Spokane’s BellyFest, 2016

BellyFest 2016 Poster2Music and Dance Classes, Performances, & Vendors Highlighting Cultures Around the World

Saturday, February 6, 2016

9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Focused Fitness Community Center 
2426 S. Dishman Mica Rd., Spokane Valley, WA



Complete BellyFest, 2016 Event Schedule 
Time Classroom Studio Gym
 9:30 am –
10:30 am
American Cabaret Belly Work & Floor Work with Gaylene Dover ATS Combinations & Zils with Cindy Moon Bear —————
10:45 am –
11:45 am
Vintage American Cabaret Arm Styles & Movements with Stephanie Turkish Romani Fusion with Rhonda Higgins —————
12:00 pm –
1:00 pm
Women’s Dances of Afghanistan with Yasmin Edwards Fusion Veil with Nickie B. Mini Photo Shoots & Vending
1:15 pm –
2:15 pm
Tahitian with Spokane Hula Chinese Fusion Dance & Fan Veils with Rebecca Liao Mini Photo Shoots & Vending
2:30 pm –
3:30 pm
Swords! with Rae Dodson Turkish Oriental with Nefabit Castanets with Yasmin, Mini Photo Shoots, & Vending
3:45 pm –
4:45 pm
East Indian Fusion with Kendra Searls Saiidi-tude with Parizadah Children’s Belly Dance with Nadiyah, Mini Photo Shoots, & Vending
4:45 pm –
5:45 pm
————— ————— Middle Eastern Drumming:  Basics & Beyond with Roger Sumner, Mini Photo Shoots, & Vending
6:00 pm –
9:00 pm (approx)
————— ————— Hafla &

(Scroll down for class descriptions and instructor bios.)

Classes, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm/ $15.00 per Class
Payments can be made via these Paypal buttons or by check/ cash at the door.  (ID is required on all checks, and Paypal is the only way we accept debit card/ credit card payments).  Thank you!

Music & Dance Classes A-F

Music & Dance Classes M-T 

Please note: There are no refunds unless the event or the class in which you’d like to attend has been cancelled.   

Evening Hafla, 6:00 pm/ $5.00 or a Pet Food Donation for SpoKanimal

The following ladies and gents will be performing:

  • Gaylene Dover (American Cabaret)
  • Keisha Valentina Brown (Celtic Harp)
  • Cultures’ Dance Arts (Bollywood & Flamenca Fusion)
  • LC Valley Bellydance (Spanish Gypsy)
  • Marya Nowakowski (Egyptian Beledi)
  • Mohana Dancer (Raks Shaabi)
  • Mystical Phoenix 
  • Nadiyah Vahdahty (Flamenco)
  • Nah’Joom Dancers (American Cabaret)
  • Nefabit Hinton (Turkish Oriental)
  • Nickie B. (Fusion Veil)
  • Nizhoni (ATS)
  • NW Belly Dance
  • Parizadah Linda Polgar (Saiidi)
  • Raks Nibbana (Blossom Masters)
  • Rebecca Liao (Chinese Fusion)
  • Rhonda Higgins (Turkish Roma Fusion)
  • Roger Sumner (Drumming )
  • Sha-Mal (Tunisian Jar Dance)
  • Spokane Hula (Hula & Tahitian)
  • Stephanie (American Cabaret)
  • Susie Hicks (Wings)
  • Thorn Trinity
  • Yasmin Edwards (Beledi)
  • Zenith from Gypsy Moon with Rae Dodson (Sword)
Hafla Entrance 

Shopping, 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The following vendors will present their wares:

  • Aunya’s Belly Dance Supplies (Full Bellydance Costumes, Swords, Skirts, & More)
  • Danette Flores (Herbal Remedies)
  • Gaylene’s Boutique (Skirts, Tops, Fans, Costuming Fabrics, & More)
  • Marylou Moglia (Mary Kay Cosmetics)
  • Nefabit Hinton (Costumes)
  • Rojo Mala (Mystical Supplies)
  • Susie Hicks (Jewelry)
Music & Dance Classes Highlighting Countries Around the World

Afghanistan:  Intro to Women’s Dances of Afghanistan
A Class Presented by Yasmin Edwards

Afghanistan is a country rife with hardships, terrorists, war oppression.  In Yasmin’s Women’s Dances of Afghanistan class, she will take you on a musical and dance adventure of this country while focusing on Herati and Logari.  She will provide participants with a brief history and culture of the country and with helpful Afghani resources for music, dance and costume.  The dances are low impact.  (Nadiyah will also have wooden castanets available for purchase for Yasmin’s Castanets class.)

