Saturday & Sunday November 12th & 13th, 2022

Performance Saturday at 7 PM; Show Tickets $25

Location-Hotel Coolidge, White River Junction, VT


Join us for our 11th annual festival! We’re having live music in every class to celebrate!

Cost: $375 for the entire weekend (including show ticket) Monthly payment plan of $47 per month is available by emailing when registration opens.  

Full Workshop Registration opens Satuday, March 5th at 11:00am. Performance spots are first come, first serve.

To register:  SOLD OUT! To get on the wait list, email

For payment plans: On registration day, email with your request for a payment plan ($47 per month for 8 months) and the date you'd like the payment to auto withdraw each month. Payment plans will be set up via square autopayment. You will receive an email from square on how to set up your debit or credit card. 

Shimmyathon opens Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 AM for registration, shopping, and stretching.



Saturday Band: Mitch Kaltsunas and Jamal Sinno


Mitch Kaltsunas has been delighting Arabic music fans in the United States with his singing for over two decades. Kaltsunas, who comes from Greek, Egyptian, and Syrian heritage, started playing guitar at nine years old. Soon, however, the Western string instrument lost out to the Middle Eastern oud and derbakke (tablah) for the young musician's attention. Kaltsunas credits his Near Eastern roots for putting him close to Arabic music. FMI:







Lebanese-born Jamal Sinno studied qanun at the Lebanese National Conservatory under virtuoso Mohammad Sabsabi. Since moving to the U.S. in 1981, Jamal has performed with leading song stars of the Middle East including George Wassouf and Kazem Al-Sahar. He performs with Simon Shaheen’s Near Eastern Music Ensemble





George Rizk is a Lebanese (by way of Rhode Island) percussionist extraordinare. He has tour the world with internationally renown singers and dancers, including Nadia Gamal, Samara and Howaida el Hachem, just to name a few. 


Taqseem with Soumaya Marose (MA/NYC)

Saturday 10:45AM-12:00PM

Soumaya MaRose is an award-winning performer, teacher and cultural ambassador. A member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO, Soumaya's approach to dance and music is founded in the sharing of and educating audiences about her Moroccan, Amazigh and Arabic background. She is the only dance artist to have been repeatedly invited to perform at the Boston Global Music Festival "CrashFest" and has been honored to collaborate with Atlas Soul (North African music), Club Mediteranee (Arabic and Balkan music), Salma Dance Company, Walid Zairi and Talween, and The Dance Complex. Soumaya has been featured in Malden TV, Dance Informa magazine, AACC of Silicon Valley ATV and Outdoor Moroccan magazine, to share both her performances as well as her artistic perspective on presenting cultural dances. Soumaya is a former member of El Housna, the all-women traditional Moroccan folk music ensemble in Belgium, and is more recently the creator, producer and director of the live multimedia tableau "Morocco Nights" in collaboration with the Institute for Global Arab Media, Democracy and Culture in Chicago and "Attaï Sharq - Thé à l'Oriental", a cultural exchange forum. Presently, she has expanded Boston-based Moroccan folk dance troupe, Lionesses El Atlas. As a teacher, Soumaya combines her academic training in Geography with her personal heritage and self-reflection to deepen her students' understanding of dances from the Arabic-speaking world, especially Morocco.


Strong, Sinuous, and Sultry with Elisheva (CT)

Saturday 12:15PM-1:30PM

The trifecta that creates ooey-gooey lusciousness on stage. In this workshop we work on the physical and emotional connections that call forth that strong yet feminine belly dance quality. Drills, stylization, and combinations and a short sensory exercise comprise this workshop.

BIO:Elisheva dedicated herself to the study of bellydance in 2008, responding strongly to the dance's capacity to transcend barriers and connect dancer and audience at the heart and soul level. She is regarded for her riveting performances and thorough instruction style. Based out of Hartford, Connecticut, Elisheva travels to teach and perform while locally fostering the dance community through instruction, a busy performance schedule, collaborations, and show production. Elisheva directs student troupe Heart Beat Belly Dance, co-hosts the CT Bellydance Salon, produces an annual theatrical stage show, and is an alumni cast member of Jillina's Bellydance Evolution. She has been featured in Bellydance Quickies, A Little Lighter podcast, The Belly Dance Chronicles, Better Connecticut, numerous publications, and in the film, Us Din Boston Mein. Fore more information visit




Debke with Shadia (MA) 

Saturday 2:30PM-3:45PM

Shadia will give a brief background of debke (ME line dances) and teach  basic interlocking body formations and steps. Then will teach some upper body movements that are done in  Eastern Bedouin style. Iraqi Chobi, Palestinian and Lebanese Debke steps will also be taught!

