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mirza dance ensemble troupe shadia

Shadia's Dance Background

Shadia (Christine Mirson-Tohme) is a renowned Middle Eastern dance instructor and performer. Based in Massachusetts, Shadia has been teaching students of all ages and dance levels for over 30 years. Her emphasis on technique and musicality makes her classes essential for any dancer wishing to reach performance level.

Formal Dance Training

Shadia received her formal training in both Middle Eastern and Western dances. Her repertoire includes ballet and dances from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and Lebanon. She has studied with many prominent Middle Eastern dancers and musicians, including Chafic Hashem and Lebanese singer and folk dancer Joseph Salama.

Dance Performer

During her career as a professional belly dancer, Shadia was a soloist with a musical group with her late husband, Lebanese percussionist Ibrahim Maalouf, touring with singers, folk troupes, and bands throughout North and South America.

Dance Teacher/Choreographer

In 1985, Shadia began her transition from performer to instructor and choreographer. Her classes quickly became some of the most popular in New England, attracting students who have gone on to become professional dancers, instructors, and Mirza troupe members. Celebrity belly dancer and choreographer Nourhan Sharif trained extensively with Shadia and, along with drummer Tony Chamoun, presented several routines originally conceived and performed by Shadia and Ibrahim.

Shadia has choreographed numerous pieces both for local performance groups and her own dance troupes. She and Ibrahim created the Zar piece for Libana, a Boston-based international vocal & music ensemble.

Rakset Jabaliye & Mirza Dance

Currently Shadia is Artistic Director/Choreographer for the Lebanese folk troupe Rakset Jabaliye and the Mirza Dance Ensemble that presents folk dances from the Middle East and whose principal dancers are Shadia's advanced students. In 2002, the troupe performed at the Antiquities of Egypt exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science in addition to numerous other ethnic festivals and venues throughout New England.

Raqs Sharki Instruction

Shadia teaches workshops and master classes in Raqs Sharki and folklore throught the U.S. She offers classes for advanced dancers at:

  • Dance Republic in Allston
  • ABAKA Studio in Watertown

Check the Events page for ongoing Raqs Sharqi instruction in the Brookline and Newton Adult Education programs.

Shadia also holds private lessons for students who prefer one-on-one instruction at her home studio or at your location. Contact Shadia at 781-461-0512 or, for more information.