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.
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 dancing on stage in New York City.
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.
Zoraida is currently studying at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was recently accepted into the Honors College. One of her goals is to pursue a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. During the day, Zoriada works as a Spanish Interpreter and volunteers at a Crisis Line Center. She was a Peruvian Folkloric dancer for 10 years before moving to the United States. Zoriada became a member of Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble in January 2013. She always had a passion for dance since she was a little girl and is very happy to be able to dance again and to be part of this great production.
At a very early age, Cora officially broke into the music industry as a radio DJ on St. Louis’s legendary radio station, KDHX 88.1 FM, spinning world & experimental music. Simultaneously, she was beginning training as a classical Egyptian belly dancer. Camille began her study of classical Egyptian and Lebanese dance under the instruction of Diana Wolf of Simone’s Seventh Veil when she was a teenager. Never letting go of her passion for belly dancing, she has continued to perform, teach and study. These pursuits have literally led her around the world to many parts of Europe, Asia, Egypt, and the USA. In 2003, Camille attained a masters degree in history, and she has used her research and study of Middle Eastern dance, history, culture, and music to enrich her understanding of the traditional art forms from which she is inspired. Camille composes original music, sings, plays oud and belly dances for her performances. Her art fuses the ancient with the modern in her musical composition, dance style and presentation. She works as a solo artist for some performances, and she also collaborates with club DJ’s and her band Final Veil.
Carol Tandava Henning (New York)
Carol Tandava Henning has worked on and around New York stages as an actor, director, writer, producer, bellydancer, theatrical improviser, and stand-up comic. Theater: T. Schreiber, the RSC’s Lisa Harrow, Sande Shruin, Workshop Theater, New Directions. Stand-Up: Comedy Cellar, NY & Bwy Comedy Clubs, Comic Strip. Improv: PIT, Magnet, the Groundlings’ founder Gary Austin, and Second City’s Michael J. Gellman. She has been devoted to bellydance since 2004 and has studied with countless teachers in the US and abroad. She is certified in: AFAA, ACE, SharQui, Suhaila Salimpour L1. She studies meditative dance with Sufi teachers Dunya, Nahari, and Adnan Sarhan, stage combat with Combat Inc., Bollywood with BollywoodFunkNYC, and mime with Richmond Shepard. She is a longtime member of the Jung Foundation’s Analytical Psychology Club and actively applies archetypal principles to her work. www.bloodontheveil.com
Elena learned to belly dance when she was in her 20’s and was hired to do the occasional part-time gig in a few establishments in Chicago. She was reintroduced to the art form in her late 60’s and now joins the cast to share how the dance has given her youth back at the age of 72! She is an inspiration to us all!
Elisheva is a bellydancer based out of Hartford, Connecticut, performing and teaching for the past two years. Recognized for her feminine, earthy style, Elisheva combines emotive interpretations with technical acumen. In addition to her dance career, she is also a published freelance writer.
Queen Esma (New York)
Esma started out as a ballroom dancer. Due to a foot injury, she tried belly dance at the local gym and has been completely mesmerized to this day. She has danced in hotels in Las Vegas, for the Ambassador to Morocco, NY1, Atlantic City, Club El Morocco, the Copacabana, Latin Quarter, and three cruise ships (one of which was down the Nile in Egypt). Esma, who is half-Egyptian and half-Russian, was formerly a model/actress in the 80’s. She appeared in countless commercials, billboards and magazines. Today, Esma owns a photography agency representing some very fine worldwide talent. She holds a Master’s degree in education.
Esma is grateful to all her teachers particularly Nourhan Sharif, Amar, Jehan Kamal, Gamila El Masri, Laylamary, Anahid and anyone who has ever hired her. Very special thanks to Norman (the other half) for dragging her suitcase around the world and always standing behind her. They have all made her life magic.
Singer, Songwriter, Dancer, Choreographer: Jehan’s lyrics are spiritual poetry – tales of dance, love, passion, women’s awareness and empowerment. Her music is a magnetic blend of sensual vocals, exotic melodies and driving rhythms creating a diversity of song from meditation/trance to pulsing dance grooves. Jehan has recorded music from traditional Arabic songs to world beat fusion. A renowned bellydancer, Jehan has performed and taught worldwide. She is the founder and director of the Temple of Jehan dance school dedicated to sacred bellydance – preserving Middle Eastern dance traditions and exploring evolutionary styles. http://www.jehanarts.com/home.html
Katrina Eady (New York)
Katrina Eady Kay Kizi’ah is an award-winning soloist, who has been featured in several dance companies and frequently performs in NYC. She has danced in and coordinated Off Broadway shows and recently studied and performed in Egypt. Her unique style is a blend of extensive training of Cabaret, Ballet and Modern Egyptian. She holds a Masters in Special Education, teaches high school and is a college adjunct teacher in Psychology and Bellydance. Katrina is honored to be part of the Confessions of a Bellydancer, NYC Cast.
Lacey Williams (Texas)
Lacey is an award-winning performer and instructor based out of South Texas. Most recently, she was named 2013 Houston Oriental Dance Superstar in Houston, TX. In addition to her regular classes, Lacey teaches workshops, performs regularly and is active in her dance community. Currently, she is president of her local belly dance association. When she is not dancing, she enjoys being a mom, a wife and spending time with her family and friends. www.bellydancewithlacey.com
Lady India DeMinuit (Illinois)
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.
Sabbi has been a smitten student of Middle Eastern dance ever since she saw video of Sohair Zaki and fell in love. Since then, Sabbi has worked with troupes and as a soloist in NYC and Boston, dancing as much as possible from the sands of Coney Island to the grass of Harvard Common. She is excited, amazed and honored to be part of this amazing cast and project.
Serpentessa, with Apprentice Syrena and the Snakes (New York)
Serpentessa is rebirthing the ancient serpent wisdom into the world today through the teachings of her live gentle snakes in a variety of workshops, performances and ceremonies. Her (red tail) boa constrictors are very good-natured around multitudes of people and occasions. Additionally, she is a professional belly dancer. Her early Middle Eastern dance education included study under Serena, Ibrahim Farrah and others. Today, she takes private lessons with Jehan Kamal. Theatrical collaborations include, but are not limited to Gilgamesh: The Quest, Horse’s Mouth Productions, and Jehan’s GODDESSDANCE, which first featured her as a belly dancing Snake Priestess. Enjoy her in the 2014 movie release of SPLiT, again in her real life role as a 21st century Snake priestess with her Snakess as teachers and dance as her prayer.
Theresa & Eddie (Missouri)
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.