Sweetheart Gala 2018!
Annual Bellydance Festival
International Master Instructor!
Ahmed Hussien is undeniably an iconic figure and a source of inspiration for dancers and teachers alike in the world of Classic Oriental and Egyptian Folkloric Dance. Ahmed's masterful and dynamic teaching method is the result of his absolute dedication to dance combined with his comprehensive experience in the area of performance and choreography. Ahmed is the ONLY Egyptian Dance Master to have Ballet, Belly Dance, Ballroom, and Broadway experience in his repertoire.
Ahmed Hussien was recognized by The Higher Institute of Ballet in Cairo, Egypt and accepted his enrollment into their elite academy at eight years of age. He studied both academics and dance for nine years, 12 hours a day; included in his rigorous training were formal instruction and mentorship in Classical Oriental and Folkloric Dances of Egypt by Egyptian Dance Masters, and Russian Ballet by experts affiliated with the prestigious ballet companies of Russia. By the age of 17, Ahmed had toured internationally with the Cairo National Ballet under the direction of Dr. Abdel Moneim Kamel, and had graduated from The Higher Institute of Ballet with the highest degree of honors. He came to the US and expanded his dance education into ballroom dance, while working for Madame Darvish of New York. Soon thereafter, Ahmed was presented with countless opportunities including touring with the Near East Dance Group, performing several times at Lincoln Center and choreographing “Oh, Brother” for a Broadway production. He has since been sponsored in many workshop intensives and been on judging panels for competitions worldwide.
Ranya Renee Master Instructor and International Performer
Ranya Renée began her performing career more than 35 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. Since then, Ranya has performed and presented at dance events, museums, and cultural festivals across five continents.
In addition to teaching and performing around the world, Ranya has produced numerous live Arabic music and dance events in New York City, and is the director of the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference (www.theatricalbellydance.com) and the New York Classic Orientale Intensive. Ranya is conversant in seven languages, including Arabic, and always enjoys learning more. She holds a B.A. cum laude in Theater and Linguistics from Yale University, and in 2015 earned her M.A. in psychology from the New School for Social Research, with a focus on embodied cognition and affect. In the bellydance community, Ranya has written for and been featured in cover stories for Shimmy, Zaghareet, and Oasis (Australia) magazines.
Ranya specializes in teaching holistic Egyptian-style technique and theatrical performance skills, as well as presentation and stage presence coaching for all kinds of performers and presenters. Her 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. Ranya’s instructional DVDs “Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi,” “Bellydance Egyptian Style: Modern Oriental” and “Bellydance Taqasim: Improvisational Skills and Drills” have earned rave reviews from dancers worldwide. In 2017, Ranya opened her new video production studio, The Ginger City, and began to offer online courses, downloadable educational resources, and focused coaching series. She also maintains Facebook groups including the Ranya Renee Baladi Video Study Group and offers periodic live broadcasts for members.
In her research trips, beginning in 1996, to Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Palestine, Ranya has met with, interviewed, and studied with local dancers and musicians in each place, and has led small-group study trips to Egypt. She taught at Cairo’s Salamat Masr festival, directed by Hassan Ali. Teachers Ranya counts as her biggest influences across her career include Yousry Sharif (NYC/Egypt), Shoshana (NYC), Gamila el-Masri (NYC), Shareen el-Safy (CA), Ibrahim Farrah (NYC), Dunya (NYC), Elena Lentini (NYC), Ramzi el-Edlibi (NYC), and from Egypt, Mona el-Said, Nany, Aida Nour, Raqia Hassan, Faten Salama, and the great Mahmoud Reda. In Arabic music studies, Ranya has trained primarily with Simon Shaheen, Najib Shaheen, Dr. Jihad Racy, Bassam Saba, and Dr. George Sawa.
Tarifa “Donna” Salem, Eastern Dance Artist, was exposed to the music and dance of the Middle East her entire life. She was born into a traditional Lebanese family, on March 30, 1956, and raised in a community in western Pennsylvania that had a large Lebanese population. Both maternal and paternal grandparents immigrated from Amioun, Lebanon and maintained the traditions of the Middle East throughout their lives. Her family stayed with the Farrahs, her maternal grandparents, for the first several months of her life. Her grandmother, Abla Nassar Farrah exposed all of her children and grandchildren to the traditional music and dances of the Middle East. Jacob N. Salem, her paternal grandfather was a chanter in the Eastern Orthodox church her family went to. He practiced these beautiful arabic phrases so typically sung in the Eastern “quarter tone” scale constantly. Family activities revolved around church events. Haflas, picnics, weddings and other celebrations were never without Middle Eastern music and dance. This is how the dance styles were handed down from generation to generation. Mimicking the adults who danced at these events was a form of entertainment as well as first hand exposure to the art. Tarifa’s uncle, Middle Eastern Dance Artist, Ibrahim (Bobby) Farrah, and her maternal aunt, Margaret “Peggy”Farrah were well known within the Lebanese community as exciting dancers. They were enthusiastically encouraged to perform at functions that featured live Arabic music. At Farrah family functions, Tarifa and her siblings were treated to private performances, lessons on how to do the “Arabic” dance and, often, how NOT to dance with several comedic renditions starring her two uncles, “Bobby” (Ibrahim Farrah) and “Sonny” (Jay Farrah) both of who were quite adept at mimicking less talented acquaintances. All in all dance and music represented joy, love and laughter in her life.
