Amira is an accomplished Oriental dancer. Her credits include movie parts, member of an award-winning troupe and a recognized soloist. She is known for her technical precision, authenticity and airy style. She is a member of Raksanna’s Desert Flames.
Kim Cassidy (USA, Virginia)
Kim holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dance & Theater from the University of North Texas. She performed Perfectly Frank at Dallas Repertory Theater and Artistic License at the Bailiwick Director’s Festival in Chicago. Other favorite roles include 3rd Actress, The Dining Room; Mavis Johnson, The Rimers of Eldritch; and Sophie, The Star Spangled Girl.
Linda’s passion for dance goes back to the early days of Dick Clark on American Bandstand, when she danced in front of the t.v. with her older brothers. She’s been dancing for fun ever since, but never forgot her childhood dream to dance on stage. And now it’s really happening!
Formerly the Network Manager for a large school district, Linda made her escape from the IT world and flew into the loving arms of Raksanna’s world of belly dance. That was five years ago, the first time that belly dance “saved” her life. The second was more recently, when Linda was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, and came out the other side happy and more alive than ever. In addition to the support and love of her family and friends, dance played a major role in getting her through it all. It kept her focused on something beyond cancer, kept her active, and filled her with joy. And being surrounded by the sisterhood of dancers has been quite healing and uplifting! Linda feels very lucky to be learning from Raksanna, a most inspiring teacher and amazing choreographer, and to be dancing with this ensemble of fun, passionate, and lively women!
Renee (USA, Illinois)
A physical therapist by day and a belly dancer by night, Renee rediscovered her love for dance and joined Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble in January 2013. Recently, she was accepted into Raksanna’s Desert Flames. Since she was a little girl, Renee has dreamed about dancing Off Broadway. Now, she is very excited about fulfilling her dreams and touring with this wonderful cast.
Susan Jaquez (USA, Illinois)
Susan has had a love for dancing since she was a little girl. Her passion for dance ignited when she lived in Colombia where dancing is almost the national past time. Susan had her first belly dance class in April 2014 where she was instantly hooked by the exotic sounds and movements of the dance as well as the fabulous, welcoming women who teach and attend classes at Raksanna’s. As a novice dancer Susan is eager to learn and explore how belly dancing will strengthen her as a dancer and woman.
Susan Wagner (USA, Michigan)
Susan has been belly dancing since 2001, and has been dancing with Raksanna since 2004. Her philosophy is that learning oriental dance is a complicated experience and takes a long time to master. She sees herself as still being on that road and views dancing as one of the ways she keeps fit and healthy.
Tracy (USA, Illinois)
Tracy is the newest member of Raksanna’s Desert Flames. A series of synchronicities brought her back to engage in her love of music and dance. A course of miracles opened her eyes to the wonder and joy of a life seemly forgotten but not lost. Tracy is remembering how magical the world can be and feels a deep sense of gratitude for the instruction she is receiving from Raksanna and her dance family. Tracy is currently studying Energy Healing, Yoga, and Voice and looks forward to sharing love and healing throughout her life. It’s show time, let’s play!
A’isha | Anca (Romania) – Confessions Kansas City
For A’isha, dance was always a part of her life starting with ballet and recreational gymnastics in her native country, Romania, and later on in life, ballroom dance, country dance and even Polynesian dance. She started to take belly dance classes nine years ago in Columbia, MO, where she lived at that time, mostly as a way to give meaning to her fitness routine. A’isha owes her first teacher, Asha Diana, her love for Middle-Eastern dance. Then she moved to KS, where she continued to train with local instructors in Lawrence and in Kansas City. She was part of the Lawrence-based troupe Raghsidad directed by Zada, with whom she performed several years at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, KC Fringe Festival and other venues. A couple of years ago she decided to start a solo career as an Oriental-style dancer. She has created the local monthly show 1001 Arabian Nights and performs regularly in local and national belly dance shows, fundraisers, art shows and private events.
Bridget | Isis (USA, Michigan) – Confessions Detroit
By day Bridget is a Senior Claims professional in the insurance profession. Bridget’s passion for dance goes back to the day of the hippest trip in America, Soul Train on Saturday mornings and The Scene every day at 5:00 on Channel 62 in Detroit. Dance has been a part of her of life going back to when she was young watching her parents dance together in the living room and kitchen
Bridget answered the belly dance call through a belly dance DVD she purchased 12 years ago. That DVD fueled such a passion and love for the dance that she sought out instruction to learn more. Bridget has studied Lebanese Cabaret under her dance mom Aziza Ammar for over seven years and through other many other instructors and workshops over the years. Bridget’s belief is that dance has a calming effect on the mind, body and spirit just the same as music, they go hand in hand.
Carin Lugo (USA, Illinois)
Carin is an optical frame representative who works with doctors during the day…but her exhibitionist side returned (after 40 years) when she discovered belly dancing. Carin was a go-go dancer in the late 60s/early 70s but life and many surgeries got in the way. Thanks to finding Raksanna and her troupe, her youth is back!
