Our Staff

Anna Houston Professional Belly Dancer

Anna – Lead Instructor

 Anna believes DANCE is a metaphor for life. She teaches women everyday how to use the transforming power of movement to help them gain better health and build more self confidence, while providing them a way to express themselves in a profoundly beautiful way. These positive benefits often overflow into other areas of their lives. Once they learn to master their bodies, they learn to master their lives.

 

When Anna was working in IT in Seattle Washington, one eventful day her job had an office party in a Greek Restaurant where she saw her first belly dancer…and she was blown away. She thought it was the coolest thing she had ever seen and she had to start lessons.

Since that first class, she’s been obsessed. Belly dance is all she could think about. It is so much fun, a great escape from the stresses of daily life, and it made her happy. But the journey hasn’t been without its obstacles, Anna had to overcome depression, anxiety, and terrible stage fright in the process.

Learning to move and challenge herself through dance has changed her life and now she is blessed to pay it forward and help others through the transformative process of personal growth through dance.

Anna likes to binge watch Netflix, watch small animal videos on Facebook, and eat stuff she makes from scratch.

THE DETAILS

– Nearly 15 years of diligent practice and study of Middle Eastern / North African / Near East dances with many world-renown performers and teachers
– Over 12 years of performance experience from informal belly dance shows to professional theater productions…and everything in between.
– Over 10 years of teaching dance and fitness at gyms, yoga and dance studios.
– Featured in 2 DVDs produced by Keti Sharif
– Producer of many belly dance shows and events
– Since 2014, co-owner of her own studio – Oriental Phoenix Arts – with her husband, Blue.
– National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, ENW Certified  Nutrition Specialist, and Certified MMA Conditioning Coach.
– Proud teacher of many wonderful, dedicated students!

 

Kelli Nottingham

Kelli – Instructor

Kelli’s favorite part of being a dance instructor is giving her students the opportunity to discover strength and confidence in themselves through movement.

Kelli started her journey in dance as a young child, studying ballet for ten years and performing in professional productions in North Carolina. In college, she continued to investigate various dance styles,including flamenco, salsa, and meringue. As an adult, she went without dance for a long time. Feeling like something was missing, she searched for a new opportunity to get moving again. Belly dance had always intrigued her, so she started studying Middle Eastern dance with Anna and was immediately hooked.

At the same time Kelli was learning to dance as a child, she was also learning to sew. An avid costumer, Kelli has designed and made costumes for professional theater productions and has won awards for her costume designs. She now teaches dance costuming workshops and guides students in designing and sewing their own gorgeous creations, so they can feel beautiful and powerful on stage.

Feeding a desire to learn about world cultures, her educational background includes two degrees in anthropology of religion, with a focus on rituals. With 13+ years as a professional leadership development trainer and executive coach, Kelli is thrilled to combine her passion for teaching and helping others to improve their lives with this enchanting dance form.

Kelli loves to travel, read murder mysteries, knit, quilt, and spoil her fiancé and cats.

THE DETAILS

– Member of Ahlam Dance Company
– AAMED Teacher Level 1 Certified
– Award winning costumer
– Published author
– Grateful for her fabulous students!

 

We are looking for great instructors! 

Ahlam Academy is always looking for talented, well qualified instructors to sub or teach weekly belly dance classes. So, what does it take to be an Ahlam Academy instructor?

  • You must be at least AAMED Teacher Level 1 Certified
  • You must consistently demonstrate a passion to continue Ahlam Academy’s mission
  • You must have previous teaching experience or be willing to get the experience through our AAMED Teacher program.
  • You must be well versed with Ahlam Academy’s curriculum and know the choreographies and/or material of any class type you wish to teach.

Curves WANTED !

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