Teachers and Performers

Belly Dance Teachers / Performers


Belly Dancers

(My favorites

across the globe)














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Ansuya - (Florida)

Ansuya is an incredible dancer who's been belly dancing since the age of 4! Her movements are so fluid and seemingly effortless. A pro at complex finger cymbal rhythms while graceful layers of several other movements, while smiling from the inside out; she makes the art form seem like a breeze.  But once you take one of her workshops, you will realize how much work her body is doing. I highly recommend her workshops. She's a great teacher and kind person.


Jillina - (LA/International)

I was lucky enough to meet Jillina and take a drum solo workshop with her in March 2007. What a fun, inspiring, kind teacher! I took away so much joy and excitement from that workshop. She is also the fearless choreographer and member of the Bellydance Superstars that are touring world-wide. The show I saw March 2007 was so amazing that I was almost in tears. Belly dance meets Cirque de Sole! I STRONGLY recommend you try seeing the Bellydance Superstars when you can - you won't be sorry!


Rachel Brice - (San Fransisco/International)

Another vital member of the Bellydance Superstars, it's not easy to forget Rachel Brice, with that torso that goes for days, phenomenal muscle isolations and hilarious attitude.  If you ever get the opportunity to take a workshop with Rachel, DO IT.  You will learn so much and have such a fun time in the process.
I promise you, if you see Rachel and her tribal counterparts perform, you will see dance unlike any other and be totally mezmorized. Here's a clip of her dancing a drum solo for a little taste.

Rachel Brice

Suhaila Salimpour - (California)

I have Suhaila's advanced choreography tape and learned some good dancing techniques from it. She explains and breaks down movements very well. I also highly recommend watching her solos and her troupe's performance tapes. Their precision, variety and energy will really inspire you. She has her own signature moves that are fun to learn. Like Ansuya, she's also a fabulous product of being a famous belly dancer's daughter.


Moria Chappell (Bellydance Superstars, On the move workshops)

One of the tribal dancers from the Bellydance Superstars, Moria certainly challenges her students in workshops and is a fun teacher as well. Don't let her dramatic performance persona fool you --- Moria is a sweet, down to earth person who is excited to share her knowledge about yoga, dancing, costume design and more. If you have a chance to take a workshop with her I strongly recommend it. You'll be sore for weeks and challenge your body to new feats!
Check her out on the Tribal Fusions DVD from the Bellydance Superstars website. One of the best DVDs ever in my mind!


Jasmin Jahal - (Chicago, IL)

Jasmin came to Arizona in Jan. 2003 and gave a fabulous workshop. She taught us well-known as well as more obscure zill/dance rhythms (see my page on playing zills). Then she spent two hours drilling us on all the different kinds of shimmies, and boy was I sore the next day! Check out her web page because she has a ton of articles and resources. Her article on stage fright is funny and helpful to me - I think we can all relate to stage fright when we're just getting started as dancers (and even years after).

Desert Sin (CA)

I saw this fearless and experimental troupe at Rakkasah and was completely blown away. They were painted blue head-to-toe and performed a piece about the goddess Kali (see a clip here *warning, some nudity). We (Black Opal Troupe) were lucky enough to be performing right before them and got to see them up close and wow - they looked amazing - and the dancing was even more incredible.

Desert Sin

DaVid (Scandinavia)

Don't believe men can belly dance? Think again! I saw DaVid at Rakkasah and was impressed by his command of the dance. He makes it his own and really shines in many different styles of the dance. His hip work and muscle control is splendid to watch.

Pro Dancers
and Teachers
in Arizona



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Ava Fleming (Phoenix & Tempe)

Ava Fleming (dancer/teacher) teaches at various places in the Valley (check her website for latest locations).
She will teach you how to completely re-think your posture while dancing, traveling combinations and choreography, and helps you pay close attention to muscle isolation and dance technique. She's also amazing to watch as a dancer! I have learned so much from taking classes with her. She is founder of the Black Opal Dance Troupe (of which I'm a proud alumni).  
After you've taken with Ava, every other class will seem like a breeze!

Check out her website: avafleming.com


Heidi Alexander (Tempe, AZ)

Heidi is a well known dancer and founder of Domba Tribal as well as an extremely talented costume designer.  She is a joy to watch perform and she is an extremely kind, fun and fantastic teacher.  You can also find her beautiful costumes for sale at Renaissance Faires at the DOMBA tent.  Be sure to check them out.  I love my Domba bra/belt set; it is comfortable, beautiful and has withstood the test of time and rigorous dance!

Heidi Alexander

Sherry Van Goethem (Mesa)

Sherry has danced with Domba, Boom Boom Bollywood and Punjabi by Nature. Her eclectic style ranges from Tribal BellyDance to Bollywood to Bhangra to Hip Hop. Her classes are always fun for all levels while still being challenging.

I have taken her bellydance hip hop and slithery pops and locks class and loved every new choreography! She is a kind, fun person, an amazing dancer and inspired choreographer.
She owns and teaches classes at the Center For True Harmony & Wellness.

