PDF of schedule

Partial List of Teachers and Performers for 2017...

The Hamer Sisters (of Zafira Dance Company) –

The Hamer sisters, Christine Andrews, Jennifer Imashev & Maria Hamer, have been dancing together literally since birth. Christine & Jennifer started middle eastern dance in 1988. Maria joined them in 1992 and in 1995, they co-founded, along with some friends,  Ghawazee Middle Eastern Music & Dance Ensemble, one of the first tribal Bellydance troupes on the East Coast. Together they performed, sang, danced  & played music with Ghawazee until 2000. Soon after Christine & Maria started Zafira Dance Co with Olivia Kissel then added Tamara Juel & Jennifer Imashev. They had 11+ successful years touring the world with their unique style. Presently, the Hamer sisters enjoy covering folk classics & dancing with each other as sisters in blood & in dance.


Christine Andrews began her study of ethnic dance in 1988 with Turkish style bellydance. She was a founding member in both Zafira Dance Company and Ghawazee Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble. In 1999 she travelled to India and enjoyed the opportunity to delve into Kalbelia, a folkloric dance from Rajasthan. The dance of the snake charmers, known for its high energy spins, has added to her dance repertoire. She had the great pleasure of performing in India alongside her dance guru, Gulabi Sapera, widely known and respected as the primary innovator/“mother” of this dance form.

Melina Salifoski



DragonSong is a tribe of artists performing a synthesis of contemporary and traditional world music & dance.

Joseph Castelli

He started playing guitar at age 16 and joined his first band at age 18.  Recording and writing original music at an early age, he is a sought after artist and performer.His first exposure to the sitar came being from introduced to the belly dance scene; the beating drums and melodic dancing inspired him to learn and then to perform.To Joseph his music is about bringing people together and what he loves most is to sculpt a mood for his audience.He has  had the pleasure of performing the sitar on Broadway as well as with a multitude of artists and musicans. He has been trained in and has studied; Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar,  Sitar, Violin, drum kit, Voice, Flamenco Guitar, Saz, Jazz(Guitar), Bouzouki, and the Banjo.  Joesph has informal experience with 20  different kinds of Instruments.Has has formally been a member in 12 different  musical bands.

Ted Monnich is a musician with an interest in Turkish, Persian, and Kurdish music. He has studied saz with Dr. Turgay Erturk, Dr. Tevfik Alici, and Muhterem Sur. He has studied Turkish and Persian maqams with Farzad Farhangi. He is also a student of Ottoman history and culture. He is the founder of the world music group TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road, and has recorded and performed with the group, throughout North America and internationally as far as Samarkand, since its inception twenty years ago. He selected the piece Rast Kâr-ı Muhteşem out of his love for the piece, and the inspiration that it brings. While I learned to read music as a child, I no longer read music, but instead learn by ear, and play from memory. I am neither fluent in Osmanlica, and only slightly in Türkçe, but I pronounce them excellently, often being mistaken for a native. I have traveled to Turkey, regularly, since 1994, have lived there, and currently serve an appointment as an Honorary Ambassador of Turkish Ice Hockey to the Turkish Ice Hockey Federation (yet another life).

Lea Benson/Jadi Fatima has been involved in the historical and ethnic dance communities since childhood, teaching and performing Classical Persian dance since the age of 18.  She has led workshops throughout the US on Classical Persian dance and transformational dances from Central Asia to Morocco.  She received her Masters degree in Humanistic Psychology in June 2015 and will be embarking on a Ph.d program in Clinical Psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City in fall 2017.  Her masters thesis is on the experience of the flow state in music and dance improvisation, studying the American blues tradition and traditional music and dance in Central Asia.  Her thesis and other academic writing is available at SilkRoadConjectures.com. She has a particular interest in the positive mental health aspects of creative endeavors and altered states of consciousness.  A book on the history and tailoring of traditional garments of Central Asia is forthcoming in early 2018.

Billy Woods


Daveed Korup


Darbuka Dave

Om Brew

Saze Dunya

Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska

Seido Salifoski

Erin Roark

Jen Anya

Karadeniz aka Denys Proteau

Bottlecap Jake

Kylie Hilali

Madame Onça

Carla Monnich of Turku
Carla has been leading Guedra trance rituals for over 20 years.