WAMED Festival Teachers

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2022 Guest Artist

Kadia was born in XinJiang (northwest China) and started her professional dance training at the age of 12 in a wide range of dance disciplines - including Ballet, Traditional Uyghur dance, Contemporary, Acrobatics as well as a variety of Folk dances at the Xinjiang Arts Institute. She was then accepted by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and based on her outstanding academic performance, she was selected to be one of few students to major in choreography and graduated with honors. During her time at the HKAPA, she learned about Oriental dance under the influence of her aunt Pasha Umer, who was a well known oriental dance instructor in Hong Kong. Attracted by the charm of oriental dance and music, Kadia decided to focus on Raqs Sharqui and started to travel internationally to train with many world renowned masters. Her elegant and skillful dance style quickly made her a highly sought-after performer and instructor in Hong Kong. Kadia won the first Nile Group international bellydance competition in China which opened the doors for a flood of invitations to teach and perform around Asia. Meanwhile she continued to develop her skills with her mentors. She is now President of the Chinese Belly Dance Association for the Hong Kong division and Vice President of the Hong Kong Silk Road Dance Cultural society which seeks to develop and elevate the dance form. Her thirst for improvement in technique, knowledge and skill has established a high demand for her workshops and she has been invited to numerous international events and festivals to teach, judge and perform.

We are delighted to host Kadia as our guest artist for the 2022 festival!

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Ahmed Elswify (Egypt)

Arabic for Dancers

Ahmed has a Masters degree in Arabic Linguistics and Literature from Cairo University. He has over 15 years experience teaching Arabic to students all over the world, including being a featured instructor at festivals in Egypt and Brazil, including Madam Raqia Hassan's Ahlan Wa Sahlan.
He is proud to share the heritage and beauty of his culture and native language through a variety of subjects applicable to non-native language learners and lovers of Arabic music.

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Alma Sarhan (WA)

Lebanese Dabke / Strike a Pose

Alma has been dancing for about 30 years. She started in Ireland learning both bellydance and Persian styles from her Iranian teacher Moti. In Ireland she performed in Egyptian and Lebanese restaurants and even performed a few times for U2 at private functions. She moved to Australia 26 years ago and ran a Lebanese restaurant with her chef husband Ali for many years. She started the troupe Raks Harissa with Rose in 2006 and together they produced the popular Harissa Club in Perth. She was a teacher and performer of the first WAMED all those years ago and now concentrates on folkloric styles including Lebanese Dabke and Egyptian folk styles. Alma is also a renowned dance photographer and graphic artist.  She has studied Persian daf, plays the Lebanese Tuble and is a member of the WA Zaffa Entertainment group specialising in Lebanese Zaffa.

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Becky (WA)

Sweetness and Spice / Find Your Voice

Becky is based in Albany in the south of WA. She is passionate about community development, empowerment and well-being.  Becky's dance journey started over 20 years ago. Her love of dance was fostered  studying with Keti Sharif, then expanded, exploring the world of Tribal Style Bellydance 2000. In  2004, Global Caravan Tribal Bellydance (GCTB) captured her heart  with  Paulette Rees Denis (founder and creator)  first ever trip to Australia.  Becky has attained Principal Teacher Level 1. Certified Teacher Level 5 and Collective Soul Level 7. One of the first graduates globally and the first in Australia to be certified in Tribal Grooves.  Pre Covid, Becky travelled annually to study in person with Paulette  and other tribal artists.  
Becky had a vision to foster tribal in WA, sponsoring Paulette multiple times in addition, to other tribal fusion artists  in support of  development within the dance community.  It bought much joy when Tribal became part of the offerings to dancers attending WAMED.  
Becky is certified in Keti Sharif's Original A-Z. and General Skills ATS.  Performing and teaching internationally and interstate before taking a sabbatical to pursue other interests, professional aspirations and focus on a renewed sense of well-being.  Like a good bottle of red wine or malt whisky given time to develop renewed depth, Becky is stepping back into dance  embracing a full bodied sense of flavour and vision.

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Bronnie Coffey (QLD)

Datura Style™ Fundamentals

Bronnie fell in love with this dance form in 2008 while living in NZ.  Since moving to Australia in 2011 she has trained extensively with both local and international master teachers.  She has completed Rachel Brice's 8 Elements training and is a certified Datura Style teacher.   Based in Brisbane, Bronnie is the Director of Empyrean Dance school that specialise in Datura Style™ and FCBD® fusion formats.

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Claire (SA)

Amethyst Temple Fusion / The Dawn - Fan Veils

Claire is the principal teacher and director of Belly Dance Amethyst, Adelaide.  Advocate for safe dance practice and making dance accessible for all. Claire has developed her dance style and teaching style over the years, finding her own path and connecting to many students.

