Katya Faris, M.A. Ethnomusicology, *Best of 2015* *Best of 2014* *Best of 2013*, is a World Class bellydancer, instructor, choreographer and director that has been dancing in the traditions of the Middle East since she was a young girl of 11, and danced with her Persian family in-laws and friends in Los Angeles, California. Katya is producing an Arab music CD for bellydance in Detroit, and works closely with her Egyptian mentor, Ehab Gadalla, and several Arab American institutions for her educational programs. She is the preferred dancer amongst Middle Eastern venues, musicians, and families, and has danced in Chicago, Detroit, NYC, LA, Miami, London, Sweden, South Korea, as well as upcoming shows in Canada, Europe and the Middle East. She is also a favorite model of Shahraman Palace, a bellydance costume designer in Beirut, Lebanon, and exclusively wears couture costumes made for her by Shahraman. Katya has appeared in TV commercials in the US and the UK for clients such as CBS and the BBC.
She received a "Best of 2013 Award" based on her clients' reviews on GigMasters! On January 14, 2013 she was the featured performer in the GigMasters blog, "The Life of the Party", in their Real Event Spotlight, "A 60th Birthday Roast"! She was the principle dancer for Salaam Middle Eastern Music and Dance Ensemble, and has worked with other musicians such as Latif Bolat, Amir El Saffar, and Francis Batayeh. She is known for her graciousness and musicality, and has brought people to tears with her emotive interpretation of the music. Come see Katya for "Arabian Nights" with Salaam once a month at Lava Hookah Lounge in Indianapolis; the second Thursday night of every month.
Katya has complete command of the event when she dances, and nothing makes her happier than bringing a smile to people's faces, and joy to their hearts! She has been blessed with performing for literally hundreds of gigs in her performance lifetime, and has consistently been Indy's favorite bellydancer for restaurants, hookah cafes, and special events. She has had the honor of dancing for political dignitaries, royalty, and Hollywood actors at exclusive private functions such as the NFL Superbowl XLVI ESPN private party in Indy, Verizon Wireless Music Center Casbah Tent, Chicago River East Art Center K.I.S.S. corporate fundraiser, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art exhibits. From Beverly Hills mansions to Iowa campgrounds, Katya's passion for the dance extends to all people, and she takes her job to the highest level by caring for your event with the utmost respect and attention to detail. You can trust her with entertaining you for the special occasions of your life, such as weddings, bridal showers and birthday parties. In this age of "Instant Bellydancer Just Add Water", Katya's artistic integrity is a refreshing reminder that it takes years of practice to hone the skills necessary to be called "the real thing" by her Middle Eastern clients, and is the highest and most humbling honor she has received in her reviews. Hiring Katya means you've got a real pro!
She received her M.A. in Ethnomusicology from Indiana University, and produced the "Mosaic Dance Concert Series" at the John Waldron Art Center Auditorium in 2008, and at the Buskirk Chumley Theatre with the Bellydance Superstars in 2011. While she does bellydance shows for all types of events, she also does cultural education multi-media presentations on Middle Eastern folk dance and music for children of all ages, including several university presentations. Her vast knowledge of authentic dance techniques and musical forms is matched by her subtlety, grace, and personal charm. A typical performance with Katya features her dancing in the traditions of Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, and American cabaret style Raqs Sharqi ("Oriental Dance"), all complete with superb finger cymbal playing and veils. She also uses Isis Wings, fanveils, candles, swords and canes for her shows, and is a real crowd pleaser!
Katya currently is a course instructor with IUPUI in their Department of Continuing Education, and also teaches out of her home studio, the Mosaic Dance Academy. From 2002-6 she taught at Indiana University, Bloomington Campus where she was the Director of the Middle Eastern Dance Program at the Student Recreation Sports Center (SRSC).
Katya's performances always generate a great deal of energy and excitement. Audiences have responded to her dances with overwhelming enthusiasm. Her talent and loyalty to an authentic traditional style have proven to be both educational and entrancing!