Shahrzad Raqs
Shahrzad has been enchanting the stage with her dancing since she discovered her passion for Arabic dance and music at the age of 11. Since then, she has immersed herself in a variety of dance disciplines--including Modern Egyptian belly dance and many regional and folkloric dance styles from North Africa, India, and the Middle East. Her professional career started when she was 17, working full time as a performer at shows with live bands at top venues and events in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City. She quickly became a sought after teacher in her area which led to her becoming a full time instructor at Sahara Dance, one of the biggest belly dance schools in the USA, where she taught several levels of classes and choreographed for theater shows.

Most of Shahrzad's technique and choreography is influenced from her training in Egypt, where she has been mentored by some of the top dancers in the world. She has traveled extensively to do in depth study about the music, dance, and cultural traditions surrounding both so that she can give students a deeper knowledge of the roots of belly dance. Inspired by her interest in teaching, Shahrzad underwent a 2 year pilates apprenticeship. Now as a fully certified pilates instructor with extensive training in anatomy and movement she is able to bring a new level of understanding to her students by breaking down technique in detailed terms right down to what each muscle of the body is doing.