Kajira has devoted herself for 20 years to the proliferation of Synchronized Group Improvisational Tribal Style BellyDance (SGI TS BD) and since 2001 has focused on her own innovative Format, the BlackSheep BellyDance (BSBD) Format. She also performs and teaches traditional Tribal and Tribal and Dark Fusion solos - read on for more information.
Kajira is the Founder and Teacher of BSBD and its earlier incarnations, as well as hundreds of other individuals and troupes around the world. Currently (Winter 2013), BSBD has members in 4 US States & 5 countries! Kajira and BlackSheep BD this format and the way it is taught is a vehicle for healing on so many levels. "It's much more than a series of steps."…
Kajira has taught workshops, master classes, teacher certifications and several-days-long study programs in Germany, England, Austria, Taiwan, Canada, France, Mexico and Italy and throughout the US so far, including as a featured headliner in The Las Vegas Belly Dance Intensive in September 2013! She's already looking forward to her return to Mexico and Taiwan in 2014, and as a bi-annual teacher at the Cues & Tattoos festival in Seattle, Washington.
Other teaching highlights include teaching and performing onboard a cruise ship for 4 years and as a teacher, performer and judge at the North Bay Belly Dance Bazaar and the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition (BDUC) on 3 separate occasions, with a standing offer to return anytime. In summer of 2012 she was again honored to be a judge for the Ultimate Belly Dancer Competition, the first online competition, which had contestants from around the world, and several times in Taiwan at the Tribal/Asia Belly Dance Competition.
She holds an honorary award for Lifetime Achievement in Middle Eastern Dance and the Arts from BDUC, as well as the Instructor of the Year award from IAMED, and Favorite Instructor in Zaghareet! Magazine's Golden Belly Awards! Kajira's also won many awards for "Favorite Event" for creating Tribal Fest®, the world's 1st all-Tribal-&-Alternative BellyDance Festival!
Before she started teaching, Kajira was a student directly under Carolena Nericcio of FCBD® for 8 years and a member of her performing troupes at that time (1992-2000). During that time Kajira had the honor and distinction of being the first person Carolena sent to represent herself and her FCBD® ATS® Format in a weekend workshop outside the SF Bay Area, held in Florida in the late 1990s! Kajira took lessons from Carolena and TerriAnne on how to teach had video critiques of her early classes by Carolena, since there were no teacher training programs at the time.
Simultaneously Kajira studied under - and instigated - the formation of the first classes in the SF Bay Area taught by Suhaila & Jamila Salimpour, with TerriAnne now of Joweh R.A.W. for many years; as well as numerous studies over several additional years in Turkish Romany & Oriental, mostly under E. Artemis Mourat. Her mentors for American Cabaret are TerriAnne and Delilah, with whom she co-created "Inanna, Salomé and the 7-Part Cabaret Routine" weeklong events held at Isis Oasis in CA during the early 2000s.
Other influential teachers in her dance life include Deanne Adams, Tempest, Rachel Brice, Laurel Victoria Gray, Morocco of NYC (especially for her personal insights into the Moroccan Guedra Blessing Ritual), and Sarala Dandekar for her two years' study of Odissi Classical Dance of India whilst living in Maui. In June and July 2012 Kajira participated in Rachel Brice's 8 Elements Program, Phase One: Initiation, and passed.
Kajira gained invaluable traditional insights through fellow dancer and musician Staff for a decade (1995-2005) at the prestigious Mendocino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp in CA, on staff again in 2008, as well as from fellow Staff for 3 years at Folk Tours Camp in MD.
She is author of the famous Tribal Bible: Exploring the Phenomenon That Is American Tribal Style Bellydance, which went through six printings and is now in eBook form as of summer 2012. It's available on Amazon.com, iTunes and Barnes & Noble. Kajira is writing the second Tribal Bible now, which will focus on Tribal Fusion; its creation, "who's who" & "what's what," an in-depth and private look at some dancers' personal lives and how the dance has helped to heal or cope with disease, traumas, drugs or alcohol or other problems, an updated resource directory and more new info. The original ‘Bible has become known as "a rich and incredibly well-researched and documented resource for dancers of all styles." Kajira was also the featured Tribal-and-Alternative Q-n-A columnist for Zaghareet! Magazine for more than 6 years and has numerous articles and interviews with your favorite dancers on her web site for all to read.
Kajira is grateful to have been the featured dancer subject for several trade publications and to have appeared on the covers of Jareeda, Zaghareet! & fuse Magazine, to name only a few.
