Performers

 

Marjan Esáa

Marjan Esáa envisioned an event where local talent could share their art while promoting cultural diversity in an annual multi-cultural dance and music revue. With her hard work, dedication, and personal investment she founded The Rhythm of the World.

Marjan found her love of dancing at age three in her birthplace of Venezuela. Her experience with ballet, jazz, modern dance, and a variety of Latin music styles led to regular performances on popular Spanish-language televisions shows such as Sábado Gigante, El Show de Cristina, y Premios Lo Nuestro a la Música Latina while she lived in Miami, Florida.

Her talent and love of belly dancing was showcased when she won 1st runner-up in the prestigious Queen of Raks Sharqi competition (Dallas, 2006) which draws Middle-Eastern dancers, judges, and celebrities (such as Nagwa Fouad, Dr. Mo Geddawi, and Randa Kamel) from New York to Hawaii and more than a dozen foreign countries including Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Korea.

This rich history has significantly influenced the dances that Marjan studies, teaches, and performs.

Marjan has called Oklahoma home for the past 13 years and has been teaching belly dance classes since 2010. Her most advanced students are members of Mystical Hips Dance Troupe and together they perform in various community and cultural events throughout the metro and Norman. Marjan is also a member of Candela Latin Dancers from Clips 'N Hips and they are also very active in the community specially the Hispanic community in Oklahoma.

www.marjandancer.com
Facebook
(405) 820-0797

     
Mystical Hips  

Mystical Hips Dance Troupe

Mystical Hips Dance Troupe - under the direction of Marjan Esáa - is a dance team made up of dancers from all walks of life who have found a love for bellydance. They are an experienced group of talented performers available for fairs, festivals, birthdays, weddings, and cultural events.

Their members are (from right to left) Nova, Esme, Shayda, Taloa, and Advi (not pictured).

For booking information, contact Marjan at (405) 820-0797,
marjandancer@hotmail.com, or visit www.marjandancer.com.

     
Norahua  

Norahua Folklorico Mexicano

Norahua, means friends in the language of the Tarahumara (indigenous people from northern Mexico). This Mexican folkloric dance group based in Oklahoma City emphasizes the colorful, exciting, and diverse culture of Mexico. Founded in 1993, Norahua performs at various festivals, schools, and cultural events throughout Oklahoma and many nearby states.

Artistic director Jaime Fuentes studied Mexican Folkloric dance at Escuela Superior de Danza Folklorico in Chihuahua, Mexico. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing his work in the field of classic and folkloric dance, including the “2014 Most Outstanding Hispanic Dance Artist Award” by the Hispanic Arts Council of Oklahoma. He has dedicated his talent and experience to teaching both the technical and historic aspects of folkloric dancing. He motivates and inspires his students to work hard and to express their love for dance in the interpretation of the various dances that are representative of many states in Mexico. He believes that instilling cultural pride through dance is a healthy way to boost self esteem and confidence in our Latino youth.

It is with great pride and enthusiasm that Norahua bring the dances of Mexico to the public via festivals, special theatre performances, conferences, meetings, and any celebration where the spirit of Mexico can be experienced through an entertaining and inspirational performance. For information about classes or performance availability please contact Jaime Fuentes at (405) 204-2938 or (405) 681-5594.

     
Candela  

Candela Latin Dancers

This group is led by Colombian performer and entrepreneur Marti Rickman from her unique hair salon and dance studio, Clips ‘N’ Hips. The group showcases dancers from different parts of Latin America and the U.S, each with different strengths and a wide variety of cultural and artistic backgrounds. They are unified by one common factor: a passion for everything dance.

Most of its members not only perform, but are active dance instructors in their respective styles. Candela Latin Dancers include: Marti Rickman from Colombia, her daughter Layla Isabela Rickman from the USA, Marjan Esáa from Venezuela, Hilda De León Xavier from Guatemala, Liliya Vasileva from Bulgaria, and Aletha Williams from the USA.

