background

Dragonfly Bellydance

Bellydance in the heart of Toronto

Dragonfly Student Troupe

(placeholder)
(placeholder)

ABOUT THE TROUPE

(placeholder)

Formed in 2011 and with diverse members over the years, Dragonfly Student Troupe is an enchanting ensemble composed by high intermediate and advanced students who have expressed their wish to share the joy of bellydancing and to acquire performance experience in a group setting. Whether students, serious hobbyists or aspiring professionals, DST members have shown their dedication, focus and commitment to the art form.They are the representatives of Dragonfly students at large!


With excellent technique in constant development, the troupe is dedicated to present polished, beautiful and top notch performances in a variety of bellydance styles, celebrating the art, beauty, expression, and the experience of life. The Troupe embodies Dragonfly's vision and versatility, including in their repertoire elegant oriental numbers, traditional folklore, as well as alternative, fantasy & fusion pieces. They perform at festivals, charity events and community events around the GTA.


Dragonfly Student Troupe is an award winning ensemble and is the platform from which outstanding students have started their professional life. The founders and alumnae of Dragonfly Student Troupe have proudly gone to become professional artists, members of professional ensembles or leaders of their own projects.

(placeholder)

CURRENT  MEMBERS

(placeholder)

CHRISTINA

Christina dabbled in various dance disciplines as a child, but it wasn't until she heard the gorgeous and passionate voice of Natacha Atlas that she became entranced by bellydance. She took her first lessons at Hannan's Bellydance studio in 2007 and was immediately taken by folkloric styles taught by the talented and beautiful Abigail. In 2011, Christina joined Dragonfly Dance, took Bolero classes with Zahira, and never looked back! In 2014, she was elated to be invited to dance with the student troupe. Being a teacher herself, Christina loves learning and takes every opportunity to improve her technique, knowledge and repertoire. She loves dancing with props, and while fan veils and Isis wings are among her favourites, she is currently working on mastering the vintage style of dancing with zills and veil.

DIANA

Diana discovered bellydance during the summer of 2013 when she was looking for a fun, fitness alternative. In the welcoming environment of the studio, and with the inspiration and support from her instructors Zahira, Anuka and Riannagh, she quickly found a home at Dragonfly. She became enamoured with this graceful, strong and expressive art form and loves the diverse variety of music and styles from folklore to fusion that she has had the opportunity to study. Although she has no previous formal dance training, Diana has always felt music in her heart and dancing in her soul. She can’t help but dance with a smile on her face and tries to channel the joy and passion that this dance inspires in her into her performances.

Diana was thrilled to be invited to join the Dragonfly Student Troupe in the summer of 2015 and was excited to further develop her technique and gain performance experience with such a talented group of dancers. In 2017 she was also invited to be part of Dragonfly Dance Company with whom she appeared in the second Company production "Alchemy" and many community events. She is also a member of Dragonfly’s Steampunk Ensemble “The Dragonettes".

"There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them." – Vicki Baum


EMMA

Emma is a lifelong lover of dance. If you name a style, Emma’s probably tried it – from Argentine Tango to Rueda de Casino to Zouk – but it wasn’t until she met bellydance that she fell head over heels!  

A student at Dragonfly since 2011, she loves the special sense of community Zahira and Ruyah have created at the studio. She was proud to join the Student Troupe in 2014, and looks forward to continuing to learn and grow as a dancer, refine her work as a solo performer and choreographer, and enteraining audiences along the way.


JESSIE

Jessie's dance experience was limited to family weddings and the Macarena before she was compelled to try a class at Dragonfly Bellydance in early 2014.  She was quickly hooked by the warmth and creativity of the community she found there, and has delighted in her ongoing bellydance journey under Dragonfly's inspiring instructors.

In the summer of 2016, Jessie was thrilled to be invited to Dragonfly Student Troupe. She cherishes the opportunity to continue her growth as a dancer in the company of her talented troupemates.

SHERI

Sheri tried bellydance on a whim several years ago and fell in love at first shimmy. She was part of the award-winning Arabia Adorned troupe in Calgary under the direction of Dafne Canales Lees and performed at various festivals and galas, including Rakkasah in San Francisco and the International Bellydance Congress in the U.K.

