Meet the Members of the Jewels Bellydance Company

The Jewels Bellydance Company has several student troupes which include: Urban Gypsy, Raj Chamkila, Fringe Benefits, and the Tribal Jewels.  The core members of the Jewels, who perform with the troupes, as well as solo, listed are below.

Layla Ali

Layla Bio Photo

Layla is the director, choreographer, and founder of The Jewels Bellydance Co. and has been dancing since the mid 1960's. She studied ballet, tap, and acrobatics when she was a child, but she was ultimately drawn to the mysteries of Little Egypt. Several tragedies and accidents curtailed her dancing on and off over the years, but that flame always burned in her heart.

She has studied with many greats including Delilah, Dalia, Ruby, Shamira, Jamila & Suhalia and more. Some of her fondest memories have come from her bellydance study and performing. When she was younger, Layla was approached by Leileili, her first instructor, and she stayed with her for over 15 years. Their friendship was beautiful and unbroken until Leileili's death. Layla learned so much from her, she was a true artist. Getting to attend the first workshop of Nadia Gamal here in the states in 1978 was another such memory. Layla fondly remembers her style, grace and passion. She has studied in countless workshops over the past 7 years with Princess Farhana, Jim Boz, Habiba, Tempest, Asarha, Gypsy Caravan, Katia and many more. She holds 4 teaching certifications and has several awards from the 80's. She loves her props and will dance with anything from glass, to candles, to drums, to wings (soup to nuts so to speak).

Layla has performed in over 18 states and also teaches Happa Hole Style Hula. She had a very bad equestrian accident in 1979 and faced the prospect of never walking, let alone dancing again. Amazingly, it was the dance that pulled her through the long recovery process. At the urging of friends, family and former students she started The Jewels Bellydance Co. Layla has boundless energy and instills the passion and the love of the dance in her students. She stresses fun first and shows that anyone no matter what ability or disability can truly enjoy this form of dance.

She encourages her students to give back to the community by performing at benefits and similar events. She has performed consistently at Peach Festival, Spring Caravan, Hipnotique in Cape May, Rakkasah East and many restaurants and clubs in the area. She is patient and loving in her style of teaching and makes everyone feel like family. In the last couple of years she decided to try Tribal Style and now has reinvented herself again, with the same energy, passion, and high power that everyone has come to admire and enjoy. Come experience first hand the magical, playful, fun loving side of belly dance in a relaxed, comfortable, energized atmosphere  and experience the fire, passion and energy that all fondly call LAYLA.

Jewels

Lorelei

Lorelei Bio Photo

Lorelei is an auxiliary member of the Jewels. She dances with them when her schedule allows, but also performs solo at other events. She has been studying bellydance since 2005 and also draws on many years of other music and dance training. Her style is many faceted, incorporating a wide variety of sub-genres of bellydance. Lorelei has trouble describing her dance style since it is not quite Vintage Oriental, kind of Gothic, a little Tribal, and somewhat like Turkish (shaken VIGOROUSLY, not stirred). Therefore, she dubs her style: Turkish - ish.

She is also a student of Middle-Eastern music and contributes her skill in flute, drum, and zills to The Jewels Bellydance Company. She also organizes a monthly Drum and Dance Hafla at MOJO Main and a drum circle at the Newark Arts Alliance, both on Main Street of Newark Delaware.

Zeina

Zeina Bio Photo

Zeina joined the Jewels in 2009. She loves all aspects of the dance from Tribal to Cabaret, from Fusion to Gypsy and beyond. She is Layla's main dance partner as a duet and helps design and make costumes. She has a dance background in ballet, tap and jazz, which helps her to spice up her routines. Her famous quote is give her a cool beat, some bling, a shot of Honey, shake vigorously and watch what happens.

Ashira

Ashira Bio Photo

Ashira is the founder of Gemz of Arabia Productions and an associate member of The Jewels Bellydance Co. She began dancing in 2005 with Athena, and had taken numerous workshops with Jasmin Jahal , Dahlena and Sahara Dance. The foundation of her dance is based in traditional cabaret; however, it is fused with her fun and outgoing personality, she loves interacting with her audience. Also, she enjoys using props, such as swords, veils, canes and fans.


Troupe Members


Below are several members of the Jewels troupes.  They dance as larger groups including   Urban Gypsy and Fringe Benfit l as smaller groups: solo and duets.

Cay/Lynn

Cay and Lynn joined the Jewels in 2011.

Mary and Shasta

Mary joined the Jewels in 2008 & Shasta  joined in 2011 

Kristin and Nina

Kristin and Nina joined the Jewels in 2012

Black Diamond Dance Troupe

Black Diamond Dance Troupe: Mary, Shamira,Pam & Shasta


Little Jewels

The Little Jewels: These are the youngest of the dancers- our upcoming stars. 

Urban Gypsy

Urban Gypsy Troupe: This is the  The core Dance Troupe of jewels Bellydance Company:  Shasta, Layla, Zeina & Mary.  They dance collectively and solo or in any combination.  

Fringe Benefits

Fringe Benefits:  This troupe consists of all the dance troupes of The jewels Bellydance Company collectively