For information about classes or performance availability please contact Marti Rickman at (405) 209-4823

www.clipsnhips.com

     
Halau Hula ONani  

Halau Hula 'O Nani

Betty Clymer, known as “Nani” by family and friends, embraced the fine art of Hawaiian hula at the age of 14. She studied hula under several Kumu Hula teachers (hula masters), to include Keli’i Frank Chang and Stephanie Ku’ulei Mahelona. In 2001, under the direction of Kumu Hula Frank Chang, Betty was privileged to have participated at the annual Merrie Monarch hula competition, which is considered the most prestigious hula competition in Hawaii. She continues to perform in many states, primarily in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. 

To this day, Betty’s love for the hula is evident. Encouraged by Kumu Hula Stephanie Mahelona, she developed Halau Hula ‘O Nani (school dance of beauty), and shares her hula by offering instructions weekly to children and ladies of all ages. She and her group also offers Hawaiian-Polynesian entertainment for any event, to include weddings, birthdays,  and corporate events. Dancers are: Betty Clymer; Sandra Burdick; Lydgia Jackson; Kate Jackson; Paressa Duwel; Mariah Duwel; Toby Nelson; Chrichelle Fernandez; Cecilia Ramirez; Adriana Ruiz; Jessi Cortez; Evon Sallee; Mackenzie Martin.

For class schedule information or to book a Hawaiian-Polynesian show for your next event, please contact Betty Clymer at (405) 317-6982 or e-mail betcly@aol.com.

     
 

Ana Becerra

Ana Becerra, better known as “El Alma Ranchera de Oklahoma” (The Ranchera Soul of Oklahoma) is a 23 year-old artist who has been interpreting ranchera-style music for 10 years. In the last year, (venue-permitting) she started adding her unique style of singing ahorse. She has participated in several singing contests such as “Rumbo a la Academia”.

Born in the United States, she truly likes and enjoys the traditions and culture of her parents’ land and she says: “whenever I sing, I aim at having my parents remember their past by only listening to my songs. I like it if they feel sadness or happiness when I sing, not just to hear a song, but to feel everything in the song, because music is life.”
For more information or performance availability call (405) 808-2181.

     
Raices  

Raíces

Raíces means roots in Spanish. Members of this group are children whose parents come from different parts of Latin America such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico; with some members also from the United States. Marti Rickman, a choreographer and performer with more than 20 years of involvement in the artistic world, created Raíces to teach those children their parents’ cultures through dance.

For information about classes or performance availability please contact Marti Rickman at (405) 209-4823

www.clipsnhips.com

     
Men of RACE  

Men of RACE

The only all male professional Hip Hop Dance company in Oklahoma. MoR also seeks to mentor and inspire young men, who seek a career in dance. Race Dance Company, established in 2008, is Oklahoma’s Only Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary company. It started with the idea of bringing Professional Commercial Dance to Oklahoma.

It has since expanded to three companies of dedicated individuals with a common goal of training, performing and passing down a legacy of love. The love for dance training, love for exposing the state of Oklahoma to the arts and the love of the human race. The three companies are Race, Men of Race and Jr. Race. The company performs at many events as well as producing many shows annually such as; The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Racey, and Benefit Shows. Coming this June, RACE DANCE COMPANY PRESENTS: ENERGY.

For more information visit www.racedance.com. For audition information you can email John Ariete at Jariete@gmail.com.

     
 

Lao Natasinh Association of OKC

The Natasinh dance style refers to “the traditional forms, techniques and character of the performing arts and includes court music for royal ceremonies, music and dance performed for social and ritual occasions.” (Iowa Arts News)

Lao Natasinh Association of OKC is a cultural and community organization established to promote and preserve Lao culture through music, dance, arts, food and sense of community. Its primary purpose is to teach our youth traditional Lao dances and etiquette. Dancers will learn about teamwork, leadership and self-confidence while having fun. Most importantly, they will gain appreciation for their heritage and culture.

Lessons are free and are open to the public. Lao Natasinh welcomes all new dancers of all ages, gender, ethnic background and skill levels who are interested to learn about traditional Lao dance. Lao Natasinh will provide a safe learning environment where everyone can enjoy Lao culture.

