Behind the Scenes with Sumaya
Frequently Asked Questions
How did you get started?
I first saw belly dancing at a Renn fair in Huntsville, AL; that moment changed my life. I wanted to learn this amazing form of art. I searched for teachers that were local to me, at the time, in Alabaster. I studied with several members of Zivah Saphira, and later solidified my dance with Aziza’s School of Middle Eastern Belly Dance in Homewood.
How do you classify your style?
A blend of American Cabaret and traditional Egyptian style belly dance. I also do some fusion dancing and am always experimenting with new dance props like silk fans and swords.
Speaking of props, what are your favorites?
I love performing the Isis Wings. While the movements are similar to double veils I think they make the best opening, or closing, dances for a set. They are a real crowd pleaser. My sword dance is the most requested dance I have. Everyone loves the blend of this feminine dance with the deadly saber.
Do still teach belly dance?
Yes, I teach private lessons in my home in the West Ashley area of Charleston, SC. I have a dedicated dance room with a wall of mirrors so that students can focus on their technique. I do have to warn you, there are three cats, and while they love belly dancers, I understand that people with allergies might not love them.
Besides belly dance, Sumaya has a great love for the martial arts and yoga. She holds is a Ni-Dan in Chito-Ryu Yoshu Kai (2nd degree blackbelt). Years of studying karate and the samurai sword embedded a passion for the blade in Sumaya’s heart. One of her most requested dances is a balanced sword dance that was inspired by those warriors from Feudal Japan.
By day Sumaya is an experienced Web Designer & Webmaster. She has a BFA from UAB in Art and Graphic Design.
In 2013 Sumaya became a member of the local Middle Eastern Dance troupe Zivah Saphira.