MEDAH Member Instructors

Aimée Machiels (Washington)

Aimée is a fusion belly dance artist from Oahu, Hawaii. She has traveled the world performing, studying, and teaching in Canada, Costa Rica, India, Italy, Japan, and USA. As a young child, Aimée grew up dancing hula and Okinawan dance. She later went on to train in Odissi classical dance and belly dance.

From 2011-2019, Aimée lived in Okinawa, Japan where she worked as an instructor, choreographer, event organizer, and wedding performer. Upon returning to the States, Aimée continued to teach her students in Japan via Zoom as well as locally in Honolulu.

One of Aimée's dreams was to create an online archive for her dance choreographies. In 2020, she created an online studio where she offers monthly access to a growing archive of tutorials and choreography classes. Aimée is currently based in Olympia, WA, and regularly travels between Hawaii and Washington to teach and perform.

Get in touch with Aimée:


INSTAGRAM: @aimee_bellydance

FACEBOOK: Aimée Fusion Bellydance



TIKTOK: @aimeebellydance


Click on photo to check out Aimée's online studio!

Ariyana (Oahu)

Under Construction

Dayl Workman (Oahu)

Dayl is the creative director of Sahara Spirit Tribal Belly Dance. Dayl fell in love with Fat Chance Belly Dance Style during her first class in January 1999 and has been performing and teaching ever since.

Dayl has performed with several professional troupes in Oklahoma (Gypsy Fire), Texas (Tribal Evolution, Wild Sky Tribal) and Sydney (Urban Turban, Tribal Spirit) She has studied the dance form extensively in the USA and Australia, taking classes from such greats as Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman and Megha Gavin of Fat Chance Belly Dance, achieving her Teacher Training Certificate in 2016.

Dayl incorporates zills, sword, veil, flags, fire fingers, poi/ fire poi, and fire lotuses in her performances, classes and workshops. She also facilitates mask making workshops working with dance related themes. 

Dayl’s passion for tribal belly dance extends to the love of community, bringing people together to move and dance the same “language”. She believes that creativity is a vehicle for good health, and what better way than to express it than through the art of dance! Dayl creates a great space in which to learn, injecting humour and encouragement in the class environment whilst catering for all learning styles.

Dayl is also a Spiritual Minister who specializes in creating a tailor-made marriage or commitment ceremony that reflects who you are as a couple for your special day.


Check out the latest from Sahara Spirit Tribal at their Facebook page linked below!

Jahara Al Jawaher (Dae) (Oahu)

Jahara teaches private lessons and small groups by appointments only.

She is also a certified Ashtanga Yoga Instructor, and is grateful to all the teachers she has met and learned from. The most influential to her is Guruji, Sri K. Pattahbi Jois.

Yoga has changed her life and has improved the way that she experiences her life everyday. A motorcycle accident, and being hit by a car while jogging years before, left her in chronic pain. She tried many different therapies and methods to heal, but nothing seemed to 'really' work. She decided to try Yoga and searching thru a number of schools and methods, finally found Ashtanga. It was truly the hardest physical activity she had ever experienced, yet the only one that left her with a feeling of peace and contentment. The healing benefits from this Ashtanga helped her overcome the physical limitations she once lived with. And the other benefits, such as relieving mental and emotional stress, were also very liberating.

Dae (Jahara) has experienced different styles of yoga since she was 16, but started Ashtanga practice in 2001. She became a ceritfied teacher in 2004, and studied with Guruji and Sharat in 2005. In 2009, she was able to go to Mysore, India to attend KPJAYI.

Find her on Facebook at

To contact Jahara for bellydance lessons and performances, please email

For yoga information, visit

For more about Jahara, check out her website linked below!

Jillina Carlano (Maui)

Jillina is the current Artistic director of Bellydance Evolution and BDExperience. Her passion for dance is driven by a deep desire to connect physically, mentally, and emotionally with the creative artist inside each of us. After 30 years of performing and teaching, she continues to find deep reward in sharing the art through coaching, choreography and production.

Jillina has devoted her life to dance. Jillina has won numerous awards from International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance and the Giza Academy, including Best Modern Egyptian Dancer, Best Instructional Video, Best Dance Company and Dancer of the Year. Jillina has appeared on several television programs, including, “Dancing with the Stars” & “Tsukiri,” a widely-viewed show in Japan. She has co-produced 12 instructional DVDs, now offered in five different languages and distributed by Universal Records.

In the summer of 2009 and 2010, Jillina was the first American to be invited as a featured performer in the prestigious Closing Gala at Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Egypt. She is the owner of the International Touring Dance Company Bellydance Evolution that has performed around the world for over 10 years!

Contact Jillina at, or follow her on FB (Jillina) or IG (@jillinacarlano). Website linked below!