BIO:  I grew up social dancing ( Lebanese Debke and Turkish Halay) and involved in Turkish and Lebanese communities through my father.  He was my first instructor in Azeri men's and women's  social dances. In my early twenties I became more interested in my own cultural dances as I felt that I should as I had danced many other ethnic dances. I and my late husband and a group of ME folk dancers created Baalbeck Folklorique in 1975 which focused on Egyptian and Lebanese Folkdances. We performed in ethnic festivals around New England.  I then moved with my husband to Lebanon and had the most amazing learning experience watching and sometimes rehearsing with  the government sponsored folk troupe my husband was a member of.  This group did traditional Lebanese folk dances and plays using only traditional instruments, costuming and dances. Armenian, Greek and Syrian folk dances were additional folk dances I learned along the way.  In 1981 my husband and I trained a Lebanese volley ball group to perform for Boston Tricentennial Celebration and they so enjoyed performing their cultural dances that this troupe stayed together for ten years until my husband's passing.  He made me promise that I would always be involved in dance and especially continue with Lebanese folk dances.  it was shortly after that I created Mirza Dance Ensemble (so named after my father)  and  choreographed, costumed and  directed this troupe till 2015. I also trained a youth group of the Lebanese World Cultural Union from 2006 to 2009. I trained and passed on costumes and choreos of Alwan Dance Ensemble, several of which were member of Mirza Dance Ensemble. Currently I am involved with CAC (Center forArabic Culture and teach at their location and at their annual Spring Fling event


Band Time/ Q & A with the Band

Saturday 4:00PM-5:15 PM

Amity will lead a Q&A with questions from dancers about working with a band, the band will share their history, favorite stories, and what things they feel important for dancers to know. Most importantly, there will be time for everyone to free dance to the band’s favorite songs.




Saturday Band: George, Nick Kokoras, & Mike Gregian

BIO:For over 30 years, The Kokoras Ensemble has delighted Greek audiences throughout New England and the rest of the country performing at special events. Their extensive repertoire of songs includes all of the traditional regional folk songs of Greece, as well as the most popular hits from Greek nightclubs. The Kokoras Ensemble prides itself on using only the latest, state-of-the-art technology to enhance their finely-honed musical talents. George and Nick Kokoras are brothers with impressive musical backgrounds, both graduates of the Gavianni School of Music. The brothers played with The Athenians for several years, and by 1965, they began appearing together in nightclubs and at functions throughout the United States.

Mike Gregian is a dancer’s drummer, clarinet player, singer, and musician of many talents. Mike has been performing up and down the East Coast for Decades, including the Fred Elias Ensemble and the Mosaic Ensemble.


Mood Management with Lisa Lumina (NY)

Sunday 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Drama in a performance comes from contrast. In this workshop, you'll learn about managing energy and pacing during each part of a full set. With the live band, we’ll explore the bravery of stillness, the excitement of explosive energy, and how to make use of what’s in between to feel confident, engaging, and to keep your audience’s eyes on you.

BIO: Lisa teaches and performs in the Central New York area in order to share the joy of this dance with anyone who needs a little more sparkle in their lives (and don't we all?). She particularly loves bellydance's ability to bridge cultural gaps and to provide a way to learn and practice confidence that can carry over into our everyday lives.   


Classic Veil with Zobeida (NY)

Sunday 12:15-1:30 PM

In this workshop, we will explore classic veil wraps, slow and flowy veil movements and elegant veil retrieval when the veil fails you

BIO:  Zobeida Ghattas is a New York city-based belly dancer of Russian and Arabic origins. After studying with legendary teachers Anahid Sofian and Morocco from the age of seven, she started working as a professional belly dancer at the age of 15 in clubs, restaurants and special event venues. Since then, Zobeida has worked with many talented NYC artists, musicians and dancers. Currently, besides gigging she runs weekly classes, teaches workshops at festivals and belly dance events and owns the costume jewelry boutique, Esme's Closet.



Live Music 101 with Amity Alize (NH) 

Sunday 2:30-3:45

To start us off on a weekend of live music, Amity will cover the basics of what’s expected of dancers when dancing to a live band. We’ll cover how to travel when the music is at different speeds, how to interact with the band and audience, how to enter and exit, and the basics of the American five “plus” part routines.

BIO: Amity Alize has studied Middle Eastern and Oriental Dances since 2001. Focusing on tying the folkloric and modern styles together through her own research, she travels internationally studying dance on an ongoing basis. Her mission is to empower others through performances, workshops, and classes to step out of their boxes, increase their self-esteem and positive self-image, live through the music, and most of all, just have fun and be authentically themselves. As the founder and director of Raq-On Dance, Amity has taught over a thousand people to learn Belly Dance. In 2015 she was invited to teach and perform in Cairo, Egypt, as part of the Camp Negum Dance Festival. She is the Director of the annual Shimmyathon Dance Festival and has hosted over fifty events including national and international dancers. She has written three ebooks on the business, teaching, and event management side of performing arts for dancers. Amity Alize performs at weddings, celebrations, theatre shows, fundraisers, and venues with Middle Eastern Bands. Her style can be best described as Classical Golden Era Egyptian fused with Vintage American Oriental. She manages Raq-On Dance’s student Troupe, the Raq-ettes, which perform folkloric and modern Middle Eastern Dance styles throughout the Northeast. For more information visit


Band Time/ Q & A with the Band

Sunday 4:00-5:15 PM

Amity will lead a Q&A with questions from dancers about working with a band, the band will share their history, favorite stories, and what things they feel important for dancers to know. Most importantly, there will be time for everyone to free dance to the band’s favorite songs.


Would you like to teach at Shimmyathon 2023? Applications open November 2022