We are always looking for volunteers to share their expertise in costume design or dance instruction. If you or your organization would like more information, to volunteer or sponsor the Lao Natasinh group please contact our members, via email at laonatasinhokc@gmail.com or Facebook/Instagram at laonatasinhokc

     
Azuquita Cubana  

Azuquita Cubana

Heather Burns (Director of Azuquita Cubana) studied in Santiago de Cuba with Cutumba Ballet Folklorico and performed professionally in Los Angeles with Juan Calvo Flores’s Stage of the Arts Productions. Over the past 20 years she has been very fortunate to study with many Cuban artists and mentors both in the U.S. and abroad. Heather enjoys working as an Oklahoma Arts Council teaching artist with children and adults. If you are interested in Cuban dance, you can find her on Facebook at Heather Burns Azuquita Cubana.

     
 

Norman Chinese Dance Team

The Norman Dance Team was formed back in 2007 when a group of working mothers in Norman decided to get together to exercise for 2 hours every Sunday afternoon while their kids attended the Sunday Chinese school in the University of Oklahoma. These moms originally came from different parts of China. Some of them studied in OU, others studied elsewhere and later moved to Norman. They currently work in such fields as finance,accounting, pharmacy, biology, and information technology.

When the dance team was first started, they would do some yoga stretches and some warm-up exercises for health and fun, pretty soon they discovered some dance talents within the group who were willing to teach the rest of the team some traditional and minority Chinese dances. They danced so well that they were invited to perform in the annual Chinese New Year Celebration hosted by the Chinese Student and
Scholars Association of Oklahoma in 2007, in the same year they were invited to compete in the Asian Festival hosted by the Asian Society of Oklahoma where they won second price. Again in the same year they were invited to perform in the Awards of Excellence Banquet hosted by The Asian Society of Oklahoma. Ever since then, they have been invited to perform in the above three events every year, the only difference is that the Chinese New Year Celebration is now hosted by the Chinese Association of Greater Oklahoma City.

Over the years, the Norman Dance Team has not only built strong friendship with one another but also helped promoting the Chinese culture by participating in events both within and outside the Chinese/Asian communities. In May, 2008, they performed a beautiful Chinese skirt dance and they also showcased their wonderful dance costumes in the Asian Pacific Heritage Celebration at The Boeing- OKC Company. In October, 2011, they were invited to perform a beautiful Chinese harvest dance in a boating event hosted by the Oklahoma City Boating District.

The Norman Dance Team will continue dancing and promoting health, happiness and understanding.

For information contact Cindy Shi at cindyshi89@gmail.com or (405) 312-2900

     
 

McTeggart Irish Dancers of Oklahoma

The McTeggart School of Irish Dancing was established in 1939 in Cork, Ireland. The first director was Peg McTeggart, the eldest of four sisters, all of them champion dancers. The school soon spread throughout the whole of County Cork due to the efforts of younger sister Maureen McTeggart Hall, T.C.R.G. and A.D.C.R.G. In 1958 Maureen McTeggart Hall and her family immigrated to the United States, bringing with them the art of Irish Dancing and introducing it to the Western Region of the United States.

The McTeggart School of Oklahoma is the first accredited school in the state taught by T.C.R.G Rebekah Roberts. The school has National champions and world champions, and is home to Miss Oklahoma and Miss America 1st runner up Betty Thompson who used Irish Dance as her talent winning her the talent competition at Miss America. The school has performed with Celtic Women, The Chieftans, The Elders, Natalie Mcmasters, and Eileen Ivers of River dance fame.

For information contact Rebekah Roberts at 405-659-0600 or rebekah@mcteggartokc.org

     
 

Nritya-Arpan Dance School of Bharatnatyam & Indian Folk Dance

Nritya Arpan Dance School teaches Indian Classical dance called Bharatnatyam, Indian Folk dances as well as Bollywood styles to young talents in Edmond. Founder and creative director of this school, Nishita Shah has been teaching Indian dance for past 7 years. Nishita started learning dance at age of 4 in India and throughout the journey of 17 years; she learned various Indian dance styles from renowned & experienced teachers which lead her hobby into her passion. She holds Masters of Science in E-Commerce Technology and worked as a website developer. She had several opportunities to perform on stage, at school level as well as college level competitions, TV shows and earned trophies and numerous certificates. After she completed double graduations in Indian classical dance and music she performed worldwide as a professional dancer for 5 years with well-known Bollywood actress Hema Malini in mythological stories based Ballets. After her marriage with Dr. Sandeep Shah and settling here in USA, she started teaching dance and within a short span of time she achieved a great success. Nishita currently enjoys teaching and performing while fulfilling her goal to give it back to the community.

