Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Mahsati Janan is an instructor and performer of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in the dances of Egypt and North Africa. As an in-demand workshop instructor, Mahsati has traveled the United States to share her knowledge and skills, but always considers herself a lifelong student and annually attends multiple professional and teacher-level training sessions with top dancers and researchers in her field. Her soulful classical Egyptian style performances and lively folkloric dances are always exciting and a wonderful addition to any event.
With a teaching style that joins technique with cultural foundations, Mahsati’s classes (in Asheville, NC) offer students an opportunity both to learn the necessary technique and understand the cultural context of this dance form. Mahsati’s instructional dvds, Fabulous Fan VeilZZ I & II and Foundations of Raqs Sharqi Level 1, continue to be valuable resources for dancers around the world.
Mahsati began her journey in belly dance in 1996 and has studied and performed throughout the US. She specializes in classical and modern Egyptian style, but also enjoys many other modern belly dance forms. She is available to teach workshops as well as private or groups classes in Classical Egyptian, Middle Eastern Folkloric, Turkish, Lebanese and techniques that are common to all styles. Her instructional DVDs, Fabulous FanVeilZZ, Vol. 1 and II, have been valuable tools for many dancers looking to incorporate fan veils into their performances. Her newest instructional DVD, Foundations of Raqs Sharqi: Techniques and Isolations for Belly Dance Level 1, was released in 2010.
Mahsati’s educational background focuses on cultural traditions. Her anthropology background and research emphases are also strongly represented in her classes and performances as you learn the history and traditions of this dance while enjoying yourself dancing.
She currently directs the Qamari Dance Collective and troupe Banat al-Qamar and was previously co-director of the successful Troupe Amani Dance Ensemble and Bal Fahjar Dance Ensemble for over 7 years. She was also a principal dancer in the El Oadhi Dancers and Drummers, Bal Yifte and Bal Tzigane previously.
As a student and performer of multiple styles of Middle Eastern dance, her influences range from the Middle East to US and around the world. Many dancers have influenced Mahsati over the years, but there are a few that hold a special place in her heart. A tremendous thank you to Yasmina Mahal, Sahra Saeeda Kent, Pepper Alexandria, Cassandra Shore, and Zhaleh Fereshteh for their teaching and sharing of this dance over the years. Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy, Mohammed Kazafy, Soheir Zaki, Nagwa Fouad, Aziza of Cairo, Raqia Hassan, and Tito Seif are a few of Mahsati’s favorite performers in the Middle East. An extra special thank you goes to all of Mahsati’s dance peers and students. Without your joy and camaraderie, Mahsati may never have found her passion in this dance form.