Shems is a professional belly dancer and belly dance instructor based in Baltimore, Maryland. Admired for her elegant, dynamic interpretation of this timelessly captivating dance form, Shems has performed for dignitaries and celebrities, has garnered awards and has earned the respect and admiration of many audiences, top musicians and her professional dance peers around the world.

Shems is well loved for her ability to engage her audiences and brighten celebrations. As she dances, she exudes warmth and energy, good humor and a refined sensuality as she connects to the roots of the dance. These qualities have made her a favorite with a wide variety of audiences including many of the ethnic communities from which this dance originates. Mastery of the veil, sword, finger cymbals and assaya, technical hip work, supple undulations, stunning costumes and more make Shems’s shows a brilliant visual feast.

A seasoned entertainer, Shems underpins her showstopping stage presence with a wide movement vocabulary and a strong knowledge of Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, American Classic, Romany (gypsy) and pan-Arabic folkloric dances. Whether she is performing a contemporary interpretation on a theater stage or a more traditional Oriental routine with live music at a wedding, Shems dances with both substance and grace.

Shems is the best kept secret in Baltimore! She is a beautiful performer, an excellent and conscientious teacher and a lovely person!”

-Artemis ( is a master teacher, writer, historian and one of the best Turkish style dancers in the US.


Training & Background


Shems has been a student of raqs sharqi (belly dance) since 1996, when she was just a teen living in Utah. Shems trained with the best belly dance instructors the state had to offer as well as supplemented her education with multiple workshops and dance retreats with many of the world’s top belly dance stars. Some of the instructors most influential on Shems’s dance style include Andromeda – UT, Aziz – UT, Artemis Mourat – MD, Sahra Saeeda – CA, Hadia – Canada, Karim Nagi – CT, Randa Kamal – Egypt, Dina – Egypt, Tito Seif – Egypt , Suha Deeb – Lebanon and Reyhan Tuzsuz – Turkey.

Shems has supplemented her belly dance education with modern dance, improvisation, ballet, folk dance and jazz dance classes from the University of Utah’s highly reputable dance department and from the Salt Lake Community College.

In Utah Shems taught classes to all levels of dancers and performed with three performing troupes. The last of these three, Shazadi, won multiple awards in national belly dance competitions with Shems as a major contributing choreographer. Shems moved to the DC area in 2004 where she worked in several of the top clubs and most respected venues of the area. She moved next to Baltimore in 2006 where she started teaching again and started the diverse and dynamic professional dance company Barakaat.

At the professional level, Shems remains passionate in elevating the public image of belly dance and keeping its great cultural traditions alive. She achieves this level of authenticity and stays at the cutting edge of industry trends through frequent intensive workshops and seminars taught by the very best her art form has to offer including many top stars from Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and around the world.