Teachers 2021

Teachers 2021
These are the following teachers who have been invited for the Danish Open Bellydance festival 2021. Please visit our workshop page for full information on workshops topics and timetable. Also vist our competition page with information on who will judge the competitions.


Esmeralda Colabone from Brazil has dedicated 30 years to dance. Esmeralda Colabone is one of the biggest names on the Arabic dance scene today!

Esmeralda was the youngest dancer to join the cast of La Maison de L’Artiste from Lebanon and for 12 years, she danced in the best hotels in North Africa and the Middle East.These years of living the “arab life” made her unique and today, she’s a master teacher, soloist and choreographer in 32 countries!

Esmeralda will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the second time. She will both judge competitions, teach three workshops and perform in the Gala show


David Abraham_0B4ZEOlzJSPySUlNmalRlelFmek0 (1)David Abraham from Argentina is an amazing dancer, choreographer and lecturer. He graduated from the Arabian Dance School (ADS) run by Master Amir Thaleb in 2011. David exudes an exceptional level of charisma and personality. He is the creator of a unique, innovative, bold and edgy style and knows how to captivate and dazzle the audience with his impeccable traditional technique. His oriental art is sublime and masterful, his Debke technique has the power to fascinate and enchant everyone.

At the age of 25, he has managed to carve out a prestigious and unblemished career; travelling all around the country giving seminars. He is the winner of more than 20 gold medals in various competitions.

David is already a part of the Danish Open Bellydance familiy as he was with us in 2019 as well.

0H7A9223Jillina from USA – Performer, master instructor, choreographer, director, and producer; Jillina has devoted her life to dance. Jillina founded her theatrical, world fusion dance company, Bellydance Evolution, in 2009 to present the art of Middle Eastern Dance on theatrical stages around the globe. The company has since performed in over 30 countries for a wide range of audiences.

Additionally, Jillina is committed to new and innovative projects, including the BDExperience and BDEmpower. BDEx serves intermediate to professional dancers by providing intense coaching and development, culminating in a theatrical performance. BDEmpower supports women and children facing adversity by providing free belly dance classes and concerts both in Los Angeles and on tour around the world.

In 1999 Jillina established The Sahlala Dancers, still LA’s premier Middle Eastern dance entertainment company. From 2003-09 she served as Artistic Director for Bellydance Superstars and performed in over 700 shows.

Jillina won awards from the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, including Best Modern Egyptian Dancer. She has appeared on “Dancing with the Stars,” and 12 instructional DVDs. In 2009, Jillina was the first American to be a featured performer in the prestigious Closing Gala at Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Egypt.


1RAO_9589Kathreen Derouet from Czech Republic will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the first time (IRL) in 2021! Kathreen is one of the most popular oriental dance artists in the Czech Republic and a beloved teacher and choreographer. Her elegant and emotional dance style has fascinated dancers all over the world and she has been travelling the globe for more than 20 years. Her students adore her way of teaching, which is full of important details, expressions, feelings and connections between body and soul.

She has won numerous international competitions and she has been an art director of LET’S DANCE PRAGUE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL since 2012. She has performed in Jillina’s project BELLYDANCE EVOLUTION and is a (HE)ART BELLYDANCE founder and the author of the unique feature fairy tale performance DREAMS COME TRUE.

Kathreen will be judging competitions and teaching two workshops during the Danish Open Bellydance festival. You can also look forward to enjoying Kathreen on stage in the Gala show on Friday.


Kopio_ DSC_4821a1_Photo_Lemonlense PhotographyLaura Zaray from Finland is a much loved dance artist based in Helsinki, Finland. She is a full time teacher, performer, event producer and the leader of Zaray Dancers group. In the past years Laura has performed in fascinating productions such as Layali Simsimiyya (Finland), World Dances with Mahmoud Reda (Egypt), TV show Talent Finland and countless cultural events of MENAT dances & music. She works closely with Arabic live music and is the solo dancer of the female choir Haneen and an annual performer at the biggest Nowruuz celebration in Finland. 

Laura has performed and taught intensive workshops at events globally in more than 20 countries. Her first performance in Denmark was in 2019 when she won the 1st place in four categories of Danish Open Bellydance contest. After 20 years of studies in oriental dance and other genres, she provides a fascinating combination of natural elegance, musicality and modern spice in her dance.  As a teacher she is thorough & innovative, giving her full knowledge and attention to her students while sharing her love for this dance form.

Maizena gul 2021Maizena from Denmark has from a very early age Maizena explored many different dance styles and stumbled over Oriental Dance in the early nineties. Shortly thereafter she lost her heart to the style, music, and the many possibilities to express and explore within the Oriental Dance.

To evolve and grow as a dancer she has attended workshops with various international dancers and in 2008 she also completed the CATT program for teachers in Oriental Dance. She is also a member of the multi-European CATT Company based in Berlin, Germany.

Maizena runs “Danmarks Mavedanserskole” studio in Rødovre/Copenhagen offering weekly classes in Oriental Dance on many levels as well as the dance fitness concept “Jallabina”. Furthermore, she is organizing the annual Summer Intensive in June and shorter workshops throughout the year presenting both national and international teachers.

