Since childhood Zahra has been exposed to Middle Eastern music and culture through her Egyptian-German heritage, which sparked a passion for dancing. In 2006, Zahra began her formal study of Middle Eastern dance after taking her first workshop and falling in love with the art form. Her passion led her to perform at many festivals and events such as; Capital Ex, Cariwest, the International Fringe Festival, the Heritage Festival, the Lebanese Festival, Kaleido Family Arts Festival and many other venues. In 2008, Zahra was invited to join the Edmonton Bellydance Ensemble whom she trained and performed with for 2 years. With EBE, she performed at the International Bellydance conference in Toronto in 2010, and was a principal dancer in EBE’s sold out shows “East Meets West”, and “Imratu”.
Zahra continues to nurture her love of dance by participating in workshops and continually studying the dance and culture. She has participated in workshops with world renowned dancers such as: Mohamed Shahin (Egypt), Randa Kamel (Egypt), Tito (Egypt), Aida Nour (Egypt), Hadia (Canada), Azizza (Canada), Bozenka (USA), Jillina (USA), Yasmina Ramzy (Canada), Cassandra Shore (USA), Sonia (USA), Rachel Brice (USA), Nath Keo (Canada), Colleena Shakti (India), and more.
Zahra has completed all 3 Levels of Middle Eastern Dance Instructor training with Hadia of Canada. She has taught at Grant MacEwan University, the U of A, Golds Gym, Rosie T Fitness and as the Co-Owner of Desert Rose Dance Studios. Zahra currently currently teaches regular classes and workshops in Edmonton, AB. Zahra’s passion is sharing the art of Bellydance with her students and she enjoys seeing women of all ages and backgrounds embrace their femininity through dance. Zahra is a popular performer in Edmonton, where you can find her performing in Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese restaurants as well as private events for weddings and special events.
From a young age Yasmeen has had a love of dance and culture. Coming from an Egyptian-German background she was introduced to belly dancing as a child. Yasmeen started to pursue belly dance in grade seven after her mother took her and her sister Zahra, to an intro belly dance class. Since then Yasmeen has performed in many festivals and city events as a soloist and in various troupes. In 2008, and 2010 Yasmeen took part in the International Bellydance Conference of Canada and participated in workshops with world renowned instructors like Tito (Egypt), Ada Nour(Egypt), Jillina (USA), and Bozenka (USA). Having joined the Edmonton Bellydance Ensemble (EBE), she performed at the IBCC 2010 as a part of the troupe as well as in EBE's debut show "East Meets West" and "Imratu". Yasmeen has successfully completed Hadia Bellydance Teacher Training levels 1 and 2 and performs regularly in Edmontons Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese restaurants.
Yasmeen not only loved the Middle Eastern culture and music but was also was drawn to Latin music. It was not until 2008 that she began formal training. In 2010 Yasmeen auditioned and was accepted in the Ladies Dance Team, SALT who she performed with at the International Salsa Congress of Calgary in 2011. In March 2011, Yasmeen successfully complicated the Zumba Fitness Instructor Training and has been actively teaching Zumba in Edmonton ever since. Yasmeen's love of Latin music and culture has helped her develop a growing Reggaeton dance program at Desert Rose. She currently directs a Reggaeton Dance Troupe who perform regularily at Edmonton's festivals including the Heritage Festival, Latin Festival, and Kaleido Family Arts Festival.
Elise’s passion for dance came at the young age of five. Starting with various styles such as jazz, ballet, lyrical and tap, dancing gave her some very memorable experiences that took her around North America and through her childhood. It wasn’t until later on in her late teens she thought she would try a few ballroom classes to see if she would like it… eight years later she hasn’t seem to “shake the ballroom bug” and teaching people of all ages and levels has rewarded her with wonderful memories, accomplishments and opportunities.
Elise began her professional career in ballroom, training and teaching for an international studio here in Edmonton eight years ago, and then took her skills to the UK where she taught and performed in London through 2013.
Alongside dancing, Elise has found a passion for the health and wellness industry, and regularly teaches a dance inspired fitness program known as the MOC Barre Method, (commonly known as Ballet Barre Fitness) which allows her to use her vast dance background, bringing a strong technical element to her classes.
Excited to be back in the Edmonton dance community, Elise continues to teach her love for dance and fitness, and can’t wait to see her students begin their dancing journey!