Kadayif - Artistic Director
Kadayif is a well-known instructor, performer and seminar sponsor in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. She currently owns and is the principal instructor for The American BellyDance Studio located in Lutz, Florida
Kadayif began dancing at age five with formal training in ballet, modern and jazz. She later studied Belly Dance with local and international instructors. Her additional dance credits include training in ballroom, country western, clogging, and ice dancing.
She has studied with many local and international instructors in a variety of BellyDance Styles including, Mahmoud Reda, Fifi Abdou, Serena (NY), Suzanna Del Vecchio, Suhaila Salimpour, Horacio and Beata Cifuentes, Kamal, Amaya, Bert Ballentine, John Compton, Dr Mo Geddawi, Rachel Brice, Carolena Nericcio, and many more.
She has danced in nightclubs, on cruise ships in the Bahamas and in Turkey and Egypt, at local and International Belly Dance Festivals and Events, State Fairs, and educational venues. She was named Ms American BellyDance in 1998.
She recently had the opportunity to dance on a video with The Red Elvises to their popular hit "I want to see you bellydance".
She is best known for her elegant, flowing veil performances filled with crisp isolations and rhythmic hip movements. Her ability to move dancers in intricate patterns on stage during precision choreography is also a trademark.
A practicing Registered Nurse, Kadayif has a working knowledge of the human body, which helps her maximize her students talents and abilities. Her greatest teaching tool is the ability to present material in a clear, concise method, which allows students to learn in a fun environment.
A former President of the Florida Association of Belly Dance Artists and the Bay Area Middle Eastern Dance Association Kadayif stays involved in the current world of Belly Dance. Her involvement in these associations as well as the Florida Dance Association and the American Dance Association allows her to promote Belly Dance and to provide knowledge and education about this dance form to anyone interested.
She continues to promote the dance by sponsoring dance seminars and performances throughout the year including a Annual BellyDance Cruise, the Ms American BellyDance Pageant, Spooktacular BellyDance Show, Jingle Hip BellyDance Show, several fund raising events throughout the year and works with the Lutz Civic Association and Greater Womens Club of Lutz to provide dance education and performances in the area. In addition she manages The Sydney Center for Dance which includes a full dance curriculum .
Kadayif's education doesn't stop and dance and nursing, her other educational pursuits have earned her a Bachelor of Dance, MBA, a Certification in Herbalogy, Aroma Therapy and Crystal Interpretation, and she is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Holistic Medicine.
Amani Maharet - Instructor
Amani (Elizabeth) began bellydancing almost 20 years ago, at the age of 9. Before branching out into tribal she studied cabaret and cabaret fusion
bellydance with Afet. In her nearly 10 years with Afet, Amani became an assistant instructor and assistant troupe manager of Afet's Dancers of The Desert Sun.
She is currently a member of Troupe Zahara, an ITS troupe based in Plant City, FL.
She has danced at many other well-known events and venues around the country, including Acropolis Greek Taverna, Persia House of Kabobs, The Florida State Fair, MacDill Air Force base, Spirit of The Tribes, ATS Reunion (MO), Cues & Tattoos (WA), Tribal Fest (CA), and the Bellydance Superstars show Club Bellydance.
She is a highly sought after class & workshop instructor, & was a featured instructor at the 1st & 2nd Dance From The Heart bellydance convention here in Tampa.
Amani is continuously pushing herself to learn more about dance & has studied ballroom, ballet, Bollywood, burlesque, hip hop, jazz, Latin, pole, tap & yoga in addition to bellydance. You might have even seen her perform burlesque under the stage name Jess Indeed.
Outside of bellydance is certified to teach both Zumba & Yoga.
Amani is also an avid workshop attendee & has studied intensively with world-renouned dancers including Amaya, Artemis Mourat, Carolena Nerriccio, Jill Parker, Kami Liddle, Rachel Brice, Suhaila Salimpour,
Zoe Jakes, & many more.
Through her rigorous study she has obtained
numerous certifications including:
• FatChanceBellyDance® General Skills & Teacher Training
- Amani also has the current honor of being the only official FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio in Tampa.
