Aziza is one of the brightest, most in-demand stars of bellydance in the world today, recognized across the globe for her unparalleled ability to express the unique synergy of movement and sound that is the hallmark of this ancient art form. Her innate musicality, effortless creativity and lifelong training allow Aziza to fully inhabit the dance, simultaneously capturing a range of emotion and intensity of expressive movement - subtle yet intense, fluid yet strong, poetic and powerful. Aziza is of the rare and gifted breed of performer whose styling is instantly recognizable, yet always evolving and new.
Aziza’s exquisite and undeniable mastery of the stage is matched by her skill in the seminar classroom. An intuitive, concise and generous instructor, Aziza excels at inspiring dancers to reach the next level. Promoters and students alike appreciate her ability to present well-organized, relevant and useful material that is accessible and challenging to all levels of dancers from beginner to professional. A lifelong student herself, she continually seeks inspiration as she travels the world, discovering new and revisiting familiar movement forms, always presenting material that is fresh and exciting. To study with Aziza is to be moved by her genuine devotion to her beloved art and to each and every dancer that comes to learn with her.
Known the world over as one of the pioneering forces in the field of Tribal Fusion belly dance, Sharon Kihara is regarded as one of the most seasoned and well-traveled artists in the genre, and is known for her avante-garde artistic sensibility that defies replication. She is both a dance and yoga therapy teacher, 200 RYT certified by Yoga Alliance.
Sharon began her training at three, beginning the way most dancers begin, at the ballet barre. Jazz, Tap and Congolese would follow soon after, and by the age of ten, Sharon stumbled upon a treasure- a belly dance performance featuring the world renowned dancers Aziza and Yemaya, and it was indeed life changing. Belly dance became a life obsession, and at age 13, Sharon began performing. Later she pursued degrees in choreography and kinesiology in tandem with holistic medicine, and performed regularly with her college repertory contemporary dance company.
Sharon has performed for countless audiences worldwide and has taught tens of thousands of students in over 60 countries. She has appeared on numerous television shows and music videos, and has been featured in radio and media worldwide, as well as several Bellydance Superstars and Bellydance Evolution DVDs.
In 2009 Sharon moved to Berlin, Germany, and created the first comprehensive Tribal cross-training program in Germany, focusing on Tribal Fusion belly dance, folkloric Oriental styles, Classical Ballet, Ankoku Butoh, and Yoga.
Sharon is happily residing in beautiful Portland, Oregon. When not creating in the studio, or traveling the globe on tour with Bellydance Evolution and offering seminars and workshops, Sharon enjoys purveying antique tribal and fine jewelry, playing with her bulldog, and pretending that decaf is “real” coffee.
Özgen is a professional Turkish style oriental dancer and instructor, and has performed, taught, choreographed and directed for the last 18 years. His reputation as a performer and teacher has taken him across the world. In Istanbul, he joined the cast of Night of the Sultans combining contemporary dance, ballet and oriental dance. Özgen taught for several years at the Tolgahan Dance School in Istanbul, and is now based in London, teaching and performing Turkish Oriental & Romani (Gypsy) dance internationally.
Özgen was honored to have been recently awarded the Best Champion of Turkish Cypriot Culture 2017 by the Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations in Britain, at the recent Turkish Cypriot 2017 awards gala. Nowadays as well as touring with his musicals "Aşk (Love)" AND "Tales of a Sleeping Man".
Rin is rooted in twenty years of exposure to a diverse array of movement styles, overlapping a decade of belly dance experience. She started belly dancing at Sahara Dance in Washington, DC, in 2007 and has since become faculty at the studio. From 2010-2013, Rin danced as a member of Raqs Caravan Urban (RCU), a high-energy urban fusion troupe based at Sahara Dance and directed by Ebony Qualls. She additionally worked to hone a technical foundation for Tribal Fusion style belly dance through extensive training with Rachel Brice of Portland, OR, in her 8 ElementsTM program and various intensives. Rin holds with her the intention to remain as focused, generous, and compassionate as her instructors. As curiosity accelerated, Rin began expanding even more toward contemporary styles of fusion in belly dance and beyond. Her unique style has led her to contribute choreography for multiple dance collaborations and projects, including the theatrical production Bellydance Evolution (BDE), with which she has performed in the U.S. and internationally in Mexico, Japan, Netherlands, and Morocco. Rin is a contributing choreographer for BDE’s unusual rendition of Alice in Wonderland, as well as their newest touring production, Fantasm: Odyssey of Dreams.
