ECHO Instructors

Antonina Canal

Sessions: Goddess Mudra Dance, Oriental Dance for Healing

Antonina is a pioneer of Arabic Dance in Colombia, With more than 5000 alumnus in the country and the World, winner of the best choreography of Arabic Folklore in the Belly Dancing World Cup in Cairo Egypt, 2012 and 2013 winning the Gold and silver medals for Colombia, and best group of Arabic Folklore. Furthermore, has been nominated judge of honor in this important competition, is the only Latin Master invited to teach in this prestigious Festival.

With more than 150 certified Masters by her Academy, has produced 14 International Festivals, more than 500 shows in the most important theaters of the Country: Theaters Roberto Arias Perez Colsubsidio , Jorge Eliecer Gaitan , Julio Mario Santodomingo, National Theater in Bogota, and other cities Theaters like Pedro de Heredia-Cartagena, Hotel Mena House , Cairio Egipto, Hotel IberoStar - Cancun, Nola Studios New York, Rai 1 Italian television, among others. Antonina has 5 instruction DVD’s on the market and is writing her first book, since 2011 has collaborated with the Colombo-Arabic community in this beautiful culture diffusion, donating the spectacle of 130 dancers in the Julio Mario Santodomingo Mayor Theater.

The Antonia’s Prem Shakti Academy is pioneer in Arabic and Egyptian Dance. Has been for more than 15 years in Colombia dedicated in the study and teaching of technique excellence of the Oriental Dance and all its therapeutic benefits.

Ariélle Adamy

Ariélle Adamy is a New York based performing artist as an actor, dancer, singer. She got her foundation for music by studying it in college while gigging in several bands including a gothic rock band, The Cross Between. Her dance background is in musical theater and hip hop. She choreographed for composer John Dentato for several of his off-broadway showcases which motivated her to go back to studying more dance. She fell in love with belly dance and created a group for other female singers in her last year of college. Currently, she teaches voice, piano and yoga classes. She continues to gig singing R and B, pop and rock and runs a comedy improv group with her husband, Chris Douros, that helps empower and strengthen the performer's ability for storytelling.

Brad MacDonald

Sessions: Living in the Moment - Emotion and the Improvisational Spirit, Lunchtime Discussion Panel “Community” Djam NYC & PURE Focus

Brad MacDonald is a musician, artist, writer, designer, teacher and event host in NYC. He has performed around the world with Bellydance Evolution and with his band, Djinn. He wrote and performed in the Bellydance Evolution show, Dark Side of the Crown and he writes extensively about the creative process in his blog, Tools not Rules. He speaks about, and teaches, the creative process regularly. Most recently at the Society of Illustrators, Video Gamers United,  and PURE. In August he will begin teaching as an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design.

Brian Carter

Sessions: Rhythm Play

Brian T. Carter is an “all rolled into one” drummer/middle eastern percussionist, drum circle facilitator, music teacher, singer/songwriter. He has been performing and teaching in NYC since 2001 and holds a Masters degree in Music Education and is a REMO Health Rhythms trained facilitator. Brian is founder and organizer of Brooklyn Drum Circles, offering community and wellness based circles, private and group drumming workshops, and groups for performance. 

Carmine Guida

Sessions: Lunchtime Discussion Panel “Community” Djam NYC & PURE Focus

My mom called me up the morning of my last birthday. I was up early because I was teaching a workshop at Rakkasah East. She always calls me early to make sure she is the first to wish me a Happy Birthday and sing. This year when she called, she told me some very important information (this is an exact quote):

"Carmine, on the day you were born, when I was going into labor. I had a meatball parmesan hero before leaving the house. I knew they wouldn't feed me anything good in the hospital, so I made sure to have a meatball parmesan hero first...then I had you" - My Mom

Carmine does more than almost any musician we know to share information about music in the MED scene. He is a gifted multi-instrumentalist, prolific teacher and an active party advocate who has a gift for being inclusive and nonjudgemental. Bellydancers buy their boyfriends and husbands drums and other instruments and Carmine helps them become musicians. 


