Pure Onyx Movement

Subtitle

Meet the Empresses

 GIA

Gaia, my name means Mother Earth!  One of my proudest moments was giving
birth to a baby that was born to dance.  Jasmine!

Gaia discovered her passion for the sacred art of East African Bellydance in
2004 under the artistic direction of Arianna al Tiye. Gaia is the founder of
Nubian Angels; an African fusion based Bellydance Company for girls ages
five to sixteen. Gaia is an original company member of Troupe Wahad, and became a junior

company member of NMDDC in 2007.  With my association with
Nubian Moon Daughters it has granted me the opportunity to perform at
Rakkasah East and West, the largest Bellydance festival in the United States
& International African Arts Festival.  As well as solo performances at
Harlem YMCA Little Theater, and Lafayette Bar and Grill.

I have studied with Oya and Embora Wellness studios and now with for the
past two years with Tamar Raqs at Restoration Dance Theatre.  Adding to my
performance resume Solo performance at Jebron and two years group
performance at BAM Café.

Most of all I have to thank the creator!  I never could have made it without
you!  My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

SAMIRAH

Samirah born Samirat Rivers began her dance career at the early age of 9, attending Kips Bay Boys and Girls dance program.  It wasn?t until she matured into an adult that she realized her love and passion for dance.  She always knew there was an untapped gift inside her that was waiting to be shown to the world.  While in college Samirah, studied under Denise Perry of Perry Studios in Harlem, NYC.  There she cultivated her dance education by studying Modern, Jazz, African and Belly Dance. 2009.  While Samirah is still studying the art of Belly Dance this love affair with it is hardly over. 

 

Samirah, which is the Arabic root of her name, meaning ?entertaining companion,? Samirah plans on dazzling the world with this ancient art form of dance.It was there that she realized her enthusiasm for belly dance and through the dance learned about celebrating womb health, honoring ancestors,  and just learning to love all aspects of being a woman.  Belly dance provides her with a healthy workout and lifestyle and enforced sisterhood with the women in the belly dance community.  After studying with Lateefah Fleming for two years, Samirah began studying with Arianna Halima al Tiye and later joined Nubian Moon Daughters Dance Company in

 SEGULAH

"Segulah" is a Hebrew word meaning "treasure".  Segulah, born Angela Williams, had a love for dance since early childhood, with her first dance teacher being her older beloved sister Joyce.  Segulah began studing ethnic dance as a child, and later began more serious training in West African,Modern and jazz.  Her studies introduction to Belly Dance started in 2003 under Nalani Valetine at the TDYCC in Westchester. She also performed with the Westchester Soltices at TDYCC.  Her studies in Danse Oriental and folklore began

 

with Arianna al Tiye in 2004, later journeying with Arianna in 2008 to further her study dance abroad in Egypt under Ms. Al Tiye's mysteries of Isis Tours: program in dance studies.  She was an original company member of Troupe Wahad and became a junior company member of NMDDC in 2007-2010.  Segulah is also a Co Founder of "Pure Onyx Movement".

Peace & Blessings to all who have danced before me and all those to come.


 

 

  

Diane McNeil ?Nilah? began her vocation with the West African dancing art form., after being invited to a belly-dancing show and seeing the beauty and artistry of it. She decided to try belly dancing. She trains under the tutelage of Arianna Al Tiye at Mark Morris Studio, Tamar at Restoration Dance Theatre and Angela Lambert (Noora) at The Greek Cultural Center. Her experience includes dancing at The Grisly Pear with musicians Scott Wilson & Efendi, various Haflas, private parties and other public venues. As a student who loves to dance, she never envisioned it would take her to this far.

  

Sonjirey Murriell ?Sonseeahray? - is a fusion bellydance dancer based out of New Jersey and has been dancing for nearly 10 years. Her unique style blends all the forms of bellydance together which allows her to freely express herself and share the love of the dance.

Sonseeahray has had the pleasure of studying under Andrea Anwar, Anahid Sofian, Aszmara, and Audie. She has taken workshops given by Fleur and Geela (of the now defunct) Philadelphia Tribal Bellydance Troupe, Samara, Majda, Chadia, and Morocco?s weeklong workshop just to name a few. She dances with various dance troupes and performs at various venues throughout the tri-state area sharing her unique style for audiences to enjoy.

Sonseeahray is the owner and founder of Shades of Lakshmi, LLC., a bellydance entertainment company, which is geared toward hosting haflas and workshops.

  

Saundra Roberson - Saundra Roberson describes herself as a lifelong student of dance. After taking her first dance class at her local Community Center a flame was ignited. She knew immediately that dance would always be a part of her life.