Dance and singing roles in high school musicals, piano lessons, ballet classes and voice lessons, occupied Tarifa’s teen years. She enrolled at West Chester State College as a voice major/piano minor. During her freshman year, she went to NYC to visit her uncle who took her to see the legendary dance artist, Jemela Omar perform at the Darvish. This had a profound affect on her. She promptly changed her major upon her return to college and enrolled in every dance elective her schedule allowed. She graduated with a BS degree in Health & Physical Education with a Dance Emphasis in 1978. Her first professional teaching job was in New York City where she taught dance and PE at the Nightingale Bamford School, an elite private girls academy. She enrolled at NYU in 1979 to further her dance studies and earned her MA Degree in Dance Education in 1982. She was a performing member of NYU based modern dance company, Kaleidoscope under the direction of Judith Schwartz. After working backstage for a year with the Ibrahim Farrah Near East Dance Group, she was accepted as a performing member during the latter part of 1979 and remained with the company until 1982 before the birth of her first child. Her most memorable performances was at Town Hall in June, 1981 where she performed “the possessed” in Mr. Farrah’s well known “Beit al Zaar, and in production numbers La Mystique Et Spirituelle (Zeffet) and Saidi Et Nawaria. International Dance Star, Nadia Gamal was the featured artist in that performance. Tarifa was able to study intensely with Ms. Gamal and to perform on the same stage with her that summer. She idolized Nadia Gamal and worked very hard to emulate her style of dance. Among other performances with the group, she enjoyed dancing at the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina in the early 80′s.
Tarifa studied Afro/Caribbean Dance with Lavinia Williams, a Dunham protégé, Flamenco Dance with Carlota Santana, African Dance with Doris Green and Bharata Natyam Technique with legendary Classical Indian Dance Artist, Indrani intensely during the early 80′s. Her Master Thesis on Moroccan Trance Dance was published in “Arabesque Magazine” as a two-part series. She was a featured dancer at several Middle Eastern Nightclubs in NYC, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during this period. Performances at special events such as the Atlantic Antic in Brooklyn, the Spoleto Festival in South Carolina and NYU affiliated performances developed her sense of artistry. She performed many club dates with Eddie “the Sheik” Kochak, another one of her mentors who taught her a great deal about the music and performance industry.
Tarifa also studied with Phaedra (Phyllis Saretta), a longtime principal dancer with the Ibrahim Farrah Near East Dance Group, who instructed her in preparation for Mr. Farrah’s advanced classes. Phaedra’s insistence on perfecting lines and proper execution of steps had a great impact on her career in regards to both performance and her ability to teach effectively. She also studied with longtime principal dancer of the Ibrahim Farrah Near East Dance Group, Jajouka (Merrill Peress). Jajouka had an astounding acuity for the rhythms of the East and an ability to convey extreme intensity and passion in her movement expression. Tarifa was mesmerized by Jajouka’s performance of the “Guedra” which greatly influenced her decision to write her Master Thesis on Moroccan Trance Dances. She frequently took classes with Elena Lentini and fellow company member, Yousry Sharif, both of whom continue to inspire her. Tarifa believes that growth is ongoing, therefore has participated in workshops of many dance artists over the years and continues to take regular ballet and modern dance classes, yet, she credits regular study with all of her mentors from the early days in her career, for any success she may have achieved.
Multi Award Winning Dancer and International Instructor!
Originally from the Dominican Republic, no one can take your breath away like Omaris. On and off stage, she is passionate, authentic, and technically magical. There is no question why she teaches all over the world, and is embraced in her local dance community.
With over a decade of teaching and performing, Omaris is loved by studios, students, and audiences alike.
Internationally sought-after, Omaris has taught two years of regular classes in Puerto Rico, hast taught twice in Mexico, 3 times in South Korea, and almost since 2011 every year in her home country, the Dominican Republic. She has also taught in Brazil, Guadeloupe, Serbia, Japan, Italy. Currently, she is based in Tallahassee, Florida teaching regular classes. Many people say that Omaris is Art in motion.
For more information about Omaris, please visit
Lacey began her journey into Tribal Belly dance at the early age of 15 in southern California with Patricia Johnson. Her love for this beautiful art form was immediate; she began performing at tribal events and around campfires at SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) events almost instantly. The thrill of live drums and dancing with her sisters was inspiring. She took this love for the dance all the way through high school and pursued a dance degree at Victor Valley Community College. She studied many forms of classical dance including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Ballroom. However, as fate would have it Lacey sustained an injury that would prevent her from ever pursuing a career in classical dance. To her surprise though, because Belly Dance is best danced barefoot her doctor approved and encouraged her to continue Belly dancing.
