Middle Eastern Dance:
Dancers' Directory, California

USA Listings: California


M. A. Cappa
9046 Haskell Ave.
No. Hills, CA 91343
email: lrotunno@ucla.edu
She's a performer, teacher, etc. and part of "Perfumes of Araby", based in the Los Angeles, CA area. Indicate in the email that it's directed to Anaheed.

Mystic Sun Studio of Mid-Eastern Dance
California, USA
phone: 415-462-1082
Website: http://www.netgate.net/~rhiannon/azar.html
"18 years teaching and performing the art of Belly Dance. Azar has an extensive background in dramatic arts, dance, and art and is as experienced in teaching as she is in performing. She holds a Bachelor Of Arts degree with emphasis in ballet, modern expressionistic dance and comparative religions. She is currently a student of Sufi Master Adnan Sarhan. Her interest and appreciation for dance from other cultures has taken her to Greece, East Africa, Chile, and most recently Egypt.

"Classes are currently held at the Psychic Eye Bookstore in Mountain View, CA. The address and phone are 1128 El Camino Real, Mountain View, (415) 964-2220. Beginner classes are Tuesdays at 6:00pm and Intermediate classes are Tuesdays at 7:30pm, each class is one and a half hours long and lasts for 8 weeks. Price is $10 per class. Private lessons are also available. Azar has recently aquired a studio of her own and classes will be moved there sometime toward the end of the year. Please call Azar directly at [the number above] to confirm class times and location." "She's terrific...!" --Rhiannon

Crafty Lady Boutique
1131 East Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776
phone: 818-285-0092
Pink Gypsy Website: http://www.craftylady.com/gypsy.htm
Learn to belly dance at the Crafty Lady Boutique. Classes meet every Monday and Friday evening at 7:30pm. The teacher is Catharae. They offer a free introductory class to those new to belly dance. They also sell belly dancing supplies. For more into and some pictures, see their website.

International Oriental Dance School
phone: 408-335-4567
Santa Cruz, CA USA
Website: http://www.enchantedcreek.com/slvculture/helene.html
Egyptian and Turkish bellydance, and Egyptian and Moroccan Folkdance. Instruction, performance and productions. See her website for info on classes, events, performances, workshops, etc. as well as for her bio. She teaches "locally" at her studio in Felton and at the Walnut Avenue Women's Center in Santa Cruz, as well as abroad.

Farida Karoon
phone: 415-961-8011 or 415-364-2059
email: portabote@gnn.com
"She holds classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area from San Jose to Marin County. From beginners through intermediates. She also gives private instruction to advanced students. Many travel to her from as far away as the East Coast." --Alex

Alexandra King
Seher Dance Company (aka Troupe Seher)
PO Box 868
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
phone: 805-965-8583
email: Susanne at kyre@charm.physics.ucsb.edu or Shelby Lyn at 102347.571@compuserve.com
"Alexandra teaches a variety of Middle Eastern styles, including Egyptian, Turkish, Moroccan, Gypsy, and Persian, for adaptation to and inclusion in American-style belly dance. She also teaches both classical and folk dancing from throughout the Middle East and Greece in her capacity as Dance Director for the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble."

from the troupe flyer: "Seher Dance Company presents dances from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Their repetoire includes folkoric line dances, mysterious candle dances, dramatic tribal dances, wild gypsy dances, and the ancient, beautiful art of belly dance....Seher Dance Company appears regularly at restaurants and festivals throughout Santa Barbara and with the UCSB Middle Eastern Ensemble." Available for both individual and group performances.

Perfumes of Araby
M. A. Cappa
9046 Haskell Ave.
No. Hills, CA 91343
email: lrotunno@ucla.edu
Perfumes of Araby is based in the Los Angeles, CA area. Contact Anaheed at the above address/phone/email for further information. Indicate in the email that it's directed to Anaheed.

PO Box 18326
S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96151 USA
phone: 415-459-1892
Email: sapphira@ancient-future.com
Website: http://www.ancient-future.com/sapphira.html
Winner of "Miss America of the Bellydance" '85 "Bellydancer of the Year" '85, and the "National Bellydance Competition" in Las Vegas '86. Also, featured on "Cheers" episode of "Money Dearest", as well as on the 1993 65th Annual Academy Awards, Oscars in "A Whole New World", and helped Debbie Allen with choreography for same. She is available for performances in concert with the world fusion ensemble Ancient Future. For more info, pictures, resume, see her website.

