DCBA Instructors of 2020!!
Read the Bio's of each instructor to find out more about them.
Headliner: Lisa Zahiya
isa Zahiya is an internationally known life-coach, small business developer, speaker, dancer and performer. She is based in Asheville, NC where she is the founder & owner of Studio Zahiya, five time winner of "Best Place to Take a Dance Class.” She also owns Zahiya Bellydance, a comprehensive Bellydance program, Asheville Bachelorette Parties, and Lisa Zahiya Coaching, a coaching program for entrepreneurs.As a movement instructor, she travels, teaching workshops, performing, and developing curriculum. She has taught and performed in New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, Austin, TX, Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Montreal, Southern France and more. She also specializes in women's empowerment workshops and as a team-building facilitator. She is the winner of the 2008 Bellydancer of the Universe.
Bio coming soon!!
Amustela prides herself on being a “classic” example of the American Belly Dancer. She has been a lifelong dancer, involved in the study and performance of Middle Eastern Dance for over 25 years. She has studied many types of Middle Eastern dance and has faithfully brought them together in the style of the American restaurant show. Firmly grounded in Egyptian cabaret technique, her show can also include dramatic veil, skillful sword, finger cymbals, floor work and cane. All of these fun and expressive components, flow seamlessly from one number to the next, yet still preserving the unique magic of each part Her career has taken her from the world of nightclubs, to competitions, to master instructor and historical lecturer of the art. Amustela has been the recipient of numerous rewards and honors for performance, instruction and choreography. She also has been sought after for film projects, show productions and dance instruction.
Berna is multi-award winning dance artist whose signature style has made her Berna a sought-after top professional. She is trained in Arabic and Turkish style Belly Dance as well as Central Asian and Turkish Romani dance. Berna was recently cast in Jillina’s Bellydance Dance Evolution Experience production of the Wizard of Oz and she has taught and performed in numerous public and private events throughout the US and Canada.
Bellydance as a performance art is about classic elegance and indulging in a bit of magic! Berna believes in exchange of cultures where we all speak the language of dance. From classics to fusion and everything in between, the best performances are authentic, engaging and fun.
Berna is passionate about sharing the art of bellydance and has been teaching weekly classes regularly since 2005. She is a faculty member at Born2Dance Studio in Vienna, VA.
Theresa A. Hoffmann
Is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor for the State of Maryland and a Nationally Certified Counselor, her practice has served individuals, couples, and groups for over 25 years.She is a university counselor/faculty/administrator at the University of Maryland Global Campus, and has been for over 25 years, she teaches Psychology and Learning topics at the Undergraduate and Graduate level for UM and other colleges in the classroom and online. Theresa is currently a Certified Belly Dance and Certified Zumba Instructor for the YMCA in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has attended dance classes which included belly dance, tribal fusion, and African dance styles at the Y for over 30 years and taught Belly dance and Zumba classes there for over 12 years. She has belonged to various dance troupes for years performing in parades, festivals, on stage, and private parties. Theresa started the Ali Mah Moon Goddesses dance troupe about 10 years ago, they are enjoying dancing together. They have performed at the Montgomery County Fair, Kensington Fall Festival, Tiraz Dance Convention, Maryland Belly Dance, Art of the Belly, and DCBA dance convention for many years.
Tabitha Hitchye was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her ethnic background is multi-racial. Raised as the daughter of a musician, she was exposed to the music industry as a young child and grew up singing in various choirs & groups. At the age of 19 she was introduced to Latin Dance which turned into a love and passion for her.She has been teaching Salsa, Mambo, Bachata, & Flamenco for a combination of 11 years and dancing for 20 years.She co-founded Baltimore Salsa Dance Company in 2008, retired the company In 2016, and is bringing back the company this year! She currently holds the following certifications: Salsa Instructor & Business Development from Edie the Salsa Freak, Flamenco & Spanish Dance from Marsha Bonet & Dancers, LLC, & Zumba Fitness I & II.
Cyndi Cyreigna Elliott, is the Director of Irie Tribal Dance Company, Kansas’s Premier Fatchance Bellydance® Sister Studio and Advanced American Tribal Style Bellydance Instructor. She has traveled nationally teaching at festivals such as ATS® Homecoming, 3rd Coast Tribal Fest, Bayou Belly Festival, and many others. She is passionate for creating workshops and intensive that are based in Fundamental American Tribal Style® Bellydance as well as the training and technique that goes into movement and presentation needed for any Improvisational style. She shares her extensive knowledge for dance as well how to capture the pure joy, passion, and happiness in a style that is loved by so many. She is best known for her High Energy and Joyous ATS® Inspired Solos, that have been known to ignite audiences worldwide.
Together with her background in Orthopedic nursing and Fitness, she takes you through safe and effective ways to take your dance to the next level!
Raquelle has been learning, performing, and teaching oriental dance for over ten years. During this time she has learned from local and international instructors. This allows her to break down movements in several ways for students to understand.
Contact Raquelle for private lessons, workshops, private events in the Northern Virginia, DC, & Maryland areas.
