Our Teachers

Lubna Emam (Egypt)

Lubna Emam from Cairo, Egypt 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 performing 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 especially appreciated for her interpretation of the Saiidi Style.

Saida (Argentina)

From her early career as an international teacher (2000) until today Saida has taken her art and knowledge to different countries in the world (Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Republic Dominican Republic, El Salvador, United States, Panama, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, England, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Belarus, Russia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Portugal, Malaysia, Monaco); giving workshops and performances.

First she studied classical dance with great masters such as: Olga Ferri, Enrique Lomi, Rina Valver and Ricardo Rivas, and then she started to learn Arabic dance with Amir Thaleb (director of the Arabian Dance Company)

She founded her own belly dance school (nowadays with more than 700 students) and in 2002.

She created the ballet of Arab dances Rakkasah with her students. The Ballet Rakkasah now is known in the whole world.
In 2008, the CID, the International Dance Council through UNESCO, awarded Saida the diploma of honor for the best Arab dancer in Argentina.
From 2015, Saida is part of the staff of teachers of the Cairo Khan Festival of Egypt together with the most recognized music and dance professionals in the Arab world.

Khaled Mahmoud (Egypt)

Khaled started dancing in Cairo many years ago when he was just seven years old at parties and weddings, his father thought he was very artistic so he sent him to study Ballet for six years.
He went on to College to study accounts, so no time for dancing. When he finished College and working in a factory, he danced with a group for four years dancing Egyptian style. It was during this time he took Belly Dancing lessons with Abrahim Akef and many master teachers in Cairo, then Khaled became a Belly Dancing teacher himself for six years at the Maade Club and also worked on M/S Alexander the Great Cruise Boat in the evenings.
He likes the style of the old Belly Dancers Naima Akif, Tahia Carioca, Samia Gamal and all new style dances.
Since arriving in England in 2001 he has held workshops and performed in shows all over the UK and in 2002 launched his International career at the Belly Dance Festival in Sweden. He now travels the world teaching and performing.
He is also part of the Nile Group in Cairo and Naseem El Sharq in Finland. Here in England he organizes his own Shimmy in the City Festival.

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.

Virginia Mendez (USA)

Having brought audiences to their feet and to tears, Virginia has captivated a worldwide public with breathtaking performances, a dynamic presence, and a soulful interpretation of Oriental Dance.
Virginia has been presented in the most prominent theaters and festivals across 5 continents and over 50 countries, including the most renowned Festivals in Egypt for over 15 years, invited by Mahmoud Reda, Yousry Sharif, Raquia Hassan, Wael Mansour, Nile Group, and more.
She is the founder of C.O.M.E. Dance and Rakstar, one of the world’s most prominent International Bellydance Festivals as well as the director/choreographer for her award winning professional performing company, Virginia’s Wa Nour Al Ayun.

Yäel Zarca (France)

Dancer and oriental dance teacher.

She is known worldwide for the quality of her teaching and her artistic work (Japan, United States, Canada, China, Spain, Egypt …).
Yaël Zarca teaches oriental dance classes in Paris or during an internship throughout France and internationally, all styles of Egyptian dance (sharqi, baladi, folklore …). She has a very personal and refined style combining both tradition and modernity. She shows great importance to the interpretation of the music and the emotions, while relying on impeccable technique and a great variety in her choreography.

Her professionalism as well as her talent make her today an essential artist of the world bellydance.

Aleksei Riaboshapka (Ukraine)

World famous of his unique performances full of superb technique and creativity, spiced up with his hilarious sense of humor, as well as his inspiring and motivating classes – he will steal your heart definitely.
Aleksei started to dance in elementary school by joining a folk dance studio. He danced there for almost 20 years.
He is a member of the League of Bellydance Masters Russia. He was invited by the President of the League, Elena Ramazanova. Elena is his Oriental dance teacher since the beginning.
Alexei is the founder of the project ART Oriental, which unites the best instructors, art experts, dancers and choreographers, event promoters, and, most importantly the lovers of the Oriental culture in Ukraine.

Gulden Fatkulla (Kazakhstan)

Professional belly dancer, choreographer, leader of the ESHTA Oriental Dance Group. Wonderful star of Kazakhstan, fantastically talented, kind and inspiring.

