Project Shimmy - September 14, 2013

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's event.  It was a great success.  Special thanks to all the volunteers--performers and otherwise--who donated their time and effort to Project Shimmy.


Torque began Project Shimmy in 2008 as a way to help Triad Health Project meet the needs of individuals living with HIV / AIDS and their loved ones. “Bellydance is a style of dance that is often misunderstood by the public, and, unfortunately, so is HIV / AIDS” say Lynn Hoffman and Sarah Sills, Torque troupe members and co-owners of Twisted Dance Studios. “When we heard of THP and its services, we felt it was a natural choice to have our show benefit this organization because of the misconceptions held about the dance and the disease. Hopefully, the funds and awareness we raise through this event can help THP to better serve their clients and address misconceptions about HIV / AIDS through the education and service programs they provide.”


 The program features dance professionals from across North Carolina who perform a variety of Middle Eastern and world dance styles.  Audience members can also purchase raffle tickets for prizes to be given away during the show.


Click on the names below to discover more about our talented performers for 2013.



  • Torque

    Torque, the professional tribal fusion troupe of Twisted Dance Studios, specializes in a style of fusion that stretches the boundaries of traditional bellydance through experimental choreography, eclectic music selections, and original costuming innovations. Torque members are united by a passion for belly dance, dedication to expression and creativity, and enjoyment of performing for the public.


    For the last five years, Torque has produced and hosted Project Shimmy as a way of showing support for Triad Health Project and their mission to serve individuals living with HIV / AIDS and their loved ones, as well as their commitment to HIV / AIDS education, outreach, and prevention.

  • Break'N Out Dance Studio

    Break’N Out Dance Studio is only 6 years old and is fortunate to have instructors with many years of dance and instruction experience. Our instructors have made dance a large part of their lives. Their techniques in teaching are both enjoyable and educational for the students. Studio owner, Ashley Callahan, has long dreamed of owning a dance studio and worked hard to make her dream a reality. Dance is a very important part of her life. She did spend some time with sports but her heart lies with dance. She has drawn much of her enthusiasm from several of her past dance coaches and instructors. Break'N Out Dance offers a wide variety of dance to all ages.

  • Dayanisma

    Dayanisma, a Turkish word meaning unity, is an American Tribal Style inspired collaborative group. Under the direction of Nandana, they perform amazing Tribal Group Improvisational dance using dynamic leader/follower formations as well as incorporating various props such as baskets, zils and swords. They perform locally and regionally sharing in their love of dance! For more information on Dayanisma, check

  • Emily Beaman

    Emily Beaman is a belly dance instructor and performer located in the Triangle area.  Her passion for belly dance has brought delight to both audiences and students for over 10 years.  Well versed in both Cabaret and Tribal belly dance, Emily's dancing is unique and captivating.  Tonight, she will be performing a tango fusion piece to "Santa Maria" by Gotan Project.  To find out more about Emily's classes and performances, visit

  • Gypsy

    Gypsy" (Paula Reid Stump) is a former model and actress and after playing the role of Gypsy Rose Lee in the Little Theater’s 1978 production of "Gypsy", she borrowed her stage name…"Gypsy".  This year marks Gypsy’s 26th year of her involvement with Middle Eastern dance. She teaches all levels of belly dance classes in Winston-Salem, and in 2007 she produced her first, instructional DVD.  She is also the founder and director of the Aladdin’s Genies Belly Dance Troupe.

  • Jessica Katharsys

    Jessica Katharsys began her unexpected love affair with the hoop in 2006 in Los Angeles. She currently teaches hoop dance at Twisted Dance Studios and the Campus Recreation Center at UNCG. She has an intensive background in dance movement, fire arts and stage performance and loves to share the magic of dance with others. She currently performs as a soloist and with various performance troupes at festivals, clubs and private events throughout North Carolina.


    Her performance style emphasizes body awareness, intention-based movement, fluidity, grace, and fuses a wide variety of dance styles within the hoop. Hooping has created an abundance of positive change in her life and has allowed her to transform both her body and mind. She strives to create a space of joy and community in her classes and invites others to share in this beautiful art form with her.


    Jessica is AFAA certified, has completed her FuzeCraze certification, as well as Red Cross/AED training.



  • Kaitlyn

  • Mahsati

    Mahsati Janan is an instructor and performer of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in the dances of Egypt and North Africa. As an in-demand workshop instructor, Mahsati has traveled the United States to share her knowledge and skills, but always considers herself a lifelong student and annually attends multiple professional and teacher-level training sessions with top dancers and researchers in her field. Her soulful classical Egyptian style performances and lively folkloric dances are always exciting and a wonderful addition to any event.