Sessions: Sacred Improvisation, Becoming with Hanan

Drawing from an extensive technical background in acting, writing, contemporary and ethnic dance coupled with her diverse ethnic make-up and global experience, Hanan is one of the most unique and compelling Middle Eastern dancers in America today. Hanan has proven to be an avant-garde and non-conformist artist in the Middle Eastern dance arena. For this reason, the Miami Herald describes her as “ [a] dominant voice in contemporary dance here”. The Miami Herald has also described her as “bold”,“charismatic”, “eclectic” and a dancer that possesses “powerful body and skill”. Encuentro Magazine from Madrid, Spain described her “as a dancer that comes from where one can touch the rooftop of the world.” Yousry Sharif, Artistic Director of the Egyptian Academy of Oriental Dance in New York City, says “[hanan] can easily pass as a native dancer [Egypt].” “This is no easy task.” Inspired by her experiences training and performing in Egypt, Hanan’s 2001 production of hanan with other friendly gods and goddesses, a show which exposes and exorcised the theme of female circumcision in the Middle East, was included in the Miami Herald’s “Top 10 Shows of the Year”

Hanan is also an accomplished teacher. Her instruction style is holistic; focusing on the dancer’s internal process of self-discovery and reliance, challenging the pupil to dig deeper into the space of creation while acquiring technical precision. Disappointed by the commercial prevalence of the genre, Hanan created the Dance Empowerment Project and changed the focus of her teaching and performance career to address issues of social consciousness, activism and positive change. The DEP is a mind, body and soul approach to Middle Eastern dance. Through various grants and partnerships with non-for-profit organizations, Hanan uses Middle Eastern dance to promote healing and recovery to adult survivors of child sexual abuse, victims and survivors of domestic battery (Safespace) and incarcerated women at the Dade County Correctional Facility among other diverse populations. She has also had programs for at-risk and adjudicated girls through the AYUDA center in Miami Beach and the Dominican American National Foundation in Allapattah. Hanan has decades of teaching experience through Florida International University, Miami-Dade Wolfson, The Mideastern Dance Exchange, the Miami Light Project/Lightbox, Bellymotions, Bozenka’s Bellydance Academy and Belly2abs studios. International residencies include Buenos Aires, Argentina through Amir Thaleb’s Arabian Ballet, “Bellydance Cuba” and St. Lucia through Siham Sana.

Jorja Rivero

Sessions: The Revolution of Self Love 

Jorja Rivero, LMSW, Gestalt Psychotherapist in private practice, yoga & meditation teacher. Jorja embraces the complexity of the human experience & provides experiential guidance to heal, restore & integrate what remains unfinished. Her years of practice continue to deepen & clarify her passionate vision to empower clients to access their life force & embody themselves as being  enough. Working with Jorja is an invitation to meet head & heart on the space of possibility & expansion. Her passion for her work is undeniable and her genuine care & interest are palpable & present. With fierce love & support she encourages individual exploration & discovery to heal the mind, body, & heart relationship.

Goddess Embodied™ workshops inspire & support women to creatively free up their inner & outer resources. This profound blend of engaged movement, intention, & meditation enliven curiosity, discovery, wisdom, desire, playfulness, sensuality & femininity. Live life fully. Every workshops is a unique opportunity to imprint your mind, body, & life with knowing that you are enough. The rhythm of your experience opens up the space for you to return to your exquisite nature : you are a goddess embodied.

Kaeshi Chai

Sessions: Yin Yang Bellydance

"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt.

Kaeshi Chai is a globe trotting world fusion bellydancer who co-founded Bellyqueen in 1998 and PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) in 2004. She has performed with Bellydance Superstars, Kenji William’s Bella Gaia, Ahmet Luleci’s Collage, and Jillina’s Bellydance Evolution. Kaeshi has danced with Natacha Atlas, at BAM, Summerstage, and on the TV shows, Conan O’Brian and Blue Peter. She is a 200 hour certified Yoga instructor through Yogaworks and has a degree in Visual Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney. In her spare time, Kaeshi studies Mandarin, Robbins-Madanes Strategic Intervention, enjoys traveling, and getting foot massages. and

Kierra Foster-Ba

Sessions: 5 Rhythms with Kierra and Sacred Circle Dances with Nada Khodlova

Kierra Foster-Ba has studied the 5Rhythms® with Gabrielle Roth, the founder, for 15+ years. Kierra appears in Gabrielle’s Power Wave video and in the documentary “Dances of Ecstasy”. She also dances with PURE (Public Urban Ritual Experiment) an international organization of artists devoted to using belly dance to promote peace and end suffering. Kierra has been offering 5Rhythms® classes in New York City since 2008 and recently led workshops in Brasil as part of the Terra Deusa festival.

