Teacher Bios

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ZOE JAKES     MIRA BETZ     KAMI LIDDLE     JILL PARKER     AMY SIGIL     APRIL ROSE    
COLLEENA SHAKTI     SADIE MARQUARDT     SERA SOLSTICE



ZOE JAKES

A versatile and extremely well-rounded performer, Zoe Jakes has developed an instruction style uniquely her own, and is a popular touring instructor, with her workshops regularly selling out rapidly. Her passion is for Belly Dance to get wider recognition and respect, and her classes reflect that with a focus on strong technique and long-term motivation.

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Katarina Burda (an original member of Bal-Anat) was her first teacher and influence, and Zoe was a company member of Katarina’s troop Aywah!, along with the talented Mira Betz and Elizabeth Strong. She went on to perform with Suhaila Salimpour, spent a few years learning how to get in people’s faces in Extra Action Marching Band, and immersed herself in Americana Vaudeville with The Yard Dogs Road Show. A proud Member of The Indigo Belly Dance Company, Zoe holds Mardi Love and Rachel Brice as her teachers and inspiration.

Currently Zoe Jakes is touring with her band Beats Antique, a group that has six albums and hundreds of live shows under their belt. Zoe designs and makes many of her own costumes and co-produces tracks with Beats Antique, along with adding set designer and stylist to her body of work. With multiple years and disciplines of belly dance under her belt, she has also studied Jazz, Ballet, Tango, Popping, and Indian dance.

Zoe Jakes is pursuing her desire to bring belly dance to the masses - performing at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo put her in front of thousands of people that didn’t know belly dance from an elephant. Zoe always includes her own Tribal Fusion aesthetic, as well as the many dance forms that have influenced her art the most.
www.zoejakes.com



MIRA BETZ

Mira Betz has been studying and teaching Middle Eastern, North African and contemporary Tribal Fusion dance nationally and internationally for the past 20 years. Her high-energy workshops are designed to challenge the students both physically and mentally, offering clear and supportive instruction in technique, rhythm, dynamic movement and stage presence.

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Mira’s philosophy is to empower each student with the tools and understanding to create their own unique voice as artists. Her passion for dance is infectious and through discussion, applied learning techniques, and critical thought, she pushes each student to discover their own clear path as an artist in dance.

Mira began her training in Middle Eastern dance as a young teen studying with some of the most respected and knowledgeable teachers of our time, such as Katarina Burda, Jamila Salimpour, and Suhaila Salimpour. As a founding member, choreographer, and solo performer of Aywah! Ethnic Dance Company for 10 years, she developed a solid foundation of contemporary, traditional, as well as ritualistic dance forms. Aywah!, under the direction of Katarina Burda, flourished to become one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most respected ethnic dance companies. In 1998 Mira went abroad to live and study the native dances of Morocco.

Nominated as "Instructor of the year" by Zaghareet Magazine, Mira is a valued instructor at prestigious festivals and camps across the nation, as well as at the Malonga Arts Collective in Oakland California. The multi-faceted career of Mira is a testament to her passionate artistry and desire to for continual growth. Mira Betz has become a sought after dancer, choreographer, costumer, and teacher training and inspiring many of today's top Tribal Fusion stars. Mira Betz received her B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Her dance background includes training in Salsa, Modern, Jazz, and Flamenco.
www.miramania.com



KAMI LIDDLE

Kami Liddle is a solo dance artist born with a passion for movement. She began taking ballet and tap lessons at the age of four and by the age of eleven, Kami auditioned for a part as a hip hop and jazz dancer for a youth performing troupe in CA where she performed for several years before moving to Nevada. She reunited with her passion for dancing again at seventeen, with an ethno-cabaret fusion of belly dance, in addition to studying the Fat Chance Belly Dance videos religiously.

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Although her degree emphasis was on photography, Kami spent most of her energy dedicated to her dance minor, studying various aspects of dance such as movement theory, dance history, theory of teaching dance and choreography studies as well as the various required technique classes. In 2003 she joined the teaching staff at the university on a letter of appointment and taught classes there until 2005.

Kami's style is what she calls a modern fusion of an ancient dance. Although she is primarily a tribal dancer, she pulls from the various styles of belly dance that she has studied, as well as modern, hip hop, jazz, and bhangra dance. Her goal is to always be a student of dance and to constantly expand her repertoire.

