Get to know The Sirens
Ariel, aka Ashley, has been dancing since she was 3, starting with jazz, tap, and ballet. She successfully auditioned to become a member of the competitive group "Showtime Dancers" with Caron Moore Dance Productions at the age of 7. However, beginning in high school, after many years of dancing, soccer, basketball, volleyball, diving, and even competitive jumproping, she underwent three separate reconstructive knee surgeries that changed the course of her dancing career. Although she did spend a few years on the highschool drill team, the Nolan High School "Royelles," the knee surgeries lasted through college, where she stumbled upon the art of bellydance. Not only was it lighter on her knees, but was rich in cultural history and a sultry outlet for her dance passion then and ever since.
Ariel has had the opportunity to study with three Bellydance Superstars: in college under Viviane Bressan and her performance troupe with Victoria Teel, and currently with Stefanya, who co-founded LA Bellydance Academy. Ariel was a member of the competitive bellydancing troupe "Bella Oasis" for 3 years under the directing of Dancing Rahana. She is currently a founding member of the new troupe, "Sirenesque."
When not bellydancing, Ashley is an Architect. She is also an appointed Core dancer of the flash-mobbing group Dance Mob Nation, a regularly practicing Yogi, and an Artist at heart.
From a young age, Zia was an avid sports player and has always loved being a part of a team. With past experiences in softball, basketball and a short stint in swimming, Zia began looking for a more artistic and cultural outlet for her energy.
After moving to Hawaii for a brief time, she was introduced to and intrigued by Polynesian and Hula dance. She admired both styles of dance from afar, and it was not until her move to Los Angeles in 2007 that she began exploring both of those, as well as Tahitian and Bellydance.
Marrying her Lebanese heritage to her love of physical fitness, for three years, she performed with Bella Oasis Dance Company and is now a proud founding member of Sirenesque. Zia has studied under the direction of Dancing Rahana, and has taken classes and workshops with Stefanya, Randa Kamel, and looks forward to participating in Ansuya's workshop in 2013.
In her spare time, Zia still plays intramural softball, enjoys trying new forms of dance (including Flash-Mobbing for which she thanks her dance sister, Ariel), and taking advantage of all the hiking trails LA has to offer. Zia also enjoys cooking, meditation, and yoga.
Meleana Jaelle (MJ for short) has a passion for dance that comes from her love of music. She is a Suzuki Method trained musician and plays the piano, flute, and double bass. MJ also has a strong background in musical theater and has performed in many stage productions. During college she took a bellydance class just for fun and has been hooked ever since. After a couple years of classes, MJ became a member of the Bella Oasis Dance Company under the direction of Dancing Rahana. Because of her many talents on and off stage MJ soon found herself serving as an Assistant Director of Bella Oasis. After several years of performing and competing with Bella Oasis MJ has joined forces with 4 of her beloved dance sisters to form a new troupe. Meleana Jaelle is grateful and thrilled to be a founding member of Sirenesque along with such accomplished dancers and truly amazing women.
Meleana Jaelle has had the privilege to study bellydance under Akasha, Ansuya, Dancing Rahana, and is currently studying with Tamra-Henna, and Stefanya. MJ has also studied Polynesian Dance under Dancing Rahana, Anthony “Coco” Tirao, and currently studies with Leolani Gallardo. MJ has also had the honor to attend workshops instructed by Randa Kamal, Aida Nour, Sahra Saeeda, Amel Tafsout, Karim Nagi, and many others.
Hayal has been a dancer at heart her entire life, but her formal training began in 1996. She started with ballet and jazz, joined the Furman University dance team in 1998, and then in 2002 finally found her way to her true love: belly dancing.
Hayal soon became a member of the Farhannah Dancers professional dance troupe in Gainesville, FL, where she had the privilege of training and dancing with her first beautiful and talented dance family. During her years in Florida, Hayal trained with many world-renowned Middle Eastern dancers, including Suhaila, Ansuya, and Bozenka, and she gained experience performing on stage, in restaurants, and at weddings and parties.
Soon after moving to California in 2008, Hayal found a new dance family in the women of Bella Oasis Dance Company under the direction of Rahana. After three wonderful years of performing and competing as part of Bella Oasis, Hayal joined four of her dance sisters to form Sirenesque. She is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to have the opportunity to dance her heart out each week with women she adores and respects.
When Hayal isn't dancing, she is a professor and researcher in the psychology department at the University of California, Riverside. Information about her "other life" can be found here.
Sahar was born with dancing in her blood. Being that she is half Persian and half Salvadorian, both sides of her family contributed to her rhythm and desire to dance. Sahar was naturally attracted to bellydance because it brought her close to a part of her culture so she decided to join a weekly local class.
Since 2006 Sahar has danced many varying styles including Classical Egyptian, Egyptian Pop, Bellynesian, and Tahitian. It was during the beginning years of this class that she met the rest of the Sirenesque dancers and instantly knew they had a special bond. Through the years, Sahar has embraced her passion for performance and dancing and looks forward to entertaining the audience through her hypnotizing moves.
Sahar has studied bellydance under many professional instructors including Rhanda Kamal, Dancing Rahana, and her idol Jillina. Sahar has studied Polynesian Dance under both Anthony “Coco” Tirao and Dancing Rahana.
When Sahar is not dancing she is a Family Law Paralegal and happy wife! You can probably find her tanning by a pool! She is committed to learning new moves, new styles, and finding continuously new ways to mesmerize the audience. With every drum beat and every shimmy Sahar hopes you are captivated by bellydancing the same way her heart was captured years ago.