About Us

Nearly two decades of training and experience

Performing artist. Choreographer. Author. Director. Educator.

Raksanna is internationally recognized and respected as an Oriental dancer, educator, choreographer, producer and director. Her vast performing and teaching experience spans the world including the United States, Canada, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, France, Egypt and Israel. She has dedicated her life to promoting this artform with elegance, sophistication, and beauty. While her repertoire is broad and includes a wide variety of styles in the oriental dance, Raksanna’s heart especially beats for classical and modern Egyptian Raks Sharqi.

Raksanna’s style is characterized by her passion, elegance, and ability to bring the emotionality of Egyptian expression to the stage. Her professional dance background is based on numerous years of training, including twice a year trips to Egypt to study, train and develop under the best dancers, teachers, choreographers, and musicians, and immerse herself in the culture. As of 2022, she has stayed in Egypt more than 45 times and considers Egypt her second country.

Raksanna has written, directed, and produced numerous full-length theatrical shows, including Confessions of a Belly Dancer (with tour stops Off Broadway, NYC, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City), and The Fourth Pyramid: The Lift and Legacy of Om Kalthoum. Her most recent production, When Women Ruled the World: Journey thru Egypt, was co-directed with Bailey MacRae. She collaborated with world-renown composer Yassir Jimal to produce her first CD album, Mirage, featuring brand new, original music for belly dancers. Plus, Raksanna has authored and published six books on belly dance.

Raksanna shares her deep love for the dance and her profound knowledge with great enthusiasm and humor with her students – in workshops at home and abroad, and in weekly classes, where she is an artist in residence at the Eola Community Center in Aurora, IL. She is the director of her ensemble, Raksanna’s Dance Ensemble which includes Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble (NEDE) and Raksanna’s Desert Flames, her professional dance troupe. These teams showcase Raksanna’s award-winning and extraordinary choreography and is featured in festivals across the United States.

In her corporate life, Raksanna is an executive at a Fortune 100 company. She holds a Master of Science in Management (concentration: International Marketing), a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelors of Science in Social Sciences. She is the recipient of a grant from the National Endowment of Humanities and graduated from her undergrad and graduate studies with honors and was named on the President’s List.

Her Thoughts

When asked why she teaches, creates choreography and directs dance companies, she replied:

“Dancing, to me, is like breathing. It is my life. When I hear the music, my mind responds through my body – bringing to life the instruments, the lyrics, the feeling. It is something that cannot be suppressed, cannot be helped. It makes me feel alive.

“Whether the choreography is for myself, a soloist, a duet or a group, I seek to touch audiences at the soul level. Regardless of whether an audience loves my piece or hates my piece, I am happy – for there IS a reaction. As a mentor of mine once said, if someone reacts positively or negatively to your work, you have created art. If the audience is indifferent, then it is nothing.

“My love for directing dance companies stems from a deep-seated desire to elevate the art of Middle Eastern dance, to create a firm structure and interpretation of music that can withstand changes of personnel within the choreography. The piece must stand on its own, independent of who is dancing it at the moment.

“My biggest reward of working with dancers is being a part of and witnessing deep personal transformations and creating meaningful, lasting relationships. It makes my heart burst with joy to see my dancers develop as they spread their wings and dance their hearts out on stage. From the overweight woman who learns to love herself and dance despite the weight to the older woman who realizes she is sexy and beautiful, knowing that I have had a hand in positively shaping their self-image is a reward unto itself.

Here’s why taking classes with Raksanna makes sense!

  • Nearly two decades of training and experience including over 25 trips to Egypt to study, train and perform with the best choreographers and teachers in the world
  • Award-winning, internationally acclaimed artist and program
  • First American artist to be featured at Randa Kamel’s RAQS OF COURSE dance festival in Cairo
  • Featured instructor at Raqia Hassan’s AHLAN WA SAHLAM four years in a row
  • Contributing author to international Middle Eastern Performing Arts publications such as Zagahreet, The Chronicles, Jareeda and more
  • Featured presenter at universities, colleges, public schools and culture events/festivals
  • Full curriculum for beginners through advanced/professional
  • Performance opportunities throughout the year
  • Dance Company for dancers interested in sisterhood, performing and FUN
  • Small class sizes and teacher to student ratio
  • All faculty members hand-picked and fully trained through Raksanna’s intensive Middle Eastern Belly Dance Apprenticeship program
  • Officially published author of her original work Confessions of a Belly Dancer™.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Named “Who’s Who,” Cambridge List of Who’s Who – 2010
  • Raksanna & the Desert Flames, 2nd Runner Up, Stellar Advantage’s International Professional Troupe Competition – 2010
  • Nominated “Instructor of the Year” by Zaghareet, international magazine, 2007, 2008
  • Nominated “Favorite Cabaret Dancer of the Year” by Zaghareet, 2007, 2008
  • Named “Best of Aurora” 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by the U.S. Local Business Association
  • 2nd Place – Queen of Raks Sharqi – 2007
  • and many, many more