Maizena has participated at the Danish Open Bellydance since the beginning in 2012 with her best results being three first places in the Grand Diva category in 2012, 2013, and 2016 and have won the group competition three timeswith her group Jumanah Bellydancers in 2013, 2014, and 2018.

CASA-LUNA_LP-5Luna from Mexico, has a Degree in Graphic Design and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication and Art Direction. She has been involved in the art world since she was a child, training ballet, jazz, and synchronized swimming, to urban dance and contemporary dance. In 2007 she tried Middle Eastern dance and found her true passion.

In 2014, she graduated from “Belly Gym Escuela de Danza Arabe” and in 2015, she completed the Certification for dancers and teachers of Oriental Dance by Munique Neith.

Luna is part of Bellydance Evolution under the direction of Jillina Carlano (currently co-director, choreographer and leading role), the International Ballet of Munique Neith, the International Ballet & Company Wa Nour Al Ayoun of Virginia Méndez, and the Triad Dance transnational company of dances of the Middle East. In 2017, she opened her own dance school, Casa Luna – Dance home.

Annah_DOB-2017-8610_Photo_ThomasBuchbergAnnah from Sweden has been a Raqs Sharqi/bellydance performer and instructor for over 20 years. She started taking Ballet classes at the age of three and went on to jazz/show dance in her teens. In the early 90’s she fell in love with Raqs Sharqi and Arabic music, a love that has continued ever since. She has also performed and taught Argentinian Tango, and played the cello & studied Western art music for many years.

Improvisation, based on understanding of the music and the cultural context is central for Annah as both dancer and instructor. She is known for her musicality and stage presence, her grounded hip work and her audience connection. Annah is continuously studying, always trying to learn more. She is mainly focused on Egyptian-style Raqs Sharqi and Egyptian folk styles but has also studied Lebanese & Turkish styles.

Annah teaches in Sweden and abroad, as well as online, and owns Fireflow Dance Studio & Basar. She is artistic leader of Fireflow’s show group AlFaryuz and organiser of Fireflow Raqs Sharqi Festival. She has won the Grand Diva category at DOBD in 2014, 2017 & 2018, and won the title Dancer of the Year at Oslo Oriental Dance Festival 2016, in both the Oriental and Folklore categories.

bdhalfbodyshotJill Collins from USA is a classically trained dancer who began her performing career with TLS Modern Dance Company in her hometown of New Castle, PA, USA.
She earned her BFA in Dance Education from University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
In 2007, Jill moved to Los Angeles, CA and began performing with world dance company Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers. She toured internationally with Bellydance Evolution as a featured dancer, rehearsal director, and a contributing choreographer. Jill is also a Co-director of Bellydance Evolution’s training company, BDEx.
Currently, Jill is in her 3rd season dancing and teaching with Louise Reichlin’s Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers. She holds an Associates Degree from Dance Masters of America and a fitness certification with Sharqui, The Bellydance Workout. She is also the Founder and Artistic Director of “Cathartic Art”, a multi-disciplinary showcase advocating for mental health through Art, Live Performance and the Creative Process.


Marie Møller Jensen from Denmark is a well-known dancer and dance instructor in Denmark and a familiar face at Danish Open Bellydance. She has won our Soloist competition category several times and has also entertained us as our Gala Show hostess on Friday nights for the past couple of years. She also won the live music competition at Camp Negum in Cairo, Egypt (dancing to the wonderful Fer’et Negum band lead by Safaa Farid) in 2019. She is known for her authentic Egyptian expression and soulful style and excels in the baladi in particular.

A frequent traveller to Cairo, Marie loves to soak up Egyptian culture, language and – not least – dance inspiration from the motherland itself; Cairo is, after all, Umm al Dunya: Mother of the World. Her interest in the diverse socio-historical and cultural aspects of the dance and Egyptian music inspires her teaching in which she emphasises these aspects in addition to thorough instruction in the physical movement patterns of the dance.

Hanna_Dance-24_Photo_Filip JedraszakHanan from Sweden, is a highly merited and intensely appreciated artist, choreographer and teacher since many years. She has performed at a great number of venues such as the Cairo Opera House; Alexandria Opera House; and Mohammed V Theatre in Rabat. As a teenager Hanan studied under Zeina and Mohamed Abou Shebika, where she also taught and worked as a dancer in Nefertari. Since 2004 Hanan has been teaching on a regular basis in Malmö, Sweden, where she also started her own dance company Hanan Oriental Dance Group in 2009. Hanan has also spent eight months teaching at Al Droubi studio in Damascus, Syria. Since 2011 Hanan works as a soloist, assisting trainer and group dancer in Enkidu Dance Company led by the Iraqi dancer Mohanned Hawaz. Hanan is famous for her genuine style and interpretation and her choreographies, mostly performed by Hanan Group has won several dance competitions in China, Sweden, Denmark and Egypt.

DSCF0727-Edit2Siri Ydstie from Norway is a professional bellydancer based in Oslo, Norway where she runs the Oslo Bellydance Studio. She also organizes the yearly festival “1001 Nights” and is the leader of and choreographer for the dance troupe “Bellystars”.

