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Instructor Bios

Aziza

Aziza of Montreal, formerly Portland, fell in love with dance at the ripe age of 3.  She continued to experiment with many styles and develop her skills as a classical dancer until she found her true love, the art of Middle Eastern Dance over two decades ago.  Her devotion to and passion for the art has led to numerous awards and recognitions. Aziza is now one of the brightest, most in demand stars of belly dance in the world today, known for her amazing ability to communicate the music by mixing the best of classical Middle Eastern dance with her own innovative twist!

Aziza’s amazing improvisational skills and her unparalleled ability to inspire students to get to the next level make her the master artist and mentor audiences and students find memorable.   A sought after instructor but also a lifetime learner, Aziza continues to perform, teach and learn from students of all levels and audiences throughout South America, Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada.

She wakes up every day grateful to all of you for making her dreams possible. Aziza’s promise is to always be equally dedicated to helping you also realize your dreams in the art of belly dance!

Learn more about Aziza, her schedule and new video releases: www.azizashimmy.com

Sadie Marquardt

Sadie Marquardt is a global Belly dance sensation. She has spent the last 10 years traveling the globe conducting workshops and shows in hundreds of cities across 40+ countries. She is the most-watched Belly Dancer on YouTube with over 30 million hits on just one video alone.

Sadie is an inspiration and icon to her students and fans around the world and serves to empower people through the captivating art of Oriental Dance (Belly Dance). She has produced dozens of bestselling instructional videos. She has represented the art of Oriental Dance in front of millions of viewers on the hit show “America’s Got Talent.”

Sadie is the founder and director of the “Raqs Flow” training program, which enriches students with a strong foundation in technique while keeping them engaged and connected to the dance’s culture and historical roots. She recently launched a new clothing line of athletic dance wear and produces a variety of destination dance retreats around the world, taking her students on a deep journey and exploration of this incredible art form as well as their own inner selves.

Sadie lives in Denver, Colorado.  She loves spending time in nature, hiking, camping and adventuring with her family. Aside from dance, Sadie has a deep passion and commitment to living and creating a holistic, sustainable lifestyle and world. She loves to combine her passions in her retreats; bringing the power of nature, dance, music, conscious living and human connection together.

When she is not busy traveling the globe she can be found teaching her award-winning Belly Dance classes and workshops as well as performing locally in Colorado.

Visit her website for more information: www.SadieBellyDancer.com

Alicia BellyCraft

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.

Visit her website for more information: www.BellyCraft.com

Narayani Maharaj

Narayani Maharaj is a disciple of Harija Shivakumar from the Kalaksetra School of Dance in Chennai India. With over 18 years of extensive studies in classical Indian Bharata Natyam, Bollywood, Garba and Kathak dances of India, Narayani worked with the Natya Nectar Dance Company in New Delhi, India.

She has also been the Director, Choreographer and Performer for the Coconut Grove Krishna Fest since 2008. In addition to performing, Narayani was selected as the Director and Choreographer for the 2011 “Festival of India” in Coconut Grove.

In October 2012, Narayani contracted with BBC Worldwide Productions to choreograph a Bollywood routine for Dancing with The Stars Peta Murgatroyd and Gilles Marini, propelling them to first place in what the judges called “the most exciting performances in all 15 Seasons”.

In 2014 Narayani was selected to be a judge for the DKD (Miami’s Premiere Bollywood Dance Competition).

Narayani’s elegant and charismatic style is based in the classical Bharata Natyam dances of South India, with influences of modern Bollywood technique, creating a unique fusion of beautifully emotive presentations that always amaze and delight audiences everywhere.

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