Ashley Lopez is an internationally-touring artist and instructor who has performed and taught throughout the US and in over 20 countries internationally. In the past, she had formed and led two Tribal Fusion troupes: Trikhala in Illinois and Orchid Bellydance in California (both still dancing!!) She performed as well with professional Polynesian troupe SF Hula for 4 years in the Bay Area. Her other collaborations have included work with The Underscore Orchestra, The Vagabond Opera, Beats Antique, Zoe Jake's House of Tarot, and Rachel Brice's Datura Project. Her most recent artistic endeavor involves her Portland-based dance company, Allegro. She teaches weekly classes at Datura on Tuesdays and offers classes on Datura Online. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance/Opera at the University of Illinois School of Music and worked professionally with Opera San Jose and the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute. A rehab personal trainer and group fitness instructor, she holds certifications with the American Council on Exercise, Balanced Body Pilates, Stott Pilates, Johnny G. Spinning, Yoga Alliance, Zumba, BodyJam, and most recently started Viniyoga teacher training. Additionally, she is a certified 8 Elements Datura Style Teacher.
Based in Salt Lake City, UT, Michelle Sorensen is a professional Belly Dancer with nearly a decade of dedicated dance training. She began her studies under the direction of Kismet School of Dance (American), Kashmir Dance Company (ATS & Tribal Fusion), Trisha McBride (Tribal Fusion and Experimental) and more recently Rachel Brice (8 Elements Phases 1&2, Initiation and Cultivation Certified) and Stephanie Buranek (Cabaret/Egyptian). She has also sought continued instruction through workshops and other events from some of the most innovative dancers in and out of the belly dance scene. An award winning dancer, Michelle placed 1st at Fusion Fest in 2011, 2nd at Fusion Fest 2012, ans 1st in the Ultimate Bellydancer best Fusion Solo August 2012! She joined Sketch Cabaret in the summer of 2012, and has been a member of Sepiatonic since the spring of 2013. Occasionally, she can also be seen performing with Voodoo Productions at both private and public events. Along with bellydance, she has discovered a love for the Aerial Arts, including pole, silks, lyra, contortion and various other cirque style apparatus. "Cross-training" in this form of dance has helped her with stamina, strength, flexibility and clean lines. Her life is also occupied with being a mother of 2 sweet little girls who are a constant inspiration to push boundaries and a reminder to explore! She is available for instruction, private lessons and workshops both locally and internationally.
Samira il Naia is the director of Cairo Fusion Bellydance. She began studying bellydance in 1997 and became a professional soloist in 2000. In 2004, Cairo Fusion was created under her direction. Although her roots lie in Old School Tribal and folkloric styles, Samira is well-versed in many genres of Bellydance. Her signature style is referred to as Progressive Fusion. She has performed as a professional soloist in both cabaret and fusion scenes. Samira has collaborated with Nada Brahma, the Brothers of the Baladi, Jeremiah Soto, the Mutaytor, Mediterranean Raqs Band, Pangia, and countless DJs. As a life-long student of this art form, Samira has continued education from many of the bellydance world's powerhouses. In both workshop and weekly classes, Samira's teaching style is fast-paced, yet exceptionally thorough.