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Teacher Spotlight: Jillina

Jillina is a worldwide sensation in the world of Belly Dance, but she comes from a strong background of Jazz, Ballet and Hip-Hop. All of these styles , influence her Middle Eastern Dance fusion, which is one of the reasons she is widely sought after the world over for dance instruction and collaborations.

Jillina also advocates for the local dance community. She brings her mind-blowing show, Bellydance Evolution to cities and showcasing local talent. She also owns Evolution Dance Studios, based in North Hollywood, California. This is the rehearsal space for "some of Hollywood’s top artists, including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and choreographers from “So You Think You Can Dance,” and serves as a focal point for the Los Angeles Dance Community." You can check out the website for Evolution Dance Studios here:

Jillina has been awarded Best Modern Egyptian Dancer, Best Instructional Video, Best Dance Company and Dancer of the Year, to name a few. She has also appeared on several television programs, both at home and abroad, including "Dancing with the Stars." Jillina was also the first American to be "invited as a featured performer in the prestigious Closing Gala at Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Egypt" for both 2009 and 2010.

In 1999, she established the jaw-dropping dance company, Jillina's Sahlala Dancers, which to this day remains "LA's premier Middle Eastern and World Fusion entertainment company." From 2003-2009, Jillina was the Artistic Director and Main Choreographer for the world-renowned Bellydance Superstars. Learn more about the exquisite Sahlala Dancers here:

After her time with the Bellydance Superstars, Jillina wanted to take Middle Eastern Dance to the next level, and founded Bellydance Evolution in 2009. Since then, this show has appeared in more than 20 countries, as well as being featured for the Queen of Morocco during the Mawazine festival, and was commissioned to produce the multi-national “Le Voyage de Scheherazade” with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Maroc.

With her life-long dedication to dance, Jillina has co-produced 12 instructional videos that were so popular, they have been translated into five different languages. You can purchase those, as well as music, and fun swag here:

I first encountered Jillina because of the Bellydance Superstars. Her instructional videos helped to bring Middle Eastern Dance to the mainstream, as you could find them in your local shopping mall instead of only at a Belly Dance event.

Prior to Jillina, I had learned from the Belly Twins, Rania Bossinis, Neonissima, and Dolphina. Although I did learn technique from these Belly Dance workout videos, it was Jillina that taught me how to actually dance. Not only did I learn professional-level choreography, but also instrumentation, musicality, culture, and Middle Eastern Rhythms. I would spend hours everyday learning her "level one" routine, before moving on to "level two" and then "level three." These three choreographies were the very first I performed publicly, which was at the annual Traverse City Friday Night Live event. I credit Jillina's influence on me regarding my love of choreography, particularly group chroreography.

I highly recommend purchasing any of her videos, and if you get the chance, learn from Jillina in person. You won't regret it!

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