Myra Krien

Sessions: Veil: The Revelation of Intimacy, Tribal: A Winged Migration 

Myra Krien is an international performer, choreographer and teacher. She is known for her elegant and graceful presence as well as her stylistic versatility, from traditional Egyptian (folkloric and modern) to classical tribal and contemporary fusion forms, with a strong emphasis on Flamenco and East Indian dance. A highly sought after workshop instructor and choreographer, her workshops are often described as “profound and inspirational”. She imbues her teaching with a deep respect and abiding passion for the form, strong emphasis on anatomical technique and history of the art form and culture.

Born in San Francisco, the granddaughter of Zen philosopher, Alan Watts, Krien grew up in a family of intellectuals and artists committed to higher consciousness and a worldview. From an early age she attended the Renaissance Pleasure Faires. Inspired by Jamila Salimpour’s company Bal Anat, she began her first belly dance classes along with her mother at the age of three. In the many years since she has been privileged to study with some of the greatest Middle Eastern dance artists in the field. Krien has also devoted herself to the study of jazz, modern, hip-hop, flamenco, and East Indian dance. Krien began performing at the early age of eleven and began teaching at fourteen. She went on to perform extensively throughout the Bay Area and in 1983 moved to Santa Fe, NM.

In 1996, Krien was the opening act for Sony recording artist Ottmar Liebert. Krien toured internationally, performing to sold-out audiences in some of the most prestigious theatres in the world and appeared in the PBS special “Wide Eyed and Dreaming.” Krien’s work has appeared on Japanese television and has been reviewed by national publications: Dance Magazine, the Santa Fean, and Bliss Magazine. Krien was asked to speak, perform and teach at the Ms. Foundation annual conference 2006. In 2007, the Santa Fean magazine saluted Krien for her outstanding contributions to the city of Santa Fe.

Krien has been the Founder, Director and Choreographer for five dance companies: Azadeh, 1978-1983, Awalim ,1996-1998, Mosaic Dance Company, 1998, Ahatti Apprentice Company in 2001 and Almaaz Assahara, 2006. She is the Founder/ Director/ Master Teacher for Pomegranate SEEDs (Self-esteem, Empowerment and Education through Dance) a  youth development organization. Krien is the owner and Director of Pomegranate Studios, hosting over forty classes weekly in various movement arts. She is the creator of Funk-Ex Fitness, a state-of-the-art dance fitness program. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband Amalesh and son Max. Krien holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from St. John’s College.

Nada Khodlova

Sessions: 5 Rhythms with Kierra and Sacred Circle Dances with Nada Khodlova

Nada Khodlova MA BC-DMT LCAT is a Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Nada has worked in the human services field for the last 17 years in a variety of settings including mental health clinics, nursing homes, day treatment centers, homeless shelters, and school/community based programs. Presently, Nada works as a Supervisor of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Dance/Movement Therapist on an acute adult inpatient psychiatric unit in the North Bronx. Nada has danced with the Duncan Dance Collective, Rina Rinkewich/Return of the Sun, PURE, and the Thais Mazur Dance Company. Nada has facilitated Ritual Dance for wonderful venues such as “Celebrating the Mythic Life” conference, Dance New England Camp and weekend, Deborah Roth’s New Moon Sister Circle, and Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors, COSM. Nada has trained with Laura Shannon in a 2 year Women’s Ritual Dance intensive program and received a certification. Presently, Nada is studying with Hawksbrother Kirouana in the art and healing practice of Shamanism. Nada is of Czech-Croatian heritage and has experienced many gifts of homecoming through these dances. She hopes to honor the wisdom and potency of these dances and to pass this on to others. Nada provides caring, compassionate individual Dance/Movement Psychotherapy in the Hudson Valley and NYC area. Her continued awe at her clients inate deep levels of healing, resilience, and widsom guides and inspires her everyday life and practice. Nada is deeply grateful for all who have guided her on this path.

