Talia began her studies in Middle Eastern dance at the age of 8. Through the years she has learned from some of the most stellar teachers, performers & musicians from around the world. In 2001, she attended The Cassandra School & Jawaahir Dance Company, as an apprentice, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Talia has become a multi-award – winning performer, taking home four “Best Oriental Dancer” awards from her peers at Oasis Dance Camp, as well as a “Spirit of Aphrodite” award. In 2006, Talia took the third runner-up award in the Egyptian category for Belly Dancer of the Universe competition.
Monika began her studies in Middle Eastern dance with Sohaila in 2000, then with Talia in 2003. Monika is one of the founding members of the Oriental Jewels, and is one of its most technical & dedicated dancers. Her other dance studies included tap, jazz, ballet & disco. Some of Monika’s dance highlights include performing in many local restaurants & events, dancing with drummer Issam Houshan & at a Ehab Toufic concert as well as working on a regular basis with master oudiest, John Bilezikjian. Monika was also featured in SAMEDA’s monthly Papyrus magazine in December 2006.
Tania started her studies in belly dance under local instructor Sohaila in 2014. Progressing quickly she began to perform in local restaurants and community events in Sohaila’s Shinning Stars. Tania also has trained in ballet and jazz and was a member of her school’s dance team. Tania joined Talia and the Oriental Jewels Dance Company in 2015. She has been grateful for the opportunities that have arisen so far in her dance career and is excited to learn more!
Nikki began her studies in belly dance in 2002 studying with teachers Natasya Katsikaris, Paulina Bott and Alexandra King. She quickly fell in love with the music and it’s complex drum rhythms. Nikki soon began performing in Ventura, CA, she loved entertaining the crowds at local venues. She studied many different styles of belly dance including Egyptian, American cabaret and tribal fusion. Moving to San Diego in 2005, she studied with various instructors such as Jim Boz, Sahar Sami and Lucia. Nikki now teaches her own classes in Escondido, CA in North County San Diego. Becoming an apprentice under Talia in 2016, Nikki looks forward to taking her technique and performance skills to the next level!
Katherinne discovered belly dance in 2013. She quickly became a dedicated student of all things related to belly dancing from the history to the different styles, to the music, costuming and props! Katherinne was a member of Sohaila’s Shinning Stars and a performance group in Poway, CA. She joined Talia and the Oriental Jewels Belly Dance Company in 2015. Along her path she has had some amazing and inspiring instructors and peers. Katherinne would like to continue to learn everything about this beautiful feminine art form and to expand her performance career.
Kalila began dancing at the age of two, growing up in a dance studio which primarily focused on tap, ballet, and jazz dance. She performed for many different venues over the years and had the opportunity to learn various international dance styles through which she developed an early love of Middle Eastern dance and culture. While studying in college, she nurtured other creative endeavors and upon completion, she returned to the dance world under the tutelage of renowned Middle Eastern dancer, Morwenna Assaf. Since then, Kalila has had the honor of participating in workshops with David of Scandinavia, Elena Lentini, Ahmed Hussein and Talia. She regularly continues her studies of Middle Eastern Dance with Lucia, David of Scandinavia and Talia. Kalila has performed at various cultural and entertainment events across San Diego. Her lyrical style and ballet influence suit her passion for classical oriental dance but she loves to get funky with captivating folkloric beats. She looks forward to further nurturing her passion and skills in this beautiful dance style with the fabulous Oriental Jewels.
Thea began her dance studies at the Goddess Studio, training in the art of tribal belly dance. Thea decided to up her learning and performing by becoming an apprentice with the Oriental Jewels in 2016 under the direction of Talia & Monika. Currently, Thea also trains under the guidance of former Oriental Jewel, Bedora Noire. You can see Thea perform as a soloist and with the Oriental Jewels Dance Company at local restaurants and events throughout San Diego.
A belly dancer from New York, recently moved to San Diego, Victoria joined the Oriental Jewels in February of 2018. She trained mostly in Tribal Fusion with Kmika in Long Island, NY performing at local venues as a soloist & with her troupe. Victoria is looking forward to the challenges the Jewels will offer to expand her dancing to a new level of excellence.
Become a Member
The Oriental Jewels are always looking for new dedicated and talented members. If you are interested please submit a photo, dance biography and a video (can be a link) to firstname.lastname@example.org