Maria is an award-winning professional belly dance artist based in Santa Clara of the San Jose / San Francisco Bay Area, California. She is the house belly dancer at several popular bay area restaurants and a frequent guest at many Bay Area Arabic, Turkish, Moroccan and Persian public and private venues. Her elegant and cheerful dance style made her a sought-after performer in the Middle Eastern community. She has had the honor of performing for audiences in Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Russia and the United States. Maria is a belly dance instructor at several local dance studios and a director of her student troupe ALMAZ. She also enjoyes traveling to teach workshops locally and internationally. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Maria fell in love with Middle Eastern dance while traveling in Egypt and Tunisia. Since moving to the United States, Maria has dedicated herself to the study of belly dance with her teacher, Sandra, who continues to be a major influence and inspiration for her. Workshops with well known teachers such as Raqia Hassan, Tito, Aziza, Astryd Farah, Magda, Jillina, Sonia, Bozenka, Asi Haskal, Aida Nour, Khaled Mahmoud, Randa Kamel, Soraia Zaied and many others have further enhanced Maria’s dance style. She also regularly travels to Moscow where she uses the opportunity to study with famous Russian belly dancers. Several belly dance DVDs feature Maria’s performances and instruction including: “The Spirit of Bellydance” by Hollywood Music Center, “Combination Nation vol.2”, “By Dancers for Dancers Vol.5” and “Secrets of the Stage Vol.2” by Cheeky Girls Productions. Maria holds a degree in Economics and an MBA. Her other passions besides dancing include travelling, figure skating and visual arts.
- Paul Schneider
- Blythe Gaissert