Rubia is a Baltimore/Annapolis-area belly teacher, choreographer, and performer, who has been performing professionally for a decade. She also dances with the professional belly dance troupe, Meridian Dance Company. She has performed at parties, weddings, festivals, and fundraising events throughout the area. She also teaches classes and workshops throughout the Baltimore area. She looks forward to sharing this beautiful dance with you!
Jacqui and Tari Lagru
Bio Coming Soon
Leilah Moon is an award-winning professional belly dancer for hire. You can catch her performing regularly at venues throughout the DC area. Leilah's powerful shimmies and nuanced style are what audiences find most mesmerizing about her as a performer. Her style is firmly rooted in luscious and emotionally resonant Egyptian style dance, and there's a special place in her heart for sha'abi/mahraganat. Leilah Moon won First Place and People's Choice awards in the highest Professional Category at the 2018 East Coast Classic Belly dance Competition. Leilah Moon started her dance career at the age of 17 with Susquehanna University Belly dance Circle in 2008, studying further under MiaNaja al Sephira, Naimah of Baltimore, Viviana of Delaware, Piper of the Daughters of Rhea, and various faculty of Sahara Dance in DC, including private instruction with Jennifer Tether and Shahrzad Raqs.Leilah is part of the faculty at Sahara Dance in DC and teaches weekly classes and regular workshops.
Author Aphrodite Lee
Bio Coming Soon!!
Scheherezade has been involved in Middle Eastern dancing since 1974. Beginning her dance education in Western NY and eventually joining the Nadia Ibrahim Middle Eastern folkloric Dance Company, she also started a solo career in Oriental Dance and teaching. After moving to Richmond in 1980 she continued to perform and teach. She has studied with all of the first generation master teachers in the US and Egypt. She continues to expand her dance education studying with current US and international teachers. In the 1980s She co-founded the Women of Selket dance troupe with Zara. She served as president of the troupe for more than ten years. After her first 2 trips to Egypt and Morocco in the early 1980s she established Scheherezade Imports, in 1985, one of the largest middle eastern dance supply companies in the US. Currently she continues to lead cultural and dance study tours to Egypt, manages Scheherezade Imports and teaches Middle Eastern Dance both at the Concert Ballet of VA studios and at workshops and seminars. She hopes you can join her in class or on one of her upcoming cultural and dance tour to Egypt. She wants you to know how honored and blessed she is to have an opportunity to teach again at DCBA.
From Washington, DC, Sha’vei is an energetic and fun instructor & dancer. She is an annual favorite who performs at many area festivals and haflas. Sha’vei has been dancing since she was a small child as her mother was a dance instructor. Sha’vei is the DC Team Leader for Shimmy Mob - A global effort to raise domestic violence awareness. She has led a flash mob team annually for our nations capital since 2013 as a charity fundraiser campaign for the House of Ruth.
Suffiyah Nahila Elizar the belly dancer with the "sassy chassis" from Dancers Oasis. She is eclectic, theatrical, and comedic. While studying a wide array of styles of belly dance,along with swing, Vaudeville, and Burlesque, Suffiyah developed her own unique performance style of American Cabaret theatrical bellydance.
Stage name for burlesque Ms Sassy Chassis
for burlesque web info
Jessica Crowe wears many hats in the world of the arts. Her obsession with all things creative started when she learned to read at the age of 4. 29 years later, she studies everything she can get her hands on and has an incredible passion for writing, acting, dancing, and singing. She is the owner of the Alba Rosa Cat Parlour in York, Pennsylvania, a sacred space for the arts that is protected by their resident feline, Nana. Jessica is also the Creative Director of York's first professional performance troupe, The Trick 'R Treaters. They perform in their hometown and travel the country performing theatrical productions of a variety of sizes and types. When not at Alba Rosa or with her troupe, Jessica can be found at various theaters working on projects in a variety of roles including acting, stage managing, directing, or attending shows as a critic for Broadway World. In her spare time, she is also a published journal artist, clothing artist, poet, and playwright. Visit her at to see what mischief she's currently getting herself into.
Kalistra is a award winning fusion dancer from Hampstead Maryland. She is the director of Troupe Awen,and performs as a soloist and as a member Amandari Dance Collective throughout the DMV. Kalistra is a certified instructor through Masala Movements Foundations Teacher Training program and she is also currently a Level 3 certified sword dancer through Belladonna.
Kalistra dances as a way to express herself, explore different parts of her own personality and the ever expanding world of possibilities
Yasaman Vrd'dhi is a multi-award winning Dance Artist based in MD of the USA.
She has training in Modern dance, Martial arts and over 7 Belly Dance styles. Yasaman has
studied dance as a whole for 25 years and 23 years of Belly dance. After decades of study she has honed her own style she calls M.A.D Fusion (Modern Arts Dark Fusion) which is a fusion of Modern/Contemporary dance, Fusion belly dance, Martial arts, Hip hop, with Goth undertones.
Her passion to create comes from her Writer/Author background which she translates into her
dance. Yasaman currently studies under Pop Lock Belly Dancer Edenia Archuleta. Yasaman herself offers online one on one-group live classes.