SESE Productions
540 Ocean View #2
Santa Cruz, CA 95062 USA
phone: 408-476-0830

Troupe Wasila, Veiled Threats
Santa Clara, CA
Website: http://www.shira.net
Troupe Wasila and Veiled Threats are two dance companies based in the Santa Clara area. Troupe Wasila's shows focus on "American Nightclub" style of belly dance, while Veiled Threats is a comedy bellydance troupe. Pictures, schedule of upcoming performances, further bio information and more can be found on the website. Shira's Middle Eastern Dance Site is a general ME dance website which also includes information about bellydance and its history; advice and tips; glossary of terms; Middle Eastern culture and lyrics to music.

Zahra Zuhair
10153 1/2 Riverside Dr. #568
Toluca Lake, CA 91602 USA
email: zahra@aol.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/zahra/
Performing and teaching for over 20 years, she frequently teaches seminars around the USA. Her webpage lists her seminar schedule, as well as biographical and other information.

Los Angeles Area

Adam Basna Music and Dance Company
Los Angeles, CA USA
Phone: 213-850-6300 or 213-934-9493
Fax: 213-525-0615
Website: http://www.adambasma.com
Email: abasma@4link.net
Their dancers hail from all over the Middle East, Latin America and Europe; they perform both folkloric and cabaret styles in authentic costumes imported from overseas. See their website for many pictures and information.

Antoinette Awayshak
Los Angeles, CA USA
email: azalin@earthlink.net
Syrian Belly Dancer. Danced in the prestigious nightclubs The Fez and Ali Baba. Also appeared in Las Vegas shows featuring her own band with the famous Dr. Najeeb Khoury playing the oud. Antoinette is now a writer and consultant on belly dance issues. Antoinette also consults on the emotions of the dance.

Linda Erland
Director of the Jewels of the Nile troupe
1692 Sycamore Dr.
Simi Valley, CA 93065 USA
She teaches intermediate and advanced belly dance through the Simi Valley Recreation and Park District. Linda is also the director the troupe Jewels of the Nile.

Rowland Heights, CA, USA
phone: 818-810-9470
fax: 818-964-9800
email: fahtiem@primenet.com
Website: http://aleena.com/fahtiem
Fahtiem, producer of Oasis Dance Magic, has performed throughout the United States including engagements on cruise ships and performances on cable and network TV. She is featured on two videos, "Arabian Dance Fever" and the recently released "Belly Dance Paradise". Fahtiem teaches at Rio Hondo and East Los Angeles Colleges and at studios in Long Beach, Montebello and Puente Hills as well as seminars across the country. Fahtiem is also featured regularly at: Zorba's Restaurant, Anaheim, CA and at Caspians Restaurant, Irvine, CA.

Fantasia Simi
Director: Linda Erland
Simi Valley, CA USA
"Fantasia Simi is a new troupe, recently formed to provide intermediate and advanced students with a performance vehicle. This troupe will perform for local events and in solo performances at a local restaurant."

Robyn Friend
Los Angeles, CA USA
email: rcfriend@earthlink.net
Website: http://home.earthlink.net/~rcfriend/
She specializes in Persian traditional dance (both folkloric and "classical"), in the Los Angeles area. She teaches dancing and Persian and Turkish singing and is available for special workshops or private lessons. She is also available to choreograph dances for performing groups, and has done so for the Duquesne University Tamburitzans and the AMAN Folk Ensemble. She also does costuming consultation (see photos on her website) as well as Pilates-based method of dance conditioning.

Jewels of the Nile
Linda Erland, director
Simi Valley, CA USA
"The Jewels of the Nile is a professional-level troupe that performs at dance festivals and other events throughout California. They also perform regularly at local restaurants. The troupe was founded in 1986 and is comprised of twelve dancers." See Linda Erland entry above, for further detail.

JJ's Place
Los Angeles, CA USA
Web Site
Covers aspects of bellydance in Los Angeles, including club and teacher recommendations/links; some events.

Juliette's Art of Middle Eastern Belly Dancebr>Juliette Arroyo
Glendale, CA USA
Troupe JPEG (55 K)
Member of the troupe Eye of the Pyramid, she teaches Egyptian, Oriental and American style belly dance. Her classes are held Monday evenings at 8-9:15pm in Glendale, California; $10 each class. The level is Beginning to Advanced Beginning, and it's an ongoing group class.

