Chiaki is a professional dancer who specializes in modern Egyptian belly dance. Drawing on her background in classical ballet, she brings grace and musicality to her dance and choreography.
Chiaki first studied belly dance with Autumn Leah Ward and Rachel Kay Brookmire. Her dedication and passion for the dance has led her to Egypt and throughout North America to study with master teachers, most extensively with Yousry Sharif, and including Jillina, Faten Salama, Aida Nour, Raqia Hassan, Mahmoud Reda, Momo Kadous and Dina.
Chiaki has been teaching belly dance since the inception of the Sahara Dance Studio. She teaches two weekly classes and choreographs for Raquettes Naima, a resident company for advanced students. Through her classes, she aspires to share the joy and beauty of belly dance while emphasizing proper body alignment, technical precision, and isolation.
Chiaki has performed at theaters, private functions, and Arabic nightclubs throughout Washington DC area. She is a regularly featured dancer at Zaytinya (Gallery Place), Café Citron (Dupont Circle) and Skewers (Dupont Circle), and has performed at the Nancy Ajram concert, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and National Museum of Women in Arts, among others.
Megan discovered her love for belly dance after many years studying classical ballet and experimenting in forms such as flamenco, West African dance and bhangra. She believes the supportive community at Sahara is truly special and aims to help all her students find their own unique expression of belly dance.
Megan is a member of Raqs Sahara, and has performed with Raqs Caravan East. Megan has studied with Sahara Dance faculty as well as international artists including Jillina, Bozenka, Sahra Saeeda, Yasmina Ramzy, Hossam Ramzy, Mohamed Shahin and Karim Nagi.
While her focus has been modern Egyptian belly dance, she is also fascinated by tribal fusion belly dance. She has studied Datura Style with Rachel Brice at several Heart of Belly Dance retreats and is currently pursuing 8 Elements training.