Zafira's Belly Dance Background

Zafira began studying Middle Eastern Belly Dance in 1996. She has studied locally with:

  • the late Sheva
  • Lucy Smith, "Scheherezade"
  • Fran Tribble, "Zitana"
  • Susan Dodd, "Zara" of Richmond, VA
  • Anthea Poole of Fredericksburg, "Kawakib"
  • Donna Vronek, "Najia" of Chesterfield, VA

    Her love of Middle Eastern Belly Dance has taken her as far away as Cairo, Egypt in June, 2003 to see shows at the Ahlan wa Sahlan Dance Festival hosted by Raqia Hassan.

    Zafira has traveled eight times independently to Morocco where she often stays locally with famiies. She has seen belly dance shows in Marrakech, as well learning more folkloric dance moves from local Moroccans in their homes at parties and celebrations.

    Zafira travelled to Turkey in August, 2008 where she saw Belly Dance shows in Istanbul, as well as Folkloric and Belly Dance shows in Cappadocia.

    Zafira appeared on the TV show "Virginia This Morning" on July 4, 2007 along with drummer-friend, Geoff Bennett-Speer. Host Cheryl Miller was interested in the fitness benefits of Middle Eastern Belly Dance.

    She is a former member of the Jewels of the Oasis dance troupe.

    She has taken private lessons with Kathryn Ferguson of Tucson, AZ, Nakarat of Phoenix, AZ and Gabby Tawil, master percussionist in Phoenix, AZ.

    Zafira has taken many workshops with internationally and nationally known instructors including:

  • Karen Barbee of Texas
  • Sahra Saeeda of Southern California
  • Yasmine of Magic Hips Studio in NC
  • Raqia Hassan of Cairo, Egypt
  • Zahra Zuhair
  • Shareen el Safy
  • Nourhan Sharif of NYC
  • Morocco and Tarik Sultan of NYC
  • Suhaila Salimpour
  • Aziza of Montreal, Canada
  • Hadia of Montreal, Canada
  • Suzanna Del Vecchio of Denver, Colorado
  • Rachel Brice & Jillina of the Bellydance Superstars
  • Mesmera of Los Angeles, CA
  • Amaya of New Mexico
  • Laurel Victoria Gray of Washington, DC
  • Gamila El Masri of NYC
  • Niran Al-Ubaidi of Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Rachel K. Brookmire of Washington, DC
  • Andrea Deagon, Ph.D. of North Carolina
  • Iara Kendrick (Samra) of Fancy Gap, VA
  • Dunia of San Jose, California

    Zafira has taken numerous workshops with Middle Eastern master percussionist Karim Nagi, and also Issam Houshan of the Belly Dance Super Stars.

    To expand her repetoire, Zafira has studied other dance forms locally including New York Style Salsa with Abby Toro, Flamenco and Mexican Folk dance with Tanya Gonzalez and Rhumba with Doug Green.

    Zafira is also a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist licensed through the Board of Nursing in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This training has given her an extensive knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, anatomy, correct biomechanics, and proper postural alignment which she brings to her teaching. Since becoming a Certified Massage Therapist she has received continuing education in Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy, Geriatric Massage, Swe-Thai Massage, Lomi-Lomi Hawaiin Massage, Healing Touch and is a Certified Reflexologist. OasisRETURN TO HOMEPAGE