She joined Bellydance Superstars in 2005 and is a contributing choreographer, as well as having been the director of the Tribal Superstars thru 2012. Most recently, Kami started her own troupe, Gold Star, and has been collaborating with Bay Area band Junk Parlor.
www.kamiliddle.com



JILL PARKER

Jill Parker is the founder of the modern Tribal Fusion belly dance phenomenon, birthed out of San Francisco California in the mid-90's. Jill was an original member of FatChanceBellyDance, and founder of Ultra Gypsy Dance Theater, the trailblazing company that gave birth to such great dancers as Rachel Brice, Sharon Kihara, Lady Fred, Rose Harden, and countless others.

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With nearly three decades of experience, Jill has trained the top belly dancers in the genre and influenced a generation of belly dancers with her modern innovations, all the while remaining deeply rooted in her connection to the traditional, sensual, and authentic. Jill's big heart and deep love for this intoxicating form shine through in her generous teaching as well as her knockout performances worldwide.

An exceptional teacher with a gift for demystifying this intricate dance, Jill makes it accessible for new dancers, and offering insights for refinements and nuance to even the most seasoned professional dancer. Jill uses creative self-expression to promote health, encourage self-care, relieve stress, and build self-esteem. She fosters an inclusive sense of community and wellness in her classes.
www.jillparkerbellydance.org



AMY SIGIL

Amy Sigil has been studying Tribal Fusion Belly Dance for 18 years, and has dedicated & inspired dancers from around the world by never compromising from her vision. She teaches internationally, as well as locally in her home town of Sacramento, where she is the owner of Hot Pot Studio and the Creative Director of UNMATA.

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She is the creator of ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style), a dance vocabulary language where dancers from all corners of the globe can come together and dance spontaneously, creating something amazing right in the moment of her 'lead and follow' technique.
www.unmata.com



APRIL ROSE

April Rose began bellydance at age 11 in Sacramento, California after being inspired by one of Suhaila Salimpour’s legendary company performances at the Renaissance Faire. After studying 5 years of cabaret style bellydance under Daleela Morad, she became a student of fusion bellydance at Hot Pot Studios, directed by Amy Sigil. From 2005 to 2010 April Rose danced as a company member of Sigil’s hard-hitting experimental dance troupe UNMATA.

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In 2009 April earned a bachelors degree in Dance from UCLA where she studied choreographic method, the role of dance in the production of culture, and a variety of dance forms (including: ballet, modern, West African, jazz, hip hop, Bedhayo Javanese court dance, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Khathak classical Indian dances, contact improv, and Skinner Releasing Technique). In 2008 and 2009 she studied abroad in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India where she studied the Hindi language, yoga, and dance. From 2010 to 2012 April Rose danced as a principal performer with Miles Copeland’s groundbreaking commercial dance company Bellydance Superstars. While touring internationally for the shows “Bombay Bellywood” and “Magic of the Dance”.

After her touring break from school, April Rose returned to Los Angeles to finish graduate school at UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures|Dance Department, where in 2012 she earned her Masters degree in Dance Studies, with honors. April’s research explores the transnational history of bellydance since the mid-19th century and the many incarnations of bellydance practice in the post 1960’s US. She is currently editing her Masters thesis for future publication.

April Rose now permanently resides in Austin, Texas directing her dance school, Rose Movement Studio (www.rosemovement.com), where she teaches classic bellydance, experimental bellydance, and Improv Tribal Style (she is the first ever certified teacher in the UNMATA format of ITS). April has had the honor of teaching dance technique, history, and theory at bellydance conferences in over 20 countries including Russia, Estonia, Croatia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, India, Mexico, Colombia, France, Italy, England, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Canada, and Brazil. Look for April at a festival near you, visit Rose Movement in Austin, TX or study with April Rose from anywhere at Rachel Brice’s online dance studio, Datura Online.
www.aprilrosedance.com



COLLEEN SHAKTI

Colleena Shakti is a dancer of great subtlety and depth. She has dedicated her life to dance ever since moving to India in 2001 to undergo intensive training in Odissi classical Indian dance, as well as to research and document Rajasthani folk dance, music and jewelry traditions. She has had the great fortune to study under some of India’s greatest masters for nearly 2 decades, and continues to dig deeper into the philosophies and practices, which tie Indian dance to the path of Yoga.

