Talia’s Biography

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Talia is a second generation dancer from the Pacific Northwest. She began learning Middle -eastern dance at the age of eight with local instructors Verena and Sha Had Aroba. Within a year, she began performing in local events and festivals. Her talents quickly became noticeable and were further nurtured by other local teachers and dancers.
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In 1995, her senior year in high school, Talia attended her first year of Oasis Dance Camp, where she was introduced to the world-renowned teacher and performer, Cassandra Shore. It was while watching Cassandra perform that she decided she wanted to become a professional dancer.

At the age of 18, Talia became an instructor for, as well as the artistic director of, the North Olympic Beledi Dancers. She began studying with some of the highest-quality teachers and choreographers the U.S. has to offer, to include: Zahra Zuhair, Artemis Mourat, Angelika Nemeth, Dalia Carella, Amel Tafsout, Kay Hardy Campbell, Sahra, Mahmoud Reda, and others, too numerous to list, as well as continuing her studies with Cassandra.
In 2001, Talia was invited by Cassandra to join her dance company, Jawaahir, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as an apprentice. Talia quickly jumped at this opportunity, attending The Cassandra School and enjoying over 20 hours per week of class and rehearsal. While studying in Minnesota, Talia performed with Jawaahir in the theater production of “Dancing to Byzantium.”

In 2002, Talia moved to the San Diego , California area and began dancing with Raks el-Anwar under the direction of Morwenna Assaf. Since then, Talia has branched out on her own, teaching all levels of classes and workshops, performing across the U.S., as well as becoming the Director/Artistic Director of her own dance company, Oriental Jewels. Professional dancers from up and down the west coast now seek out Talia for her challenging technique, musical grace, and eye for detail in Oriental Dance.
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For more than twenty years now, Talia has studied an array of different middle eastern dance styles, including: Raks Sharki, Ghawazee, Khaliji, Moroccan Guedra & Shikhatt, Tunisian, Maghreb, Hagullah, Turkish Oriental & Romany, Raks Assaya, Malaya Leff, and Persian. She has also studied Arabic drum with the fabulously talented Nicole LeCorgne, and Los Angeles area’s finest, Souhail Kaspar.

Over the years, 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.