America:  American Cabaret Floor Work & Belly Work (Bellydance)
A Class Presented by Gaylene Dover

In this class, Gaylene will show a variety of ways to do belly & floor movements for the beginner students.  For the advanced students, she will incorporate more technical and challenging movements, while utilizing safe techniques.  The belly dancing can be performed as a means to enhance the standing and floor movements, giving a fuller picture of an accomplished performer.  She feels most people can perform floor work and everyone should be able to perform belly work.
America:  Vintage American Cabaret Arm Styles & Movements (Bellydance)
A Class Presented by Stephanie M.
Stephanie will be instructing a fun class on vintage American cabaret and Egyptian arm combinations and styles. Participants will focus on framing the body, styling, hands, facial expression, and polishing the movements.

America:  American Tribal Style® (ATS) Belly Dance:  A Little History and Some Fun New Combos!
A Class Presented by Cindy Moon Bear

In this hour long class, Cindy will cover the history of ATS® (briefly) and then delve into some exciting and fun combinations and fades. Participants should be familiar with (able to do) the level one fast movements: basic Egyptian, 3/4 shimmy, pivot hip bump and Arabic, and the basic slow moves:  taxeem, floreos, body wave, arm undulations and torso rotation. Participants will venture into new movements to add to their vocabulary and fun! Bring the zils (finger cymbals)!

Belly Dance for Children
A Class Presented by Nadiyah Vahdahty

Belly Dance is more than cool dance steps in pretty costumes. The dance provides us with a chance to improve flexibility, muscle tone, posture, and self-esteem while learning about cultures found in the Eastern Europe, Middle East, Near East, North Africa, and beyond. Nadiyah will present belly dance for children of all ages. (Mothers, big sisters, aunts, and grandmas are most welcome.) Movements will involve body parts from head to toe. This will be a low-impact class and modifications for movements can be provided for those who have sensitive joints.

China:  Intro to Chinese Fusion Dance & Fan Veils
A Class Presented by Rebecca Liao

Just like how ballet is for girls in the US, Rebecca Liao took Chinese dance in her home country of Taiwan. In this class, she will share her experience of fusing belly dance with Chinese dance techniques. Class participants will have the opportunity to experiment with the Chinese dance movements. The class will also explore fan veils and creating short choreography with the Chinese dance aesthetics. Fan Veils are recommended but not required (a pair of long scarves would work as well!).

Egypt:  Saidi-Tude
A Class Presented by Parizadah

The Sa’idi (or Saiidi) are a people of Upper Egypt.  Their dance style, to the Sa’idi rhythm, mimics at once the horsemen and the horses they so highly prize.  The women further the dance with playful teasing and flirting…call it Sa’idi-tude.  Parizadah will give a brief glimpse of the Sa’idi culture, point out the Sa’idi rhythm in the music, and guide the class through typical steps of the folkloric dance.  Please bring a small towel and a cane if you have one as we will touch upon this prop prevalent in this dance style.  A few canes will be available for loan.  Please wear comfortable clothing and bring your water bottle and your SASS!

India:  East Indian Fusion Dance 
A Class Presented by Kendra Searls

While belly dance it a wonderful and complex dance style on it’s own, Kendra Searls believe that it makes a great fusion when pulling elements from East Indian dances. In this class, participants will be borrowing some concepts and movements from some of the well known dance styles originating in India. Various poses, posturing, and footwork will be explored with the intent of enhancing our standard vocabulary of belly dance movement. Classical Indian styles of dance use a lot of really deep knee bends.  To keep this class enjoyable for everyone, please dance at your own pace and make sure to stay within your comfort level. Wear comfortable clothes, bring a bottle of water and an open mind.

Fusion Veil
A Class Presented by Nickie B.
The veil is a wonderful accent prop that can enhance your performance in so many ways. Veils are not just for classical belly dancing! This workshop will highlight the historical functions of the veil, including it’s many fabrics and appearances in different regions and on different stages.  Participants will also be dancing with them!  Nickie Suggest participants bring a pen, notebook, and veil (silk is preferred, but any type is okay).  Expect the unexpected.