Lacey then traveled cross country from California to Central Florida where she was exposed to the large community of Cabaret Belly dancers in Florida. Lacey then spent the next four years studying, teaching, and performing classical Cabaret Belly dance in Florida as well as in Southern California. It was in her last trip to California where her original love for Tribal Belly dance was re-ignited. Lacey then made the decision that she wanted to bring her experience and love of Tribal Belly dance to Florida. So she began Florida Tribal Dance in November of 2006 for just that reason.
Alicia BellyCraft “Dancing through Life.”
A versatile and innovative artist by nature, this beautiful and mesmerizing second generation bellydancer has enchanted audiences worldwide as a performer and teacher with a style and approach that delivers power, drama, and intensity on stage as much as she inspires and instructs with fun, laughter and joy off stage.
Performing under her mother’s tutelage at age seven, she remains grateful of the fortunate childhood she had surrounded by Middle Eastern music and world dance simultaneously integrated into the eclectic “soundtrack” of her childhood. As a young adult, she would be drawn to the emerging new wave of music and fashion of the eighties and early nineties and her dancing would be both inspired and transformed by the alternative club scene that became her artistic source of inspiration through her youth. Those years would also later inspire her trend setting dance company’s, gothic industrial style and intensity.
In 2003 Alicia would return to her roots in traditional bellydance as a student, performer, and eventually a teacher for the prestigious Mid-Eastern Dance Exchange in Miami Beach under the legendary Tamalyn Dallal. It wouldn’t be long before she discovered Tribal Fusion Bellydance and make travelling a priority to attend as many seminars, workshops, intensives and privates as she could. She would dedicate herself fully to its approach and artistic freedom and to this day continues to learn from both its originators and its pioneering innovators including Rachel Brice and Amy Sigil.
Her video collection of stage performances over the years, many available on line, showcase her passion to challenge herself as a soloist to a variety of musical influence and her company’s original trend setting performance in 2007 would be one of many to equally express her talents for choreography and bring her national attention. Soon afterwards Alicia and her dance partner, Heather, were hired to represent gothic bellydance in World Dance New York’s Fantasy Tarot show and DVD production in 2008 as the Hanged Man. In 2010 due to circumstances as life would have them, Alicia would retire BellyCraft as a company to pursue her own BellyCraft as a soloist and teacher. Just recently, her powerful and captivating approach as a soloist led her to be cast a goddess in Toronto’s one of a kind theatrical event, “Land of the Eternals”, which featured dancers, an Olympic medalist, and famous figure skaters on pic skates in a mythic tale of Celtic based folklore.
Alicia currently teaches her unique, challenging, fun and very rewarding approach to bellydance in South Florida at Lotus Dance Studio and continues to share her BellyCraft worldwide via workshops, seminars and performances.
World Champion Belly Daner
Jennifer has become a top Belly Dancer in Orlando, FL and the nation with her abundant experience with entertaining at hundreds of birthday parties, weddings, radio shows, t.v. spots, and competitions.
Belly Dance Competition Awards
I have studied belly dance for many years (since 06/11/07) and hold a deep appreciation for its various styles. I believe, however, that it's important for a dancer's individual personality to be the forefront of her performance on top of her technical ability.
My style is defined as eclectic, embracing the foundation of Oriental Dance, with infusions of Turkish, Tribal Fusion, and a spicy Latin kick! It is also known for being very abdominal heavy and emotional.
My performances add excitement and beauty to wedding receptions, birthday parties, and special events where clients seek to impress with the best belly dancer. All of my clients know they are working with a reliable, professional belly dancer, giving them the much needed peace of mind to concentrate on other aspects of their party.
Please feel free to visit my YouTube page or watch the Videos on my site to see for yourself what this Orlando Belly dancer is all about! You can also see my performance schedule here.
I am of Colombian heritage, which plays a big role in who I am as a performer. Hard work, emotionality, and having fun define who I am and flow into all aspects of my company Bellydance By Jennifer Inc.
I began belly dancing in mid 2007. I moved to Orlando, FL to begin college and was looking for a fun way to make friends and stay fit. That is when I met my first belly dance instructor Jolie of Elements of Dance who completely changed my life. Since then it has been my goal to provide others with the happiness belly dancing has given me and show the artistry and beauty of this ancient dance form.
Through my diverse background in dance, I have created a style that is strong, dynamic, and emotional.
Another aspect of my work is designing belly dance costumes. Design has always been one of my main passions. In 2012 I finally launched my own crystal costume line and now specialize in crystal belly dance costumes that are couture and made to fit a dancer the way he/she deserves. Many of my costumes are my own designs.