks)
2017 Third Rail Projects Intensive with Jennine Willett (5 days)
2017 Matthew Bourne's New Adventures Master Classes
2017 Empowerment Intensive with David Gershon + Gail Straub ( 4 days)
2017 Ensemble Directing with Emmanuelle Delpech (Weekend intensive)
2017 PIT (People Improv Theater) Level 3 with Pat Swearingen (8 weeks)
2017 AXIS Choreographic and Performance Intensive with Marc Brew (3 days)
2017 AXIS Teacher Training in Physically Integrated Dance: The Fundamentals (1 day)
2017 NYC Physical Comedy Lab with John Towsen
2017 Dell'Arte International Summer Intensive (3 Full-Time Weeks)
2016 Puppetry in Practice with Tom Lee (Weekend intensive)
2016 Melodrama with Emmanuelle Delpech (Weekend intensive)
2016 Character Mask with Richard Crawford (Weekend intensive)
2016 Neutral Mask with Richard Crawford (Weekend intensive)
2016 Lecoq 101 with Richard Crawford (Weekend intensive)
2016 PIT (People Improv Theater) Level 2 with Erick Hellwig (8 weeks)
2015 Dance therapy with Nancy Koprak at the New School (1 semester)
2015 Clown for the Improviser with Joe Galan
2015 Drama therapy with Randy Mulder at the New School (1 semester)
2014-2015 House of the Roses Volunteer teaching children age 4-14 dance at homeless shelters
2014-2015 ASFYT Anatomy Studies for Yoga Teachers with Jason Ray Brown (8 months)
2014 Drama therapy with Adam Reynolds at the New School (1 semester)
2013 Yoga Teacher Training with Yogaworks (200 hours over a month)
2012 PIT (People Improv Theater) Level 1 with Nate Starkey
2012 SEEDs (Self-Esteem and Empowerment through Dance) Teacher Training with Myra Krien
2011 PIT (People Improv Theater) Level 1 with Jamie Cummings (8 weeks)
2011 Dances of Oneness with Banafsheh Sayyad in Yalova, Turkey
2009 Fat Chance ATS American Tribal Style Bellydance General Skills with Carolena Nerricio
2009 Dancing Thru Pregnancy Certification
2006 Suhaila Salimpour's Level 1 Certification (Weeklong)
2005 Laura Shannon's Sacred Circle Dance Teachers Training Intensive (4 days)
2005 Anatomy and kinesiology intensive with Amy Matthews from LIMS (Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies,)
Tamalyn Dallal's Middle Eastern Teacher's Training
Pelvis anatomy workshop with Sherri Winston
AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) certified instructor
Strength Training certificate with Australian fitness expert Ashley Jones
ACHPER (Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation) Certificate