Katiyja ~ Founding Mother
Katiyja (ka-tee-ya) saw her first Middle Eastern style dancer at Zorba the Greek’s in Sacramento, CA and knew she had to learn this dance. She first began taking classing in 1976 through Juneau Community Schools with Dorie Swanson and later with Odette Foster. She expanded her studies to Jamila Suhaila Salimpour’s week long workshop in San Francisco where classes were also taught by Aida.
Katiyja began teaching for Juneau Community Schools in 1981 with Diana Ground. In 1999 she added a small dance studio to her home where the troupe now meets to rehearse. She encourages and assists troupe members in seeking a wide variety of instructors and says, “I encourage my dancers to recognize their own beauty and talent, make lasting friendships and expand their horizons through this dance.”
Seraphina, President, Instructor
Seraphina (ser-ah-fin-ah) is a life-long dancer. She began with ballet, jazz, and modern at a young age. After taking a break while in midwifery school, she began taking classes with Daughters of the New Moon in 2012, joining the troupe later that year. Seraphina is currently the troupe's secretary and assists in teaching classes.
With the support of Daughters of the New Moon, Seraphina enjoys using this art form to demonstrate that middle eastern dance is a great form of exercise for every body type and can help to support and empower every woman towards her health goals.
Kalirah ~ Artistic Director, Instructor
Kalirah (ka-lee-rah) began dancing early in life with lessons in various styles of ballroom, country, and folk dancing; which would stand her in good stead when she began to bellydance. In 1999, she was finally able to fulfill a longtime wish and took her first bellydance lessons through Daughters of the New Moon. Kalirah quickly adapted to the dance and came to love the movements and musical interpretation inspired by Middle Eastern rhythms and dance.
With the Daughters of the New Moon, Kalirah has been able to realize her desire to teach and takes great joy in introducing her students to her chosen art form.
Rhiannon ~ Troupe Treasurer, Instructor
Rhiannon (ree-an-non) became interested in bellydancing in Juneau in the early 90’s, when she and her sister would watch Daughters of the New Moon rehearse in the commons at community schools right before their square dancing class, dreaming of the day that they could be part of the bellydance group too.
Ten years later Rhiannon got her chance, when she heard from an old friend (also a former member of the square dance group) that she could take bellydance classes from those same women she used to watch. And the rest, as they say, is history. Rhiannon took her first class in the fall of 2002, her first workshop after two weeks of classes, and began dancing with the troupe the following summer.
Sahar (sah-har) first learned to belly dance more than 20 years ago with Daughters of the New Moon. She has belly danced with troupes in Argentina and Southern California and is thrilled to be back with her alma mater in Juneau, Alaska. After giving birth to her second child she decided to go back to bellydancing in order to get in touch with her inner mother goddess. She also enjoys nature, music, yoga, travel, and spending time with her family.
Dailia (day-lee-yah) joined the troupe in early 2015, she originally studied Raqs Oriental (Turkish belly dance) and was a member of U Street Caravan in Washington, D.C. for two years. Her background includes a M.A. in Dance with concentrations in Modern, Jazz, Choreography and Dance Education. Dailia is happy to be part of a troupe that empowers all women to be confident and comfortable in their bodies. She looks forward to spinning on a stage near you.
Leila Zahra (lee-lah za-har-ah) discovered Middle Eastern dance when she saw the Daughters of the New Moon dance at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau. She was taken with the dance, and the fact that the dancers all seemed to be having so much fun doing it. Several years later, a co-worker told her about dance lessons being available. She took the lessons and joined the troupe in 1996.
Kalila (ka-lee-la) began studying Middle Eastern dance in 2001 by taking courses offered through Daughters of the New Moon and taught by Katiyja and Diana. In 2005 she began dancing regularly with the troupe.