Kajira has 2 DVDs produced by the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (IAMED) (Vol. 1 having been honored as one of the "Top 25 DVDs for Belly Dancers" by Shira of shira.net and the only Tribal one to make the cut!). She self-produced 3 more DVDs, released in 2010. In 2012, Therese, Assistant Director of BSBD & Director of Daughters of The Dance in Illinois, recorded along with her troupe (which includes BSBD members Tabithah, Arikah Peacock and Becky), a wonderful companion DVD for those who own the others to practice lead-&-follow on their own. More new steps and combinations are developed all the time, however, so it seems there'll be no time when absolutely everything in her format is available on film.
Kajira is a performer and teacher of many dance styles including the traditional Moroccan Guedra Blessing Ritual. Kajira has always enjoyed creating and performing fusion solos as well as carrying on weekly BSBD SGI classes, & is developing a local branch of BSBD. She is also working with her friend and BSBD Certified Level 1-3 teacher Bex Priest of England on developing "Dark Fusion Variations" for the BlackSheep format in order to open it to even wider audiences!
She is a healer, and has been a Certified Massage Therapist for over 30 years and is a Reiki Master Teacher. Although Kajira doesn't practice these healing modalities at this time as a means to make a living as she once did, she has found her knowledge of these therapies invaluable to the formation of her BSBD Dance Format and teaching manner.
Kajira's also taken courses over the years at the college and university level that aid her dance training and teaching, such as ballet and modern dance, Anatomy & Physiology, Acupressure (especially for the points on the soles of the feet and near the ankles, also called reflexology), medicinal herbs (from Rosemary Gladstar herself, when Kajira was only 17 and when Rosemary lived in Sonoma County as well!) and Native American Medicinal Herbs at Sonoma State University, which was taught by a Native American "Medicine Man," who came from a long line of healers for their locally-based tribe. We were able to tour the Sacred Burial Grounds of his people before it was purposely dammed and flooded to create Lake Sonoma. That was where I was first introduced to the infamous, deadly, or, if certain parts of the plant were picked carefully at specific times of the year, then very carefully and properly prepared, could be made into a psychoactive toxin used by Shamans to commune with The Other World, known in this area where it grows wild as Jimson Weed, and more commonly amongst bellydancers as Datura.
Kajira co-produces along with her husband, Chuck, the world's first & largest all Tribal-and-Alternative dance event, Tribal Fest®, the One, the Only, the Original (a 4-time winner in Zaghareet! Magazine's once-annual, popular-vote "Golden Belly Awards" for Favorite Event, which unfortunately stopped its competition shortly thereafter). Tribal Fest® has grown to become 6 days long with a show that runs 3 days and features 170-200 acts each year. Now it's common for Tribal Fest to have attendees from as many as 29 countries - most of them on stage! - and she is grateful to the global dance community who help make it "the" place to go for anyone into Tribal, Fusion, Gothic, Alternative BellyDance and Tribally-Based Performance Art. It is important to Kajira that dancers have a chance to "think outside their boxes" and learn the roots as well as the many possible future forms of these explosive styles at her event, and rejoices in the recent collaborations that occur here because they can, as "everyone's there!" She believes it truly is an annual great big Tribal family reunion!
Kajira offers Teacher Training Courses in her BSBD format while encouraging her students to pursue even more training in any field, just like she does. Kajira feels that the measure of a great instructor is the students she leaves to continue their living legacy, and Kajira is grateful to have accomplished this. (She even has "grandchildren" now, around the world!) She has a new offering as well in her Teacher Training Courses: "Equivalency Certificates". See her site for info. Currently there are 8 major "Satellite Schools" run by now-members of BSBD in Wisconsin, 2 in Illinois, Hawaii, Japan, England, Wales and Italy. Kajira is constantly grateful to have a full schedule year-round traveling to share her art with others, whenever possible accompanied by members of her troupe.
Besides all that, she loves teaching and performing locally in Sonoma County, California, where she and Chuck were raised, along with their two kitties.
For more information, please check out our site: www.BlackSheepBellyDance.com or call 24/7: 707.978.8116. Email: TribalFest@aol.com. Kajira can be found on YouTube as BlackSheep BellyDance, Black Sheep Belly Dance, BlackSheep BellyDance and Kajira Djoumahna, and Kajira Djoumahna and on Facebook as Kajira Djoumahna and Tribal Fest California. There is also a FB page for BSBD Certified Teachers.
Kajira Djoumahna has been teaching BellyDance for nearly 20 years, and specializes in her own BlackSheep BellyDance (BSBD) Format for Synchronized Group Improvisational Tribal Style (SGI), as well as the Moroccan Guedra Blessing Ritual whom she credits Morocco of NYC as her primary teacher.