Mohanned Hawaz

What makes Mohanned a great choreographer is his experience in both oriental and western dance. By combining confident technique with an Arabic sense of life, he not only achieves the perfection of dance, but also perfectly passes the Iraqi tradition to his students. Mohanned has a completely unique style: a combination of classical Russian ballet, modern ballet, jazz, Iraqi folk dance and oriental dance. He has a strong, charismatic stage presence and incredible elegance.

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.

Eman Zaki (Egypt)

Meet Eman Zaki from Egypt, a modern and a pharaonic style designer, who knows everything about the mystery of being beautiful on the stage an about the costumes. Eman Zaki’s Golden Lotus studio produces handcrafted  belly dance costumes for dancers from all around the world. Unique and elegant designs that reflect real talent.  Her costumes are well known among oriental dancers, and have become synonymous with the elegant modern dancer. If you do not own an Eman costume, your wardrobe is not yet complete.

She also has been dancing through several years of her life, closely experiencing the true Golden Era. She had offered a dance workshop about this topic exclusively for CAIRO! Fest Budapest participants. We feel truly honored and lucky to be able to enjoy her beautiful soul through her class as well this time.

 Vesna Zorman (Slovenia)

Vesna Zorman from Slovenia brings us all the practice of glamor! Vesna, one of Tribal’s acclaimed stars, has toured throughout Europe with Ambrosia. Thanks to the intense visual experience, dramaturgy and theatricality, the company always delivers a high-quality experience that enchants the audience. According to Vesna, make-up is an integral part of the stage performance: it complements the dancer’s performance and enriches her appearance. The stage make-up workshop will help you learn how to make sparkling and shining, dramatic eyes that will be visible even to those in the last row of the auditorium!

 Judit Virág (Hungary)

Judit Virág  is the Hungarian Tribal Queen! Judit Virág’s tribal belly dancer is backed by 10 years of dedicated work, numerous international performances, festivals and shows, in which she has been a performer, instructor and jury member.

She has been the main organizer and organizer of the Budapest Tribal Belly Dance Festival for many years. Leader of the Attractive Collective Belly Dance Association. Tribal belly dance, taught and taught by Judit, is more than an artistic trend or style, a ritual and a magic at the same time. It conveys messages of femininity encoded in rhythm and melody in the language of gestures. At the tribal workshop you have the opportunity to live the tribal experience and feel like a real WOMAN while enjoying the wonderful music and the world around you!

Veronika Vámos (Hungary)

Veronika Vámos started dancing at the age of 4, studying classical ballet for 25 years and attending jazz, modern and contemporary dance classes. Later she studied various folk dances (Széki and Moldavian, Oriental, Sufi-Mevlev dervish dances, Argentine tango), traditional movements (karate, yoga). At first he danced in musicals (Rock Theater, Comedy Theater, Madách Theater), later in contemporary dance groups (Csaba Horváth, Roberto Galván, Tzranz Danz). She has been singing for about 13 years now and is known as Tango Cortina.

She has been in the world of  Flamenco for 23 years. Studied in Jerez de la Frontera, Seville, Granada (my teachers are Pilar Ogalla, Manolo Marín, Chiqui de Jerez, Fernando Galán, Mercedes Ruiz, etc.)
Currently she is engaged in flamenco dance teaching and its theatrical application. Veronika Vámos received the Best Performer Award at the Alternative Theater Review in 2004. On August 20, 2007, and she was awarded the Golden Cross of the Order of the Hungarian Republic for his work as a dancer and choreographer.

Amira (Hungary)

Krisztina Németh Amira, founder of Amira Art Company. The aim of the group is to showcase the diversity of belly dance, its artistic expressiveness and to introduce the Hungarian audience to its different directions and styles.

Amira has been teaching Oriental Dance since 1997 and her school, Amira Art Studio, is one of the first belly dance schools in Hungary. Education takes place in several groups, at different levels, continuously. They have been taught in several rural towns and hold special workshops on a regular basis, both at home and abroad. (Bucharest, Iasi, Barcelona, Alicante, Nantes, Paris, Madrid).

As an instructor and choreographer, it is very important for her to get to know the other dances and movements besides the belly dance. You can meet her at the festival during the starter yoga classes.