Galaxy Seminar Instructors


Layla Luna - Layla is a Los Angeles native of Middle Eastern decent who comes from a long legacy of female dancers. As a Russian-trained gymnast and ballerina, Layla trained for the Olympics in gymnastics and was offered a dance scholarship in New York before she even reached high school.  Her inspiration to pursue oriental dance, came ten years ago when she was living in the Middle East and read the life story of Tahiya Carioca. This story inspired her to travel to Egypt, where she studied classical, Egyptian-style belly dancing under the world’s premier belly dance instructor, Raqia Hassan.  During the summer of 2007, Layla had the honor of being asked personally by Raqia Hassan to teach at the Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival in Cairo. She also choreographed for her dance company, Layla and the Lotus Dancers, who won the Yaa Halla, Y'all Troupe Star Competition in 2009.



Michelle al Farfesha - Michelle al Farfesha is a life-long dancer with nearly two decades of experience in Belly Dance.  She is a popular instructor, both at her Albuquerque studio, Farfesha World Dance Studio, and at festivals such as Amaya's annual Oriental Potpourri, where she is the longest-returning guest instructor.  She has taught at the international Shake and Bake festival and was a featured instructor at Leyla Jouvana's International Oriental Dance Festival in Germany.  Michelle has produced three widely acclaimed instructional DVDs, hosts internationally recognized dancers in Albuquerque-based festivals, and produces world-dance themed productions several times a year.

Michelle is able to present her format in an encouraging manner, and excels at being able to break down a move in many ways, so that every student is able to master it.  Her friendly demeanor and infectious joy for the dance make each workshop a delight and an inspiration for her students.  Each workshop begins with a careful technique explanation so that students are executing the moves correctly.




Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan - Ma*Shuqa's dance style and teaching repertoire reflect years of study evident in her dazzling performances to Egyptian, Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Moroccan, Persian, and Lebanese music.  Ma*Shuqa's method of teaching Oriental Dance blends instruction in technique and performance and utilizes a self-discovery format combined with structured scaffolded instruction.  Scaffolded instruction provides a framework for learning.  During instruction Ma*Shuqa brings to light elements of movement that each dancer can reflect upon to understand and develop her own dance style.  The Ma*Shuqa Method includes instruction and awareness of:  body posture, dance stance and weight shifting, foot fall style, dance movement preferences for torso, arms and hands, movement tempo preference, and the 80:20 body undulation that determines individual dance style.   Students taking a workshop with Ma*Shuqa experience "the professional difference, elegance of style".





Frank Farinaro - Frank, a life-long dancer, is Colorado's premiere male bellydancer. Over the past decade, Frank has trained in numerous contemporary and ethnic dance styles. Since 2005, Frank has performed and taught classes and workshops at events in over 18 cities and 6 states across the US. In 2009, Frank won Yaa Halla Y'all's the People's Choice Award Tribal/Alternative Star in Dallas, TX. Frank's current project is developing his signature Hammerhead Sharqi Dance Techinique, a style of dance and dance instruction which focuses on artistic dance fusion, athletic body conditioning and new-age meditative practices.



ShoShannah - ShoShannah is a professional Belly dance and World Fusion Artist. She is well versed in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, belly dance, modern, and tribal fusion. She also has a comprehensive knowledge of Indian, African, Brazilian, and Latin styles of dance. With over 15 years of experience in dance, music and theatre ShoShannah combines her knowledge of the stage with her love of world dance. She is a choreographer, dance instructor, fitness coach, and so much more. A true visionary she is very passionate about life and dance.  ShoShannah was the winner of the Yellow Rose of Texas Tribal/Alternative Solo Star at Yaa Halla, Y'all 2011 and Tribal Soloist at Belly Dancer of the Year 2012.



Ansuya - Ansuya is one of the most talented and accomplished performers, choreographers and instructors in the belly dance world today. Her style is unique, blending the best aspects of belly dance with Indian, Spanish and African moves. Energetic, sensual and innovative, Ansuya is a master of improvisation, musical interpretation, emotional expression, finger cymbals, original moves and costume design. Ansuya is a multi-award winner and has been seen in movies, on television shows, music videos and commercials as both a belly dancer and an actress. She has performed for countless celebrities, and her top selling instructional videos are some of the best reviewed on the market. Ansuya is a second generation bellydancer with secrets handed from mother to daughter, adding mystique and legend to her soulful performances and dedicated instruction. From India, Egypt, Japan, Canada, Spain, Hawaii, Indonesia, to across the US and Europe, she has enjoyed international recognition and press.  After spending some time with the Bellydance Superstars, Ansuya decided it was time to get back to her independent solo career, and moved to the lovely town of Naples, Florida. When Ansuya is home, she teaches students who come from around the world to combine their vacations in the tropics with classes with Ansuya. The rest of the time is spent traveling to teach workshops and seminars in the U.S. and overseas. Ansuya’s goal is to continue to bring the inspiring and passionate art of Belly Dance into the view of women throughout the world as an exercise and art form that can change their lives.





Amaya - An internationally acclaimed dance performer, Amaya has danced all her life and in many facets of show business. She has traveled extensively throughout nineteen different countries teaching and performing. She produces the annual “Wise Woman Dance Retreat” in New Mexico.  As a performer, Amaya’s dance is filled with passion and fire, tempered with elegance and flashes of fun.  Twenty-eight years of teaching has helped Amaya in expertly instructing the beginning dancer to the professional dancer by incorporating basic level steps to “super-embellished” moves while using dynamic music — all mixed with a healthy dose of humor and life philosophies. This combination provides all level seminar attendees with a satisfying, challenging workshop experience.  Amaya is sharing her enormous font of knowledge and experience to enable the Professional and/or Semi-Pro to maximize their talents, potential, and business acumen in their exposure to the dance scene.


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