Shake Up Your World
Naima Sultana has been studying and performing Middle Eastern Dance since 1994. A student of dance since she was three, she studied ballet, jazz, and modern variations for over 15 years, giving her technique the framework of western dance and the substance of Middle Eastern Orientale. While she loves studying and performing the wide range of styles that bellydance offers, from cabaret to folkloric to fusion, Naima is best known for her articulate hipwork and emotionally expressive performances in the American Orientale genre. She has been influenced by the stylings of renowned teachers and choreographers such as Ibrahim Farrah, Mahmoud Reda, Bozenka, Leila Gamal, Madame Busi, Eva Cernik, Jillina, Suhaila Salimpour, and Cassandra. Most recently in 2015, Naima was honored to be selected to join Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution professional company as a corps dancer for the New York City, Boston, Prague (CZ), and Maribor (Slovenia) tours of “Alice in Wonderland.”
Naima first performed with the Pyramid Dance Company in Memphis, TN, in 1994 as a troupe member and soloist; she subsequently joined the Lotus Dancers of Omaha, NE, in the same capacity in 1998. As a student of Zarifa, she expanded and refined her technique and continued to pursue the unending body of knowledge and experience that is Middle Eastern Dance. In 2000 she co-founded Nojum Al-Sharq Middle Eastern Dance Company with Yasmine and Nuria Jihan to promote the art and instruction of the dance and Middle Eastern culture. After the dissolution of that company, she was a member of the Magic Hips Dancers for four years. In 2005, Naima began teaching regularly via her Raks Sultana brand, and, in 2007 after amicably separating from the Magic Hips, she co-founded the professional collaborative dance company Spirit of the Lotus with Iona, Victoria, and Nayna, with whom she performs today.
Naima is also the creator of the innovative BellyBarre™ methodology for students and instructors to learn how to safely strengthen, train, and develop their bellydance artistry and technique, as well as the fun and intense workout that is HotBelly™!
With a passion for her own continuous learning, Naima's ultimate goal is to share a better understanding of this amazing art, its cultural history, and its dynamic future with her students, the dance community, and the public.
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