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Kalila is a performer and instructor of Middle Eastern dance based in San Diego, CA. New to San Diego (as of July 2011!), Kalila has spent the last seven years as a featured soloist and ensemble member in the University of California Santa Barbara Middle East Ensemble Dance Company, lead by Cris! Basimah and founded by Alexandra King. In addition to San Diego performances, she still dances regularly at a variety of events in the greater Santa Barbara area, and also performs throughout the state of California. Of course, Kalila is available to book for your next event, no matter the location!

As both a Middle East Ensemble member and a soloist independent from The Ensemble, Kalila has danced at shows from Mendocino to San Diego, and at out-of state venues such as Albion University in Michigan. She was also featured in a 2010 tour of EGYPT that included four shows at the famed Cairo Opera House, in addition to concerts throughout Cairo and Upper Egypt.

Specializing in American, Turkish, and Egyptian-style cabaret, Kalila is devoted to dance forms which allow her to exhibit her talent of interacting with the audience while keeping the tradition and joy of improvisational dance alive. Her attention to detail in both the percussive and fluid movements of the dance is accentuated by her acute ability to interpret the nuances of Middle Eastern music, and the joy she feels while performing or teaching shines through every moment.

Although she focuses her expertise in the cabaret-style Raqs Sharqi ("Belly Dance"), Kalila is also trained in classical and folk dance styles from Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Persia, Lebanon, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and other Middle-Eastern countries. Additionally, Kalila excels in her execution of veil, sword, cane, and candle dances.


Born in San Francisco, Kalila's love for music lead her to begin dance lessons at an early age. She has been trained in ballet, modern dance, jazz, and she figure-skated at a semi-competitive level for 4 years.

Kalila began belly dancing at age 14 under the instruction of Azar. Immediately feeling at home with the music and movement of the Middle East, Kalila soon became the youngest member of the dance company The Dancers of the Mystic Sun. During her 2 years as a member of Azar's Mystic Sun troupe, Kalila performed at a variety of shows in the greater San Francisco bay area, including dancing at the famous San Francisco Carnival.

In 2004, Kalila moved to Santa Barbara to attend college at UCSB and to continue studying dance under the instruction of world-renowned dancer and teacher Alexandra King. Kalila was soon asked to join Alexandra's dance company, Seher , of which she is still a member and featured soloist.



Kalila, second from the left. Classical Armenian dance performed with Seher.


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