Four years ago while discussing her love of dance, an acquaintance recommended a belly dance class being given at the Mark Morris Dance Company Green Brooklyn. After attending the class Saundra fell in love once again - with belly dance. She?s taken belly dance classes ever since mostly with Arianna Al Tiye.

She performed in Arianna?s 2009 and 2011 Belly Dance Halflas. Saundra states that belly dance has added an amazing new dimension and many sister friends to her world. Since that first class, Saundra has learned much about the fascinating history of this ancient dance form born in Africa. Saundra travelled to Egypt in August 2010 on a sacred belly dance pilgrimage with fellow belly dancers. She warns; don?t be fooled by the fluidity and sensuousness of this ?sacred womb dance? as some describe it. These beautiful movements come only after hours of challenging work.

In addition to belly dance Saundra has also studied and performed African dance with the Charles Moore Dance Company and Afro-Haitian dance with Michael Manswell of the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. 

She is the proud mother of a handsome and ?accomplished? son who is also exploring his artistic side and pursuing a career in acting. She credits staying young at heart to following in her 90 year old Mother?s footsteps who still dances at every opportunity. Lastly, Saundra implores all, as the song by Lee Ann Womack goes ? ?When You Get the Choice to Sit it Out or Dance Always Choose to Dance!?

  

Leila Smalls ?Quan-Yin? - has been embracing the dance of the womb for 3 years now. Leila began her training under Arianna al Tiye where she meet the wonderful sisters of POM, who embraced her two left feet and made the dance not only spiritual, but one the highlights of her life... Over the past 3 yrs we have shared laughter and our love of life & dance. Leila, is currently under the teachings of Tamar Raqs, along with the Queens of POM!!! Today holds a special place in my heart to share the stage with my sistars and honor their names in dance! Ashe my SiStars.

  

Adrianna Valdes - I am a native New Yorker of Cuban and Jamaican decent and dance has been part of me for nearly all my life. My dance training began at Ballet Hispanico at four years old where I participated in ballet, modern, and flamenco. At age nine I auditioned for The School of American Ballet and was accepted on a partial scholarship. After four years at SAB I realized that ballet was not for me anymore and I took a hiatus from dance for awhile. I rediscovered my passion for dance at age sixteen, during my junior year of high school, through some close friends who belly danced. After their encouragement and introducing me to basic belly dance movements I took my first belly dance class with Tamar-Kali Brown at Steps on Broadway in 2006. And I have been hooked ever since! I continued to belly dance throughout college performing at various campus events. Studying with Tamar has given me the opportunity to perform at venues such as BAM Cafe Live and Je Bon restaurant in the East Village. In addition to Tamar's classes I have also taken classes at Serena Studios and Bellyqueen. My dance career would have not been possible without the love and support of my family who has been with me for every performance whether it was ballet, flamenco, or belly dance!

  

Ouriana Walker - I have studied the art of belly dancing for approximately 5-6 years. In addition to belly dance, I have studied Hip-Hop, Salsa, and Theater jazz.   I have had the pleasure of belly dancing with/studying under ? Lateefah Fleming, Arianna al Tiye, and Janelle Cortez.  I have participated in performances ranging from showcases in college auditoriums to Middle Eastern restaurants.

I absolutely LOVE belly dancing.  It is a wonderful celebration of womanhood and sisterhood.  It makes me feel healthy, vibrant, active, and sexy! Through belly dance, I have had to opportunity to meet fabulous women who also share my passion.  In the future, I hope to expand my knowledge of and skills in belly dance and share it with others.

  

Zuri - has been involved in the creative and performing arts since childhood, but came to dance as an adult, beginning with the Latin dances. She discovered belly dance and found a home.

 

As music is her profession, Zuri incorporates her solid knowledge of timing and musical interpretation into her performances. Her show formats can range from traditional to a fusion with Caribbean and/or Latin flavor depending on client venue and preference.

 

When teaching, her knowledge of group dynamics, body mechanics, and different learning styles helps each student to reach their fullest potential. Zuri also has training as a pre/post-natal health and fitness group instructor, and welcomes the opportunity to work with women who want to stay fit during their pregnancy.

 

Zuri is also the owner of Cocoabelly Dance Services, LLC, a full service bellydance organization. Cocoabelly offers custom, handmade costumes for dancers of all shapes and sizes, makeup services for dancers, and performers and props for your special event.

 

 

Our Pom Angels are 12 years old and younger with our youngest being 3.  POM Angels work together collaboratively to learn group pieces and will often work with the Diamonds on group pieces.  This where they begin laying their belly dance foundation. 


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