Chicago Shimmyfest Pure Raks Stars
Conchi is a native of Barcelona, Spain, and performs Middle Eastern dance throughout the USA, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. She captures every audience with her fiery, dynamic and joyous style of dancing. Conchi has performed in the principal ethnic nightclubs in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, and has been a guest nightclub dancer across the U.S. Conchi directs two professional dance companies. She is a featured performer and instructor in national dance events. Conchi has graced the cover of several national dance magazines and has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” by Zaghareet Magazine.
Jasmin Jahal is an international artist of contemporary, folkloric and classical oriental dance. She has lived, perofrmed and taught dance across the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, throughout Europe, as well as in Egypt, Turkey and Morocco. Jasmin is a full time professional dancer since 1991. She has three decades of teaching experience and a life time of experience in dance performance. Her style is graceful, feminine and powerful. Jasmin is revered as a performer, instructor, mentor and choreographer. She lectures at educational venues, is a published author about oriental dance, produced unique belly dance music, instructional DVDs and many live theater shows, and sponsors one of the few belly dance certification programs. Jasmin's lifetime experience makes her an invaluable source for all those who are aspiring dancers and for those who value and respect the artistry and history behind an ancient art form. Her expertise and friendly professionalism open the heart and entice the mind with the beauty that can be found in Middle Eastern dance. Jasmin has produced Chicago Shimmyfest for the past 15 years in order to promote the passion of Pure Raks Sharki.
Christina King is recognized and respected in the Midwest as a proficient performer and respected instructor whose appeal is spreading throughout the nation. Versatile and dynamis, Christina has the rare ability to successfully cross styles, with expertise in Egyptian belly dance, tribal improvisation and tribal fusion. She is a founding member and co-director of the nationally acclaimed fusion troupe, Blue Lotus Tribe and successfully runs Eastern Groove studio in Elgin, IL. Christina's primary instructor of Egyptian style is Jasmin Jahal, with whom she began studying in 1996. She added Tribal to the mix in 1999,with Stephanie Barto of Read My Hips and sought out many instructors in both styles. She has had intensive study with both Rachel Brice and Zoe Jakes and names them as her top influences for her tribal fusion style. Primarily a fusion dancer, Christina never forgets to honor the roots of belly dance and can often be seen performing traditional belly dance as well as her funky fusion creations.
Blue Lotus Tribe Established in 2001, Chicago's Blue Lotus Tribe has been a long time mainstay in the tribal fusion belly dance world. Heralded for their original choreographies, impeccable technique, and party-like stage presence, Blue Lotus Tribe is working hard to bring the Midwestern fusion scene to the forefront. Blue Lotus Tribe have been honored to teach at some of the United States' well known belly dance events such as Tribal Fest (CA), 3rd Coast Tribal (TX), Elevation (CO), TribOriginal (NC), and dozens of other smaller events throughout the country. They also host the Midwest's largest tribal belly dance festival every June, Tribal Revolution.
Wendy has been dancing since she happened upon a belly dance class at the age of 19. Having studied extensively with Jasmin Jahal in classical Egyptian and folkloric dances for many years, she joined up with fellow dancers in 2001 to start Blue Lotus Tribe in Chicago. Now specializing in tribal fusion, Wendy has been traveling with her troupe everywhere from Seattle to France bringing her love of dance to the stage!
Arlene is a dynamic and diverse dancer from the San Francisco Bay area. Arlene began studying Egyptian belly dance out of curiosity in 2000, in Chicago with Jasmin Jahal. Soon, belly dance became one of her passions and another creative outlet. After some perseverance in furthering her dance education, Arlene taught at the renowned Jasmin Jahal School of Dance and performed with the Jasmin Jahal Dance Company. Arlene continues to work on her technique and dance style in the Bay area with Sandra and Courtney, and workshops with Raqia Hassan, Farida Fahmy, Abeer Will, Atef and Magda Farag, and yearly at Chicago Shimmyfest with Jasmin Jahal. Arlene is interested in the rich history of folkloric dances and the complexity of Middle Eastern music. With each performance, she aims to dance from her heart and works toward bringing this dance to an art.