Kalae Kaina (Oahu)

Kalae currently teaches via Patreon - you can find her at:

Born and raised in Hawaii of native Hawaiian ancestry, Kalae has developed a deep love for belly dance. She is the Artistic Director and lead choreographer of Shakti Dance Movement, Honolulu’s premier Contemporary Fusion Bellydance Company. She has been studying Belly Dance for over 20 years and teaching dance for 13 years based in Honolulu.

Shakti Dance Movement has emerged from the underground club scene to the mainstream, performing regularly at nightclubs, community events, dance concerts, and private parties. Kalae Kaina is also proud to be sponsoring workshops and producing shows in Honolulu, celebrating dance and supporting the arts within her community. 

Kalae’s approach to belly dance is rooted in strong technique, drills, and proper execution of movement. She firmly believes in dance as a vehicle for mind body connection.

Kalae's Fusion Bellydance step by step tutorials, movement breakdowns, creative combinations, drill lists, re-caps of her weekly Honolulu classes, and choreographies can be found on Patreon.

Check out the latest from Kalae and Shakti Dance Movement at the website linked below!

Lei Oshiro (Oahu)

This powerful and artful dance takes you to a journey of exploring attractive self through learning beautifully controlled body movements. Coupling with music, the world of expression expands beyond. My approach focuses on training core muscles, improving flexibility and body awareness that altogether enhance the quality of dance movement.

Instagram: @moveandexpress


Lynette Day (Maui)

Lynette Day has been a student of many styles of belly dance since 1998. A former member of Seattle’s Troupe Hipnotica, her interests have ranged from classical and folkloric dance of the Middle East to synchronized group improvisation and American fusion.

Lynette has completed all four phases of study in Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements™ approach, of which she is a recognized official Datura™ Style teacher. She has worked as an occupational therapist since 2005 and enjoys using a therapeutic approach when teaching her students. She finds it important to educate her students on how belly dance can decrease the effects of the aging process. 

She currently is the director of Maui Belly Dance Company and has developed an improv vocabulary with her collaborator, Andria Perkins, on Maui. This improv vocabulary includes cued combos with complex and dynamic zil patterns. 

Belly Dance and Occupational Therapy are Lynette’s passions and she’s excited to be integrating them!

Check out more about Lynette at her website linked below!

Melinda Walker (Maui)

It is truly my passion to create a strong Belly Dance community here in the islands. I am certified up to Level Three for teaching the Global Caravan Tribal style and have studied, taught and performed in Portland Oregon, San Francisco, Oahu and now at my new home on Maui. I continue to study and teach the Global Tribal style in my home studio, loving every minute of it! 

I invite you to come and join the magical movement of our ever-expanding circle of dance here in Haiku, Maui home of Island Tribal Hawaii and Silversword belly dance!


Check out more about Melinda and Island Tribal Hawaii at the website linked below!

Murat Demirtas (Oahu)

Murat Demirtas has trained at the well known Michael King Pilates and with Roxy Menzies. As an instructor he brings a remarkable sense of body awareness and enjoys sharing his knowledge with students. He hails from a background of dance, gymnastics, pilates and aerobics. 

He has taught dance and various movement modalities for the Turkish educational system, professional dance companies and artists. He has performed for many big companies including the Women for Nike Tour.

Based on his belief that every individual is a healer. 

Murat’s mission is to create an environment that guides people to evolve into their full potential. His successful classes are a fusion dance and aerobics that helps to bring an awareness of an individual’s inner power. Murat is the perfect balance of creativity and business,

Murat is a well rounded teacher + artist + athlete with a special aura, joyful vibration and spirit that conveys his love of movement.

CLASSES: Murat teaches ongoing Turkish Belly Dance classes at the Still & Moving Center:

Tuesdays 5:30-6:30 PM

Saturdays 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Register for class at the Still and Moving Center website linked below!

Naia Amwaj (Oahu)

Naia, a passionate belly dancer from Japan, has dedicated herself to the art form since her teenage years. She has toured the US, performed at prestigious venues like Shangri-La, and explored folkloric dances in Turkey and Egypt. Naia is the founder of dance schools, has directed performances, and founded DAHAB Dance Creation in Japan. She now delights audiences in Hawaii as part of the Iapana Sisters, a professional dance duet. Currently residing in Honolulu, she teaches belly dance online while also offering her expertise as a personal trainer, Pilates, and yoga instructor, promoting grace and well-being.

Class info: Offering Online instruction and workshops in Honolulu

IG: naia_orientaldance

Najla Raqs (Hawaii Island)

Najla is a professional dance artist with experience spanning 17 countries and over two decades. A captivating and elegant performer, she recently spent over four years in various parts of the Middle East on extended contracts at five-star hotels. She is the Artistic Director of Hawaii's Island Spice Dance Co. and the former Artistic Director of Seattle's award-winning Fleurs d'Egypte Dance Co.