ELLISHA (Tempe & Phoenix)

Ellisha has been dancing for over a decade studying a variety of dance styles (like fire dancing, flamenco, salsa, African, and Indian) but specializing in belly dance. Ellisha enjoys solo dancing but prefers collaborating and performing with others. She has danced with a variety of troupes including: Egyptian Cartouche, Naseem Sahar, Domba, Nomo Bugante, and Deja Dance. Ellisha’s diverse background in dance lends to her unique style and teaching approach.
In addition to performing, she is also an amazing, kind and fun teacher. 


Diosa (Glendale)
Instructor & performer and former member of the Black Opal Dance Troupe. Not only a dynamic performer, she's also a wonderfully sweet and friendly person.
Diosa teaches various levels of belly dance through the City of Surprise. Diosa performs an amazing double veil routine in addition to all her other specialties. Diosa won 1st runner up for Belly Dancer of the Universe 2004 in the Fusion Category.

Helena Vlahos (Phoenix and Tempe)

Helena Vlahos teaches cabaret classes at the Cannedy Performing Arts Centre (6222 North 7th Street). She is most well known for her quarter-flipping belly roll trick, but she also offers a unique and experienced perspective on the dance and culture. She has vast experience in the world of belly dance which has earned her well-deserved fame. Visit her website: HelenaVlahos.com

Carrie Konyha (Sedona/Phoenix)

Carrie is a professional belly dancer and teacher from N.E. Ohio and is the producer of the popular instrucional videos "the Dance" volumes one and two. Carrie is the inventor of a spiritual type of belly dance called Gaia Dance.

Karen Custer Thurston (Flagstaff)

Though I haven't taken with Karen, I have seen her perform and was quite impressed with her personal style and technique as well as amazing stage presence. A student of hers recommended her to me, so check out her web site if you're in the Flagstaff area.

Samia (Tempe and Chandler)

My first teacher was Samia. She teaches through Tempe and Chandler Parks and Recreation Depts. She is a fun and patient teacher who has taught many women who are now giving lessons. If you want to master zills, she will make sure you practice using them.
She will give you the full overview of everything you need to know in belly dance; hip movements, upper body, veil work, zill rhythms, floor work... you name it! Her classes are very affordable and quite popular. She really encourages everyone to have fun.

Yasmina (Mesa)

Teaches through Mesa Parks and Rec as well as workshops in the Valley.

She's a great teacher to show you dance with props, choreography, rhythm and drumming instruction. Visit her magnificant website for update information on belly dancing in Arizona.

Mahin (Phoenix, Gilbert)

"Dance with your heart as much as your hips..." Mahin is a lovely dancer who really, to me, exemplifies authentic, classical middle eastern style and beauty.

I absolutely LOVE her blog and her Daily Bellydance Quickies. Full of fun facts, great YouTube clips, drills, exercises and all sorts of inspiration for dancers; it's a must-subscribe service for middle eastern dancers.  Check out her website or follow her on twitter or facebook to get information on classes and performances.



Nielle (Lakewood / Golden / Denver)

My classes try to focus not only on technique, strength and flexibility but each class also highlights an empowering thought for the day and a helpful handout for the student. I try to educate about all styles of bellydance (tribal, cabaret, fusion, etc) though my own personal style tends to be more Cabaret / Egyptian. We will work on choreography to put all our drilling into practice but we also remember to have fun!

To schedule a private lesson, workshop, bellygram or more please  contact me!


Kaya and Sadie (Denver)

I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to Kaya and Sadie's classes. They are truly talented and mezmorizing dancers as well as kind, challenging teachers. They teach strength, flexibility and drills with good technique and fun choreography.

You can always count on a great workout too!

Check their websites for upcoming events.


Suzanna Del Vecchio - (Colorado)

I have two of Suzanna Del Vecchio's workout tapes, and they have helped me a lot with muscle isolation, putting combinations together, and adding footwork and arm positions with common belly dance moves. She hosts belly dance retreats in Colorado that include yoga, dance classes, party, and performances. Someday I'm going to get to one of those!
Her classes are also great fun with challenging zill combinations.


Phoenix-Dancing (Centennial, Glendale, Northglenn)

"As a teacher, Phoenix works with each student to develop strength in their moves, technique, and create their own style. She teaches self-expression and creativity. Also, she teaches each of her students zill techniques from the drummer and dancer perspective. Phoenix provides performance opportunities for her students to grow."


Eva Cernik (Denver, Aurora)

I haven't taken with Eva but have seen a couple performance tapes in which I was very impressed with her zill work, torso isolations and sword dance.

I hope to check out some of her workshops or classes at some point.


Rafi'ah (Littleton, Parker, Denver)

"Rafi'ah believes passionately in the power of performing arts and the transformative capacities of Bellydance and meditative movement. She hopes that what she conveys to her students and audiences is inspirational, educational and in some way healing in their everyday lives."


Tahara (Denver)

Tahara teaches Beginning and Continuing Level Middle Eastern Bellydance classes at the Washington Heights Arts Center for the City of Lakewood on Monday nights and a mixed level class in Golden, CO. She has studied with Joynan, Dahlia, Momo Kadous, Rachel Brice and Jillina. Tahara teaches primarily American Cabaret with an emphasis on Egyptian style with some Arabic Folkoric mixed in, at her home studio as well as for the City of Lakewood. She performs solo and with her troupe, Cairo Moon Dancers. Her day job is Advanced Rolfer, Movement Therapist, Cranio-sacral Therapist and Body-centered Psychotherapist specialzing in Trauma.


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