Mohammed Khordadian
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Khordadian, a persian dancer, left Iran after Khomeini took power and artists like himself were being denounced. He eventually settled in Los Angeles and now runs the troupe "Sabah" which performs nationwide. He and his troupe "Sabah" have a few videos out which you can order from Khordadian at the phone # above. Of their videos available, one was recently reviewed in the July/Aug 95 Shimmy Chronicles journal and described as "a high quality, well directed and edited video". That (untitled in the review) video includes: a solo by Ixchel Maeker called "Larsan", a solo by Khordadian and Jean Bridges, a Persian Miniature, a ballet "1001 Arabian Nights", "Bandari", plus a few songs and a drum solo done with a live Persian band.

Middle Eastern Cultural and Dance Association
PO Box 946
Rosemead, CA 91770 USA
"The leading dance organization in southern California...They sponsor many special events, includinding the Cairo Carnivale festival each June." --JJ's MECDA page Membership gets you a monthly newsletter of upcoming events (including clubs), for $25 the first year, $20 each year after.

Middle Eastern Music and Dance Productions
3244 Overland Ave. Unit 1
Los Angeles CA 90034, USA
Hosts of the annual summer Mendecino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp

Orange County, CA
phone: 714-756-2674
email: sabrina@primenet.com
A belly dance performer, choreographer and teacher. Beginner and Intermediate classes every Monday at 6pm in Newport Beach, CA; Advanced level and Choreographies by appointment. She performs Wednesdays and Thursdays at the Marakesh restaurant in Newport Beach and also performs by reservation only at Casablanca Bistro in Newport Beach and Al Andalous in Los Angeles. She is also available for parties, costume design and custom alterations.

Norene Roxbury
Simi Valley, CA USA
"[She] teaches beginning belly dance classes through the Simi Valley Recreation and Park District. She is a member of the Jewels of the Nile dance troupe and has been an active member of the belly dance community for over twenty years." For further info, see Jewels of the Nile listing.

Tonya and Atlantis
218 Ximeno Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90803 USA
Performers/teachers; do many seminars and workshops. They run the "Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition" (formerly known as the "International Belly Dance Competition") held annually in February in Southern CA.

Viviane Hamamdjian
Viviane's Arabic Dance Theater
Beverly Hills, CA
phone: 310-274-3143
(From a flyer) "Teacher, choreographer, and performer of Egyptian Folkloric Dance. Viviane Hamamdjian is well known throughout the Middle East as a choreographer and performer. She has served as soloist and choreographer for the National Ensembles of both Egypt and Lebanon and with the Sabah Ensemble. As director of her own company, she has toured leading theaters and opera houses in Egypt, Lebanon, Australia, Bahrain, Iran, THe United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Viviane currently directs a new company in the Los Angeles area comprised of dancers of both Arab and non-Arab backgrounds. For information on classes or to book Viviane's Arabic Dance THeater call [the above number]."

"Viviane knows not just 'belly dancing' but all forms of Arabic dance including debke, dances from the Ghawazee and Saidi styles, in addition to all music from these areas and the languages...Several UCLA grad students have studied with Viviane as part of their specialization in Middle Eastern dance, some of which have published and/or presented papers to ethnological journals and conferences. As someone with a musical theater background, my experience with Viviane's choreography has led me to dub her 'the Bob Fosse of the Middle East'." --Alana


Fatima and Jamila
Suburb of Sacramento, CA USA
phone: 916-344-0902
"Fatima (mother of Jamila) lives near Sacramento. Jamila (daughter of Fatima) is currently going to school and teaching workshops, classes? Both are fabulous dancers and teachers. Fatima is also a vendor. Fatima teaches. I am sure someone knows here address or number. I have had workshops with her and only one class years ago when I was in the area." --Monique Schaefers

Sacramento, CA USA
phone: 916-448-1665 or 916-447-3793
Email: Jodette@hotmail.com
Website: http://pages.prodigy.com/Lorrie/jodette.html
"Now available to teach workshops. The authentic original, pure old fashioned movements."

