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Yasmina, Belly Dancer, San Diego, CaliforniaYasmina has been teaching and performing Middle Eastern Belly Dance for over 25 years. She has performed in clubs, restaurants and Renaissance Faires primarily in Santa Barbara and San Diego, California.

Yasmina began her dance training as a child in Ballet.  Later in college, at U.C. Santa Barbara, she minored in Dance.  There she studied Modern Dance, Ballet and Ethnic Dance. After graduating from college, she began training in Middle Eastern Belly Dance. After becoming an accomplished Belly Dancer, she traveled to Egypt, Turkey and Greece for further study.

Yasmina is a member of the San Diego Middle Eastern Belly Dance Association (S.A.M.E.D.A.).

CLASSES: Yasmina teaches all levels of belly dancing. Her Belly Dance classes progress slowly at first, so a person with no previous dance experience can succeed. In addition to training her students in dance, she also teaches finger cymbals, showmanship and costuming, so they may perform professionally should they choose to take it to that level. She currently is teaching classes in San Diego north county area, primarily in Vista.

In October 2006 Yasmina added to her Belly Dance experiences outside of the U.S.  She traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco, where she performed at a beautiful restaurant and night club "Comptoir."

You may contact Yasmina at

Yasmina is available for performances, shows and entertainment at parties, etc., in addition to teaching Beginner's Belly Dance classes in the San Diego Area, Vista and Poway, CA.

Women Learn To Dance Away The Pounds - Middle-Eastern Dance Gains Popularity In United States

Belly dancing began in the Middle East as a way for young, lower-class women to attract husbands who would lead them to a better life. But here in the United States, belly dancing is a way for women of all ages to express themselves -- and to get in shape. The Middle-Eastern belly dance is regaining popularity as an exercise regimen. From workout videos to group classes, more and more women are getting into the trend of dancing away their bellies.

"There's muscles in your body that you never knew you had until you belly danced," said belly dancing student Tracy Cooke. Cooke has been taking belly dancing lessons for more than a decade. "There's aspects of it, especially if you get that fast music going, you can really get your heart rate way up and burn lots of calories," Cooke said.

Cooke's teacher, professional belly dancer Yasmina . . a former ballet and modern dance student, says she began belly dancing as an alternative to those more regimented styles of dancing. "When I'm on, I just feel -- I feel the music, I feel sensuous, I feel like I'm in another world," said Yasmina. "There's such camaraderie. Everybody comes to class, and they talk and they say, 'oh, where did you get that, or man, you're really getting good at those hip circles' or something," she said.

And Yasmina says you don't have to have a dance background or a perfect figure to be a successful belly dancer. "No matter how much experience you have, no matter how big you are, or little you are, or tall or short, or whatever, you can succeed," she said. Yasmina's class includes all levels of belly dancers, from the experienced like Cooke to beginners.

Belly dancing is also fairly inexpensive. she recommends you get a pair of harem pants and finger cymbals. But baring your belly is up to you. "There are beledy dresses and veils and other things that you can do if you feel a little uncomfortable," she said. For more information about belly dancing lessons around the county, visit The San Diego Area Middle Eastern Dance Association or MECDA.ORG.

Belly Dancer
Sketch Cards:

Belly Dancer Sketch Card Art

Some of you may be aware that I have been doing lots of Art and Art related projects over the past few years. In fact, I now sign my name Penny Lee StewArt!

I recently painted 25 sketch cards of belly dancers, 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size. They are very collectible and make great gifts.

Please visit my Daily Paint Works Gallery if you are interested in purchasing. Thanks.  

Penny StewArt
aka The Pink Gypsy


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Last revised 10/25/11