Rahel – Cabaret
"Shimmy Mob is an amazing opportunity to bring together belly dancers from a wide range of styles, ages, backgrounds and skill levels. From ATS to Rak Sharqi, and from casual hobbyist to seasoned professional, friends, mothers, daughters and sisters all over the globe dance together for one very special day. I'm so honoured to be a part of this beautiful collaboration, and to help bring belly dance to the public eye in such a positive light. Lets make this year even bigger and better!"
Rahel has been belly dancing professionally in the Lower Mainland since 2003 and teaching since about 2008. Her fluid, serpentine control, and fun, engaging stage presence make her a highly sought after performer and instructor, and her unique, eclectic style gives a modern twist to this beautiful ancient art form.
Rahel has recently acquired the title of official bellydancer for gypsy fusion band Tambura Rasa and she has performed in Vancouver's prestigious Illuminate Yaletown event. Her film credits include the hit TV series "Hellcats", and the award winning short film, "Imago", and her YouTube popularity has earned her over 150,000 hits on one video alone.
Rahel has been a member of Rak Sharqi dance troupe Banat Dallah, and danced for several years with Ninawa Eastern Magic Dance Co. headed by renowned dancers Moh Abu Ras and Moh Al Ratta.
Rahel is deeply devoted to the growth and confidence of her students and she is known for her compassionate, creative and effective teaching methods. For more information visit www.raheldance.com.
Ilea – Tribal Fusion
"Participating in Shimmy Mob 2011 was amazing, and brought members of our dance community together for the first time, it's amazing to think that my vision could be a part of making that happen again."
Ilea McGee, a.k.a Mistress Ilea, began her belly dance journey in the fall of 2002. Having never been a dancer before, she wasn't sure what to expect. Little did she know that an amazing journey would begin with that very first class.
She went on to become a member of Desert Shadows, the troupe directed by her instructors. It was while in this troupe that she began her study of A.T.S and tribal fusion belly dance. Desert Shadows was a fairly traditional belly dance troupe, and though she loved being a part of that, it was in tribal fusion dance that she began to find her own voice in dance. She became particularly fascinated with the concept of group improvisation, and dove into it headfirst, buying every book and video, and took as many classes as she could get her hands on. With a few very ambitious and quite trusting dance companions, she was able to form Trybe Habibi Bizarre, an ITS troupe out of Lafayette, La. THB is now 20 members strong, accompanied by the drum ensemble D.T.I.
With this group, she adds to her resume successful workshops and charity belly dance events in her hometown, winning first place in the Spirit of the Tribes 2010 troupe competition, teaching at 2012 3rd Coast Tribal, as well as countless other great moments in between. Ilea does manage to maintain a solo career as well, performing for parties and events as well as can be seen on the weekends dancing at the local Greek and Lebanese restaurant. For her, the journey is only just beginning, and she looks forward to what lies ahead.
"Shimmy Mob is a unique and fantastic event that really brings the bellydance community together. Not only does it unite dancers from all over the world, it brings together bellydancers of various styles together. With cabaret, tribal fusion and ATS represented in the choreography, it allows dancers to try styles they may have not tried before. I believe it creates a greater global bellydance community for an important cause."
A lifelong dancer, Maki teaches and performs internationally, captivating audiences with her style, grace and engaging presence. Maki is known for her fluidity and warm, engaging stage presence. Her smile is infectious and audiences can't help but smile along with her. She presents the style with respect and sincerity. Her dance is classic with a modern touch. Due to her technical prowess and natural feeling and ability, Maki was a featured soloist of Ninawa Eastern Magic Dance Co. and Ishtar Dance Theatre (Vancouver) headed up by Moh Alratta and Moh Abu Ras, formerly of the Caracalla Dance Company of Lebanon.
Collaborating with Martina of Bellyfringe for the first Shimmy Mob was a wonderful experience and Maki was happy to be asked to contribute to the choreography once again. This year, as a featured performer for the 2010 International Bellydance Conference of Canada, Maki was invited to return to dance as a special guest in the 2012 Opening Night Gala and to speak as a panelist. Other highlights include winning an online casting competition and being invited to Los Angeles to be part of Jillina's Bellydance Evolution-Immortal Desires. Maki was given an acting role in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony and was also cast as the character "Jenny" and as the featured belly dancer in the independent film "Almost a Turkish Soap Opera".
Students love the energy and enthusiasm Maki brings to her belly dance class. Her love for dance is contagious. She instills in her students the importance of understanding the music and feeling for dance in a fun atmosphere with a touch of humour. Maki has the ability to be able to break down and explain movements in a variety of ways so that everyone can reach their potential. In addition to teaching her regular classes, she is currently the folkloric instructor at the Ammara Dance Company for the award winning Raks Devas advanced/competitive group.
Tonje fell in love with bellydance 1997, and began teaching in 2002, the first instructor to bring Tribal Style Bellydance to the Lower Mainland; she also teaches workshops around BC and Washington State. She has trained extensively in American Tribal Style Bellydance®, and holds Sister Studio Status.
Being involved with Shimmy Mob for two years has been a highlight for Tonje as she has always placed a high value on the community building and supportive elements of Bellydance!
Tonje directs Belly Belly Hip Tribal Troupe, and has performed with them around the Lower Mainland and beyond for more than ten years. For more information: www.bellybellyhip.ca