    Mahsati is a performer and instructor in Asheville and has studied and performed throughout the US. She specializes in classical and modern Egyptian styles, but also enjoys many other modern belly dance forms. Mahsati also performs other ethnic styles such as Lebanese and Turkish and American-based styles such as American Cabaret and Tribal Fantasy. Mahsati has been performing professionally as both a soloist and group artist for over 15 years and currently directs the Qamari Dance Collective and troupe Banat al-Qamar. For more information, please visit or call 828 423-0883.

  • Magic Hips

    The Magic Hips Dancers, under the direction of Yasmine, are one of the Southeast's most popular performers at corporate events and gala shows and are available for special occasions, cultural events and weddings. You can expect spectacular solos, duets and troupe show performances. You will also see members of Magic Hips  at local festivals & events and also as part of the award winning troupe The Jewels of the Caravan at The Carolina Renaissance Festival.  Members are Yasmine, Huriyyah, Kamilah, Sarah & Sayyadina.

  • Naima

    Naima Sultana is a performer and instructor from Charlotte, NC, who's had a love-affair with Mid-Eastern dance since 1994.  With a strong background in ballet and jazz, she loves the wide range of styles that bellydance offers, from Orientale to folkloric to fusion, but always holds a special place in her heart for the classics.  For more information on workshops and performances visit


  • Nayna

    Nayna is a multifaceted dancer who brings warmth, excitement, power and playfulness to every performance. She fell in love with bellydance in 2002 while learning from Yasmine (Charlotte, NC), and quickly progressed to the professional level of performance and teaching. Dedicated to continuously improving and evolving in her art, Nayna draws upon the influence of a diverse array of master dancers such as Rachel Brice, Saida, Bozenka, and the guidance of her mentor, Suhaila Salimpour. As a result, she is comfortable and proficient in the Egyptian, American Cabaret, and Tribal Fusion styles of bellydance. In addition to dancing, she has acquired a love for fire arts and enjoys fire spinning (poi) and incorporating other fire props (such as fire fans) into her performances.


    While mesmerizing to watch on stage, Nayna's first love is teaching. New students find her classes to be productive and challenging while also fun and more importantly, non-intimidating. Her friendly but firm teaching style keeps classes engaging and students find themselves striving enthusiastically to nurture the power and beauty that bellydance brings out in every person.


    Nayna is Level 1 certified in the Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance, danced 6 years as part of the the award-nominated Magic Hips Dancers, and is a founding member of award-nominated Spirit of the Lotus dance troupe.

  • Nezumi

    Nezumi started taking bellydance classes through the local community college for fun, but it soon became an obsession.  She tried a variety of styles but soon realized that Fusion was her love.


    Nezumi loves going to bellydance festivals and being exposed to different styles and teachers in order to expand her dance vocabulary.  She enjoys dancing to electronic dance music because she likes music with surprises and a heavy bass.


    With lots of pops and locks, Nezumi likes to tase her audience with her amazing skills and leave them twitching in their seats.

  • Paisley

    Paisley Sellick, the youngest member of Malaika, began dancing with her mother at the age of thirteen. A painter and photographer, Paisley defines belly dancing as an art of freedom – freedom for the body and the soul.


    Paisley’s initial focus, Egyptian Cabaret, has transformed into a love of tribal fusion and tribaret. She is the youngest member of Torque.

  • Rinku

    Rinku Bhattacharya Das is an  Indian classical dancer, and choreographer based in North Carolina,USA. Ever since winning the prestigious Indian national dance scholarship from West Bengal Governor B.D. Pande at age of 5, she has pursued rigorous training in Kathak dance under Guru Laxmi Narayanji of Jaipur and is continuing her advanced  training from Guru Parveen Gangani of New Delhi.


    She has broadened her classical dance profile by  receiving 20 years of rigorous training in Manipuri dance under Legendary  Guru Bipin Singh. At present she is working to promote Manipuri dance internationally under the guidance of Guru Padmashri Darshana Jhaveri. She has performed all over India and received various awards and recognitions like Indian National Scholarship from ICCR, Heritage Award for Excellence in Classical Dance  and 2013 Ella Pratt Fountain Emerging Artist Grant from Durham arts Council, USA.


    Some of her major dance events have been: The Erasing Borders Festival of  Indo-American Arts Council in  Manhattan, New York, North American Bengali Conferences in Houston and Las Vegas,  Tagore Festival in Nicholas Center New Jersey, North Carolina Azalea Festival, South Eastern Center for Contemporary Art Museum USA, The New Delhi Arts Festival, National Center of Performing Arts Mumbai, Tagore Festival and Raindrop Festival in Mumbai,Manipuri Classical night  in Kolkata and Konarak Festival in Odissa etc.