Middle East:  Intro to Middle Eastern Drumming:  The Basics and Beyond
A Class Presented by Roger E. Sumner

Roger is going to bring his unique experience and excitement to teach “The Basics and Beyond” class on the Doumbek, Riqq, and Zils. The class will cover how to play Baladi and Baladi family of rhythms, embellishments, fill in’s, soloing, tricks of the trade, and different Zil patterns. Please bring your drums, Riqqs, and Zils and join us at BellyFest February 6, 2016. (Nadiyah will have a few drums and Zils available to borrow and Zils for sale.)

Spain:  Intro to Castanets 
A Class Presented by Yasmin Edwards

In this class, Yasmin will cover the culture of the castanets, rhythms of the castanets and how to hold & play them correctly. Yasmin will also demonstrate wooden spoons & qarqarebs.  (Nadiyah will have wooden castanets from Spain available for purchase.)

A Class Presented by Rae Dodson

Dancing with swords is an immediate crowd-pleaser and as fun as it can be challenging! In this workshop, participants will be exploring techniques and moves used when dancing with a sword. The class includes a selection of a sword, balancing, different headband options to maximize balancing, various moves in ATS/ITS and Fusion that can be used while performing with a sword both balanced and while holding the sword, and general care for the sword. Join Rae in this fun and informative workshop as we explore dancing with the sword!

For this workshop, participants will need a sword or other object to balance, knee pads, comfortable clothes, a water bottle, and a headband to balance your sword on. (In her personal performances, Rae uses a thick headband, beeswax, and a Moorish sword from Kult of Athena for $50.) Rae will provide a handout at the workshop with hints and points to know and consider when using a sword.

Tahiti:  Intro to Tahitian
A Class Presented by Spokane Hula

Turkey:  Intro to Turkish Orientale Style and Combos
A Class Presented by Nefabit Hinton

Turkish Orientale is a lively, extroverted style of bellydance that has dazzled and captivated audiences for decades. The style is fun, fast and showy, with lots of dizzying turns, lively hops, and big, juicy hip isolations.  In this class, participants will first learn some of the distinguishing elements that make Turkish bellydance unique. They will learn about some of the Turkish rhythms and musical styles and how to move with them. Then, they’ll put theory into practice, learning combinations with classic Turkish flair that you can incorporate into your own movement repertoire. This class is open to dancers of all levels, with modifications for beginning or advanced dancers. Participants will learn some basic zill patterns to accompany the combinations, so please bring a pair if you would like to play! A few extra will be available.

Turkey:  Intro to Turkish Romani Fusion
A Class Presented by Rhonda Higgins

Have you ever heard a piece of music in 9/8 and wanted to dance to it, but had no clue as to where to begin? This workshop is an introduction into Turkish Romani dance and the intoxicating 9/8 rhythm it is frequently danced to. It is not possible to understand a people’s art, music or dance without knowing something of their history and the hardships they have endured. Rhonda will begin the class with a brief history of the Romani people and their migration from India, across Asia Minor, into the Balkan countries that would become part of the Ottoman Empire, as well as much of the rest of Europe and parts of Asia. Then, she will move into the dance itself, learning basic steps and gestures associated with Turkish Romani dance. She will address appropriate costuming for Turkish Romani dance and talk about ways to respectfully incorporate Romani dance steps into our fusion belly dance routines. There are no big skirts, tamborines or zils needed for this workshop, and she’ll talk about that, too! Please bring a notebook, writing instrument and refillable water bottle. Dress in comfortable clothing, bare feet and a hip scarf without coins. Handouts, a bibliography and CD with examples of Romani 9/8 will be provided.

 Class Instructors

B-4276 BearCindy Moon Bear began her study of belly dance in Saudi Arabia.  Many years later she discovered FatChance BellyDance (FCBD) and was immediately taken by this group’s improvisational style and costuming. After several years of training with Tribal Style originators and innovators at Tribal Fest, and Tribal Quest NW, she was able to travel to San Francisco and study personally with Carolena Nericcio, the founder/originator of American Tribal Style Bellydance (commonly known as ATS®). Cindy found her dance home with ATS® and has taught in Spokane at her studio, MALIDOMA!, for the last 10 years. She travels regularly to study with her mentor, Carolena and other FCBD instructors. Cindy has completed Teacher Training at the FCBD studio in San Francisco, and her MALIDOMA! Dance Studio is an official Sister Studio of FatChance BellyDance. She is also an 8 Elements Initiate through Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements Program. Cindy formed MALIDOMA! World Dance in 2007, and they have been performing throughout the Inland Northwest for the last 8 years.  MALIDOMA means to “make a friend of a stranger”(from the Dagara people of Burkina Faso, West Africa), and Cindy extends that wish to everyone she teaches and dances for! She can be reached at her website:  www.malidoma.biz or moonraqs@malidoma.biz.


