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About Essence

Essence of Belly Dance is one of the leading annual belly dance festivals on the East Coast produced by Farah "Faaridah" Taylor and Team Essence, fusing Cabaret, Fusion, and world dance styles. The event includes a variety of workshops by some of the most notable dancers in the industry! We tie it all together with an all star gala, competition and awards ceremony celebrating diversity in our beloved art form!! 4 days of pure Belly Dance! It is truly an experience!  Whether you are new to belly dance or an experienced professional, you will walk away with a solid foundation to help you improve as a dancer. We hope you can join us.

Check out the 2021 Full Weekend Schedule: (to be posted by July 1, 2021)

Essence of Belly Dance is going hybrid for 2021 with extended programming! This years event will take place Wednesday, September 15 - Sunday, September 19, 2021! We will offer both in-person and online attendance options – live streaming, engaging workshops, and limited in-person options for pre-registered participants! A hybrid format allows us to navigate this phase of COVID-19 safely. As we work towards bending the curve with vaccinations and continued mitigation practices, there will likely still be restrictions on in-person indoor conferences, including reduced ballroom capacity and mask-wearing mandates during the time of our event. 
What's Changing?
More instructors! More classes! Virtual Competition! And that’s not all! Our festival will now feature over 60 hours of classes with instructors worldwide! Classes and events will run from early morning to midnight EDT! Workshops, panel discussions, shows, and the competition will run all day! This flexible, hybrid approach allows us to connect teachers and fellow dancers from across the globe!
The majority of the Essence of Belly Dance 10 events will take place online with limited in-person classes and show in Atlanta, Georgia. We'll announce the location details over the next few weeks. 
We are working to secure new studio space for Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance. If we find a studio location that meets our needs, we'll host the local workshops at our new home. Otherwise, the in-person workshops will take place at another local studio in Atlanta, Georgia.
Our gala and competition will take place online, and we are planning a small showcase at Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant!

Confirmed Instructors (as of June 16, 2021)

*2021 workshops will take place on our virtual platform unless otherwise noted below*

Anasma (France)

Amar (New York)

Aziza Montreal (Canada)

Angelique (New York)

Colleena Shakti (India/Greece)

Donna Mejia (Colorado)

Ebony (Washington, DC) - in person (Atlanta) 

Isabella Salimpour (California)

Mahaila el Helwa  (Brazil)

Rachid (Netherlands)

Ryan Yangochau (China)

Rachel (California)

Simon Sako (Texas) - in person (Atlanta)

Suhaila Salimpour (California)

Zoe Jakes (California)

What about Dina!?

As many of you know, Egyptian megastar Dina and her dynamic stage show were scheduled for Essence of Belly Dance 10. Because of international travel concerns due to the Coronavirus outbreak, we will be rescheduling Dina and her high-energy show to a later date when we can welcome her in person! And she is worth the wait! Her show needs to be experienced live!  We're looking forward to sharing the Dina experience with you in Atlanta and will keep you posted once we know the new dates!

Already Registered!?
All existing registrations have been transferred to this year's event and include access to all enhancements!

A Flashback at Essence of Belly Dance Artists over the years:

2010 - Ansuya 

2011 - Suhaila Salimpour

2012 - Aziza (Montreal) and Sera Solstice

2013 - Amar Gamal, Jill Parker, Mira Betz, Sadie

2014- Jillina, Sharon Kihara,  Issam Houshan, Louchia, Heather Aued,  Lauren Boldt & Danielo! Our 2014 featured the theatrical production Belly Dance Evolution: Alice in Wonderland!

2015 - Jill Parker  (USA), Leila Farid of Cairo (Egypt), Luna of Cairo (Egypt), Kami Liddle (USA), Sorraiah Zaied (Egypt), Tjarda (Netherlands), Petite Jamilla (USA),  Aziza Nawal (USA), and Issam Houshan (USA)

2016 - Madame Raqia Hassan (Egypt), Sorraiah Zaied (Egypt), Amy Sigil, Silvia Salamanca, Ranya Renee, Ebony Qualls and Issam Houshan

2017 - Mohamed Shahin (New York & Egypt), Suhaila Salimpour, Mira Betz, Colleena Shakti, Natalie Nazario, Andrus Ramir

2018 - Sadie, Victoria Teel, Kami Liddle, Mardi Love, Abby Keyes, Rachel George, Sabriye Tekbilek, Lebanese Simon and Suhaila Salimpour.  

2019 - Aziza of Cairo, Mohamed Shahin, Amy Sigil & UNMATA, Suhaila Salimpour and Arish Lam