INSTRUCTORS

2020 INSTRUCTORS 
We are so incredibly excited about our stellar lineup of instructors this year! 



Aubre Hill



“Through movement we experience a greater understanding of self, each other, and our world.” - Aubre

Aubre Hill is an international dance artist, choreographer, somatic teacher, and event producer. The artistic director of the Qabila Folkdance Company, Lumina Dance Co, and Beyajja Dance Theatre as well as a prolific performer, Aubre is known for her diverse stylings rooted in cultural understanding and pushing the boundaries of expectations with innovation. With over twenty years of teaching experience, her workshops are highly valued for their inclusion, rigor, and well-rounded approach. A quintessential artist in everything she does - welcome to the journey!



Sedona Soulfire



Sedona Soulfire is a multifaceted embodiment artist offering her work in the rich realms of ritual, community circle, cyclical magic, art, movement and dance. She shares weekly dance classes, sacred movement workshops and retreats both internationally and locally in Portland, Oregon. Sedona offers online resources both at sedonasoulfire.com and through the global dance studio Datura Online. She has been immersed in dance and performing arts her entire life, for the last two decades having a special focus on eastern dance and yogic traditions. 











Samantha Riggs



Samantha Riggs is the Founder, Director and Choreographer for Portico Dance Company, performing and teaching traditional, tribute, and original dances in the styles of Bollywood, Bhangra and American-style Belly Dance. Portico has profound love and respect for the cultures in India, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the US by whom they are inspired.
Samantha has amassed a portfolio in both traditional and original dance styles and has founded dance companies, projects and collaborations all over the world. She is the creator of the innovative "Bollywood Fusion Improv” (“BFI”) dance format. For Samantha, giving her BFI dance format to the world (so everyone can actually dance a Bollywood number on the spur of the moment) has become her life’s work.





Ashley Rhianne



Ashley Rhianne is an award-winning Oriental International dance artist based in Vancouver Canada. After years of studying ballet as a child and teen, she took her first Middle Eastern dance class in 1995: Drawn at first to this dance form for the music, she was then held by the powerful femininity, grace and strength that it embodies. This dance is her true love and is the main driving force in her life!

As a performer Ashley Rhianne is noted for her expressiveness, elegance, and natural joie de vivre; as an instructor, she  firmly believes in the importance of proper body mechanics and alignment with a focus on core conditioning. For Ashley Rhianne, dance is a constant evolution and requires a lifelong commitment to learning.





Shay Moore



Shay Moore has been teaching and performing bellydance for over twenty years. She practices an integrated style of instruction, developing both the mind and the body through strong foundations and a “take your time” approach to learning and growing in the dance. Shay strives to give all students of all levels opportunities to not only increase their physical skills, but also their intellectual understanding of the dance format & history. Shay was the first instructor to receive dual teaching certifications in both the Gypsy Caravan and ATS® formats. Combined with her background in cabaret and folkloric styles, this has allowed her to develop a signature blended style of tribal fusion which she continues to build upon today.

Mirabai 



Mirabai's devotion to the dance, love of her audiences, and exquisite artistry make her a beloved performer, entertainer, choreographer and teacher. She began her studies at the age of 3 with tap and ballet; in her teens, she discovered belly dance, and fell in love with its ability to fully embody, transmit and elevate the feminine divine. Belly dance was just the gateway, though, which opened the door to broader studies of other contemporary and folkloric dances of the Arabic world. She is dedicated to continued cultural studies, enhancing her abilities to dance, teach and choreograph. In recent years, she has been swept up with a new passion for unraveling the mysteries of Iraqi dance in an effort to understand and recreate Iraqi Kawleeya/fusion.







Elisa Gamal



Elisa Gamal took her first belly dance class in 1987, hit the night club stages of Seattle in 1994, and performed professionally for over 25 years. An intuitive, supportive and effective instructor, Elisa has watched several of her students gain national recognition and win trophies and titles in nearly every major US belly dance competition. These days you'll find her behind the scenes and in the tech booth, providing support at numerous dance events throughout the region.


She treasures this art form for the emotional expressiveness of the music and movement; for the many adventures and wild gig opportunities over the decades; and for the camaraderie, community, and wonderful lifelong friendships she’s made.






George’s tabla is the thrilling heartbeat of Emerald Sanctuary! Growing up as a drum kit player, George’s musical journey took him through jazz, to music of the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, and the Balkans, and home to his niche and first love, the Egyptian music of his native land. George has performed up and down the west coast since his teens and currently plays with several bands around the NW.
Every year, George hosts a drumming class that is open to ALL participants and campers, and lays down the groove for us at the Thursday night Camp & Jam and weekend Haflas. We are so very fortunate to have George share his love of music and teaching with us. 








HOUSE OF TARAB


“Tarab” is a state of ecstasy and surrender one enters while listening, with body and soul, to music. Whether it’s the dancing strings of the oud, the mystical call of the nay, or the pulsating rhythm of the drums... the “House of Tarab” invites you in.


HOT is an integral and beloved part of Emerald Sanctuary, providing live vintage Arabic music sets for our Friday and Saturday night haflas. For a dancer, performing collaboratively with sensitive, engaged professional musicians is a peak experience; at camp, this opportunity is gifted to all! When not on stage, you're likely find the members of HOT jamming on the lawn, providing the soundtrack to workshops, and enriching the ambiance of camp most hours of the day. 








MALIA

Awaken your body and mind each morning at camp with Malia! Malia is a Vinyasa trained yoga instructor passionate about providing calm, safe, and unique instruction, guiding students through class with acknowledgment to all individual needs. The beginnings of her classes include time to set an intention for the day, often offering a short reading, poem, or a certain theme to contemplate. Malia has a passion for both yoga and various styles of dance, often incorporating dance-like flows into her sequences – the best thing for prepping your body for a day of workshops! Malia believes that yoga is an integral part of our mental and spiritual health, providing the opportunity for union between the body, mind and spirit. Morning yoga is open to ALL participants and campers!

David Reihs





INDIGO


We would like to take a moment to sing the praises of our fabulous hostess, Emerald Sanctuary founder, dance mom to all of us and all around super cool lady: Indigo! We are so grateful for the opportunity that she provides for us each year to step out of our daily lives and join together in safe and welcoming community in this wild, peaceful, majestic, sage-scented and olive tree-shaded paradise. 2019 is our 15th year! Come join us! Reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, soak up the sun and swim in the jewel-like lakes, dance your heart out, fill your heart back up again, and don’t forget to take a walk-in selfie!