Gaylene Dover started dancing in the 70’s through the community college in Salem, Oregon.  She eventually started teaching several nights a week and making some skirts, pants, and more.  Her style is American Cabaret with floor dancing and stomach dancing, which was a required part of belly dance at that time.  She owns Gaylene’s Boutique and can be found vending in belly dance festivals throughout the West.
kendra 2Kendra Searls began her journey into belly dance nearly 15 years ago. Over the years, Kendra has studied with many celebrated dancers from all over the world. Having always had a deep love for Pop N’ Lock, strong isolations have always been a focus in her dancing. While Kendra doesn’t venture too far out of the Tribal Fusion realm, the love for East Indian Dance has inspired a wonderful set of fusion movements that she is excited to share.

Cultures' Dance Arts's photo.

Nadiyah has been involved in music, dance, and body conditioning programs since she was 4 years old. Her training includes belly dance, folk dances, and ball room dancing from America, Argentina, Armenia, Canada, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Hawaii, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, New Zealand, Persia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.  She also studied percussion, piano, saxophone, and sang in a choir.  She has also earned a MBA, a Medical Assisting Certificate, and two Arbitrator’s certificates.  Nadiyah started selling dance supplies in 2003.  Since then, she has taught “The Camels and Cobras Club,” a club for lower-income youth; directed Hasna Haddiyah and Troupe Shalimar; danced with the Sisters of Selket and Baharat!; contributed articles to dance magazines; and sponsored numerous instructors in workshops and shows.  Nadiyah teaches Belly Dance, Bollywood, Flamenco, and various folk dances at The Warehouse Athletic Facility and Satori Dance Studio in Spokane, WA. She also studies and performs with Spokane Hula.

(Photo by Marc Kroetech)

10006983_754038437940167_448050130_nA second generation dancer, Nefabit has been studying bellydance for over 20 years. As soon as she could walk, she wanted to dance. She started bellydance, gymnastics and ballet as a toddler, and throughout her life has continued to study many forms of dance and movement. Bellydance has always been her primary focus and biggest passion. Nefabit is a full-time professional dancer, teaching at Northwest Bellydance Academy during the week and performing throughout Washington and Idaho on weekends. Nefabit produces full theatrical shows in and beyond Spokane. She also choreographs for Northwest Bellydance, and takes commissions for other productions, including works with Company Ballet School and Spokane Children’s Theater. Nefabit’s greatest joy comes from sharing and promoting the beautiful art of bellydance to new audiences.
NickieNickie B. originally hails from Chicago and has been dancing for over 10 years. Focusing on both classical belly dance and fusion dance, she brings a dynamic, sensual and playful energy to the stage. While earning her BA, she studied dance anthropology as well as a variety of other dance formats including jazz, ballet, contemporary, African dance and Odissi. Nickie B. is a principal dancer and instructor with the Northwest Belly Dance company and dances regularly at Chan’s Red Dragon. She can also be found in other events around town under the name Rouge La Rue.

pari Anthony BarkerParizadah started her journey into belly dance in 2004. When she moved to Spokane in Autumn 2005, she was introduced to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean folkloric styles under the tutelage of Nadiyah. Her quick favorite was and is Sa’idi. Parizadah has continued her study of this folkloric Upper Egyptian style through workshops with A’isha Azar, Carrie Konyha, Dahlia Moon, and Sidonia Om Dunia.

(Photo by Anthony Barker)

RRebecca Faceebecca Liao first found her love for belly dance when she saw a Youtube video of Rachel Brice at Tribal Fest and has been learning belly dance ever since. She continue to expand her training in ATS and tribal fusion belly dance with great teachers such as Katrina Ji, Rachel Brice, April Rose, and Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman. With her master’s degree in counseling, Rebecca approaches belly dance as a deeper discovery of oneself and sharing the joy of dance with others.