Kajira is the Founder and Teacher of BSBD and its earlier incarnations, as well as hundreds of other individuals and troupes around the world. Currently, in the fall of 2013, BSBD has members in 4 US States & 5 countries! Most members have their own troupes where they live, and travel with Kajira as much as possible to perform and assist in workshops. Kajira and BlackSheep BD feel this format and the way it is taught is a vehicle for healing on so many levels. "It's much more than a series of steps."…
Before she taught, she was a student directly under Carolena Nericcio of FCBD® for 8 years and a member of her performing troupes at that time (1992-2000). During that time Kajira had the honor and distinction of being the first person Carolena sent to represent herself and her FCBD® ATS® Format in a weekend workshop, held in FL in the late 1990s! Kajira took lessons from Carolena and TerriAnne on how to teach had video critiques of her early classes by Carolena, since there were no teacher training programs at the time.
Simultaneously Kajira studied under - and instigated - the formation of the first classes in the SF Bay Area taught by Suhaila & Jamila Salimpour for several years, with TerriAnne now of Joweh R.A.W. for many years; as well as numerous studies over several additional years in Turkish Romany & Oriental, mostly under E. Artemis Mourat. Her mentors for American Cabaret are TerriAnne and Delilah, with whom she co-created "Inanna, Salomé and the 7-Part Cabaret Routine" weeklong events held at Isis Oasis in CA during the early 2000s. As you can see, she is a perpetual student and in July 2012 attended Rachel Brice's 8 Elements Program, Phase One: Initiation, and Passed!
Kajira's taught in 8 countries, most several times, as well as across the US and holds Level 1 & 2 classes in her KD/BSBD Format for SGI at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, and loves to travel the world to teach!
She lives with her husband Chuck and 2 cats. She also performs solos that vary in style, but are always some sort of fusion (with the exception of Guedra Blessings and Turkish dances).
She's won two awards for Teaching (IAMED & Zaghareet!) and one for Lifetime Achievement in Middle Eastern Dance & the Arts from the Belly Dancer of the Universe Competition and Show, and has had the honor of judging several bellydance competitions worldwide and a standing offer to return anytime due to her well-rounded bellydance education in all styles of the form.
She co-produces along with her husband, Chuck, Tribal Fest®, "the One, the Only, the Original." In 2013, dancers from as many as 29 countries made the trek to Tribal Fest®! TF has won 4 awards for Favorite Event. (Zaghareet! Magazine's Golden Belly Awards.)
Kajira and BSBD have 5 instructional DVDs plus a Practice Companion DVD. Her first DVD made "Top 25 DVDs for Belly Dancers" by Shira.net and was the only Tribal one to make the cut. Her book "The Tribal Bible: Exploring the Phenomenon That Is American Tribal Style Bellydance" has just been re-released as an eBook and is available in eBook form through Amazon.com, iTunes and Barnes & Noble! Meanwhile, she writes new chapters catching us up on the "Tribal Fusion Revolution©" that she's seen evolve here on the Tribal Fest® Stage and in the SF Bay Area. These new chapters will be made available separately in the future, as well as added on to the original book for those who will need the whole thing.
Most of all, Kajira loves teaching and can't wait to dance with you!
She can be found on YouTube as BlackSheep BellyDance, Black Sheep Belly Dance, BlackSheep BellyDance and Kajira Djoumahna, and Kajira Djoumahna and on Facebook as Kajira Djoumahna and Tribal Fest California. There is also a FB page for BSBD Certified Teachers.
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Kajira Djoumahna is a multiple award winning instructor and the creator of the BlackSheep BellyDance format for American Tribal BellyDance. So far she's taught in 9 countries, some many times; is the Director of the global troupe, BSBD, with members in 4 states & 5 countries; has a highly successful Teacher Certification Program with Satellite Schools around the world; is the co-producer of Tribal Fest®, the 1st all-tribal festival anywhere, has judged several BD competitions both in the U.S. & Taiwan, has 6 DVDs available and is the author of "The Tribal Bible, Exploring the Phenomenon That Is American Tribal Style Bellydance," available on Amazon.com, iTunes and Barnes & Noble. She was the 1st person sent by Carolena Nericcio of FCBD® to teach her ATS® format in another state and is responsible for starting Suhaila Salimpour's classes in the SF Bay Area of CA. She's well-known for her clear breakdowns of steps; humor and skill both in the classroom and on stage, and is currently developing a local branch of BlackSheep BD made up of her local students. Join us, and find out why "It's so much more than a series of steps!" www.BlackSheepBellyDance.com