Najla’s dance training began in her early childhood in Washington state with courses in ballet, tap, and hip-hop. In her early teens she transitioned to belly dance courses and at the age of sixteen began producing dance productions at local theaters. By the age of eighteen she was performing regularly at local restaurants and events. In her early 20s she moved to Europe and worked as a full-time belly dancer at upscale nightclubs and restaurants in Greece, France, and England. She traveled to Egypt for intensive private instruction with world-renowned master instructor Raqia Hassan. She then moved to Paris and was selected at the Paris auditions to join the world famous dance company Belly Dance Superstars.

Instead, she returned to Seattle to create Fleurs d’Egypte Dance Company. The company placed 2nd at the 2007 IBDC competition in Las Vegas, and completed international dance contracts in China, Turkey, and Mexico. To extend the repertoire of the company she continued her dance training with ongoing courses in Hula, Bollywood, and Samba. In 2013 she traveled to Lebanon to perform and to study with dance coach to the modern stars of Middle East, Eyad Maleab.

As a soloist Najla has completed performance contracts at numerous five star hotels in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Dead Sea Jordan, US Virgin Islands, and India. After spending three years in the Middle East, Najla moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and founded Island Spice Dance Company.

Najla began teaching belly dance in 1998 and teaches classical and modern Egyptian and Lebanese technique. Students learn basic hipwork, shimmy layering, traveling steps, isolations, oriental combinations, and techniques for improvisation. Various props may be used in class including veil, sagat, cane, etc. Najla strives to teach authentic technique with a keen eye for detail in a supportive and fun environment.

Private lessons available in Kailua-Kona by appointment. $50/hr.


For more about Najla, visit her website linked below!

Nelleke Pielaat (Kauai)

Bellydance with Nelleke!

Weekly classes on Kauai

THURSDAY 5:45-6:45 Bellydance


FRIDAY 5:45-6:45 Intermediate

FRIDAY 6:45-7:45 Choreography (intermediate/advanced)

All classes at Golden Lotus Studio in Kapaa.

SaLydia Menad (Oahu)

"I Love teaching beginner classes because I get to see people of all ages and backgrounds start an entirely new journey in their lives.”

SaLydia is a fusion belly dancer who has been studying this art for 8 years. She is an award winning competitive dancer, has danced at weddings, in restaurants, festivals and has 3 years of teaching experience where she utilizes her background in education.

SaLydia’s Dance journey began with a mentorship under Bayan Bari (or Ashely Bayan) and continued on with instruction at the Anais Belly Dance Studio in Jacksonville, Florida. SaLydia was introduced to fusion in Texas where she was able to apply her foundation in Raqs Sharqi and oriental style to other genres of music. From competitions to variety and burlesque shows, traditional/classic raqs Sharqi to Afro-Caribbean, hip hop, heavy metal and goth fusion, SaLydia prides herself in her ability to adapt and create within different styles, genres and aesthetics.

Thank you for welcoming her into the Ohana. “While I am primarily a fusion dancer, I truly believe that If we don’t recognize our roots and the roots of this dance, if we don’t appreciate where we’ve been, where we’ve come from, and the history behind this dance, then we will neither see nor fully appreciate where we’re going in this world."

For a peek into the multifaceted dance life of SaLydia check out her social media:



Sammie in Hawaii (Oahu)

Sammie is a belly dance instructor and performer on the island of Oahu. She directs anywhere from 2-5 performance troupes in a given season, and has had the honor of serving as MEDAH President from 2019-2021 (currently a member at large).

Sammie's love of belly dance began when she joined the student organization, Hill and Veil at Virginia Tech in Spring of 2007. For the rest of her time as an undergraduate, a Master's student, and a Doctoral student, Sammie remained involved with belly dance as a way to stay active, relieve stress, and make lifelong friendships - things that she hopes to bring to all of her dance students.

As a dancer, Sammie continually seeks to challenge herself through participating in workshops and classes with a variety of instructors, creating new choreography, and performing! She has taken a wide variety of workshops with instructors in many different styles - all of which have played a role in her growth and development as a dancer.

CLASSES: Sammie pretty much ALWAYS has classes going on. Her in-person offerings are held at Aloha Dancesport Center in Honolulu (Sunday afternoons), and she also teaches periodic live Zoom classes! Classes are mixed-level and open to beginners unless otherwise specified. 

Please contact Sammie for the most current pricing/packaging information, or visit her on social media for the latest happenings! Sammie is also available for private events, lessons, and performances (live and virtual). She'd love to assist in making any event you host more special!