• Suhaila Salimpour format level 1
• Jamila Salimpour format level 1
• Zoe Jakes’ DanceCraft Keys 1 & 2: Diamonds & Spades
• Rachel Brice's 8 ElementsTM phases 1 & 2: Initiation & Cultivation
Yaasmina - Instructor
Yaasmina came to the world of bellydance in 1994, studying with several different instructors in Gainesville, Florida where she developed strong foundations in Egyptian and Turkish cabaret, American Tribal, and various regional folkloric styles.
Over the course of these past 18 years she has further honed her technique in the Tampa Bay area and attended workshops with many touring national and international master instructors.
Equally fond of dancing solo and with a troupe, she performs regularly as a member of Troupe Shifting Sands and as a Teacher with Kadayif’s American Belly Dance Studio.
Her personal dance philosophy is that for someone to truly come into their own as a dancer, they need to truly hear the music (not just time signatures) and allow themselves to feel the music deeply internally so they can then interpret it externally through their movement.
One of the nicest compliments she’s ever had was, “you dance so expressively that even a deaf person would be able to hear the music just by watching you.”
Yaasmina is a member of Troupe Shifting Sands and has won numerous awards at the studio including Student of the Year 2003, 2004, 2008.
Theresa Raqs - Instructor
Theresa Raqs (Rocks), a multi award winning performer, is a licensed & insured business owner, AFFA Certified Group Fitness instructor, Personal Trainer, 200RYT, as well as certified dance instructor.
She teaches at LA Fitness throughout the Tampa Bay Area, The Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club, and American Belly Dance Studio, Rhapsody Ballroom, and The Jansen Dance Project.
She hosts Tampa's Belly Dance Convention "Tampa Raqs"
Theresa teaches all styles of Ballroom, Classic Egyptian Belly Dance with a Modern twist, Yoga, Kickboxing, Body Works, Power Circuit, Aqua Fitness, Boot Camp, Dance Conditioning, Silver Sneakers and was Zumba.
A NYC native, Theresa began her dance journey in ballet, jazz, and later found deep love for yoga, and oriental dance aka belly dance. She soon after studied Ballroom, Latin, Bollywood, and Polynesian. Of all of the styles of dance that she's studied, Belly dance is one of her favorites. Having had the honor of studying with Serena Wilson, Ahmed Hussien, Dr Mo Geddawi, Sadie Marquardt, Suhalia Salimpour, Omaris, Mahin, Joy Raymon, Madrin'ha, and continues with many other great instructors at every opportunity in specialty workshops.
Currently, she is level 3 Sadie's Raqs Flow Certified.
She performs live Saturday nights at Acropolis Greek Tavern in Sarasota, FL. Shows @ 7 & 8pm!
In addition, this mother of two is a former NREMT, as well as currently CPR, AED, O2 & First Aid Certified in FL.
Theresa has been providing instruction since 2006, and had the honor to choreograph a great grand daughter of Edgar Cayce's, Waltz for her wedding held at the Edgar Cayce Foundation in Virginia Beach, VA.
Lucinda - Student Teacher
Lucinda is a member of Troupe Shifting Sands and has been dancing with the American BellyDance Studio for over 10 yrs.
Her training in Ballet gives her a smooth flowing style that she carries to veil and fan work. She is fond of gypsy styled dancing, incorporating her skirt into the intricate moves of her choreography.
She was named Student of the Year in 2007 and has won numerous other awards.
She is currently the Student Teacher for the studio helping the other teachers with their warm-ups, and movement presentations . Kadayif often uses her choreography talents in preparation for performances and shows.
Elizgha - Student Teacher
Elizgah is our youngest student teacher.
While working on her education at USF, she, she also squeezes into her schedule dance classes, teacher training classes and of course performances.
She was named Most Enthusiastic Dancer in 2014, Student of the Year 2016 and continues to increase her expertise at dance with new knowledge of props and various styles.
Valhalla - Student Teacher