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© 2018 Talia Soleil

The union of music and movement is the essence of dance. The union of a musician and a dancer to create a seamless artistic expression of oneness between the two is the ultimate manifestation of such a union. Issam Houshan is one of the rarest of talents as that is exactly what he does, Call him the Wassan Pharaoun, King Of The Drum, or Mr. Magic Fingers and you only tell the half of it. It's his connection to the dancer that is the essence of his magic. It is a merging of egos serving a mutual and identical goal that few musicians ever master fully. Issam is now recognized as the ultimate master of this art. In the BDSS Issam has become a mentor, partner, and inspiration giving selflessly to the good of the troupe as a whole.

 

Issam was born in Syria and emigrated to the U.S. 24 years ago. He had formal music training in the Damascus Academy of Music and went on to drum for a host of Arab music stars and famous bellydancers. He is also the only remaining disciple of the legendary Arab drum master Mahmood Salahadeen. In the U.S. he performed with Sting on the Grammy's and with the BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS in over879 shows in 20 countries. Issam's background, training and experience have made him in huge demand for drum tutorials and workshops. He does these both on his own and in conjunction with bellydance instructors especiallyJillina,Sonia,Amar Gamal,Bozenka,Aziza,Rachel Brice,Sharon Kihara,Kami Little,Zoe Jacks,..and more.

 

 

Issam is featured in the film American Bellydancer, Solos From Monte Carlo, Bellydance Superstars, 30 Days To Vegas, Behind The Shimmy,Introduction to the Middle Eastern Rhythms,Tribal Drum solo Choreography with Zoe and partners with Sonia on The Art Of The Drum Solo instructional DVD. His CD releases include his own Tabel Ya Issam with Jillina, Wassan Pharaoun, The Dancing Drum Vol. 1,2 &3 and Chemistry of the drum,Mystery Of Rhythm,Damascus Belly Dance Orchestra and percussion on the Galactic Caravan albums.

Shoshanna is a performer and instructor based in Arcata, in the redwoods on California’s north coast. In addition to teaching at local dance studios and performing frequently she is on the dance faculty of Humboldt State University, directs the Ya Habibi Dance Company and produces concerts and events including the Redwood Coast Bellydance Festival. She has taught workshops across the United States and in 2004 won the title of Belly Dancer of the Year. While Shoshanna’s expressive and dramatic style draws from many sources, her inspiration is always the emotional heart of the music.

Shoshanna’s interests lie in a strong foundation in Egyptian dance with a fusion other influences inspired by her extensive dance training. Shoshanna is an improvisational dancer whose specialties are working with four-yard veils, fans and skirts, and who values any opportunity to perform to live music. She enjoys exploring many styles, from traditional line dances to the latest innovations in Tribal Fusion…

As a performer, Shoshanna strives to express the joy of dancing and the emotional quality of the music. As an instructor, she works to balance artistic and personal interpretation of the music with excellent technical skills, a deeper understanding of the dance form, and to instill a passion for this dance form. This philosophy holds true for any class that Shoshanna teaches.

Shoshanna has studied with many noted teachers including Dalia Carella, Elena Lentini, Mahmoud Reda, Farida Famhy, DeAnn Adams, Momo Kadous, Jamila Salimpour, Raqia Hassan, Dr. Mo Geddawi, Jihan Jamal, Fatima Al Wahid, Tamalyn Dallal, Leila Haddad, Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan, Amaya, Aneena, Shareen El Safy, Suhaila Salimpour, Cassandra Shore, Jehan Kamal, Bahaia, Aida Nour, Karim Nagi, Amir Thaleb, John Compton, Shukriya, Carolina Nericcio, Jill Parker, Zoe Jakes and many more. Shoshanna has had the pleasure to dance with many fabulous musicians such as: Georges Lammam, Elias Lammam, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Souhail Kaspar, Faisal Zedan, Naser Musa, Souren Baronian, Haig Manookian, Polly Tapier, Mimi Spencer, Mary Ellen Donald, Reda Darwish, Doug Adamz, Salaheddin Takesh, Joshkun Tamer, Ellen Cruz, Light Rain, Brothers of the Baladi, Karim Nagi, Tobias Roberson, Stellamara, Raquy & The Cavemen, Govinda, Fishtank Ensemble, and many more.

Shoshanna teaches many classes in local studios and as dance faculty for the Department of Theatre, Film & Dance at Humboldt State University, from which she graduated in 2003 with her BA in Art with concentrations in Art History and Graphic Design, minors in Psychology and Dance, and a Certificate of Art Museum & Gallery Practices.

As the founder of Mosaic Productions (www.redwoodcoastbellydance.com) under the non-profit umbrella of the Ink People Center for the Arts, Shoshanna creates exciting events featuring guest music and dance artists in Humboldt County. Through this group she has begun producing the Redwood Coast Bellydance Festival, held for 10 years in Arcata.

Crystal Ravenwolf is a popular belly dance star and world renown psychic from California's Central Valley (Hanford, Ca) known for her dynamic stage presence. Dance has always been a part of her journey in life starting at the age of 5 when she began taking her first dance class at the King’s Dance Academy where she became skilled in Ballet, Modern/Jazz and Gymnastics.

