"The Magic of Bellydance"
An accomplished dancer and beloved instructor with 15 years of teaching experience, Zahira became one of the most sought after professionals in Toronto and the GTA. She is recognized for her charisma, powerful stage presence and exceptional technique.
Zahira is a deeply caring instructor, encouraging students to be their best and helping them discover and reach their full potential. Warm and nurting, challenging and effective, her classes are engaging, fun, empowering and inspiring.
In addition, Zahira brings a strong background in drama, music and movement to her classes and performances, as well as deep cultural and historical knowledge.
Zahira's signature style comes from her strong foundation in Egyptian bellydance and American Cabaret bellydance (American Vintage), with influences of Argentinean, Turkish and Fusion styles. She is a pioneer of Steampunk bellydance in Canada and a true master of props.
Whether you are just starting your bellydance journey or are a seasoned professional looking for a challenge or to expand your dance horizons, Zahira's classes will enrich your dance and your life!
Zahira came to Canada to pursue graduate studies in Art History (MA) and Medieval Studies (PhD) at UofT. At the same time she discovered and completely fell in love with Bellydance!
Showing great skill, ability and dedication in her formative years, she quickly became a protégé of Hannan Sultan and Roula Said, and developed an impressive C.V. of dance training with some of the world’s brightest luminaries. Notable influences include: Aziza, Oscar Flores, Saida and Amir Thaleb of Argentina, Rachel Brice, Sadie, Yousry Sharif, Shazadi of Mexico; Jillina, Randa Kamal &Tito of Egypt: Hadia, Ariellah, Mira Betz, and many more.
Zahira shared her love for bellydance with oodles and oodles of lovely students as a founding faculty member of Hannan's Bellydance Studio (2006 - 2010) and at OmLaila (2006 - 2007) under the tutelage of her mentors.
In 2010, Zahira with her partner Ruyah created DRAGONFLY BELLYDANCE, envisioned as a welcoming, supportive, empowering and top quality dance studio that could offer people of all ages an environment devoted to spread the love of bellydance and the knowledge of its culture, a community to share all things bellydance and a place to learn and refine our dance form as an art in all its wondrous possibilities. Our unique space became a beloved second home to a myriad of students for almost a decade.
Upon the creation of Dragonfly she became the Artistic Director and choreographer of Dragonfly Student Troupe, the Steampunk ensemble "The Dragonnetes" and Dragonfly Dance Company, organizing and choreographing two full length theatrical productions "Luminescence" (2015) and "Alchemy" (2017).
Zahira has performed internationally in the USA, Mexico and Tunisia and all around the GTA and southern Ontario at events such as the National Ballet Mad Hot Gala, Luminato, the Taste of the Danforth, (IBCC) International Bellydance Conference of Canada, FanExpo, the Grand Canadian Steampunk Exposition, Nuit Blanche and Steam on Queen. As a highly sought-after soloist she performed at private functions, weddings, restaurants, festivals and corporate events.
In 2019 Dragonfly Studio closed its doors but Zahira kept offering classes in person and online until the Spring of 2022. Zahira is now retired from teaching and performing professionally but you can still enjoy her pre-recorded courses past, present and future in this space. For Zahira's full CV click here.
Dragonfly Dance as a ‘brick and mortar’ studio was dedicated to the art of bellydance, bringing top quality bellydance instruction in Toronto that is open to creative exploration while keeping great respect for the traditional forms of the dance.
With a solid foundation in Oriental Raqs Sharki, composed by both Egyptian and American Oriental styles, our classes spring from a vision that is informed by the rich variety of bellydance styles, from the traditional folklore of the Middle East to the modern developments of Bellydance fusion and the enthralling images of Bellydance fantasy.
Our view of bellydance is spiritually and creatively inspiring, free in its exploratory component, versatile and open to all bellydance styles, yet grounded in a deep understanding of the roots of the dance.
We celebrate diversity! Zahira encourages students to listen to their body and respect its wisdom, to develop their individuality and creativity while expressing themselves through the language and technique of bellydance, and to progress at their own pace.
Since 2010, Dragonfly Dance has been forming well rounded artists, knowledgeable and skilled in different international bellydance styles and both traditional and modern bellydance props. Dragonfly was also the first and only school in Canada to offer Steampunk inspired classes as well as Oriental Bolero.
ZAHIRA - Artistic Director, Instructor, choreographer.
RUYAH - Managing Director
SAIDI (RIP), FERGUS, GNOCCI (RIP) & SMOKEY
- Advisors, Muses, Therapists, Angels -