Tribal Fest 2011 - Performance Portraiture and Stage Photography by Lee CorkettRhonda Higgins began studying belly dance in the early 1970’s in Fresno, California. Her most influential teacher of that time was Cory Zamora, who remains a dear friend, inspiration and mentor. Her first introduction to the 9/8 rhythm was Kashilimah, the closing section of a traditional American Cabaret routine. For many years, Rhonda was an original member of and featured soloist in Cory’s first dance troupe until she decided to take a short hiatus from dance that lasted 20 years. During those years, Rhonda studied classical voice and contemporary dance styles, acted in local theatrical productions and relocated to Spokane, Washington. In 2003, she returned to belly dance and discovered the intoxicating world of tribal fusion dance. Fusion allows her to incorporate her theatrical training into dances that are as much performance art as belly dance. In 2007, Rhonda made her first trip to Istanbul, Turkey with Hadia of Nova Scotia. Hadia introduced her to Reyhan Tusnuz, the famous Turkish Romani dancer. Rhonda has been fortunate to spend some time studying Romani dance with Reyhan in workshops as well as private study in Reyhan’s home. She has also studied with Hadia, Eva Chernik, Elizabeth Strong and Aubre Hill. She incorporates Romani dance into her fusion belly dance routines and has become a student of Romani history and culture. Rhonda currently studies ATS with Cindy Moonbear here in Spokane and Rachel Brice’s Eight Elements dance format with Rachel in Portland, Oregon. She is looking forward to taking more classes in Romani dance from Elizabeth Strong this March at Cues and Tattoos in Seattle.

RogerRoger E. Sumner has over 45 years of drumming experience. Being classically trained has brought him many band experiences from marching, concert, orchestra, big bands, 50 and 60’s Rock n Roll, classic rock, country, blues, etcetera. During this time he has also been studying/taking lessons on hand drums from around the world and is currently enjoying teaching and playing the doumbek for the Bellydance community. He is also working on a project to bring live drumming and Arabic music to the Bellydance community as well. He can be reached at 509-301-7153, sumnerroger123@hotmail.com, or on Facebook.

10531379_530728160360519_4020680820655914050_oSpokane Hula was founded by Pam and Amanda Smith, a mother/daughter duo with a love for Polynesian dance. They studied for several years under the great Pualani Lariosa of Ewa Beach, Oahu as well as other companies and one day decided to bring their love of Hula to life in Spokane their way, providing positive, fun, and uplifting classes in combination with truly genuine technique and dancing one would find in Hawaii.  Spokane Hula specializes in authentic traditional (kahiko) and modern (`auana) Hawaiian Hula, lively up beat Tahitian, and the skillful poi balls of New Zealand.  Classes are held Wednesday evenings from 5:30-6:30pm at Southside Activity Center, 3151 E. 27th Avenue Spokane, WA.  For more information call or text (509)481-0796 or email at spokanehula@gmail.com.

StephanieStephanie M. has been dancing for 28 years & specializes in Egyptian & American Cabaret. She is a house dancer at the Red Dragon, performed professionally in Portland for many years, and has performed at a multitude of venues.







Yasmin Edwards has been performing and teaching professionally for 36 years. She has performed at nightclubs, street fairs, festivals, private parties and community functions in Washington, Maine, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Virginia, New York States, and Morocco. She has danced with the MB Orchestra, David Saee, Grecian Sounds, Takis Dotis and Ay Yildiz Turkish band. She played castanets for the movie, “Crocodile Tears.”

She has traveled to North Africa to extensively learn these dances. She is also featured in a book, “The Belly Dance Book” by Tazz Richards. She is a member of the Winchester Museum and was percussionist and choreographer in the dance and drum play during the Smithsonian’s Traveling event, “Key Ingredients” at the museum. Yasmin is also the winner of the University of Idaho’s “So You Think You Can Dance Idaho” dance competition and Fall concert held Dec. 2006. She created Ek Balaam band and she is the lead percussionist for Ek Balaam . She is also lead percussionist for Hejira and Pax Lumina bands. She currently teaches with Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston, ID.

Shown in the following photo, Yasmin is demonstrating the women’s dances of Afghanistan at the Emerald Sancturary in Sun Lakes State Park.

More details will be added to this page soon.

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Presenting Dances from around the World, including those from Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, and India.