Khalima is a Richmond, Virginia based performer, instructor, visionary, and artistic personality. She brings together her background in music, art, and a lifelong passion for writing, metaphor, and things that shine into emotional, musical, and narrative renderings of bellydance. Her sense of connection to the audience, the community, and the rich tapestry of culture in our world is the foundation for her work. Her improvisational fusion of Orientale style, energetic movement theory, precise isolations and fluid movement is combined with both non-traditional and traditional music, creating truly unique performance experiences. Khalima has been lovingly described as poetry in motion and as being the music.
With a penchant for thinking outside of the box and an insatiable drive to create and inspire, Khalima opened lllumination Dance Studio, Richmond’s only studio dedicated to Middle Eastern Dance in all it’s forms and incarnations in September of 2010. It is a safe haven for learning to get back into your body, and serves as a point on the constellation of creative energy that spans the world. As an extension of her work, Khalima produces Raqs Luminaire, an annual Theatrical Fusion bellydance stage show, exploring themes of light and dark through dance and story, in a literal and metaphorical sense. Khalima also produces numerous events around Richmond, and collaborates with many communities and artists within many genres including, Vaudeville, fire performance, circus, storytelling, visual arts, DJ culture and electronica, and theater.
The quintessential performer, Khalima is able to seamlessly join her dance to any genre of music, and is a sought after performer for live music experiences and stage performances where anything from cutting edge to the esoteric, modern, ancient, or traditional can flourish. She regularly works with Happy Lucky Combo, the Photosynthesizers, her partner Mikemetic of AudioMassTransit, and has performed with Balkanize, My Son the Doctor, and other musicians with whom she collaborates. Khalima is also one half of Sekhemti, an ancient-modern dance duo combining bellydance and the incredible yoga artistry of LeVar Carter; together they enact theatrical ancient and new mythological tales and embody the gods and goddesses of yore.
Always hungry for knowledge and ways to grow, Khalima began prenatal yoga teacher training in November 2010 with Leslie Lyttle of OmMama, and earned her Suhaila Salimpour Level 1 Certification in March of 2011. Her foundation in Egyptian and Orientale style bellydance began with Najia of Philadelphia Bellydance and world-renowned Sahra Saeeda. Khalima completed Journey Through Egypt 1, Cairo Style 1, several of Sahra’s workshops, and continues to attend these programs to deepen her knowledge of anthropology, history, and movement. Khalima continues her studies along many healing and artistic paths, finding the connection between the myriad of creative movement and energetic arts and disciplines that exist.
In class, Khalima combines her love of physical expression and ritual to create a safe and nurturing environment for her students. She provides a solid physical foundation for learning bellydance form, and encourages her students to grow into their own bodies and experiences to heal and unlock creative potential, while fostering a community of empowerment for women and dancers. Khalima’s years of experience as a licensed professional body piercer have given her a strong foundation in guiding people through fear and into a new sense of ownership over their bodies and future. She is known for her gentle yet lively demeanor and “bedside manner”, which she applies to her dance instruction to augment the learning process.