Rin has come to find her own voice in dance with an evolving style she currently describes as experimental fusion. In recent years, her musical ear has brought her on a new journey of composing music electronically. In 2015, Rin formed Myriad, an experimental fusion dance project featuring artistically diverse casts of dancers and set to original, electronically-composed music. Myriad opens a world of opportunity for Rin to experiment with her love of music and dance composition with a group of open-minded dancers from around the world. Through learning, teaching, and collaborating, Rin continues to share her appreciation for movement and its inevitable connection with all aspects of life. With this in mind, she works to foster environments in which dancers can feel personally inspired by curiosity to develop their own vision.
Elena Villa was introduced to Middle Eastern music and dance by her parents in Big Sur, California in the late 1970s; she had her first solo performance to live music at age 10. Elena resumed her study of belly dance in Santa Cruz, CA in 1987 and began studying flamenco in 1991. She has pursued long term intensive study in both art forms with acclaimed artists from North Africa, Spain, the Middle East, and North America. Since 1995, Elena Villa has developed her own style of Spanish Arabic fusion drawing on her years of training and performance experience in both dance forms.
Elena began teaching dance in 1996 and continues to offer weekly instruction and workshops in classic belly dance, flamenco, and Arab-flamenco fusion. Elena has shared the stage with many renown artists and also coordinates the talent for the Caravan Stage at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, OR, a major West Coast venue. Elena Villa holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Oregon where she has taught classes in literature, film, language, and culture with a particular emphasis on dance and performance studies.
Shay Moore has been teaching and performing bellydance in Seattle and around the nation since 1999.
Shay believes in an integrated approach to learning, developing both mind and body through strong foundations and a “take your time” approach to learning and growing in the dance. Shay is known for her thorough and clear instruction, giving students of all levels opportunities to not only grow in their physical skill, but also their intellectual understanding of the dance format and history. Her trained instructors strive to give individual attention, and students are encouraged to ask any and all questions throughout their classes.
Shay was the first instructor to receive dual teaching certifications in both the Gypsy Caravan and ATS® formats. Combined with her foundations in cabaret and folkloric styles, this has allowed her to study and appreciate the many beautiful faces of bellydance, integrating them into her teaching and choreography. Shay has been teaching popular weekly classes in the Seattle area and workshops around the nation for almost 20 years. She was founder and co-director of the much-beloved inFusion Tribal Bellydance, and currently directs Deep Roots Dance Company and student troupe Nomaditude. Shay has had the honor of being hosted as a featured instructor and performer at some of the largest tribal bellydance festivals in the world, including Tribal Fest, Tribal Revolution, Tribal Quest Northwest, and 3rd Coast Tribal.
In 2017 she opened her own multi-use studio, Studio Deep Roots, which hosts fabulous dance and movement artists alongside healing and aesthetic practitioners in an eclectic, heart-centered environment.
Bevin Victoria is a Portland-based performing artist with over 15 years of experience in the field. As a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist she utilizes her background in high-level athletics to work with dancers all over the world on artistic development, physical training and dance conditioning. She has been an avid student of multiple styles of bellydance for over a decade and has been fortunate enough to have explored many of its sub-genres and fusions throughout the US and Europe as a student, performer and instructor.
Born in Algeria, Amel Tafsout is an inspirational first source master dance artist, choreographer, language and dance instructor, frame drummer, singer, energy worker and one of the finest exponents of North African traditional and contemporary Maghreb Dance of our time. With a research in dance anthropology, and a long training in various healing practices, Tafsout’s knowledge of her culture and her experience in many dance styles and music make her very unique.
