Bio

Safiya Nawaar is a much sought after Middle Eastern Belly Dance Artist, instructor and choreographer located in Lexington, Kentucky. Since relocating to Kentucky in late 2009, Safiya has become a local favorite among the Middle Eastern community in the Greater Lexington Area. She is quickly becoming one of the most recognized performers of Traditional Raqs Sharqi in the Blue Grass State, and continues to gain popularity throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States with every public performance that she takes part in.

With grace and style, she enthralls and captivates audiences of all ages and ethnicities, and is well known for her artistic flair and challenging use of props such as veils, sword, zills/sagat, Wings of Isis, Assaya/Cane, Moroccan Tray and Shemadan. Her area of expertise lies firmly rooted in performing improvisational dance that comes from the heart and soul of the dancer, which makes every solo performance unique. Safiya was the featured performing artist at Petra, Lexington's former premier Mediterranean Restaurant, and dances regularly at Casablanca Hookah Lounge and Cafe also located in Lexington. When not teaching and performing, she dedicates her efforts to continuing her studies of Middle Eastern dance and culture, as well as creating unique choreographies for her troupe and students.

Involved in the Performing Arts her entire life, she feels fortunate to have many years of Classical Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical and Theatrical dance as a solid foundation before getting involved in belly dance in the spring of 2000. Her specialties include Raqs Sharqi, Egyptian, Lebanese and Turkish Oriental, Vintage Oriental, Turkish Rroma, Classical Persian and Tribal Fusion. She prides herself not only in the more traditional forms of Raqs Sharqi, but also in the conception of her own modern fusion of Belly dance, utilizing all the elements from her diverse dance education.

Formerly from Central Florida, where her career as a performer and instructor began, she could be seen in a number of prominent venues located throughout the State. Prior to becoming a teacher in her own right, she was the troupe Captain of the 'Benat Sharkein Dancers', a dance company directed by Zuhela and Maia Yamir; two of the teachers that helped to build the foundation of what Safiya's dance has become. Some of her duties as troupe Captain included assisting in teaching and coaching of newer dancers, and providing creative ideas for troupe performances. Much of her technique comes from the artistic and unspoiled traditional stylings of Ibrahim Farrah (her teachers' teacher), and she strives to maintain a strong connection with this art form, and to share the techniques and values that Ibrahim instilled in his teachings.

Although Safiya has been a dancer her entire life, her first experience with Oriental Dance opened her eyes to a whole new way to express herself artistically. The earthy appeal of Folkloric, the ethereal sensuality of the Veil, and the sweetness of the Beledi drew her into Belly dance and all that it had to offer.

While studying under the Yamir sisters, Safiya began regularly attending workshops and seminars, as well as private lessons, taught by an eclectic mix of renowned instructors and performers such as Mahmoud Reda, Fahtiem, Amaya, Morocco, Raffa, Virginia, Amir Thaleb, Jihan Jamal, Yousry Sharif, Artemis Mourat, Ansuya, Jim Boz, Karen Barbee, Leyla Jouvana, Zaina Hart, Zhaleh Fereshteh, Tarik Sultan, Gina, Kamaal, Habiba, Tamalyn Dallal, Rachel Brice, Aradia, John Compton, Sadie Marquart, Karim Nagi and many others. She believes you never stop learning, and continues to pursue a widely varied education in the art of both traditional and modern Dance Oriental.

She eventually became a full time teacher, drew a loyal group of students and fans to her, and formed and began directing the dance troupe, 'Hala Alimah'. The driving force behind the creation of Hala Alimah was to assemble a group of dedicated dancers whom share a great love and appreciation for this ancient art form. In an effort to impart a deeper understanding of Middle Eastern Dance to the general public, the troupe performs regularly at a number of public venues.

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"When Safiya dances it becomes obvious, very quickly, that she has natural talent and passion seen in her creating, reacting, and adding to the pretty melodies, a sweet and refreshing stage presence rendering the whole experience more complete." George W. Wakim of Lexington, Kentucky