Specialties include Sword, Double Veil, Double Cane and Tribelle Chic!
Traditional Performances include Raks al Shamadan, Raks al Assaya (cane), Raks Sharqi, Saidi and Hagallah
Favorite props include: Sword, Cane & Double Cane, Veil(s), Cape, Zylls, Feather Fans, Glasses
Pot of Flames and Candelabra
MEMBER: Shenandoah Arts Council, Virginia, Tiraz Dance Network
FORMER MEMBER: American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, Washington Area Mid-East Dance Association
OWNER & INSTRUCTOR: Miramar’s Danse Arabesque & the BellyBoutique. Classes in Cross Junction, Stephens City,
and Winchester, VA
Miramar has been studying, researching performing Middle Eastern Dance for approximately twenty-five years and has
been teaching since 1987.
Miramar has performed in 100's of venues including: Athenian Restaurant (Winchester, VA), Bavarian Inn
(Shepherdstown, WV), Timothy’s Restaurant (Fairfax, VA), Pita Inn (Charlottesville, VA), the Astor (D.C.), Casablanca
(New Castle, DE), Casablanca (Alexandria, VA), Nick’s Airport Inn (Hagerstown, MD), Wayside Inn (Middletown, VA),
Hilltop Inn (Harpers Ferry, WV), Olde Post Office (Winchester, VA), Coolfont Resort (Berkeley Springs, WV), Hotel
Strasburg (Strasburg, VA), Lafayette Grill (New York, NY). She currently performs at Roma's in Stephens City, VA on
Greek Night (Wednesdays 6-9 pm). This November 2008 will mark her 5th year performing weekly at this very popular
Highlights of her dance career include performing with the Silk Road Dance Company for one and one-half years under
the direction of Laurel Victoria Gray, entertaining troupes at a D.C. Desert Storm Welcome Home Party and performing
at Sandal’s Resort in Nassau, Bahamas and KonTiki Resort in Bonaire.
Miramar has written dance articles and reviews that have been published in Jareeda Magazine (USA), Chandra’s Mid-East
Dance News (USA), Sahda (Vancouver B.C. Canada) and Sodabladet (Stockholm, Sweden).
Lectures and demonstrations include "A Little Noon Music Concert Series" at the Handley Library and featured First
Night Winchester performer. Miramar has performed on five local television programs and has been the subject of eleven
newspaper articles which included photographs. Eight additional photographs of her have appeared in local papers over the
years. Miramar was the cover model for the WAMEDA Newsletter, Vol. 22. No. 6, Nov/Dec 2001.
Miramar has studied with Egyptian dance artist Nadia Hamdi. In Istanbul, Turkey she studied with Sema Yildiz, Yeshim,
and Birguil. She studied nationally with many master teachers including Shareen El Safy, Nadia Hamdi, Sahra, Kathyrn
Ferguson, Eva Cernik, Roman Bert Balladine, Gamila el Masri, Habiba, Artemis, Delilah, Laurel Victoria Gray, Latifa,
Morocco, Tarik, Suzanna Del Vecchio and Suhaila Salimpour. Locally, she has sponsored Sahra, Bedia, Shareen El Safy,
Kawakib and Delilah in workshops and shows.
Miramar has taught belly dance workshops nationally in Fresno, CA, Winchester, Berryville, Stephens City, Purcellville
and Warrenton, VA; Martinsburg, Shepherdstown, Berkeley Springs, WV; Hagerstown, MD; at the Joy of Motion in
Washington, DC.; Najia's Studio B in Philadelphia, PA, Kawakib's in Fredericksburg, VA.; for the Women of Selket in
Richmond, VA; for the Washington Area Mideast Dance Association; and the Tiraz Dance Network. Internationally, she
taught belly dance workshops and private lessons at Kon Tiki Resort in Bonaire and in the Dominican Republic.
Miramar completed the Bachelor of Science Degree program at Shepherd College in 1991 with a Marketing major and
Economics minor. She completed her Masters of Science Degree in Arts Administration from Shenandoah University,
Winchester, Virginia in 2005 with a 3.99 GPA and received the 2005 Research Excellence Award for her thesis: A Criteria-
Based Evaluation Study of the Code of Conduct for the Middle Eastern Culture and Dance Association.
On a more personal note, Miramar is a wife, mother and grandmother. She resides on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of
Virginia where she enjoys gourmet cooking with fresh herbs from her garden, bird watching, swimming, hiking and
reading. A favorite hobby is astronomy and many nights she can be found observing stars and planetary nebulas at the
Morgan County Observatory. Miramar is also a CIC (Crisis Intervention Companion) for the Laurel Center (for the
prevention of sexual and domestic violence) Winchester, VA.