Emily Alrick is a professional bellydance performer and instructor from Ashland, OR. She is recognized for her crisp technique, expressive stage presence, and responsible fusion. In addition to her solo work she was also the director and choreographer for the award winning Circus Tribal Bellydance Company based in Southern Oregon from 2005-2013. As a teacher Emily is invested in the growth of her students and provides a safe class environment for dancers to learn both technique and creativity. Her tough yet fun approach inspires dancers of all levels.
Emily invested several years of study with the Salimpour school of dance with both Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour and she continues to passionately study both classical and ethnic dance of various kinds. She also creates one of a kind costume pieces and designs. With a life-long passion for dance Emily strives to present instruction and performances that are educated and thoughtful. She is dedicated to a life of learning as an artist and dancer and will always be an avid student and supporter of the arts.
Florence, is of half french-canadian and half french descent. Raised by parents for whom being herself and following her passions in life was very important, she quickly discovered her love for the performing art scene. She began to take Gregorian chant lessons and she studied dramatic art in college. A short time later, she discovered Middle-Eastern dance with Denise Enan.
After one year of training, Denise and Ahmed Enan asked her to dance in their folkloric dance company. It was at that moment that she realized how much she loved dancing and wanted to make a career out of it.
She decided to pursue a second college degree in dance (contemporary and ballet) at College Montmorency, in Laval. Her studies completed, she took latin, ballroom, and flamenco classes as a way to join the dancing community.
2010 and 2011 are very significant years for Florence as she began to teach Middle-Eastern dance, she danced for the Oriental Ballet of Canada, she started participating in national and international competitions, and she attended workshops with some of the most well-known teachers of the Middle-Eastern dance community: Aida Nour, Khaled Mahmoud, Raqia Hassan, Soraya Zaed, Khadija Jabiry, Aziza, Yamil Annum, Yousry Sharif, Nourhan Sharif, and Valerick Molinary, to name only the most inspiring ones.
In April of 2014, Florence had the opportunity to perform as a member of the Arabesque Dance Company in their production of Sawah, in Toronto.
Florence is now a multi-award winning dancer and a new international teacher and choreographer. She is known for her elegance, her grace and the quality of her choreographic work. She is one of the most sought after choreographers and teachers in the oriental dance community in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Sitara discovered her love of dance not long after she learned to walk - through her Afghan culture of music and Indian Bollywood movies.
Sitara performs and teaches several styles, primarily Afghani folkloric and Classical Indian dances, both solo and as Dance Inspired with her advanced students. She began her kathak training under Gita Jhan in Santa Cruz, CA who then introduced her to her guru Shrimati Anuradha Nag and the Tarangini School of Kathak Dance in San Jose, CA who has been her dance mentor for over 20 years, including 7 years of intensive training and performing as one of her senior students. She was also blessed to regularly learn from Smt Anuradha's gurus - Pt Birju Maharaj, Pt. Vijay Shankar and Swapna Saswati Sen.
Connecting with her dance joy has led Sirara to be curious and playful about various styles of dance - such as Brazilian, belly dance, west african and salsa.
"I have discovered that no matter how distant dance feels at times, it is always the most direct route to my inner joy and the most natural way for me to connect with others. I aim to use this forum and classes I teach as a way to help people connect with their dance joy and to share with one another our inspirations. " ~Sitara
Attendees, Please Note--Your Photograph May Be Taken At The JamBallah Northwest Festival.
To assist in future promotion, we will have professional photographers working throughout the event, at the workshops, shows, and other festival-specific gatherings. Photographs of festival participants and their guests will be taken and posted on the JamBallah Northwest website, and/or the JamBallah Northwest Facebook page. There is a possibility that your photograph may be taken and so used. We believe that this will enhance the overall experience of festivalgoers, and allow us to properly convey the atmosphere and awesomeness of the festival to the rest of the bellydance community! By attending the JamBallah Northwest festival, both workshops and events, you give your consent to the posting of such photographs by us and waive all rights and claims with respect to the posting of such photographs.
We do recognize an individual's rights to control how their image is portrayed. If you ever object to a specific photo and want it removed, please email jamballahnw@gmail..com. Be sure to reference the specific photo and include the URL of the page the photo appears on.