Crystal began her Belly Dance Expedition in the year of 2002 while attending the Sierra Performing Arts Center where she was introduced to Middle Eastern Dance taught by the amazing Andalee who soon began to mentor her. Crystal became a principal dancer, soloist, and choreographer for Andalee’s Eastern Sun Dance Company where she danced until 2013 and now is a popular Instructor in Hanford, Ca where she teaches weekly classes and is the Artistic Director of her own troupe Raqsat Jamila.

Crystal tours nationally Performing and Teaching Workshops at some of the most reputable festivals in North America such as the Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive where in 2012 she was a finalist in ‘So You Think You Can Belly Dance’. Crystal has also teamed up with Internationally known Bellydance Star Princess Farhana, (Pleasant Gehman) in creating Divination Nation where their first book Walking the Tarot Path is due to be released in 2016.

Crystal Ravenwolf is a popular belly dance star and world renown psychic from California's Central Valley (Hanford, Ca) known for her dynamic stage presence. Dance has always been a part of her journey in life starting at the age of 5 when she began taking her first dance class at the King’s Dance Academy where she became skilled in Ballet, Modern/Jazz and Gymnastics.

Crystal began her Belly Dance Expedition in the year of 2002 while attending the Sierra Performing Arts Center where she was introduced to Middle Eastern Dance taught by the amazing Andalee who soon began to mentor her. Crystal became a principal dancer, soloist, and choreographer for Andalee’s Eastern Sun Dance Company where she danced until 2013 and now is a popular Instructor in Hanford, Ca where she teaches weekly classes and is the Artistic Director of her own troupe Raqsat Jamila.

Crystal tours nationally Performing and Teaching Workshops at some of the most reputable festivals in North America such as the Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive where in 2012 she was a finalist in ‘So You Think You Can Belly Dance’. Crystal has also teamed up with Internationally known Bellydance Star Princess Farhana, (Pleasant Gehman) in creating Divination Nation where their first book Walking the Tarot Path is due to be released in 2016.

Andalee is a multi-award winning performer from Clovis, CA and the winner of  "Project Belly Dance: Season 1”, produced by Cheeky Girls Productions. Originally a student of Shoshanna from Northern, CA, Andalee has been studying Middle Eastern Dance for 18 years taking classes and workshops from noted instructors, Arabic classes, traveling in the Mid East, teaching, and drumming. She also produces the new annual event Hot Raqs Belly Dance Festival and Competition with her Husband, drummer Mike Owens.

 

 

 

Andalee

andalee@andalee.com

www.andalee.com

www.hotraqs.com

Elegance and grace with a  theatrical flare are the benchmarks of this L.A. based dance artist. DeVilla, a nationally known performer and instructor performs as a soloist and with Sekhmet Dance Company, for whom she functions as Artistic Director. Equally at home onstage and behind the scenes, DeVilla integrates her two full time careers as professional make-up artist for television and film and professional dancer. It is for this reason that  DeVilla and Sekhmet Dance Company’s shows are known for their professionalism and polish with a touch of old Hollywood glamour.

 

 

For more info go to 

www.devillaraks.com

www.dancegardenla.com

Visit DeVilla on Face Book, twitter and Instagram 

at DeVillaRaks11

Our judges are renowned instructors and professional dancers who take their art seriously. They are encouraging, friendly and understand the nerves involved in competing, however, judges should not be approached before or during the competition, and should be highly respected. Any remarks or disrespect against a judge will not be tolerated. Competitors will be disqualified, and/or lose their title and awards. Judges will confer and make a final determination in case of a tie, and all decisions are final. Please do NOT contact Issam Houshan regarding the Improv Drum piece before the competition. Any pre-competition discussion regarding music with Issam will call for automatic dismissal of that competitor, and refunds for any fees or expenses incurred will NOT be available.

Judging: Contestants will be judged on the following, and may receive up to 50 points.

Technique & Ability: Up to 10 points

The quality, skill and technique of the dancer’s movements and transitions, along with grace, and sophistication of movement. Was the stage space used appropriately? Were the entrance and exit pleasing to you?

Musical Interpretation: Up to 10 points

How the dancer chooses to interpret their music, and the moves they choose should express the music effectively, and should reflect the mood of the music. If finger cymbals are used, they are considered part of Musical Interpretation, and the skill with which they are played will also be judged. Dancers should not lose points for dancing without zills.

Costuming: Up to 10 points

Does the costume fit well, and flatter the dancer? Is it appropriate for the style of the dance? Is the makeup and hair neat and show quality (Please consider that we are in a small facility, so hugely dramatic makeup may not be appropriate. However, the dancer should still appear professional and "show ready".)

Stage Presence: Up to 10 points

How the dancer engages and lights up the stage. How does the dancer affect you emotionally? Was the performance technically correct, but emotionally lacking? Did you feel engaged by the dancer? Were you taken on a journey that helped you forget yourself?

Overall Appeal: Up to 10 points

Your heartfelt reaction to the dancer and their performance. Were you entertained and swept away in the moment? Did the overall impression of the dancer speak to you? Consider the entire package....costuming, staging, mood, stage personality, and entertainment value.  What is the level of professionalism?