"Miramar, always impressive and fun - and WOW what a sumptuous costume (and it looked super on her!) Who
else could carry off that delicious orange?"
Keylan Qazzaz reviewing Artemis Annual Dance Recital 1998 on the Med-Dance List, May 5, 1998.
"Miramar did a beautiful cabaret sword dance to "Sultanas Palace." An all around excellent performer,
Miramar’s grace and beauty shine through in her dance."
Sara Hunt, Habibi, Vol. 17, No. 3., p 57.
"I had the most wonderful experience observing one of Miramar's classes. Those of you who know me know how
much joy I get from dance. It has always saddened me to realize how many people there are in the world whose
immediate reaction to dance is one of fear, trepidation and shame. How many times have you heard, "Oh, I can't
dance," or said it yourself? One evening, I was at the studio attending a ballroom class that was at the same time
as one of Miramar's classes. I walked back to the studio where Miramar was teaching and peeked into a class that
had met maybe twice before. Here was group of women who, a week or so before, had little or no dance
experience. Miramar had provided each woman with a huge, colorful, flowing veil; had shown them some basic
veil dance moves and then had put on some Middle Eastern music and told the women to dance freely, using the
moves she had shown or whatever they felt inspired to do with the veil. These women were twirling joyfully
around the room, like a bunch of playful and free-spirited kindergartens. The swirl of colors and the joy the
women obviously felt brought an instant smile to my face that returns every time I think of that vision. How I
wish everyone could experience that blissful feeling as they allow their bodies to move to music."
Julie K., January 2006 e-mail communication
"She (Miramar) is known for her range of style and boundless energy."
Joy of Motion Dance Center, Summer Workshop Brochure 99
"Teacher is lifting the veil of misconception from belly dancing . . . For Dottie Letchford of Winchester, Middle
Eastern dance has given her inner expression. (Miramar) has instilled a sense of confidence that she never had
before she says."
The Winchester Star, August 28, 1998
“And not to be outdone, Miramar’s grace and passion lit up the restaurant in her Greek-style dance, enchanting
Dawn McCaslin, East Meets West (Again) at Tribal Odyssey Hafla II, review for WAMEDA, Jan/Feb 2003
“Miramar opened the program with a dramatic Shamadan routine. She balanced a candelabra on her head while
performing the traditional Egyptian wedding dance.”
Susan Salpini, WAMEDA. Vol. 24, No. 6, Nov/Dec 2003.
“Oriental dance lessons were a consolation prize I gave myself when I couldn’t find a samba teacher. Miramar’s
studio was my only option in Winchester, VA, so it was “belly dancing” by default. But as so often happens when
we least expect it, making that call to Miramar’s Mid East Dance Studio (now Miramar’s Danse Arabesque)
changed my life. I’ve told Miramar many times that I probably wouldn’t have made it past that first six weeks of
lessons with any other teacher. In a class of about a dozen people I was easily the last graceful and slowest to
learn movements, must less choreographies, but Miramar finds a way to praise and encourage you even as she’s
having to come up with yet another way to break down for you how to do a camel. She has a knack for working
with you at your level, whether you want to turn pro or just stop tripping so much (my own personal goal). At 75
minutes, our classes are long enough to allow for socializing, checking out each others’ new costume pieces and
earrings, and discussing when to schedule our next hafla (we have plenty of parties) without cutting into serious
dance time. The information Miramar gives us about the dance and Middle Eastern culture appeals to my
bookworm side, and the fact that she is so supportive of her students and of other teachers, promoting their
workshops and shows, appeals to me as a feminist. Miramar radiates niceness; the atmosphere in class is
welcoming and relaxed, and classmates quickly become friends. She takes her art seriously, but not herself.
When it has been a long day and she loses her train of thought, having what one student dubbed a “Miramar
moment,” she announces, “I need some protein” and digs into the jar of peanut butter she keeps on hand for just
such emergencies. A constant challenge is maintaining the proper temperature in the studio, especially for the
class I’m in, since some of us joke that we can’t tell if it’s hot or just hot flashes. Even when menopause is a
distant memory, as long as Miramar is teaching, I’ll be taking lessons. Some of her students have gone to
teaching; others perform beautifully. As for me, thanks to Miramar’s patience, I long ago surpassed my original
goal. After only 18 months of oriental dance lessons, I was with my brother Bill one evening, walking all over D.
C., when he looked over at me and said, “I just noticed you haven’t tripped at all today—those belly dance lessons
must be working!”
Susan Loving, WAMEDA, Jan/Feb 2005.
|Middle Eastern Dancer of American Heritage
Egyptian, Lebanese, Greek, Turkish & American Styles
DEDICATED TO THE PRESERVATION OF TRADITIONAL & CONTEMPORARY
MIDDLE EASTERN & ARABIC DANCES