Our roots begin around 1949 with the great Jamila Salimpour (CA) who passed down this great love of the dance to daughter Suhaila Salimpour.  Jamila shared her love for the dance with then student now amazing Cassandra Shore (MN) in 1975, who worked alongside Zarifa (NC).  Zarifa taught the Egyptian Cabaret style belly dance to Yasmine (NC).

About Iona

Iona wanted to take belly dance classes to surprise her husband in 2002 when she stumbled into Yasmine’s class. He insisted that she continue to dance, and she happily agreed. The dance had become a part of her life, and before she knew it she'd was asked to join the Magic-Hips Dancers, a professional troupe based in Charlotte. She was an member of Magic-Hips until 2007.

She is currently one of the founding members of Spirit of the Lotus Dance Company, is the Lead Instructor for Lotus Bellydance, directs Amani Lotus Student Troupe and has taught various bellydance workshops and group lessons. Through the years she's participated in various workshops to help strengthen her dance, and finds her inspiration in dancers such as Bozenka, Donna Mejia  and teacher Rachel Brice.  Because percussion instruments were a major part in her life growing up, she naturally gravitated to zills and various hand drums, and finds major inspiration in Issam Houshan and Karim Nagi (Turbo Tabla).

While her primary style of dance learned was Egyptian Cabaret, she has a big love for fusion belly dance.  She is a graduate of the Rachel's first class of 8 Elements of Bellydance Approach Phase 4: Transmission, and is a certified 8 Elements Datura Style Instructor

About Ronda

I started belly dancing as a mother/daughter team in 2005 here in Charlotte.  I have a background in ballet, tap and jazz so I was thrilled at the chance to start dancing again. I have studied with many different teachers in the area and I have enjoyed the workshops that come to Charlotte to further my dance education. Some of the great benefits I discovered was it improved my confidence, it raised my self esteem and I further developed my inner goddess.  I’m so excited to be able to meet and dance with many different and beautiful women.  I look forward to the journey of teaching and sharing this amazing dance form with others.

About Sharon

I started dance, as many girls did, in a ballet class when I was in elementary school. Although I do have a gap in formal training, roughly 15 years ago, I discovered belly dance with a mommy friend. We went to class as a way to reconnect with our selves after having children. From that class, I allowed myself to fall in love with dance again, to do something just for me. I have taken classes both from my teacher and from guest teachers from around the world. I have ran practice sessions with my fellow students, lead technique classes, filled in for my teacher and formed a troupe. ​My love of choreography and encouragement of my dance-mates led me to teach classes. I have had the privilege to teach classes at CPCC in addition to my personally arranged classes.

About Naima Sultana

Naima Sultana has been studying and performing Middle Eastern Dance since 1994. A student of dance since she was three, she studied ballet, jazz, and modern variations for over 15 years, giving her technique the framework of western dance and the substance of Middle Eastern Orientale. While she loves studying and performing the wide range of styles that bellydance offers, from cabaret to folkloric to fusion, Naima is best known for her articulate hipwork and emotionally expressive performances in the American Orientale genre. From 2015-2019, Naima performed and toured internationally with Jillina Carlano’s Bellydance Evolution professional theatrical company.


Owner - Lead Instructor - Professional Dancer

Naima Sultana

Associate Instructor - Professional Dancer


Assistant Instructor - Professional Dancer

Lotus Belly Dance

Our Teachers


Associate Instructor - Professional Dancer