“It is my wish that my students find joy in the movements, inspiration in the music, and purity of art in this beautifully rich and spirited dance.” Katayoun, Master Instructor/Professional Performer, Author/Speaker
Katayoun is a nationally recognized author, speaker and instructor specializing in authentic Egyptian dances and the Persian dances of her Iranian heritage. A master teacher, professional performer, and innovative artist, she is a mentor and community leader with over 15 years experience in the belly dance industry. Her newly released book “Oriental Dance Curriculum: A Complete Guide for the Belly Dance Teacher,” is the first curriculum guide for teaching belly dance distributed worldwide.
Promoting teaching standards and education of the cultural roots of contemporary belly dance, Katayoun is considered one of the most respected professionals in the Washington, DC belly dance community. A highly accomplished teacher, Katayoun specializes in multilevel methodologies to simultaneously address the needs and interests of varying levels of experience and ability.
In 2010, she was one of 25 dancers selected from around the world to participate in the first season of Project Belly Dance, the search for America’s Top Belly Dancer, a competition and reality show. Her dance style has been described as “elegant and earthy,” “powerful yet subtle,” with “perfect musicality and interpretation.”
Extensively trained and experienced in Oriental, folkloric and Persian dance styles, Katayoun embraces theatricality and storytelling to embody musicality, aesthetics, costuming and presentation of dance through a contemporary lens. Highly influenced by the cultural insight gained from her Iranian heritage, along with the teachings of masters such Morocco, Zahra Zuhair, Karim Nagi, Aida Nour, Mohamed Shahin, Robyn Friend and Medea Mahdavi, Katayoun aims to present a contemporary vision of dance, inspired by its authentic cultural roots.
An innovative and dedicated instructor, Katayoun has created a belly dance teacher-training program offering international certification to promote breadth of knowledge and teaching standards within the belly dance community. With a background in education, she has accumulated over 8,000 teaching hours in the classroom and the studio. She has continued her own education with over 350 hours of advanced and specialized training in Middle Eastern dance and music, as well as graduate coursework in education through the University of Virginia.
She was a co-founder of Tiraz Dance Network and board member since its inception in her living room in 2007. She is a former WAMEDA (Washington Area Middle Eastern Dance Association) board member and officer. Currently she serves as CEO and artistic director of Mosaique Center for Cultural Arts in Sterling, VA, an organization she founded in 2009, where she teaches 10-14 classes per week.
A generous teacher, Katayoun shares her fountain of knowledge generously, drawing from her vast repertoire and teaching experience to all ages, abilities and backgrounds. She believes that regardless of dance style, when music, culture and movement are connected to create dance performance, the dancer and her audience are fully engaged and continuously inspired.