    She  is also  the Founder and  Director of  Nrityajyoti Dance Academy in Kolkata and North Carolina, USA  where she teaches Indian classical and Contemporary dance , choreographs dance productions  and performs with her professional dance group Aakrisht.


    She is the Board of Director for ICMDS, Indian Classical Music and Dance Society  and Indian Talent Discovery Foundation in North carolina. She is devoted to promote and preserve the rich heritage of Manipuri dance internationally. Her rich experience to enthrall and engross her audience, until the very end, with her charming and graceful movements have always left an unforgettable impression on the audience.


  • Samra

    Samra has dedicated over 20 years to study multi-cultural dances around the world. She is originally from Brazil and lives in Winston Salem. She teaches regularly in North Carolina and surrounding states. She has traveled to numerous countries to teach and perform, to immerse in their cultures, and learn more about their traditional dances.  Her specialties are Middle Eastern, Latin, Polynesian, Fire and Sword dances, and Shadow Puppetry from Bali. She is always learning other ethnic styles.  She is
    performing “Samba do Rio”. 

    For more information, visit her website:  or email her at :


  • Sara & Nandana

    Nandana and Sara have been dancing together as members of Blue Moon Dance Company since 2003, and have also performed as soloists across the region.  Together, they have a combined 20 years of bellydance performance experience.   Both Nandana and Sara teach classes at World In Motion Dance Studio in Morrisville, and have been featured in workshops and performances throughout the Southeast. Here at Project Shimmy they will present anoriginal Tribal Fusion choreography complete with intricate floor work and double sword balancing.  For information on Nandana and Sara, check their webites: and

  • Sarah Sills & Heather Collins

    Heather has been dancing on and off since she was four, but got serious about belly dance in 2008.   She is Phase 2 certified in Rachel Brice's 8 Elements.


    Sarah came to belly dance with absolutely no dance experience in 2006, but once she tried it she realized that her body had been aching to belly dance for 26 years.  It aches no more.


    Both ladies are instructors at their favoritest dance studio ever, Twisted Dance, and both ladies proudly co-direct Fringe, a student tribal fusion troupe based out of aforementioned fabulous studio.

  • Scott Hinzman

    Scott Hinzman found his beginnings with fire and flow arts by training deep in the heart of dark alleyways, empty lots, and clandestine intersections. The time has come for him to emerge from the anonymity of the underground and reinvent the art form that captured his heart. Scott creates a new dimension to the art of poi and contact staff by melding the flow and form from his martial arts background with tight composition and a graceful, yet edgy technique. He places a strong emphasis on safety and professionalism in all of his endeavors. He has extensive fire safety training and is CPR/AED certified. He currently teaches workshops catered to varying levels of poi and contact staff and specializes in customized performances for events and private affairs around the Triad.


    Scott Hinzman found his beginnings with fire and flow arts frequenting backyards, empty lots, and dark intersections. Unsatisfied being an anonymous entity of the underground, he has stepped out of the fringe to reinvent the art form that has captured his heart. Melding the flow and form from his martial arts background with tight composition  and graceful yet edgy technique, Scott creates a new dimension to the art of poi and contact staff. Striving for professionalism, he also has extensive fire safety training and is CPR/AED certified. He currently teaches workshops catered to varying levels of poi and contact staff and specializes in customized performances for events and private affairs around the Triad.


    Now he has come out from the fringe to show you what he spends hours a day practicing; to show you what has captivated his heart and those around him. Spinning (whatever the hell all you do or whatever) and more, he brings a new dimension to __(what should this art be called? performance art? circus skills?)__. Melding martial arts with play, scott offers striking form and technicality not easily dismissed(/not to be forgotten). Tight composition and edgy tricks/craft/skill gives a delight for the eyes. Fire, or LED brings delectable sights of indulgence (/to savor?).


  • Spirit of the Lotus

    Spirit of the Lotus is a collaborative dance company formed in 2007 from Charlotte, NC, whose goal is to promote the art of Middle Eastern Dance through performance and education.  Victoria, Naima Sultana, Iona, and  Asali have performed together since 2003 in addition to directing their individual studios.  Spirit of the Lotus enjoys bringing dynamic fusion, orientale, tribal, and folkloric creations to the stage filled with their unique energy and passion for this art.  (


    photo credit: JAWiley photography


  • Xavier Shadowdancer

    Xavier Shadowdancer is he Triad's only professional male belly dance. Born native of North Carolina, he teaches at Twisted Dance Studios and co-directs the studios Egyptian Cabaret student troupe "Malaika". He is a known personality in the LGBT community as a performer with Bearapalooza. He has performed for many charities and is happy to be a part of Project Shimmy for the 5th year in a row.

Twisted Dance Studios  • 315 South Greene Street, Suite 200, Greensboro, NC 27401 •  336-303-8792 •