In additon to bellydance, Siri also teaches and performs Ori Tahiti – dance from Tahiti, as well as Zumba and Yoga.



IMG_9074Rachel Reynolds from USA/Italy is both dancer and actress. She has danced professionally in Los Angeles for the past 13 years, including touring with Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution since 2014 in ensemble and solo roles. She was an assistant contributing choreographer to the show “Fantasm” and to the newest production of “The Jungle Book”.

In 2018, she performed with Mario Kirlis’s band in Argentina at the opening gala show of Tucuman Bellydance Festival, and was also invited by Egyptian master teacher Ahmed Refaat to represent Italy at the World Competition “Jin Xiu Cup” in Yinchuan, China.

She has taught workshops in both Europe and USA – her fondest memory was being invited to teach her signature Fan Voi workshop in Costa Rica for Expo Bellydance 2016. She is an accomplished fusion dancer, winning fusion competitions in Denmark (Danish Open 2019), Poland, Ireland, France, and Germany.

Aside from dance, Rachel is a black belt in Wushu/Kung Fu and has worked as a fight choreographer in movies in Hollywood. She is also a professional figure skater, toured the US with “Holiday Ice Spectacular” and has won the U.S. Adult National Championship in 2017. She holds a Diploma in Flute from the Colburn School of Music of Los Angeles and has recently started studying tabla.

AE8A1955 - low res_Photo_JesperKoefoedMiss Ann from Denmark is an elegant, extravagant and passionate performer and one of Denmark’s most hard-working choreographers. She has taught burlesque since 2011 and is Denmark’s most experienced burlesque instructor and the developer of the style “Sweet Burlesque”. As a performer, Miss Ann is known for her elaborate technique, captivating stage presence and high energy while among students she is known for her enthusiastic good mood, big smiles and empathy for everyone. She loves to explore and create new, fun routines for her students and as a trained physiotherapist, she uses her knowledge of the body to strengthen her students’ body awareness through dance.

As the owner of Sweet Burlesque, Miss Ann has created a concept for all women who want to feel sexy, have more confidence and just have fun while exercising.

Miss Anne will be teaching a free workshop during the festival – everybody’s welcome to join in! You can also look forward to enjoying Miss Anne and her Sweet Burlesque show team on stage in the Gala show on Friday.

DSC_9422_FritlagtNoura from Denmark is a well-known dancer and teacher in Denmark – a dancer with her own style and a love for live music and improvisation. She has taught students in oriental dance and percussion for over 15 years. She loves the variation which the oriental dance offers and believes she will never stop learning new things about the dance.

We have had the honour of enjoying Noura on the Danish Open Bellydance gala show stage many times both as a soloist, in duets and with troupes. In 2019 we could enjoy her Project Baladi with dancers from all over Denmark. This year, she will give a workshop at the festival and experience a new project with dancers from all over Denmark. Together with Merrild, Noura has been organizing Danish Open Bellydance since 2012.

S4Bilal Irshed from Palestinia is a composer and oud virtuoso living in Denmark, where he is widely recognized as one of the finest interpreters of classical Middle Eastern music.

Bilal Irshed Trio consists of Bilal Irshed on oud, Rasmus Møldrup on double bass and Yohan Ramon on percussion. Bilal Irshed Trio 5The trio has existed since 2011 and has released two albums to date: ‘Compositions’, 2011, and ‘Chronotope’, 2015. The trio is a tribute to the sound of the oud, whose warm and meditative sound serves to capture the history and the beauty of the Orient. However, by combining this sound with Cuban percussion and the double bass from the Scandinavian jazz tradition, the oud is placed in a new and contemporary context. The trio plays both modern original and traditional music, mainly from the Arab world, skillfully demonstrating the spirit, but also the variety, within Middle Eastern music.

Bilal will teach a workshop and the trio will accompany the dancers in the competition Soloists Live!

KhaderbeaKhader Ahmad from Germany/Lebanon will be joining us at Danish Open Bellydance for the second time and will be playing live music in the competition ‘Tabla Solo Live’. He will give a workshop with Jillina Carlano and you can also look forward to enjoying Khader on stage at the Gala show.

Khader Ahmad was born in Lebanon, but raised in Berlin, Germany. He has worked with many famous oriental dancers and musicians and his clear and brilliant way of playing along with a unique sensibility have made him a highly sought-after percussionist. He has worked with popular Arabic singers and musicians such as Ahmed Adaweya, Mohammed Mounir, Cheb Khaled and the legend Magdy Al Husseini. In 2012, he founded the band “RAQSA”, specializing in Oriental dance music. In 2014, he started a project named “DUM TAK Revolution” with Felix Neumann, which combines traditional Arabic music with modern electronic pop, shaabi and belly dance. The project based in Berlin first released the “DUM TAK Revolution Vol.1” featuring Alla Kushnir and in collaboration with Jillina. Since then, the second album “DUM TAK Revolution Vol.2” has also been released. The third album “DUM TAK Revolution Vol.3” in collaboration with Sadie was released in June 2016. in 2017, Khader started a new music project named “Oriental Beats”.

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