She brings to each class her passion for dance, fascination with the mechanics of the human body, love of community and sense of calmness found from connecting mindfully the body and mind.

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Emily (WA)

Jumps, Drops, and Falls!

Emily is a passionate performer, choreographer and teacher with her own school of Arabic dance, Bellydance with Emily, located in Rockingham. As a qualified Personal Trainer with over 10 years experience working within the fitness industry, knowledge of the body’s strengths and limitations as well as safe dance practices is of utmost importance to her. This year Emily is excited to be combining her knowledge of health and fitness with her passion of Arabic dance, bringing to you a workshop that can help you take your own performances to the next level and the skills required to condition your body to perform it safely.

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Jordan Galliott (QLD)

The Heart of Fusion

Jordan Galliott is a Townsville based belly dancer with a diverse skill set. She performs and
teaches raqs sharqi and transnational fusion for the Global Dance Collective under the
guidance of Cara Griffin. She has completed phase II Cultivation of Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements
of Belly Dance and has trained with Ashley Lopez, Xaeda Raqasa, Nina Martinez and Heather
Louise. Jordan studied contemporary dance at Central Queensland University and currently
trains with Dancenorth Australia. Jordan works with Dancenorth Australia’s Community
Experience team and firmly believes that dance is for everyone.

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Katia (WA)

Improv & Choreography- play both sides

Katia has been in the world of Bellydance around 15 years, transitioning from Orientale to Fusion to FatChanceBellydance style in Italy and Australia.
Katia now leads the Coastal ATS group based in Wembley Downs and she is exited to share her varied dance experience.

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Kiri (WA)

Constructing Contrast

Kiri is known as an enthusiastic and passionate dancer with a good knowledge of body mechanics.
Watching her students self confidence and creative expression develop and grow, keeps her constantly inspired. She prides herself on providing a supportive, safe dance environment for connection and community.
Kiri has been teaching and performing for nearly 20 years. During that time she has been a regular participant and performer at WAMED and many other belly dance festivals. Dancing to live music is one of her greatest loves, with her style developing through years of tuition with a wide array of international and local dance masters.

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Laila Shouha (VIC)

Rakset Nelli

Characterised by her joyous improvisation and sensitive interpretation of the music, Laila brings her own distinctive feeling and inner authenticity to the dance.
A second generation dancer Laila has been dancing since day one. Growing up learning and performing alongside her mother has  translated to the unique and distinctive dancer that she is today. Her instinctive pull to Raqs Sharqi  has also been influenced by her father’s family from Halab/Aleppo,  old Egyptian Raqs Sharqi  on VHS, and an exposure to the Sydney Belly Dance community of the 90s.

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Michael Edelby (WA)

In the Oud - Live Music with Rose and Michael

Michael is an Oud/Lute, guitarist.
Michael was born and raised in Beirut Lebanon where he developed his passion for music and all things alike. His passion started when he was 11 years old in Scouts first learning the Trombone. At age 13 Michael discovered his love for the Oud/Lute and he studied at Conservatoire of Music in Beirut and then further continued his studies in music and graduated with a Diploma at Beirut School of Fine Art in 2007. Michael also has a Bachelor Degree in Business/Accounting. Michael has performed with many well-known Lebanese Singers and even had the great honour of performing for the Lebanese Army where they awarded him with an Army Appreciation Award. Michael moved to Perth in 2014 and has already had the pleasure of performing at many venues for a variety of people introducing them to the beauty of Middle Eastern music in playing his Oud/Lute.

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Michelle (WA)

Bollywood Dandiya 

Michelle loves all forms of dancing and has been bellydancing for over 15 years. She has travelled to Egypt, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and has trained with a variety of master teachers in order to expand and develop her knowledge and technique. Michelle particularly enjoys exploring the unique regional styles of the Silk Road from the Middle East into Central Asia and beyond. Michelle regularly teaches Bellydance, Bollywood and Persian dance. Michelle is a polished performer with an infectious energy who has been placed in competitions both nationally and in Asia. Michelle is a regular performer in Perth and founder of the popular Bollywood Dhamaka! performance troupe known for high energy entertainment.

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Rachel Bond (NSW)

Formations and Transformations

Rachel Bond is the principal of Inspire Bellydance, Sydney’s largest bellydance school, now celebrating its 12th anniversary. She believes that bellydance is primarily about sharing joy: whether through helping women connect to their bodies and find their creativity, or bringing smiles to the faces of audience members. As a teacher, Rachel focuses on making the dance accessible without sacrificing technical prowess and cultural relevance. Within the dance community she is known for being highly educated in Egyptian dance in particular, having studied both Oriental and folklore styles for many years. Rachel is excited to share her rich knowledge of Egyptian dances with anybody who takes an interest.

