Lubna Emam (Egypt)
Lubna Emam from Cairo in Egypt, she started to dance oriental dance only nine years old in the Egyptian Kaomeya School troupe. She has been traveling all the world most of her life, performing with the Kaomeya Troupe and other groups. Lubna has also been working with the famous belly dancer Nagwa Fuad.
When she some years ago returned back to Egypt, she stopped to perform and started to teach Oriental Dance for Egyptian dancers and foreign dancers. Now she is traveling everywhere in the world Teaching Classical Oriental Dances and Egyptian Folklore Dances. Lubna has a very distinct style with very powerful “heavy”movements, she is specially appreciated for her interprentation of the Saiidi Style.
Sahar Samara (Egypt)
Sahar Samara is currently the hottest rising star in Cairo. A protégé of Aida Nour, her style is unique and she blends both classic and modern in her Oriental performances and her folkloric repertoire is breathtaking. She began her professional dance career in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt as a member of Tito’s folklore troupe. Soon she was a popular soloist and she was prompted to move her career to Cairo. Sahar is the star dancer at the Blue Nile River Boat located in Zamalek, the entertainment center of Cairo.
Sahar has appeared in numerous Egyptian music videos with famous singers, dance videos, and movies. In 2014, Sahar was selected to participate in Dina’s Egyptian television competition show, “Al Rakesa” which catapulted her into the international belly dance scene. She is highly sought-after as a performer and instructor throughout the world and has been hosted in countries such as Russia, Italy, France, China, and Germany as well as prestigious Festivals in her home country of Egypt.
Jillina Carlano (USA)
Performer, Master Instructor, Choreographer, Director and Producer, Jillina has devoted her life to dance. Currently Jillina is touring the world with her newest production: Bellydance Evolution. Created in 2009, Bellydance Evolution is a revolutionary approach to the art of bellydance; it is a theatrical show with a storyline, much like a ballet. Bellydance Evolution has already appeared in over 20 countries and was a featured performer at the Mawazine festival in Morocco, performing for the Queen of Morocco.
In 1999 Jillina established her own dance company, Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers, currently LA’s premier Middle Eastern and world fusion dance entertainment company. From 2003-09 she served as Artistic Director and Main Choreographer for the Bellydance Superstars and performed with them for over 700 shows in over a dozen countries. High-lights include performing on the main stage at Lolapaloza, The Follies Berger in Paris, The Queen’s Theater in London and Theatre Mohammed V in Rabaat, Morocco. Jillina continued in her position as principal choreographer until 2010.
Jillina pulls from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, Folklore, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip Hop to create
a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. She travels extensively, teaching seminars and performing in concerts. The “Michael Jordan of Bellydance”, Jillina’s talents have taken her to England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Chile, Venezuela, Canada, France, Italy, Monaco, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Holland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Russia, Slovenia, Peru, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Dubai and Egypt. Whether Jillina is coaching dancers individually or teaching a group of 1,000 students, she has a special ability to connect with people on and off the dance floor.
Mercedes Nieto (Hungary)
Mercedes Nieto was born in the heart of Europe, Budapest, to a hungarian-spanish family. She is dancing and deepening her knowledge of the oriental dance since 1997. She was as well studying flamenco, afro dance and jazz ballet. Up to these days she still involves herself in improving and developing her classical ballet and contemporary dance knowledge. Merging these with the traditional and contemporary Egyptian dance forms – learning and performing in Egypt continuosly – Mercedes created her own style, which is dynamic and floating, delicate and sensual, mysterious, still sincere and natural.
She won several prices on different professional belly dance competitions: National Hungarian Raks Sharqi Contest: People’s Choice Award 2003, 1st place in professional solo cathegory 2004, 1st place group category with Art of Orient group 2004, two times 1st place with her troup: the Nymph Oriental Dance Company, 3 times the best choreographer’s prize. She won audience choice award of the MEDINA competition in USA, 2004; she won prizes as solo dancer and her troop gained the 1st place in group dance category in Egypt (Cairo, Nile Group Festivals and previously at Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festivals as well). Mercedes is choreographing dance-theatrical performances, is a leading teacher and star guest of several festivals all over in Hungary, Europe and the World. She has her own dance school for over 15 years.
Already during her fist visit to Cairo she was invited for dance auditions, after she appeared in Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel, on the Nile Pharaoh Cruising Restaurant, and later on the cruising restaurant Nile Maxim.
Meantime her name is becoming more and more known: she was teaching and dancing in Workshops and performances abroad: Egypt, USA, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, Qatar, Dubai, Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, China, Cuba, Morocco, Spain, England, Italy, Ireland, France, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Latvia, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Guadeloupe, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc. She is a guest performer on the Nile Group Festival’s Opening and Closing Gala Shows in Cairo with a live music show with orchestra since June 2010, and now she is one of the first European regular masterteachers of this World famous festival. Mercedes is the founder and choreographer of the well known international oriental dance troup: The Nymph Oriental Dance Company, having international tours around the world and performing in festivals and dance theatre events as well with them, as well as performing on significant Middle-Eastern events such as weddings of the royal family of Qatar and a famous haute couture TV show in Morocco. Mercedes is also the main organizer of the CAIRO! Festival Budapest, a yearly organized growing oriental dance festival in Budapest, Hungary, which is now the biggest festival in Central-Europe and beyond, it’s unique in the country and for the international audience as well because of its special atmosphere.