Eye of the Pyramid
Established 1977
Artistic Director: Majida Magdalena 916-658-9077
Co-Director Delia Echegaray 916-568-7323
Co-Director (LA) Juliette Arroyo 818-249-2668
Sacramento, CA USA
email: LGrant44@aol.com
Troupe JPEG (55 K)
"Invitation to reunite with the Goddess within." Private and group lessons available. Weekly classes: Monday 7:30pm - Advanced Performance and Posture, 8:30pm - Tribal Ethnic Dance of Egypt and North Africa (Tunisian, Algerian, Ghawazee); Wednesday 7:30pm - Beginning Yoga Stretch, 8:30pm - Beginning Belly Dance (cymbals, percussion, veil). All classes located at the studio of Majida Magdalena

Special Events of the Troupe: Cairo Carnival (Los Angeles), Desert Dance Festival, Oasis Dance Magic (Los Angeles), Magana Baptiste International Dance Festival (San Francisco), Troupe winner 2nd place 1995, solo performances winner 1996, Delia Echegaray 3rd place. Performances: Delia Echegaray in Sacramento: Taj Mahal, Marrakech and Cafe Istanbul restaurants. Juliette Arroyo in Los Angeles: Babooch Restaurant, San Pedro.

San Francisco/Berkeley Area

Bay Area Belly-Dance Website
Contains calendar of upcoming events and a searchable teacher listing for the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

1612 Dolores St.
San Francisco, CA 94110 USA
phone: 415-386-3527
email: barakasf@sirius.com
Website: http://www.barakasf.com
"Nationally recognized instructor, performer and author. Classes at all levels in San Francisco and greater SF Bay Area. Workshops and seminars throughout the US, now booking for 1997. Video Privates, coaching and teacher training courses. Video "The Best of Bāraka (so far) available mail order - reviewed in Habibi magazine Vol. 15 #2", as well as "The Dancer's Toolkit".

2127 Essex St.
Berkeley, CA 94705 USA
phone: 510-843-3065
Instructor, performer of Cabaret, Folkloric and Flamenco influenced Middle Eastern dance. "Dahlena is a pioneer of Middle Eastern Dance in the United States and was one of 3 people instrumental in initiating the first classes taught in the States in th 70's. She remains one of the most professional of instructors and one of the most entertaining of performers." --Linda Coleman Note: Dahlena is teaching in Berkeley now (July 1997) but will be temporarily relocating in Fall 1997 to Boston, MA and then to Tampa, FL for extended periods of time.

P.O. Box 460594
San Francisco, CA 94146 USA
Web site: FatChanceBellyDance Homepage
"FatChanceBellyDance is a celebration of the female spirit. Based in San Francisco, this troupe sees Tribal Style Belly dance with a modern eye. Under the direction off Carolena Nericcio, FatChanceBellyDance has established itself nationwide with innovative workshops and performances. Send SASE (Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope, with 2 32-cent stamps) for the FatChanceBellyDance mail order catalog featuring music, videos, books, costumes, jewelry, cosmetics and accessories." Their videos: The Tribal Basics Instructional Series 1,2, and 3; and "Tatooed One" and "Live!", performance videos. (Posted on medance list: founder Carolina Nericcio teaches on Tuesday nights in Berkeley and on Thursday and Friday nights in San Francisco.)

Hahbi Ru and John Compton
220 Esmeralda Ave.
San Francisco, CA USA 94110
Flyer advertises RenFaire videos for 1993 and 1994 available at $20 each plus $2.50 S/H.

San Francisco, CA USA
Website: http:members.aol.com/IMZAHDI6/bellydance.html
Bellydance performer and instructor, Imzahdi has performed in many San Francisco restaurants, clubs, festivals and private parties. She is a certified bellydance instructor from the Bastet School of Oriental dance, and has a private studio on the San Francisco peninsula. She is currently appearing Saturday nights at Cleopatra's. See her website for a nice (huge) image of herself dancing, or for more info.

Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan
Studio: 15651 Camino Del Cerro
Los Gatos, CA USA 95032-3721
(one hour south of San Francisco)
fax: 408-356-6463
Email: ma_shuqa@hotmail.com
Ma*Shuqa is a professional educator who teaches from a formal framework of dance movement and choreography, rhythm, movement patterning and body awareness. Ma*shuqa's instructional methodology combines dance sequences together with dynamic rhythmic zil patterns, body positioning and graceful arms to produce a complete and total dance choreography. Her teaching methodology includes instruction in performance staging, personal style, showmanship and stage presence with many variations to suit each dancer's special personality. Ma"Shuqa is known as the "performing dancer's instructor" and provides style and performance coachng. Her studio classes include personal coaching and videotaping to give the student feedback and a record of their study.

