Rose Harden, has been an active member of the San Francisco Belly Dance community since 1999 and was long time member of Ultra Gypsy, the premier innovative Belly Dance Theater Company from San Francisco. She is currently performing with The Bhoomi Project under the direction of Zoe Jakes, co-directs Dangerous Beauties, and will be part of Kami Liddle's debut project Goldstar.
Elizabeth Strong is a life long dancer, raised in the folk communities of California, where she was exposed to music and dance of the Balkans and Middle East from a young age. In addition to over a decade of study in the Bay Area, She has traveled and studied dance ethnology in Turkey and Egypt, the first student of Reyhan Tuzsuz in Istanbul, and student of Sahra Saeeda in Egyptian dance and culture Elizabeth is former primary member of Aywah! Ethnic Dance Company, a troupe devoted to regional dances and music of North Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East. She was a collaborative member of “The Pogonometric Revue” with the Toids, Rachel Brice and Mardi Love, and a choreographer and collaborator for the last Undulation performed by Ultra Gypsy. Elizabeth performed with the Bellydance Superstars in 2008 and 2009, and was a founding member of Jillina Carlano’s Belly Dance Evolution, and also played a formative role in Zoe Jakes’ dance company for Beats Antique.
Internationally acclaimed dancer Princess Farhana has appeared in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal, Egypt, Mexico and Canada, as well as all over the United Kingdom and across the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii. For the past twenty years she has also written extensively on Oriental Dance, for both dance and mainstream publications, and has appeared on the cover of belly dance publications Jareeda, Zaghareet, Nafoura, and The Chronicles. Named “Favorite Oriental Dancer 2006 and 2008” by Zaghareet Magazine, she has performed live at concerts with Arabic superstars Amr Diab, Ragheb Alama, Hakim, Natacha Atlas, and Alabina, as well as at private events for celebrities and dignitaries such as former First Lady Hilary Clinton, The Saudi Arabian Royal Family, and The Rolling Stones, among many others.
A master of the art of Raqs Sharqi (Eastern Dance), Najia's impact and influence can be witnessed in many of the bay area's (and beyond) best dancer's performances. A legend herself, Najia is a highly sought after instructor and dance coach. She is truly a pioneer of the art, as well as a veteran of the famous North Beach Belly dance scene in San Francisco, CA. Full of information, wit, grace, style and poise and just good old fashioned horse-sense, I strongly recommend Najia's wisdom to anyone seriously persuing a career in Middle Eastern Dance. Najia is also a trusted voice in the dance community, and serves as an advisor and columnist for Gilded Serpent magazine. Her articles are truly informative, educational and entertaining!
A wonderful person and brilliant mentor, Lynette is a gifted dancer as well. We both share a love for snakes and strive to correct public misperception about them. Lynette is the Editor/Publisher of Gilded Serpent Magazine - the leading voice of the Middle Eastern Dance community. Her magazine is a MUST READ for the most current information on the world of "Belly dance", and her writing is top notch.
How can one discuss Middle Eastern dance without discussing Bert Balladine? Bert's influence in the world of "Belly dance" is like thick honey on baklava, or the scent of a rose and permiates throughout the art. The mentor of my mentors, I have had the sheer priveledge of several workshops with Bert over the years and many entertaining conversations about the history of this style of dance as well as where it may be going. Bert is especially skilled at bringing out a woman's inner beauty. I pretty much consider him the Father of "Belly dance" in the USA - that is what he means to me. Legend...hands down. Bert is a also a contributing force to the Gilded Serpent Magazine.
Kathy tought me more about the human voice in several months than I learned in all my years of classical training, choirs and overpriced private lessons. She now owns and operates The Voice Studio in San Francisco. She is a joy to work with and if you want to sing, I recommend Kathy Kennedy to anyone for the best possible voice coaching on the planet. Kathy has been singing professionally in the bay area for 20 years and has performed before thousands opening for acts like Sheryl Crow, Huey Lewis & The News, Smokey Robinson & Tony Bennett. Kathy also toured with Mickey Thomas' Starship, singing lead on Grace Slick's "White Rabbit" and "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", and has sang back up vocals live with Bonnie Raitt, Ronnie Spector and Eddie Money.