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Mirah Ammal 

Minneapolis and Inver Grove Heights locations

Known for her delicate yet passionate style and musical interpretation, Mirah Ammal is a professional Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and instructor. Mirah teaches workshops and is available regionally or nationally. She also performs for public and private events and is a featured performer at restaurants throughout the region. The current artistic director of Al-Bahira, Mirah was an artistic director with the former Ammala Middle Eastern Dance & Music troupe. Mirah has studied  with many top names in dance from the U.S., Egypt and other countries including her mentor, Cassandra Shore, and other artists such as Dina, Raqia Hassan, Farida Fahmy, Aisha Ali, Hamada, Hadia, Ariella, Tamalyn Dallal, Randa Kamel, and Dr. Mo Gedawi.

Mirah's Teaching Philosophy: "In my teaching, I emphasize a physically and mentally healthy approach to belly dance. I focus on body awareness, proper alignment, and proper technique for a physically healthy dance experience. I also feel it is important to share information about the culture, history, and different styles of the dance as students become more involved. This includes introducing traditional and historical information and elements, as well as elements from more recent style developments such as tribal-fusion and modern-fusion. Most of all, I believe that dance is as good for the soul as it is for the body, so I strive to create an environment where women are free and safe to explore their femininity, find their inner grace, revel in their beauty, and laugh uproariously together. Regardless of age, shape or size, we all deserve to dance!"


Amara (Barb)

Inver Grove Heights location

A graceful and effervescent performer, Amara has studied the art of Middle Eastern dance since 1999. She is a founding member of Al-Bahira and was a member of the former Ammala Middle Eastern Dance and Music from 2003-2007. Amara teaches weekly classes around the Twin Cities and performs at private parties, cultural events, charity events and more. Amara has danced at both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Women's Expos, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and many other theatrical performances venues. The bulk of Amara's training has been with Cassandra Shore and Margo Abdo O'Dell, but she has also had opportunities to study with Dina, Aisha Ali, Tamalyn Dallal, and others. Also a professional-level flute player, Amara holds a degree in music education.




Minneapolis and Inver Grove (substitute)

Amina began her Middle Eastern dance career in 1995, and since then has studied with Cassandra Shore, Chris Cherewan, Elena Lentini, Ansuya, Jillina, Moira Chappell, and Margo Abdo O'Dell. A Middle Eastern and tribal belly dance performer and instructor, she teaches several classes throughout the Twin Cities, and also dances for private and public functions. Amina has performed with several local Middle Eastern dance ensembles, the Jawaahir Dance Company, and the Haneen Dance Ensemble. She has also performed locally at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Festival of Nations, Minnesota Fringe Festival, and was a featured dancer at the Mediterranean Cruise and El Bustan restaurants and Seven Bridges World Market.


Amina's Teaching Philosophy: Each of us begins our dance journey for different reasons, and I celebrate the different reasons that bring students, female or male, of all ages, shapes, and sizes together in our shared journey of The Dance. I strive to create a supportive, positive, and fun learning environment by imparting a balance of technique, self development, and performance skills delivered with gentle humor and encouragement. After all, if we do not enjoy what we are learning, we stagnate. While I enjoy sharing my knowledge of the dance and culture with my students, I learn just as much from each and every student. I look forward to meeting you at the Aalim School--shimmy on!"




Minneapolis location

Alicia began studying Middle Eastern dance as a college student in 2000. As a student in Madison, Wisconsin, she joined the UW-Bellydancing organization, where she eventually became president and director for two years, and taught dance for four years. Alicia has studied with Mona N'wal, Margo Abdo O'Dell, the Cassandra School of Dance, and Mirah Ammal. She has performed for many community and theatrical venues including the Wisconsin State Fair, Arab World Fest (Milwaukee), Patrick's Cabaret (Minneapolis), and festivals in Chicago. In addition to Middle Eastern dance, Alicia has a background in Flamenco and African dance. She takes particular interest in Arabic and Turkish styles of belly dance and folkloric dance. Alicia joined Al-Bahira in 2007, and in 2008 she began teaching through the Aalim School of Dance.


Afrita (Kristin)

Minneapolis location

Afrita first began taking belly dance classes in the late 1990s, and has taught belly dance through community education and other programs for more than 4 years. She dances with Al-Bahira Dance Theater and previously performed with Ammala Middle Eastern Dance & Music. In addition to Middle Eastern dance, Kristin has studied African, modern, ballet, jazz, Renaissance and Baroque dance forms. She is also a costumer and accomplished actress and stage combat performer who studied and taught for five years with En Garde Unlimited.


Dr. Dave 

Arabic Drumming Workshops and Classes

Dave was a founding member of the Ancient Sonic Libido performance ensemble and Ammala Dance & Music. He has studied Middle Eastern percussion and music with master drummer Souhail Kaspar, Tim O’Keefe, Meriam Gerbner, and Laura Harada. Dave has also performed with the Oberlin College Choir, the Madison Civic Choir, and the Obertones, a professional touring group. Dave holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and is a member of the Psychology faculty at Normandale Community College.




Aalim School of Dance, LLC.

P.O. Box 19342

Minneapolis, MN 55419


or 763-229-7801




Copyright © 2007-2010 Al-Bahira Dance Theater and Aalim School of Middle Eastern Dance, LLC. All rights reserved.