Meet the Faculty


Founder, Director and CEO

Known for her energetic, powerful and fun-loving original style, Raksanna is an award-winning, internationally recognized Middle Eastern dance artist. She is a highly sought after educator and workshop presenter and travels the world, teaching and performing at premier festivals and in intimate workshop settings.

The author of her original book, Confessions of a Belly Dancer, Secrets of the Hieroglyph©, Raksanna co-produced the theatrical adaption of the book with the legendary Momo Kadous, and has launched the show’s international tour. (

Raksanna is a featured soloist dancer in videos and DVDs including two featured performances in Dr. Samy Farag’s new DVD release, Melodies from Cairo. In addition to teaching multiple classes each week, she is the artistic director of both the award-winning professional belly dance troupe, Raksanna and the Desert Flames and Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble.

Raksanna holds a Master’s degree in Management Systems (conc: International Marketing), a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences. Her corporate experience includes Sr Leader, Communication at GE Specialty Insurance, Vice President of Marketing at TSG Real Estate and director of marketing at financial investment trade associations. In addition to her dance career, she owns and manages her own marketing consulting firm: Roxanne’s Smart Ideas, Inc. (

Raksanna is available for workshops, performances, speaking engagements and consulting projects. For more information, please visit, email or give her a call at 630.689.3611 – and of course, follow her on Facebook and Twitter: Raksanna Raqs Sharki

You’ll find the best belly dance talent in Naperville, Aurora and the Western Suburbs of Chicago in Raksanna’s program.

Raksanna´s Team

Every instructor is hand-selected and must successfully pass Raksanna’s intensive apprenticeship program that includes 25 hours of observation, 25 hours of practice teaching time, a practical exam and a comprehensive written exam. To complete the apprenticeship program is comparable to earning an associate degree and is quite an accomplishment! This requirement ensures that each student receives the highest quality instruction possible.

Karri Ann

Karri received a BFA in Theater Performance from UW-Whitewater where she performed in productions such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Maggie), Twelfth Night (Olivia) and James and the Giant Peach (Aunt Spiker). She has been dancing with Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble since February 2012 and joined Raksanna’s Desert Flames in March 2012.


Kim holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dance & Theater from the University of North Texas. She performed Perfectly Frank at Dallas Repertory Theater and Artistic License at the Bailiwick Director’s Festival in Chicago. Other favorite roles include 3rd Actress, The Dining Room; Mavis Johnson, The Rimers of Eldritch; and Sophie, The Star Spangled Girl.