About Shareen

About Shareen El Safy

Early Studies and the Egyptian Connection

Shareen began her studies with Diane Webber and Jamila Salimpour in 1967, and later Ibrahim Farrah and Feiruz Aram. She began teaching in 1972 and was the first belly dancer on California’s Central Coast. She acquired a renewed interest in both performance and instruction during many extended stays in Egypt, beginning in 1985 when she danced and studied in Cairo. During the 1989, 1990, and 1992 summer seasons she performed raks al sharqi at Parisianna, opening for Lucy; El Leil, the largest nightclub in the Middle East; the five-star Sunset Nightclub, opening for Sohair Zeki; and Siag Pyramids Hotel. Observing Egyptian dancers, especially Nagwa Fouad and Sohair Zeki, for literally hundreds of performances, has provided Shareen with a unique perspective on current Egyptian movement. She has also benefitted from both group class and private study with Mohammed Khalil, Mahmoud Reda, Nagwa Fouad, Mona El Said, Dina, Ibrahim Akef, Hala El Safy (who gave Shareen her name), Raqia Hassan, Nadia Hamdi, Aida Nour, Dandesh, Amani, Randa, Tito, Lubna Eman, and the Benat Maazin of Luxor. Acknowledging Egypt as the current source of raks al sharqi, she has conducted her Dance/Study Tours to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria, studying with the top performers and choreographers to the stars.

Teaching and Performing Worldwide

Shareen has toured extensively, performing and conducting seminars in sixty major cities on five continents–throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim including Cairo, Egypt; Northern Israel; Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, Japan; Perth, Freemantle, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, Australia; Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Turku, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Amsterdam, Holland; London, South Hampton, Hinckley, and Norwich, England; Edinburgh and Inverness, Scotland; Hamburg, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Nurnberg, Bremerhaven, Darmstadt, Hannover, Berlin, Frankfurt, Weisbaden, and Munich, Germany; and Rome, Italy. Canadian cities include Vancouver, B.C.; Toronto, Ontario; and Edmonton, Alberta. In the U.S., she has taught and performed in New York City, Seattle, Spokane, Eugene, Las Vegas, Reno, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Denver, Austin and Dallas, Huntsville, Little Rock, Milwaukee, Hartford, Indianapolis, Springfield and St. Louis, Greensborough, Chesterfield, New Orleans, Honolulu, Anchorage, Miami Shores and Miami. She has also taught throughout California in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Long Beach, Anaheim, Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco, Mendocino, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, Visalia, Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Oxnard, Goleta and her native city of Santa Barbara.

Awards and Recognition

Shareen has been honored with the South Australian Parliament Cultural Enrichment Medal (1998).

Awards include
IBDC Master Instructor (2007);
IAMED Promoter of the Year (2001);
Giza Academy Instructional Video (2000);
IAMED Choreography (1999);
Zaghareet Magazine Teacher of the Year (1998);
Bellydancer of the Universe Recognition for Contributions (1995); Nafisa Awards for Best Teacher and Best Instructional Video (1987-1995); And others.

Shareen was invited to present a workshop and performance of
Egyptian Dance at the ICHPER-SD World Conference in Cairo in 2000; and at the first Ahalan Wa Shalan in Cairo and Sharm El Sheik, 2001.
Shareen is pleased to be an invited member of the Nile Group of Cairo, where she taught and performed at the Festival in April 2009 and June 2010.

Author, Publisher and Producer

Shareen was editor/publisher of Habibi Magazine from 1992-2002, and editor-in-chief in 2003. She has authored articles about leading dance and music personalities, and notable contributors to the field. She has sponsored seminars featuring outstanding dance artists, taught weeklong residential retreats, led dance study tours to Egypt, and produced numerous instructional videos and DVDs. Shareen co-produced the 1997 and 2001 International Conferences on Middle Eastern Dance at Orange Coast College. She studied studio art and art history and holds a BFA from UCSB, and has pursued Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Find the digital version of Habibi Magazine feature articles published by Shareen El Safy, 1992-2002. www.thebestofhabibi.net

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