Lauren Zehara

 Hi, I’m Lauren Zehara.

I’ve danced and taught in the St. Louis area since 2000. I was the owner of Lotus Arts Studio, a world dance and yoga studio that had two locations in the St. Louis area. My studio was home to The Hips Afire! Bellydancers, a student repertory group and to the Silver Sirens, a senior recreational troupe. I was also director of (and a performer in) Lotus Arts Dance Company, our pro troupe that performed at festivals, universities, and events around the area.

I’m the author of A Belly Dance Journal and A Yoga Journal. I’ve also produced a video teaching Stage Presence skills for belly dancers.

I’m retired from professional dance and at the moment I’m traveling the world on a budget as a nomad and working as a freelance writer.

headshot beledi-small Experience

  • Dancing since 2000
  • 2007-2013: Owner of Lotus Arts Studio (locations in St. Louis, MO & Belleville, IL)
  • Performed regularly at Nara Hookah Cafe, Aya Sofia Restaurant and other venues
  • Taught workshops regionally and at Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive 2012
  • Taught on Norwegian cruise ship, Dubai/India in 2012
  • Publisher of Belly Dance U
  • Author, A Belly Dance Journal
  • DVD: Stage Presence with Lauren Zehara

Specialties & subjects

  • Stage Presence: How to relax onstage and communicate with your audience
  • Musicality and Expression: Learn more about Middle Eastern music and/or rhythms
  • Folk Dances (intro level): Saidi, Khaleegy, Beledi, Turkish Romani
  • Props: Shamadan, Goddess Wings, Sword, cane
  • Styles of Dance: Lecture & video presentation comparing Egyptian, Turkish & other styles
  • Technique: Layered and textured shimmies
  • Group choreographies (both Egyptian and Pan-Arabic) for beginner, intermediate, and advanced troupes

My work



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  3. Good afternoon, Lauren Zehara. During the pandemic I thought it would be interesting to watch some belly-dance videos and it has become something I’m curious to learn about in some detail. Such as specific moves and gestures and their names, the music, the various national/ethnic forms, etc. I enjoy many of the Ukrainian dancers, D. Mitskevich, Alla Symshlyeva, Alla Kushnir, Oxana Bazaeava, Habibi Lal. And of course Sadie Marquardt. Anyway, This is a sincere request. If you will be giving any kind of open lectures in the future, might I be informed? Or if you have an office you work from and would be comfortable having visitor, it would be a real joy for me to watch some YT vids with you and ask you some questions “in real time,” as the saying goes. If you don’t have the time, no hard feelings. This type of dance is fascinating and magical!

  4. mm

    Hi, Stephen. I’m not expecting to give any lectures myself in the near future, but there are lectures happening online. By the end of this month I’ll be debuting a new version of this site and it will have a list of upcoming events, online and in real life, where you might find a lecture — so please check back!

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