Suhaila Salimpour is a highly acclaimed
performer, teacher, and choreographer of belly dance. Schooled
from an early age in jazz, tap and ballet, Suhaila began
integrating her extensive classical training with the Middle
Eastern dance passed on by her mother, Jamila Salimpour.
The result was a true artistic breakthrough: a
revolutionary foundational technique that has brought the art of
Belly Dance to a new level.
In the U.S., Suhaila appeared on television
series such as Fame and Max Headroom and choreographed various
music videos. For six years, she was the featured dancer at
Byblos, a prestigious Arabic nightclub in Los Angeles, where she
shared the stage with the most renowned singers of the Middle
East. Miles Copeland, owner of IRS records, prominently featured
Suhaila in his 2005 documentary, American Bellydancer. Comedian
Margaret Cho is currently producing and directing a documentary
about Suhaila, and producing Suhaila’s one-woman show.
Suhaila is the artistic director and producer of Sheherezade, an
acclaimed performing arts spectacle that mixes belly dance with
the synchronization of Riverdance, the pounding rhythms of Stomp
and the aerial artistry of Cirque du Soleil. For Sheherezade,
Suhaila was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award (“Izzie”)-making
her the first performer in the belly dance genre to receive this
Today, Suhaila creates instructional and performance videos for
all dance levels, as well as fully-orchestrated Middle Eastern
dance musicals and CD recordings of the latest percussion
artists. In addition to touring across the globe, Suhaila
maintains her second-generation family business, the Suhaila
Salimpour School of Belly Dance, in Berkeley, California.
Suhaila has developed and implemented the first-available
certification program in Middle Eastern dance. Suhaila looks
forward to expanding the audience for and appreciation of
traditional Middle Eastern dance in a distinctly contemporary