Nancy Eder

Sessions: ECHO at the Rubin Museum of Art

Nancy Eder is an Art Historian who specializes in the study of Buddhist and Hindu iconography. She received her B.A. at New York Univesity with a major in Fine Arts and a minor in East Asian Studies. Her M.A. is from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, her concentration was Chinese Art. Nancy attended the Ohio State University for her Ph.D. course work. At Ohio State, she majored in South Asian Art and minored in Buddhist Art as well as Contemporary art/Theory and Criticism. Her personal research has concentrated on the female image in the art of India, the concept of the vehicle for Hindu gods, and the different aspects of Buddhism throughout the different countries in Asia.

Nancy is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She loves teaching emerging designers and artists. She is also a Lecturer in the Education Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Much of Nancy's life concentrates on being a wife and a mother. She tireless works at providing the best opportunities for her two sons, who both have high functioning autism.

In her spare time, Nancy loves to belly dance and drink coffee. Not necessarily in that order! She has been an amateur dancer for almoat twenty years. As a member of PURE, she has been fortunate enough to participate in several performances and classes. Nancy would like to thank all of her teachers, past and present, especially Kaeshi Chai for allowing her the opportunity to grow as a dancer.

Puela Lunaris

Sessions: Archetypal Wisdom™: Goddess Persephone

Puela Lunaris is a dancer, workshop leader, speaker, filmmaker, writer, producer and spoken-word artist who has lived in four different continents and leads empowering dance teacher trainings worldwide through her online school at  She was born and raised at the Morisco Castle of Montanchez in Spain, a crossroads of civilizations considered in ancient times the sacred mountain of goddess Ataecina, also known as Proserpina and Persephone.

In 1994, Puela founded Archetypal Wisdom™ which uses dance to activate the power of archetypes in our bodies so we can experience fulfilling lives. In 2000 she created The Dance of the Universe™, a whirling dance meditation to expand consciousness by connecting cosmic with powers greater than ourselves. In 2005 she established Lila Yoga-Dance™, a practice that is fun, invigorating and rejuvenating.   

Puela has been hailed by the Village Voice as a “workshop leader who guides you through a sacred labyrinth of powerful unconscious forces.”Her TV appearances include NBC, CNN, Univision and PBS in the U.S.A. The R.A.I. (Italy), as well as TVE, Telecinco, Antena 3, Canal Sur and TV Marbella in Spain.

Puela has performed at the Throne Room of Alexander the Great in Babylon (Iraq) and she has presented in front of the likes of former Vice-president Al Gore, Deepak Chopra and members of the Jordanian Royal Family.

A loving and dedicated dance teacher since 1993, she has taught at Peter Gabriel’s W.O.M.A.D. Festivals, The Omega Institute, Hudson Valley Jungian Society,  The Rakkasah Spring Caravan Festival, Juilliard School, New York Open Center, Hollins University in Virginia, Performing Arts Network in Miami Beach, Centro Andaluz de Danza in Seville, and Escuela de Música y Danza in Madrid.  Puela is a sought-after teacher in Bellydance circles because of her extensive research on dances of Morisco, Gypsy and Sephardi origins from her native Spain.

Puela Lunaris has a degree in Dance Education from the State University of New York. She is also a Certified Yoga and Qi Qong Teacher and a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner. She is the founder of Dances of the World Society dedicated to Saving Dances in Danger of Extinction.

Sherrilyn Billger

Sessions: Abundance Generation

Sherrilyn Billger is an empirical economist who taught for 13 years on the undergraduate and graduate level at Illinois State University. She is also a professional bellydancer and has extensive performance and teaching experience in a variety of bellydance styles, from American cabaret to tribal to folkloric to fusion. She is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.