To contact Sammie:


Instagram: @sammieinhawaii

Check out all the latest from Sammie at her Facebook page linked below!

Stephanie "Star" Bolton (Hawaii Island)

Stephanie Bolton (Star) discovered belly dancing when she was 17 years old and it has been a passion in her life ever since. She has studied in Turkey & Egypt with several living legends. She loves to share the intriguing history and aesthetics of this dance art that fascinate her so.

In 2011 she was certified to teach SEEDs which is a teen mentoring dance program created by Myra Krien. SEEDs stands for Self-Esteem, Empowerment, and Education through Dance and is an amazing rite of passage that teaches young women how to cultivate their talents and develop physical and emotional well being. She has incorporated her love of the visual arts & costuming into her Hawaii based version of the program called Incense.

Featured on the cover of two different UK BellyDance magazines (Mosaic & Majency), Star's artwork has been featured in several Dance and Fine Art publications and she was a contributing writer and illustrator for Fuse: a tribal and tribal fusion belly dance magazine.

She holds several regular classes on the Big Island of Hawaii and an annual BellyDance retreat & show in the Spring that brings inter-island & mainland dancers together to learn several choreographies in just 5 days with the living legend Myra Krien. These retreats are always a magical time of bonding and growth for those involved and the show/dance party is often an incredible sold out experience where some of these ladies have even fallen in love!

Learn more about her regular classes, workshops, retreat & show on social media at @orchidisledance or email at

Current Class schedule at Orchid Isle Manor:

Moon Circles Wednesdays 5 PM

Drop in classes Thursdays and Sundays 8 AM

Thursdays 5 PM (Feb 2-March 9) Belly Dance Choreography

Suzanne Hamdi (Oahu)

“Dancing is the Joy that comes from your Heart”, is Suzanne’s philosophy. As an avid world traveler, Suzanne has been fortunate to share her love of art & dance on most every continent.

Suzanne Hamdi was named “Hawaii’s Ambassador of Belly Dance”© in Habibi International Dance Magazine 1994. Born in New York and studying dance since 5 yrs old and art since 2 yrs old, Suzanne has been studying Middle Eastern Belly Dance for over 40 years, predominantly in New York City, Egypt and Turkey, and has performed for audiences all her life.

From Suzanne: "Classes will cover Classical Egyptian dance movements as well as North African along with Culture and Musicality. I feel it is important that a new generation of dancers learn the classics that we guarded so dearly and even attempted to have certifications for instructors to pass them on, without success. Now that we Classicists are all Kupunas it is even more important to keep this knowledge alive! The technique training we had via years of ballet and Modern Dance formed our ease into the vocabulary of Danse Du Ventre. This class is for those who are culturally sensitive, curious and would like to celebrate another culture which they were not born into nor lived. We plan to learn at least one choreography per session which we can perform when conditions allow.

Since I was 'Lebanese/Armenian' for 8.5 years also read, and speak Egyptian and Moroccan Arabic it is in my Soul to share with those who want to learn. We will be exploring the meanings of the music and interpretations, as well as emotions behind the word. Which songs are proper to dance to and those that are culturally improper or offensive to perform. There will also be an interactive opportunity after each session where you can ask questions or request topics or music styles you would like to explore for the next class."

Contact Instructor:

Check out more about Suzanne at her website linked below!

Talia Soleil (Kauai/California)

Owner and founder of Red Door Dance Studio, Talia Soleil is the founder, sponsor and producer of Raqs Tiki Kauai Belly Dance Intensive. Dancing her way through life, she has enjoyed studying Jazz, Ballet, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Hula, and of course, Belly Dance. She is also a multi-award winning belly dancer, choreographer and fitness champion.​ Talia studied theater, and has been involved in community and college theater, and loves to combine the skills of dance and dramatic arts in her art form.

As a life-long student of movement and dance, and an instructor for over 30 years, Talia continues to learn and grow, often traveling worldwide to "fill her cabinets" with knowledge, passion, and new friendships. Performing internationally thrills her, as well as imparting information in her highly acclaimed and fun-filled workshops.​ As artistic director, choreographer and director of Dansoleil Belly Dance Theater, she trains all levels of dancers to reach their highest potential. She has brought her troupe to their award-winning potential with her dedicated work ethic, eye for the artistic, and stylized technique.​

She is also a member of Dangerous Beauties Belly Dance, a collaborative project made up of professional dancers who portray the strong women who have shaped our world through history, literature, art, and film.​ Teaching Master Workshops around the world, and performing solos, and with her troupe are some of her favorite moments.... along with traveling with her husband and pup, Koa San Carlos.

Find out more about Talia at her website linked below!