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Her extensive dance training background of more than 25 years includes studies in: various Belly Dance techniques and folkloric traditions, Odissi and Kathak classical Indian dance, Rajasthani folk dances, Kalarypayattu (South Indian martial arts), Vinyasa Krama Yoga, Ballet, Flamenco, Persian, Contemporary dance, Pilates, Choreology and ardent scholarship in Indian Aesthetic Philosophy. Always seeking humility and curiosity in the arts, Colleena continues to train intensively under her legendary Gurus (masters) and has in recent years studied under great teachers of Europe in Rudolph Laban’s Choreology and the incredible works of Pina Bauch’s ‘Tanztheater’.

Colleena is committed to honoring her dance lineages and preserving traditional and quickly disappearing art forms of India, yet still manages to balance her work with innovation and self-expression through her approach in Fusion projects. Many who seek her instruction find a gentle bridging of Eastern and Western thought in the structured dance training and reflective philosophical teachings.

She lives most of the year in Rajasthan, India where she has founded Shakti School of Dance in the historical Rang Nath temple complex in the holy town of Pushkar. Annually, she presents the Pushkar Temple Dance Festival, a classical music and dance festival in the temple, which houses her school. Recently she has opened Villa Shakti - a dance and yoga retreat on the beautiful island of Crete, Greece where she conducts a multi disciplinary summer school program as well as hosting a variety of boutique retreats. Colleena is a passionate jewelry collector and designer for her jewelry company: NAKARALI, which is showcased in her partner Carolena Nericcio’s California storefront. Continuing to tour internationally, Colleena shares her unique vision of dance through performances, workshops and artistic collaborations.

Over the past 2 decades in Rajasthan, she has been living closely with a tribe of Kalbeliya ‘Gypsies’ and has witnessed many stages of evolution within their nomadic culture. It took years for her to observe the details and accents of their dance form, because it is constantly evolving. She travels India performing at village fairs, for royalty in Rajasthan’s great palaces and at prestigious arts festivals with her Rajasthani Langa Musicians. Recently she released a CD of field recordings called: Langa, Keepers of the Song, which is now available on iTunes! Proceeds of the album will help to complete a documentary film project that presents the extraordinary talent and precious culture of Rajasthan’s Langa musician caste.

Colleena offers students a rich and holistic workshop curriculum drawing from her long in-depth study of Indian artistic traditions and philosophies, her strong background in belly dance and the rigor of her practice as a dedicated dancer, yogini, teacher and performer.

www.colleenashakti.com/



SADIE MARQUARDT

Sadie Marquardt is a global Bellydance sensation. She has spent the last 10 years traveling the globe conducting workshops and shows in hundreds of cities across 40+ countries. She is the most-watched Bellydancer on YouTube with over 30 million hits on just one video alone. Sadie is an inspiration and icon to her students and fans around the world and serves to empower people through the captivating art of Oriental Dance (Bellydance). She has produced dozens of bestselling instructional videos. She has represented the art of Oriental Dance in front of millions of viewers on the hit show “America’s Got Talent.”

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Sadie is the founder and director of the “Raqs Flow” training program, which enriches students with a strong foundation in technique while keeping them engaged and connected to the dance’s culture and historical roots. She recently launched a new clothing line of athletic dance wear and produces a variety of destination dance retreats around the world, taking her students on a deep journey and exploration of this incredible art form as well as their own inner selves.

Sadie lives in Denver, Colorado. She loves spending time in nature, hiking, camping and adventuring with her family. Aside from dance, Sadie has a deep passion and commitment to living and creating a holistic, sustainable lifestyle and world. She loves to combine her passions in her retreats; bringing the power of nature, dance, music, conscious living and human connection together.

When she is not busy traveling the globe she can be found teaching her award-winning bellydance classes and workshops as well as performing locally in Colorado.
www.sadiebellydancer.com/



SERA SOLSTICE

Sera Solstice is a dancer/choreographer, founder and director of the dance troupe Solstice Tribe, and electronic music producer based in Brooklyn New York. Sera has produced and directed dozens of events in New York, both in the theater and in night clubs.

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In addition, Sera has been invited to teach workshops and perform throughout Europe, the UK, South America and the United States. She is hosted by mostly by Tribal Fusion festivals and communities, as well as Gothic Style enthusiasts.
www.solsticetribe.com/sera-solstice.html
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