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Raven (WA)

Empowered Elegance - Posture, Arms and Hands.

Raven first fell in love with the dance style formerly known as ATS in 2003 when she saw it performed locally. After training diligently, having earned a spot in the performance troupe and with her teacher's blessing, she began teaching her own classes in the hills of Perth in 2007.  Shortly thereafter, the performance group of which she'd been a member disbanded and Azwahn was borne. From the outset Raven was taken with the postures inherent with this style.  As a certified ATS Instructor with a background in education and a passion for supporting others' empowerment, Raven seeks to develop confidence in each of her students, using this dance form as a vehicle, helping them hone their skills to the best of their ability. She has an eye for detail and is committed to bringing out each student's inner beauty, strength and grace.  She is non-judgemental, compassionate and supportive in helping people develop their strengths and stretch themselves to move into the elegance and empowerment that is inherent in the style she now calls, Improvised Movement Dialects. This incorporates use of improvised dance and improvised use of swords and other props developed by Raven and Azwahn. 
Raven has been a Shamanic Healer for 30 years. Her background in psychology, education and counselling also informs her teaching.

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Rose (WA)

In the Oud - Live music with Michael

Rose, is regarded as one of Australia's most sought after performers and instructors, whose technique and innovative choreography have garnered international regard. A disciplined professional, she has extensive experience in performing and entertaining audiences from restaurants to gala openings and large theatrical settings both in Australia and overseas. Rose is the pinnacle of passion, technique and powerful creative expression, She combines grace and elegance with an intensity that grabs you and doesn’t let you go till the end of the dance!

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Sarafina (SA)

WTF - Why The Face?

Sarafina is the Principal Teacher of Waikerie Belly Dance Arabesque in South Australia's Riverland. Belly Dance has taken her all over Australia and the world to train with Master Teachers and to Perform. Highlights include performing to sold out Adelaide Fringe crowds since 2009, traveling to Egypt in 2007, Morrocco in 2008 and in 2011 Sarafina travelled to Avignon, France as part of Divine Elements Belly Dance Company to perform a two week season in France’s famous Le Festival Off. Sarafina has been performing professionally since 2003 both as a troupe member and soloist and has been choreographing original works for 16 years. She says "it's the music that drives me... I always want to create movements that look like the music sounds".

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Tara Yasmin (NSW)

Introduction to Neo-Andalusi Dance: Technique and combos

Tara Yasmin has been performing raqs sharqi since 2007, and travels regularly to continue her study in the art of Middle Eastern dance. After discovering Syrian mwashahat late one night smoking shisha with friends, Tara fell in love with this evocative and complex style of classical Arabic music. She has travelled widely to learn how to translate this poetry into motion with internationally acclaimed teachers including Nesma (Spain) and Faisal Zedan (Syria;USA).

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Xaeda (QLD)

Chrysalis and Queen of Crowns

Xaeda has been a popular teacher and performer throughout Australia for over 20yrs, more recently she was a guest artist in "Salon La La" with Cara Griffin and Jordan Galliot of Global Dance Collective.
She is also a teacher at "Ehsas El Hob" Brisbane Bellydance Festival and her school Sacred Lotus recently amalgamated with Bronnie Coffey of Empyrean Dance to form a class collaboration called Synthesis.
Her diversity in dance and artistic styling always provides a new dynamic way of learning, making her workshops energetic and a lot of fun.

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Zahara (WA)

Hips & Isolations

For the last 20+ Years I have been studying a variety of dance styles, safe dance techniques and fitness/personal training ideology’s. My passion is not only my family and own personal dance journey it is being able to be a part of my students journey young and old and having the privilege to inspire them to strive towards their dreams. I found a new passion for bellydance with Belyssa from the Belyssa Academy of Dance Orientale. I then continued my own studies in Middle Eastern Dance by attending training & workshops with the likes of Liza Laziza, Tito and Kazafy, Randa Kamel, Hossam Abdel Ghany, Farida Fahmy (to name a few) all from Egypt, Jillina Carlino (Bellydance Evolution) Ozgen (Turkish Romany International sensation) Rose Ottiviano, Alma Sarhan, Jrisi, Lorna of Cairo and many more.  I founded Zahara Dance Company and have performed throughout the state, nationally and internationally. 

I am committed to providing a safe and positive environment in which all students can feel empowered, comfortable and free to express themselves and follow their dreams to be the best they can be….

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Zahraa (VIC)

The Ups & Downs of 3/4 shimmies

Zahraa has been dancing and teaching for more years than is sensible, but she keeps going due to a deep love of the dance and the techniques involved. She dances not only Oriental but Tribal and many of the folkloric forms from the Middle East