We are delighted to present the following teachers at Infusion Emporium 7. Read more about them below.
Elizabeth Strong (USA)
Elizabeth Strong is a San Francisco Bay Area dancer, choreographer, and teacher whose work focuses on the integrity and spirit of traditional dance forms inside of a contemporary framework. Elizabeth was a touring member of Bellydance Superstars, and was a founding member of Bellydance Evolution and of Beats Antique’s dance company with Zoe Jakes. A former principal member of Katarina Burda’s Aywah! Ethnic Dance Company, Elizabeth has traveled to Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Greece and Bulgaria to study closely at the source and is now considered one of the leading experts in the form. She performs with live music groups including Kugelplex, MWE, Brass Menazeri, and Fishtank Ensemble, and renowned world musicians including Faisal Zeidan and Rumen Sali Shopov.
Elizabeth has had original choreographies commissioned by Jill Parker and Jillina Carlano, and has received grants from Zellerbach Foundation and from Bill Graham Presents Foundation. Her Turkish Roman instructional DVD was released in 2011. Elizabeth currently teaches and performs internationally. Find Elizabeth (and her DVD) at www.strongdancer.com
Colleena Shakti (India)
Colleena Shakti has dedicated her life to dance ever since moving to India in 2001 to undergo intensive training in Odissi Classical Indian dance, as well as to research and document Rajasthani folk dances, music, culture and jewelry traditions.
She has had the great fortune to study under some of India’s greatest living masters for more than 16 years, and continues to dig deeper in the philosophies and practices, which tie Indian dance to the path of Yoga. Colleena is committed to honoring her dance lineages and preserving traditional and quickly disappearing art forms of India, while balancing her work with innovation and self-expression through her approach in Fusion Belly Dance. Many who seek her instruction find a gentle bridging of Eastern and Western thought in the structured dance training and reflective philosophical teachings.
She lives part of the year in Rajasthan, India where she has founded Shakti School of Dance in the historical Rang Nath temple complex in the holy town of Pushkar. She has recently shifted part time to London to further her dance studies when she is not touring, performing and teaching worldwide.
Drawing from her in-depth study of Indian artistic traditions, classical Odissi and Kathak dance forms, Kalaripayattu (South Indian martial arts), Rajasthani folk and tribal dances, her strong background in belly dance and the rigor of her practice as a dedicated yogini, dancer, teacher and performer, Colleena offers students a rich and holistic workshop curriculum.
Ashley Lopez (USA)
Ashley López is a Bay Area native currently residing in Portland, Oregon. Her love affair with belly dance began as she was completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Music as an opera singer in 2005. As an instructor, she pulls from her education in yoga, Pilates, and fitness, teaching with an emphasis on physical conditioning for dance and injury prevention. She has an eclectic education in belly dance which includes training in Egyptian and Cabaret styles with Ishara Gamal from Illinois and Sandra from the Bay Area, as well as some basic ATS® and extensive Tribal Fusion training with Rachel Brice, Mira Betz, and Zoe Jakes.
A certified yoga, fitness and Pilates instructor, Ashley holds certifications through the American Council on Exercise, the American Fitness Association of America, Stott Pilates, Balanced Body University, Yoga Alliance, TRX, and Johnny G. Spinning. Her rehab training includes the Injuries and Special Populations course through Stott, and she is currently in the process of Viniyoga teacher training.
Her professional performance background includes working as an opera singer with Opera San José and in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing as a Polynesian dancer with SF Hula, collaborating with the Mona Khan Bollywood dance company, founding and directing her award-winning belly dance company Orchid Belly Dance, participating in Rachel Brice’s Datura Belly Dance project, touring with the Vagabond Opera, working with Zoe Jakes’ Bhoomi Project, House of Tarot and touring with Beats Antique. Ashley has performed and taught in over 20 different countries and continues touring nationally and internationally.
Eliana Hofmann (Germany/Russia)
International Dance Artist. Instructor. Choreographer. Dance Company Director. Producer.
Eliana is known as a versatile, expressive dance artist and inspiring, dedicated teacher. Smooth and fluent, she captivates the audience as a radiant force providing the power and uniqueness of tribal fusion dance with a feminine touch full of variety and nuance. Her dance technique reflects a fusion of Jazz, Modern Dance, American Tribal Style® and Tribal Fusion Bellydance. She continues to study and develop her knowledge and dance skills, to travel around the world spreading the endless beauty and power of bellydance.
In 2012 she founded “Liquid Lemon” dance company, specialized in tribal fusion and contemporary bellydance. Eliana is also producer and creator of the Tribal Passion Festival in Offenbach, Germany and co-producer of “Mango Royal” music band.