Ma*Shuqa's dance style and teaching repetoire reflect years of study and is evidenced in her dazzling performances. A comment often heard from her audiences in Germany, Cairo, and Athens: "She understands our music and our culture..in her dancing we see the expression of joy and emotions of our culture." Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, International Performer and Instructor Available for performances, workshops and seminars.

Shahrzad Dance Academy
Shahrzad Khorsandi
1195 McConald Dr.
Pinole, CA 94564 USA
phone: 510-724-2425
email: Shahrzad@pacbell.net
Website: http://www.xdot25.com/shahrzad
"Shahrzad Khorsandi, born in Iran, is the founder and Artistic Director of Shahrzad Dance Academy in Berkeley, California. She has studied Modern dance and choreography at CalArts in Los Angeles, and holds a BA in dance and an MA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University. She has studied and performed Persian dance with Avaz, an international dance and theater company in Los Angeles.

"Shahrzad Dance Academy is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public (adults as well as children)in various dance forms. At the moment we are focussing on Persian dance (classical and folk). We have classes in Berkeley, Concord, Davis, and San Jose for both children and adults. We will also have our first dance concert on December 14, 1996, in Berkeley at The Hillside Club on Cedar. Shahrzad Dance Ensemble, the performance troupe sponsored by Shahrzad Dance Academy, is available for performances at cultural/educational events and tours (no parties or weddings...sorry). For more information about classes or performances, please [call, write or email the addresses/numbers above]."

Sisters of the Moon Bellydance Troupe and Seventh Veil Ensemble
North Bay area CA, USA
Email: crowzar@metro.net
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/ca/sistersofthemoon/sistersveil.html
The Sisters are the youngest self-managed, produced and directed bellydance troupe in California. Our purpose is to reclaim our dance as sacred and put an end to misconceptions and negative stereotypes. We educate the public on what bellydance REALLY is. We are collectively organized; there is no hierarchy. We are a feminist bellydance troupe. We do not support the exploitation of women (or anyone) in any way. We are dedicated to providing professional, exciting, ethical performances. Our unique style is gypsy/tribal centered. The Seventh Veil Ensemble is the Middle Eastern band that works with the Sisters of the Moon troupe, providing them with live music. Angelena teaches bellydance and music at her studio.

Suhaila Salimpour School of Danse Orientale
Suhaila Salimpour
PO Box 8612
Berkeley, CA 94707 USA
phone: 510-526-4344
Suhaila's Website
An internationally renowned performer and teacher at various Bay Area venues, including the Salimpur School of Danse Orientale (see below), as well as a frequent instructor at seminars and workshops throughout the USA and abroad. See her interactive website for nice images, more information about classes, workshops, her troupe, her videos (instructional and performance), as well as live chat lines, bulletin boards and on-line shopping.

Suhaila Salimpour School of Danse Orientale in the San Francisco/East Bay Area, CA area. She has a certification program in the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance. Suhaila is currently (Fall 1997) teaching: Mon - Level I, 7:30-8:45pm; Tues - Choreography Class (all levels), 8-9pm; Wed - Level III, 7:30-8:45pm; Thurs - Level I, 8-9pm; Fri - Level III, 11am-Noon; Sat - Level II, 12:30-1:45pm. For more info phone: 510-526-4344, or see the website.

San Jose

Scarab Productions
PO Box 24849
San Jose, CA 95154-4849 USA
phone: 408-264-4DDF
fax: 408-264-9DDF
Website: http://www.desertdance.com
Dance Class Schedule: Beginning, Tuesday, 7:30 pm; Intermediate, Tuesday, 8:30 pm; Advanced, Thursday, 7:30 pm. Classes located at the Atlas School of Dance, 2982 Almaden Expressway @ Foxworthy, San Jose CA.

Renowned teacher, performer and workshop teacher. Producer and sponsor of the Desert Dance Festival. Artistic Director of Nile Spice - A Dance Company. Dunia has produced several instructional video tapes.

1105 Longshore Dr.
San Jose CA 95128 USA
phone: 408-286-6618
email: Farouche1@aol.com
"Belly Dance by Farouche - Teacher and performer for 26 years and director and choregrapher of Troupe Neola and The Desert Delights in the Santa Clara Valley. Available for seminars, show bookings. Farouche has performed in Cairo, Egypt as well as Las Vegas, Nevada.

"For Class schedule phone, write or email Farouche at the addresses/numbers given above. Classes taught in Los Gatos on Monday and Thursdays. Mondays are beginners and Thursday Intermediate and advanced."

Last Modified: 25 Feb 1998
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