After moving to Toronto, she danced with the student troupe The Sultanettes under the direction of Maha for two years and performed at such events as the International Bellydance Conference of Canada (IBCC). She is now thrilled to be studying with the very talented Zahira as part of The Dragonfly Student Troupe. As well as delving deeper into both oriental and fusion styles like Steampunk, Sheri looks forward to perfecting the art of balancing a sword on her head.


TAINÁ

Originary from Brazil, Tainá  started bellydancing in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro with the incredible instructor Lunah Lu.  Since then she hasn't stopped dancing.  She has been part of a troupe since the beginning of her dance career and her love for bellydance grows within every class and performance.

Now in Toronto, Taina is SO glad to have found Dragonfly.  Zahira is an amazing instructor and she's very grateful for everything she's taught her so far and very excited to keep learning from her.

Tainá loves performing with this brilliant group and has been invited to perform as a guest with Dragonfly Dance Company.

JEN

Jennifer joined the bellydance world in 2007, taking her first classes at Hannan’s Bellydance, under the tutelage of Anuka. Her love of the dance style quickly grew and she eventually became a founding member of the Women of the World troupe. Throughout her years studying at both Hannan’s (EDA) and Dragonfly, Jennifer has also become more involved in behind the scenes aspects of the performances as front of house, stage hand, and stage manager for student showcases and professional productions for both studios. She now also runs and organizes a yearly dance show, "Rockin' Raqs".

Now ready to begin the next chapter in her dance life, Jennifer is delighted to be a part of the Dragonfly Student Troupe!

APPRENTICES

REBECCA

Rebecca started belly dancing in Fall 2016. She had always found belly dance captivating, and liked the idea of a dance that didn’t require a partner, unlike the Swing dance she had been practicing for several years prior. By the end of her first class at Dragonfly, she was completely hooked.


She was very excited to be invited to Dragonfly Student Troupe in late 2019. She can’t wait to be back on stage with one of Zahira’s beautiful choreographies.

THERESA

Theresa discovered her love of dance at the age of seven when she began classical ballet lessons. Even though she was a very shy little girl, she loved to dance for others. Her first memories of dancing for an audience were at family at Christmas gatherings, where she and her maternal grandmother, who bellydanced, would put on a little show. And so, this was Theresa’s first introduction to the beautiful art of Arabic dance. Her grandmother’s grace, presence, and beauty amid swirling veils, coins, sequins, and enchanting music are etched upon her memory.

In her early twenties in 2001 Theresa took her first bellydance class in Toronto. When she lived in England (2002-11), she had the honour and pleasure of studying and dancing with Wendy Buonaventura (2003-5 in Bath, UK) and Hazel Kayes (2006-10 in Stroud, UK). Theresa was part of Hazel’s dance troupe, Haziz, for four years, which opened her eyes to the myriad styles of Arabic dance. She took a break from dance for seven years after returning to Canada in 2011 and then in 2018, she dusted off her rusty hips and took her first class at Dragonfly Dance Studio with Zahira and hasn't looked back. In late 2019 she was invited tojoin the Dragonfly Student Bellydance Troupe and is overjoyed to be reunited with this wonderful performance art and community again.

(placeholder)

PAST MEMBERS

(placeholder)

Ruyah (2011 - 2013)

Aimée Mazzuca (2011 - 2013)

Amy Hamilton (2011 - 2014)

Ashley (2011 - 2012)

Kalika (2011 - 2013)

Michelle MacAleese (2011 - 2014)

Nicole Sparkman (2011 - 2013)

Riannagh (2011 - 2014)

Sorayya (2011 - 2014)

Asli (2013 - 2016)

Kylah (2013 - 2016)

Meryem (2013 - 2016)

Ilana (2013 - 2016)

Janine (2013 - 2016)

Xinqi (2014 - 2015)

Marjana (2015 - 2016)

Nora Marku (2016 - 2018)

Elaine (Eleni) (2017 - 2019)

Claudia Chavez (2017-2019)


Apprentices:

Inna (2018)

Christmary (2018)

Kalindi (2017)

Hannah (2017)

Cansu (2015)

Stella (2011 - 2012)

Annabelle (2011)