Frank Farinaro- Intensive Instructor
Frank, a life-long dancer, is Colorado’s premiere male bellydancer. Over the past decade, Frank has trained in many contemporary and ethnic dance styles. Since 2005, Frank has performed and taught classes and workshops at events in over two dozen cities and eight states across the US. In 2009, Frank won Yaa Halla Y’all’s the People’s Choice Award Tribal/Alternative Star in Dallas, TX. He also received a standing ovation for his athletic solo at Tribal Fest 10. Frank’s current project is developing his signature Hammerhead Sharqi Dance Technique, a style of dance and dance instruction which focuses on artistic dance fusion, athletic body conditioning and new-age meditative practices.
Artemis has been dancing, teaching and researching dance history in the United States and abroad for 40 years. Artemis is of Greek and Turkish descent. She fuses her love of these cultures with strong academic knowledge and excellent dance technique. She brings her spirited and articulate technique to workshops which include information on the history and cultures that generate the dances she teaches. She believes that we can all use art to build bridges across cultures.
Artemis has contributed to many publications. Extensive travel to 33 countries and intensive research into the idioms of the East, women's issues, psychology, ancient history, oriental dance, Romany (Gypsy) dance and dance ethnology have yielded many manuscripts and articles. Visit serpentine.org for full bio.
Helena is a professional, award-winning belly dance entertainer. She performs regularly in three restaurants in PA and entertains at private parties and special events from MA to VA. Helena practices the traditional and modern styles of belly dance as well as the traditional dances of the Romany and Moroccan Berber. She performs Turkish, American Cabaret, and Lebanese styles.
Helena is celebrating her 10th year in business. She has worked with many live musicians and hosts large live music/dance events in PA. She plays the zills/sagat/finger cymbals and dances with a variety of different props such as: veil, wings of Isis, candles, palm fire, double sword, cane, shamadon, water glass dancing, and more!
Helena Zahra also hosted and produced her own public access TV show: BellyDance Berks! She has also written published dance related articles in Zaghareet magazine. Helena has traveled to perform and study in Greece, and has studied in Turkey. Helena's most cherished dance moment: The honor of performing for the wedding of the PR gentleman for the Prince of Saudi Arabia!
DragonSong is a collaborative world music ensemble performing a synthesis of contemporary and traditional music. With a shared love of stretching musical boundaries, this tribe of artists bands together to experiment freely with an open mind, challenge one another, and explore artistic diversity. Their organic nature and addiction to exotic percussion births a kaleidoscope of compositions with a unique, international flavor. Through the integration of both ethnic and progressive tools, members combine their talents to create an entity greater than themselves to share with the rest of the collective. They strive to enlighten and inspire each other, and others, by recycling energy and encouraging expression on a conscious and subconscious level. Vocal harmonies blend with a variety of instrumentation, weaving an intricate tapestry of sound. Through the fusion of music with visual performing arts, DragonSong creates a multi-sensory experience for all to enjoy.
Born and raised in the cornfields of Pennsylvania, Na’la first discovered belly dance in 2000, when she was shown a Turku video featuring the Ghawazee dancers (now Zafira). It was love at first sight! She started studying tribal style with Bambi (VA), cabaret with Bonita (VA), and religiously studied the FCBD instructional series. She co-founded Shakra in late 2002, and by 2004 Shakra was becoming well known as a unique student performance art troupe with a style all their own. Na’la’s choreography and personal style grew from a fusion of all her past experiences. She has studied with many teachers across the US and in Europe, and has completed the Sahara Dance’s teacher training in 2010. She is honored to be a teacher in such a vibrant and inspiring dance community, and has a special interest in Sacred Movement and participating in Council Shares. (Ask her for more info!) Na'la's not so secret hope is that her students will incorporate what they learn into their own artistic dance expression, and feel more connected to their bodies through movement. She looks forward to being a student for the rest of her life and sharing her joy of learning with her students.
Samira started studying dance at the University of Connecticut, while she was in high school and continued her dance training as a jazz dance major at the Philadelphia University of the Arts.
As a master performer she has danced for royalty, ambassadors, diplomats, HBO sponsored comedy events, international concerts, is recommended by the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC, and sponsored by the Egyptians Embassy for both folkdance and belly dance. Samira is a sought after as a performer, master teacher and competition judge throughout the US. She has over 3,000 shows under her belt and has been teaching movement for over 27 years.
She released a Belly dance and Bollywood DVD and Pilates audio CD in 2012 and is currently working on an article for the follow up to the Gilded Serpent peer reviewed book The Belly Dance Reader. Visit her website samirashuruk.com
Serena is an award-winning fusion dance performer, teacher, and choreographer from Brooklyn, NY.
As a teacher, Serena brings her students a love of sharing, a positive, encouraging attitude, and clear explanations of techniques, along with over a decade of teaching experience, and over two decades of extensively varied dance experience.
As a performer, she is known for her boundless energy, precise technique, and commanding stage presence. Pulling from her background in a wide range of dance forms, from bellydance and African to Latin, hip-hop, and modern, she brings audiences unexpected, yet seamless fusion that captivates and excites. She has performed across the US at bellydance festivals, including Art of the Belly, Tribal Fest, Tribal Massive, Rakkasah, and Elevation. In addition to her solo work, Serena is a core member and principal dancer of Solstice Tribe under the direction of Sera Solstice.
Serena studies bellydance intensively with Sera Solstice, Suhaila Salimpour, Zoe Jakes, Rachel Brice, Sharon Kihara, and Mira Betz. Serena is both Suhaila and Jamila Level 1 Certified and has completed Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements: Initiation. She also continues her movement studies outside of bellydance with regular classes in ballet, modern, salsa, tango, fire poi, and aerial silks.
Typhrodisia is the Director and Sponsor of the Maryland Bellydance Convention, She is also the Director of the troupe Sestraluna based in Severna Park MD. Typhrodisia opened her own dance studio Typhrodisia's Bellydance and Beyond in 2012, where she teaches weekly adult bellydance classes as well as mommy and me classes.
Typhrodisia first bellydance class was in 1999 with Cashmir, She walked into class with the smell of incense, the flickering of candles and the exotic music and at that moment she fell in love with bellydance. Typhrodisia has taken workshops and studied with many instructors , including her mentor Suhaila Salimpour. Typhrodisia has hosted numerous instructors in the past, but has decided to bring all of them under one roof and in doing so created the Maryland Bellydance Convention.