Belly Dancer Aliyah in St Paul, MN

ALIYAH SAHAR has been studying and performing dance since the age of three. Aliyah studied Ballet, Tap and Jazz dance throughout her childhood into her late teens. As a college student at the University of MN, Aliyah continued her study of dance with her focus on Jazz and Modern Dance. It was during this time that Aliyah also decided to try Middle Eastern dance. She took her first class at the Cassandra School in 1990 and immediately fell in love with this amazing dance form.

Belly Dancer Aliyah in Minneapolis, MN

She continued to study Middle Eastern dance throughout the 90’s while also studying other dance and movement disciplines, among them Theatrical Stage Combat, Martial Arts, Ballroom and Latin Dance.

In 1998 Aliyah decided to focus her dance studies primarily on Middle Eastern, Greek, Turkish and North African dance forms. It was her love of performing dance, along with her love of the music from these regions and it’s timeless expression through dance that prompted her to start performing and soon after, to start teaching this powerful and beautiful dance art. Aliyah began teaching in 2000 and in 2007 started her own school “The Sahar School of Middle Eastern Dance – Oriental and Fusion”

Aliyah began her studies in Middle Eastern Dance at the Cassandra School with Cassandra Shore, one of the most sought after and well respected Middle Eastern Dance instructors and performers in the United States and abroad. Aliyah also began to travel to Miami to study with another international master instructor and performer, Tamalyn Dallal. To supplement her studies Aliyah regularly traveled around the country to attend workshops by many other accomplished and well-known American instructors, such as Nourhan Sharif, Helene Eriksen, Fahtiem, Hadia, Darshan, Habiba, Aisha Ali and Jillina. She also traveled to study with some of the best Egyptian instructors when they visited the United States, among them Raqia Hassan, choreographer to Egypt’s top dance stars and former member of the legendary Reda Group, Cairo, Egypt; Farida Fahmy, co-founder of the Reda Troupe, as well as Lucy and Dina, top Egyptian dance stars from Cairo.

Belly Dancer Aliyah Sahar in Western Egyptian Desert

Aliyah continued to study and in 2005 and again in 2008 traveled to Egypt where she worked with many Egyptian master instructors. This list includes Mahmoud Reda, director of the Reda Group, Cairo, Egypt, and former under secretary of Culture; Egyptian Dance Stars, Dina, Randa Kamal, and Soraya; Dr. Mo Geddawi, another founder of the Reda Troupe; Egyptian Dance Star, Mona El Saaid, and Mona Mustafa, former Reda Toupe Member.

Though now a full-time professional dance performer and instructor, Aliyah continues to be an avid student of Middle Eastern dance and believes, like any other artistic discipline, Middle Eastern dance is a lifelong study as one’s knowledge of an art form continues to grow and evolve with that art form. She will be returning to Egypt this summer to continue her studies there.

Although a large part of her studies have been in Egyptian Oriental and Cabaret styles, Aliyah is known for fusing other styles she has studied into her performances and teachings such as Turkish, Latin, Jazz and others. Known for her highly energetic and engaging performances that incorporate dynamic drum solos, super shimmies and fused styles, Aliyah performs and teaches around the country. She hopes to pass her passion and love for this dance on to her students and audiences.

Additional Biographical Notes and Past Performances

Aliyah specializes in Drum Solos, Egyptian Oriental and Cabaret, Arabic pop choreography, Raks Assaya (cane), Eskandarani (melaya leff), Raks Shamadan, Sword Dancing, Zills, and Latin Fusion.

She is a featured performer on one of IAMED's (International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance) recent DVD show releases "Belly Dance-O-Rama 1" filmed in LA, 2006.

Aliyah is a regular performer at the Mediterranean Cruise, Beirut, and Santorini restaurants in Minneapolis, MN in addition to performing for corporate events, cultural events and festivals, weddings and parties.

In addition to performing Aliyah also teaches weekly Middle Eastern dance classes across the Twin Cities and has been a guest instructor for the Mid-East Dance Exchange (now Bozenka’s Belly Dance Academy) in Miami, FL. She offers on-going sessions, workshops and private lessons locally and nationally.

Aliyah is Co-director of “The Sisters of the Sahara” (SOS) Dance Ensemble. SOS has performed at many venues including; Arab World Fest 2007 and 2006 in Milwaukee, WI, the MN Renaissance Festival for the 2006-2010 seasons, the Landmark Center's "Urban Expedition - Morocco", St. Paul, MN. Belly Dance UW’s 6th  and 9th Annual Spring Show (2006 and 2009), Wisconsin Union Theater, Madison, WI, and “Orientalia” 2006 in Miami, FL for Tamalyn Dallal’s Mid-East Dance Exchange, International Festival of Burnsville, 2009, Burnsville, MN..

Aliyah was also Co-director of the former Ammala Middle Eastern Dance and Music Company. Ammala had been a Twin Cities-based performance company that created group, duet, and solo arrangements inspired by the music and dances of the Middle East, Greece, Turkey and North Africa from 2001-2007. Their former work featured original choreography and music arrangements ranging from folkloric to oriental dance, modern-pop and ethno fusion.

Aliyah’s most notable performances have been:

     Aliyah Sahar is also a featured dancer in IAMED'S Belly Dance-O-Rama #1 Performance DVD

She has studied with

...and other National and International artists.