2019 Hot Raqs judges!

Aubre Hill: Los Angeles, CA

Aubre Hill is an international dance artist, teacher, and choreographer based in Los Angeles. Artistic director of the Lumina Dance Co, Qabila Folkdance Co, Beyajja Dance Theatre, and Odjus Ozi, she is a prolific choreographer and producer with a strong focus on solid education, artistic expression, and community connection. Her technical finesse and emotive soul bring together the elements to move and inspire audiences around the world with roots deep within Arabic folk dance and creative work across raqs sharqi & fusion styles. www.aubrehill.com www.aubrehill.com

Janelle Rodriguez: Santa Cruz, CA

Janelle Rodriguez is a belly dance performer, choreographer and musician who has trained in many styles of dance since the age of 5. Based in Santa Cruz, California, Janelle teaches classes and serves as artistic director/choreographer of Desert Dream Dance Company since 2002. She also directs Desert Dream Music Ensemble. With Desert Dream Dance Company and as a solo artist, Janelle gives workshops and performs across the US, inspiring audiences with her musical interpretation and creative expression of belly dance. A long-time student of Suhaila Salimpour, Janelle became level 3 certified in the Suhaila Salimpour format and level 2 certified in the Jamila format in 2014. She performs with Bal Anat, founded by Jamila Salimpour in 1968 and rekindled by Suhaila in 1999. Janelle continues to train with Suhaila, working toward her level Suhaila Salimpour level 4 certification and Jamila Salimpour level 3 certification. www.janelledance.com
and www.DesertDreamDance.com

Talia: Brentwood, CA

Talia Soleil is a multi-award winning dancer, choreographer, entertainer and instructor. Owner of Red Door Dance Studio in Northern California, and artistic director of Dansoleil Belly Dance Theater, she is also the founder of Raqs Tiki Kauai Belly Dance Intensive. Known for her theatrical style which is often fused with elements from the many areas she has studied, including her favorites of Jazz Dance, Ballroom and Theater Arts. She is a principal dancer with Dangerous Beauties Belly Dance, and as been seen playing the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Tina Turner and Jackie Kennedy. Talia also works closely with world renown drummer, Issam Houshan, teaching workshops and performing as the Dynamic Duo of Doums and Teks. Her sparkle, humor, and elegant style will warm your heart. taliasoleil.com

Annette Federico: Fresno, CA

Annette Federico is a professional dance instructor and performer from Fresno, California, who has danced and taught on both coasts of the US and Hawaii. Those familiar with Middle-Eastern restaurants in the Fresno area might remember her from her lengthy tenure as the “house” dancer in local restaurants, where she performed regularly for close to 15 years. Trained in the classic cabaret style of Arabic dance and with a background in dance and musical theatre, Annette delivers performances that showcase the variety and excitement of this style. Annette is often very comedic, to the joy and surprise of her audience, and always skilled, as evidenced by her precision zill playing, fluttering belly rolls and beautiful and intriguing veil work. She teaches dance in Fresno; learn more about her and her classes and performances at bellydancingbyannette.com.bellydancingbyannette.com

Crystal: Hanford, CA

Crystal Ravenwolf is a popular belly dance star and world renown psychic, from California's Central Valley, known for her dynamic stage presence. Crystal danced as a principal dancer, soloist, and choreographer for Andalee’s Eastern Sun Dance Company until 2013 when she branched out on her own as a highly sought after Instructor in Hanford, Ca where she teaches weekly classes and touring nationally Performing and Teaching Workshops at some of the most reputable festivals in North America. Crystal has also teamed up with Internationally known Belly Dance Star and fellow Tarotista Princess Farhana, (Pleasant Gehman) in creating Divination Nation where they tour the country teaching workshops, doing readings and leading paranormal investigations. Their first book Walking the Tarot Path is due to be released in 2016.

Innah: Des Moines, Iowa

Innah is the creative director of Innah’s Middle Eastern Troupe and has being teaching Egyptian style bellydance since 2003.. She is an award winning dancer of more than 9 competition awards including Bellydancer of the Universe, Berlin Cifuentes Dance Festival, Bellydance Nationals, Queen of Raks Sharqi, USA Bellydance Queen. Her favorite styles are megency, oriental and Tarab. Beyond bellydance, Innah’s dance training also includes ballet, pointe, jazz, and latin. www.iowabellydance.com www.iowabellydance.com

Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan – (Translates: Beloved Sweetheart of Treasure)

Ma*Shuqa is known internationally as the “elegant” performer with a unique style of dancing which blends the music and dance into a compelling art form. Ma*Shuqa teaches a unique Ma*Shuqa Method approach for dancing and playing cymbals in performance to live music. She was the first dancer to dance with Isis Wings – and is known for her performances with Isis Wings.

Ma*Shuqa has taught classes at her Los Gatos Dance and Photography Studio for 43 years. She has been teaching and coaching for over 40 years and is known for the Ma*Shuqa Method format of developing unique dance styles – that brings out the best in each student. See information at her website for her annual Diva Professional Development Intensive Retreats. MaShuqa.com

She and her husband, Carl Sermon, a performance photographer, offer photo sessions at their Dance and Photography Studio with coaching and posing for professional performance images. www.CarlSermonPhotography.Zenfolio.com www.CarlSermonPhotography.com


Lydia has been bellydancing since 1998. Specializing in Tribal Fusion style belly dance since 2000, she also has training in Egyptian, Lebanese, and Turkish style bellydance, ballet, modern dance, music, and the visual arts. Lydia is the director of Tanjora Tribal Bellydance, Banat Tanjora Ghawazee Bellydance, and the Arabian Nights Bellydance Entertainment Agency, and was the bellydance instructor at California Arts Academy in Fresno from 2004 - 2014. She has performed at several local restaurants, including The Mediterranean, Ya Hala, The Phoenician, and Noah's Bar and Grill, and is also a member of Eastern Sun Dance Company.

Dhyanis: California

Lifetime dancer Dhyanis travelled abroad for 5 years dancing and studying in Europe, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Israel and more. She took her “Troupe Dhyanis” to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival during the summer of 2000 to showcase several styles of the dance. Troupe Dhyanis won Bellydancer of the Year both 2003 and 2012, and she won Grand Dancer and Duet in 2002. Dhyanis is also an award-winning costume designer for theaters around the Bay Area, and currently has a webstore at www.dhyanis.com