Draconis (USA, Texas) – Confessions Kansas City & Detroit
Draconis is an androgynous entity with a passion for Middle Eastern dance. His journey in dance started in elementary school with the conventional ballet and jazz class, and he currently continues his dance education through college. He discovered his talent for belly dance in 2008 with the Isis Studio in Bedford, Texas. Since then he’s stayed true to his art and the studio where he grew from student to teacher, becoming beloved as a local favorite in the area with his unique style and stage presence. A rising star, Drake works hard every day to further his dance career and imprint on the community. His style is a complex mixture of modern, hip hop and West African dance, and he holds multiple first-place titles in fusion belly dance. He’d like to thank his mentor Isis for always pushing him, and Raksanna for taking a chance on him. www.draconisdances.com
Jeanie (USA, Illinois) – Confessions Detroit
Juliana (USA, Michigan) – Confessions Detroit
Juliana began her formal dance and movement training at the age of four and began studying Middle Eastern belly dance in 2001. Her studies have led her to study with a variety of dancers and explore a variety of dance styles. Aside from belly dance, Juliana is a practicing artist and a certified yoga teacher specializing in prenatal and mama and baby yoga.
Belly dance and yoga are a way of life for Juliana. As a new mother, she is committed to living her life with compassion and awareness, in order to create a strong foundation for her family and the global community to flourish.
Please visit www.shringarastudios.com for current workshops and classes.
Lacey (USA, Texas)
Lacey is an instructor and performer based in South Texas who fell in love with the art of Middle Eastern dance over a decade ago. Known for her butterfly like grace and elegance on stage, Lacey is a dynamic and captivating performer who has delighted crowds across the US at numerous festivals and events including the Off Broadway debut of Confessions of a Bellydancer in New York City. She has competed in a number of prestigious competitions across the country receiving many accolades including being a finalist in Project Bellydance Season 2, 1st runner up Queen of Raks Sharki 2013, and the title of 2013 Houston Oriental Dance Superstar. In a addition to traveling to continue her dance studies, Lacey is also the co-producer of the Houston Oriental and Folklore Dance Festival which strives to provide a full weekend authentic dance education, shows and competition in Houston, TX. When not dancing Lacey loves to spend time with her husband and number one fan-her son. www.bellydancewithlacey.com
Lady India (USA, Illinois) – Confessions Off Broadway NYC
Lady India DeMinuit is widely known in Chicago for her fusion dancing, but her foundation was set with 10 years of classical Raks Sharqi training under Sophia Gates, a student of Jamila Salimpour. Lady India’s style is inspired by the keen exploration of myth, legend, silk road herstory, the discipline and understanding of “self”, and the different facets that entails. She has since expanded and expounded on friends and contacts alike and orchestrated the spectacles in her own productions known as Carnal Carnivale which include fire, sideshow, burlesque and belly dance and had the honor on July 20, 2013 to open for Drowning Pool. Lady India can be seen dancing in October at the Kiss Kiss Cabaret, The Chicago Independent Horror Film Festival for the new movie Dark Realm, The Glint, and now Confessions of a Belly Dancer in NYC.
Mahsati (USA, North Carolina) – Confessions Detroit
Mahsati Janan is an instructor and performer based in Asheville, NC, specializing in the dances of Egypt, the Middle East, and North Africa, but she always considers herself first a lifelong student and annually attends multiple professional and teacher-level training sessions with top dancers and researchers in her field.
Mahsati began her journey in belly dance in 1996 and has studied and performed throughout the US. She specializes in the classical and modern Egyptian styles, but also enjoys many other traditional and contemporary belly dance forms. Her background in anthropology with a focus on cultural traditions is strongly represented in her performances and classes. In addition, Mahsati’s instructional dvds, Fabulous Fan VeilZZ I & II and Foundations of Raqs Sharqi Level 1, continue to be valuable resources for dancers around the world.
Sahben | Jodine (USA, Illinois) – Confessions Chicago
A dancer from the early age of twelve, Jodine began her journey in Middle Eastern Belly Dance, Hawaiian and Polynesian dance with her mom. They took classes together with Virginia Daveran from the Chicago area. Since then, she continued her dance career with Raksanna’s Near East Dance Company and was also a member of the award winning Desert Flames. She has realized her dream of being a dance instructor and believes that dancing can literally change your life for the better. The increased self-confidence, the knowledge that you are a beautiful woman regardless of your age, size or shape and increased self-awareness are among the most powerful changes that transpire when you dance. Sahben is a mother and a grandmother and wishes to represent all women over forty who feel like they’ve only just begun.
Theresa & Eddie (USA, Missouri) – Confessions Off Broadway NYC and Kansas City
Theresa and Eddie are the first married couple to be on stage with Confessions of a Belly Dancer. Combining her Egyptian Oriental dance and his musical accompaniment, together they bring a dynamic show to the stage. Theresa’s passion for all styles of Middle Eastern dance has inspired her to travel throughout the Middle East. This has not only furthered her dance knowledge though studying dance in the region, but has also given her a level of cultural knowledge that is essential to understanding and expressing the art form. As a life-long musician, Eddie’s interest in Middle Eastern rhythms was sparked when he met Theresa, and his natural musical talent shines through in his interpretation of the music. His rich musicality allows him to contribute professional music consultation, as well as musical and rhythmic accompaniment. Theresa and Eddie are the founders of Mosaic Dance and Music of Kansas City.