The Rising Phoenix Dancers include (left to right in top photo) Pari, Marn, Rubesca (former member), Laurel, Sherezzah, Ludmilla, Akasha, Katina, and Adena. Other active members are Joani and Rina. Chandani, Chennaiya, Laurel, Ludmilla, Lynne, and Marn are currently on leave of absence.
Former members include Rubesca, LisaMarie, Amber, Gloriana, Nitzah, Shakti, Fairuz, Mona, Asifa el-Bah'r, and Marila (you may find them mentioned elsewhere on the site).
Here's some info about individual troupe members. Check out our photo gallery for more pictures of our dancers.
|Sherezzah Bint al-Waha- Troupe director, she has a separate web page.|
|Adena Bint Sherezzah Bint al-Waha- Adena started taking classes with Sherezzah in 1995, and joined the troupe shortly after. She's a solo performer and sometime-teacher, although her role as a mother has taken over most of her time. Other favorite pastimes include going to the beach, reading, beading, sewing, and cooking.|
|Akasha Bint al-Waha- Akasha is currently mother to 5 feathered children, one of whom has learned to zaghareet to Middle Eastern music. Besides being a dancer, Akasha is also a singer, and has been learning some Arabic songs. She's also a teacher of the dance; check out Akasha's web site.|
|Joani Bint al-Waha- An accomplished solo performer and teacher, Joani is also a web designer and graphic artist (for example, she's webmaster for the Oasis Dance Camp web site). These days she also makes jewelry as Scarabian Designs. Originally from Wisconsin, Joani lived in several other states and was a member of several other dance troupes before she settled here in Florida.|
|Katina Bint al-Waha- We think of Katina as our "fabric queen." Her part-time job in a fabric store helps feed her addiction (and ours!) Katina's house is usually home to an assortment of critters, including snakes.|
|Pari- Born and raised in Iran (Persia), Pari performs and teaches Persian dance and has been helping us add some Persian dance into our repertoire. She also teaches and performs Orientale ("belly dance") as a solo artist, in addition to dancing with the troupe. She likes to paint if she's not dancing.|
|Rina- Rina joined us in 2013, after taking classes with Sherezzah. She's been around the bellydance scene for a long time, because she also creates and sells bellydance accessories and costume jewelry as "Beading by Sparkle."|
In case you're wondering about the significance of the "Bint al-Waha" in several of the member names, it's a sort of tribal surname for devotees of Oasis Dance Camp.
|Chandani- Chandani had done disco and ballroom dance for a long time, but never thought she'd be doing belly dancing until she started classes in October 2002. She joined the troupe in February 2004 and had her first performance with us two months later. She enjoys shopping, scuba diving, other cultures, singing, decorating, sewing, and travel. Chandani also vends as "Moonlight Diva" selling bellydance costumes and other goodies. Alas, her vending job keeps her away from us most of the time, but she still dances with us when her schedule permits.|
|Chennaiya- Chennaiya joined our group in 2000. She's also interested in science fiction and creative anachronism, and has an attraction to sparkly things that she claims is genetic. Her busy schedule has kept her away from us.|
|Laurel- Having returned to the US after many years in Israel, Laurel had her first performances with us in February 2003. She's a licensed world tour guide, and has traveled extensively. She enjoys community theatre, both onstage and backstage, along with salsa dancing and reading books. She also does solo performances and teaches; check out Laurel's web site. All her other activities have been keeping her away from us too much the past couple of years.|
|Ludmilla- Ludmilla had her first performance with us in September 2002. Born in Russia, she has been interested in the exotic culture of the Middle East since she a little girl visiting her relatives in Turkmenistan on the border with Iran. She went on to major in Turkish studies in college. She got married, moved to Europe, and had a baby; but then moved back here and has been in touch, so we figure she's not totally gone.|
|Lynne- Lynne had been taking classes with Sherezzah for several years before she finally decided to join the troupe in the Summer of 2004. She had her first performance with us in October of that year. She became interested in Tribal Style, and in late 2010 scheduling conflicts forced her to leave us. But we believe if the scheduling issues went away, she'd be back with us.|
|Marn- Marn is originally from Thailand. Although personal issues have kept her from dancing with us for a while, she still shares her cooking skills with us for special occasions. She also enjoys quilting and flower arranging.|