The choreographies of Mercedes are professionally a real challenge for her students, as she does not keep anything for herself, she loves to share and she is guided by a whole transmission independent on whether it is about her own modern ideas or traditional styles. She believes oriental dance is not only the finest way to connect a woman with her inner self, connect traditions and innovations, through what one can experience the whole mistery of life and feminity, but oriental dance also deserves a better place among other professional stage art forms. So technically her requirements are quite high, the emphasis are on presenting the variegation of the bellydance through the personal message of the dancer. As she believes there is no dance without real emotions – especially no oriental dance.
Mohamed Kazafy (Egypt)
Has been dancing with the world famous Reda troupe of Egypt for 23 years. After initially training with the troupe’s founder Mahmoud Reda, & The legendary principle female dancer Farida Fahmy, he went on to perform with the Reda Troupe in dozens of countries worldwide. Until now, Mohamed remains one of their principal soloists. For over a decade now, he is travelling all over the world as choreographer, teaching and performing as well as judging many international competitions in the dance. Mohamed specializes in Egyptian folklore and oriental dance. With his love of Folklore dance, he started and created several folklore dance groups in many countries, Mohames’s group Greece, Mohames’s group Italy, Mohames’s group Peru, and more, spreading his knowledge not only teaching workshops but also feeding and nourishing his groups knowledge so they can be true representations of true, untainted folklore dance, carrying his torch all over the world.
Mohamed, stays true to the art and takes it very seriously, in his class students know that they are there to learn and not to pass time, with a very firm attitude and full respect to his art, Mohamed teaches the art in its purest form and as authentic as it can possible be, he passes on his rich knowledge withthe utmost care and love.
Elena Ramazanova (Russia)
Elena Ramazanova, has been dancing and teaching for over 25 years, traveled to many parts of the world teaching an performing, one of the most authoritative voices in Oriental Dance in Russia and Russian speaking countries. During the beginning of her carrier she travelled and danced in Egypt, she was one of the main teachers at Ahlan Wa Sahlan Raqs Festival in Cairo and currently teaches at Raqs Of Course festival in Egypt. Elena, is the Founder and President of The League of Bellydance Masters of Russia. Master Instructor who taught generations of most well known Russian dancers today. Well-known Instructor, choreographer and producer, specializes in folk and classic Oriental Dance. One of the main purposes of the League is to establish high quality standards of aesthetic execution and teaching of Oriental Dance in Russia, keeping the traditions. Elena, is an authority on all styles of dance, especially from the gulf.
Gulden Fatkulla (Kazakhstan)
Simon Sarkis (Lebanon/USA)
Lebanese Simon was born and raised in northern Lebanon. With a natural passion for cultural arts, he found himself drawn closer to dance. Simon has traveled internationally to teach, perform and learn, and has had the privilege to study with the legendary Amani of Lebanon, Yousry Sharif, Lubna Emam and Inspiring Caracalla Folklore Dance Teachers Sammy Khoury and Francois Rahme.
His style of Lebanese Folk Dabke is described as strong, captivating, and deeply heartfelt. Through oriental dance, Simon reveals his personal creative approach, drilling combinations with a focus on technique and rhythms. Most importantly, he focuses on executing the moves yet staying emotionally connected to the melody and the story line. His versatility in dance has brought him very close to the heart of a wide range of audience and followers around the world.
Since 2010, Simon has served artistic director and manager for the Al Awtar Zaffa Group based in Houston, Texas. He is also the Executive Producer and Artistic Advisor of the yearly Gulf Coast Raks (formerly the Houston Oriental Dance) Festival. Settled in Houston, Texas, Simon is a Structural Engineer and enjoys horseback riding and great long walks in nature.
Guan & Rita (China)
Hailed as one of China’s most popular and meticulous choreographer, Guan combines his diverse works with a distinct, creative style. Refreshing to watch, Guan has produced over 180 original works. They are practiced and learnt by countless artistes.
In his workshops, Guan emphasizes on posture control, practical Egyptian-styled moves, and proper expression of dance emotions.
Guan is the recipient of countless awards for his choreography works and championship performances, from top dance institutes in China to international festivals in France.
Judit Virag (Hungary)
Virág Judit Magyarország tribal királynője! Virág Judit törzsi hastáncos mögött 10 év elhivatott munka, számos nemzetközi előadás, fesztivál és show áll már, melyeken fellépőként, oktatóként és zsűritagként egyaránt közreműködött. A Budapesti Törzsi Hastáncfesztivál főszervezője és lebonyolítója sokadik éve. Az Attraktív Kollektíva Hastánc Egyesület vezetője. A Judit által táncolt és tanított törzsi hastánc több mint egy művészeti irányzat vagy stílus, egyszerre rituálé és varázslat. A nőiesség ritmusba és dallamba kódolt üzeneteit közvetíti a mozdulatok nyelvén. A Tribal workhsopon lehetőséged átélni a tribal élményt és igazi NŐ-nek érezheted magad, miközben élvezed a csodálatos zenét és a körülötted lévő világot!
Vesna Zorman (Slovenia)
Adam Hosman (Hungary)
ADAM HOSMAN, percussionist and music producer, is a busy contributor to the Arabic music and bellydance scene. As a musician, he’s long-time member of renowned Iraqi oud virtuoso Omar Bashir’s group, with whom they released several albums and toured the Arab world from Morocco to Abu Dhabi. He served as lead percussionist in Budapest’s popular Khalifa ensemble, performing a large repertoire of classical Egyptian music in traditional Takht instrumentation, accompanied by the very best of oriental dancers. As a solo artist, he is a returning guest of many bellydance festivals, playing for dance performances and sitting on competition juries. Adam also specializes in educating dancers about the many aspects of working with music at his workshops, summer camps, private classes, and as a regular teacher in Mercedes Nieto’s dance school. His aim is to use an interdisciplinary approach in bridging the many sides of Arabic musical culture with Western audiences.