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Updated: Jun 26, 2023


We are pleased to announce the performers of our Gala show!

Come to our Gala show Sunday July 9th live or virtually and see this amazing array of talent:

Bonnie Grate AZ DeVilla Georgette Jill Collins Kamala Princess Farhana Sekhmet Dance Co. with Shauntel and Nova Surreyya Hada Santa Cruz Sonia and Issam Houshan

Purchase workshops and show here:

Issam and DeVilla - Sunday July 9th - 11-12:30 pm

Middle Eastern musical rhythms are ancient and profound. They call us from our seats, beg us to sway, dance and lose ourselves in the music. In this workshop Issam will teach us the structure of some of these rhythms and help us, the dancers, better understand how to interpret them through our dance. DeVilla will guide the dancers through corresponding combinations that will be crafted together to create a short dance. This will help dancers better understand how to interpret these beautiful rhythms, feel more comfortable when dancing to them and more confident dancing to them live. All Levels encouraged!

Issam and DeVilla - Sunday July 9th - 1-2:30 pm

The interaction between a drummer and a dancer should be intense yet joyful. As a dancer, how do you know what to dance to with a live drummer? How do you know when he is going to change rhythms? Should you cue the drummer? As a musician, how long should you repeat a phrase? Should you control the dancer's direction? In this workshop you will learn the answers to these questions and much more. This is a unique interactive workshop featuring Issam and DeVilla. Ideal for dancers and musicians. Beginner to advanced. All Levels encouraged!

Issam, DeVilla and special guests! - Sunday, July 9th

Doors at 5:30 Show at 6:00 PM

In-Studio and Via Crowdcast!

This week featured Gala stars:

Kamala of Los Angeles

Kamala is a 3rd generation dancer, who transitioned from a ballet company (Pasadena Dance Theatre) in her teens to Middle Eastern Dance, which remains her passion some 45 years later. Her training extends from classical Jazz, to classical Ballet, to notable Egyptian & Lebanese teachers, but mostly on the job experience from the long hours spent performing in Arabic nightclubs.

During her long solo performance career, Kamala performed in nightclubs, restaurants & hotels in many countries, most notably the large Arabic nightclubs in 1980’s Hollywood, London & Acapulco, where she performed nightly with Egyptian orchestras. Kamala was also a featured dancer in films and on TV shows in the 1970s and ‘80s. Her Youtube channel has over 50 thousand subscribers & 40 million views.

Bonnie Grate of Tucson AZ

Jill Collins and The Sahlala Dance Company

If you are looking for an unforgettable Middle Eastern or International dance show for an upcoming production or event, you will discover Sahlala Dancers to be a high-quality, spectacular experience. Based out of Los Angeles, CA, on the indigenous land of the Tongva and Chumash native tribes, The Sahlala Dancers are one of the original international dance companies in the state. Often imitated but never duplicated, they have been capturing the imagination of audiences since 1999. Having been featured on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars" and "Keeping up with the Kardashian's" and theatrical productions with “Bellydance Evolution” the Sahlala Dancers have a mass appeal that captivates all audiences alike. Think Las Vegas meets the Middle East!


DeVilla is a prolific and multi-award-winning Middle Eastern dancer based in Los Angeles, known for her polished and dramatic stage presentations. She has studied dance extensively since childhood; including the Ahla Wa Sahlan Dance Festival in Cairo to learn from Egyptian greats such as Raqia Hassan, Dr. Mo Geddawi, Rhanda Kamel, Momo Kadous, and Diana. She has also trained with renowned dancers in America such as Zahra Zuhair, Helena Vlahos, Kamala Almanzar, Fahtiem, Jillina, Ansuya, and Sadie. DeVilla’s performances have been said to be dynamic, mixing contemporary raqs sharqi innovation with classical Egyptian inspiration. DeVilla works both locally and nationally as a soloist and troupe leader. She has held the title of Artistic Director for a multitude of troupes, and currently leads Sekhmet Dance Company, established 2010 and named Cairo Shimmyquake Fan Favorite 2021. DeVilla and Sekhmet Dance Company have performed at events such as A Night of World Dance at PCC Center for the Arts, Jillina’s nationally touring show The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and headlined Cairo Caravan on the historic Queen Mary. Even so, DeVilla and the Sekhmets may be best known for producing the Siren Sundays dinner showcase, which sold out seating for 4 years at Moun of Tunis Restaurant---a hub for North African culture for over 40 years.​


The union of music and movement is the essence of dance. The union of a musician and a dancer to create a seamless artistic expression of oneness between the two is the ultimate manifestation of such a union. Issam Houshan is one of the rarest of talents as that is exactly what he does, Call him the Wassan Pharaoun, King Of The Drum, or Mr. Magic Fingers and you only tell the half of it. It's his connection to the dancer that is the essence of his magic. It is a merging of egos serving a mutual and identical goal that few musicians ever master fully. Issam is now recognized as the ultimate master of this art. In the BDSS Issam has become a mentor, partner, and inspiration giving selflessly to the good of the troupe as a whole. Issam was born in Syria and emigrated to the U.S. 24 years ago. He had formal music training in the Damascus Academy of Music and went on to drum for a host of Arab music stars and famous belly dancers. He is also the only remaining disciple of the legendary Arab drum master Mahmood Salahadeen. In the U.S. he performed with Sting on the Grammy's and with the BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS in over 879 shows in 20 countries. Issam's background, training and experience have made him in huge demand for drum tutorials and workshops. He does these both on his own and in conjunction with Bellydance instructors especially Jillina, Sonia, Amar Gamal, Bozenka, Aziza, Rachel Brice, Sharon Kihara, Kami Little, Zoe Jakes,..and more.


~ dance ~ fitness ~ beauty ~ body & soul ~

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