For more information and enrollment contact Nishita at:
(405) 514-4855
NrityaArpan.DanceSchool@yahoo.com

     
 

Everything Goes Dance Studio

Erika Carmen Reyes graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2011 with her B.A. in dance education. In 2014 Erika became head dance director of Capitol Hill High School's Dance Department and brought Cameelah Pennington on board as her second dance director. In 2014 Erika received her M.Ed. in Secondary Education. In the fall of 2015, Erika took on the role as site coordinator for the Academy of Fine Arts in Capitol Hill High School. This is the only performing arts school on the south side of Oklahoma City. She also served as the Fine Arts Team Leader for OKCPS dance 2014-2015. Erika has performed throughout her life alongside Shannon Primeau and many other instructors. She was a featured dancer in Opera Ole with the Canterbury Chorale Society in 2011. Erika toured with Shannon Primeau, Edgar Cruz, and Ruben Romero throughout New Mexico and the state of Oklahoma. Erika was also an established company member in Flamenco Fantastico for over ten years. In 2013 - 2014 she trained with R.A.C.E Dance Company under direction of Hui Cha Poos and Emily South. She recently was a recipient for the 30 Under 30 Generation organizations and recently inherited the Everything Goes Dance Studio in the Plaza District.

For information visit www.EverythingGoesDance.com or contact Erika at Dance@EverythingGoesDance.com or (405) 525-1000, (405) 819-9299

     
 

Dr. Aneri Gupta

Dr. Aneri Gupta started dance lessons at the age of 4 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Aneri is trained in and exposed to various western and eastern dance forms including Bharat Natyam, Kathak, ballet, tap, jazz, flamenco, and modern dance. She eventually focused her dance training in Bharat Natyam and Kathak in Canada and in India. She completed her dance graduation recital when she was 15 years old. After her dance graduation, she became a senior dance teacher, and she choreographed and professionally performed in Canada, USA, India, and Europe. She was chosen by the Canadian Cultural Minister to represent Manitoba and Canada, nationally and internationally at various festivals and dance competitions. She has performed for the royal family of England, at the Pan American Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies, and she has also taught many students from different backgrounds and ages.

Her academic studies brought her to Oklahoma City, where she graduated from the University of Oklahoma Family Medicine Residency program in June 2016. Aneri attempts to maintain performing dances and teaching while being a family physician. Her dream is to introduce the various forms of East Indian Classical and Folk dance styles to as many people as possible, and to integrate dance, music, and yoga therapy to help benefit and enrich the life of her students, patients, friends, family, and herself. She has performed with Nishita Shah in Oklahoma City, and she loves to give back to the community wherever she is living. Oklahoma City has now been her home for 4 years, and she is honored to be able to share her love for dance at the Rhythm of the World 2017.

For more information regarding performance or learning East Indian Classical, Folk or Bollywood dance repertoires from Dr. Aneri Gupta, please email at anerigupta34@gmail.com

     
 

Layla Isabella Rickman

Layla Isabella Rickman was born in Yukon, OK on February 17th, 2004. She is the daughter of a North American father and a South American mother (Colombia), from whom she inherited an artistic talent and love for dance. She took her first dance steps at Clips N Hips, a studio dedicated to promote Hispanic culture. This served as a foundation to perfect her talent at Victory Dance Academy, where in the last few years she has distinguished herself as one of its principal dancers. In June of 2016 she represented the State of Oklahoma in Branson, Missouri taking 3rd place in the soloist category of the National Dance Competition “Stage One”. She was selected as principal dancer for the Victory Dance production “Frozen”. In 2015 she was recognized as the “Most Prestigious Young Dancer” from the Destined 2 Dance Awards. In 2014 she was selected as one of the finalists for dancer of the year and was awarded a DMA scholarship. She currently studies at Classen School of Advanced Studies and when she’s not dancing, she enjoys swimming and playing with her cousins.

For information about performance availability please contact Marti Rickman at (405) 209-4823

www.clipsnhips.com

     

 

 

 

 

 

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