Home About Sharifa
Oriental music is her heart and soul ....
It was the music that first captured her attention, her imagination, her heart...
and it’s expression, Oriental dance, became her passion.
Sharifa dances with passion, grace, and classic style.
Sharifa Asmar is renowned for her engaging and authentic Middle Eastern performances.
Her beautiful musicality, exquisite technique, and passion weave a magic carpet of Oriental dance.
Her connection to the dance and its musical context is such that audience members often address her in their native Arabic. Her repertoire includes Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish, and American styles as well as regional North African and Middle Eastern dances.
Sharifa's Middle Eastern dance spans 3 continents, over 2 decades and a myriad of venues and celebrations : international and corporate events, public venues, restaurants and nightclubs, as well as, numerous family celebrations such as weddings and festivals in the US and Europe. Extended engagements in NY/NJ metro area, North Carolina, and Central Florida resorts are among her experiences.
Sharifa loves to share the dance and teaches with clarity and patience.
Sharifa has no trade-secrets - she shares her knowledge and experience without reserve. Sharifa provides a strong foundation in Middle Eastern dance basics and Oriental technique - giving all levels - beginners to advanced, hobbyists to professional dancers - the opportunity to pursue their dance in a noncompetitive environment: to go beyond simple bellydance and develop an understanding of the music and art of Oriental Arabic dance. And to enjoy their dance.
Sharifa supports her student dancers in their dance goals and choices: performance is always a personal choice. Her own passion for the dance is constantly renewed by studying with internationally- known dancers and dance masters world-wide. Sharifa’s dance started like many in the USA, in a local Parks and Recreation program. Her first Middle Eastern dance performance was a folkloric Saidi dance (Upper Egypt) – leaving a special place in her heart for Saidi and other regional folkloric dances.
Sharifa is a recognized and respected resource for quality Middle Eastern Oriental dance education.
Sharifa is a sought-after instructor, innovative dance artist, creative choreographer, workshop/seminar instructor, historian, and lecturer. Sharifa's educational programs and demonstrations are presented to audiences from grammar schools to adult service organizations and museums. She has been a panelist on NPR radio, appeared on cable TV, and on DVD collections.
As director and choreographer of Qarisma Dance Arts, a resource for traditional Middle Eastern and North African dance, Sharifa seeks to take Middle Eastern dance beyond its traditional audiences with quality innovative Oriental dance and education programs.
Sharifa teaches weekly classes in several NC locations and weekend workshops for dancers, equestrians, and other interested groups.
Sharifa has received substantial project and research grants. She has served the dance arts community as a member of the North Carolina Dance Alliance board, as well as her local Arts Council board.
Sharifa's academic education includes post-graduate studies in history and European languages.
When not dancing, she can be found in the field with her horses.
Some Recent Public Highlights ~
Featured Performer, Tapestry Dance Holiday Gala, Raleigh,NC
Director/Choreographer/Performer: Qarisma Dance at Cinco De Mayo Festival, Fayetteville,NC
Producer/Choreographer/Performer : Starlight Summer Hafla - A BellyDance Evening under the Stars, Fayetteville,NC
Performer/Choreographer with Qarisma Dancers, Cairo Calling - Sizzling Egyptian Dance w/Mohammed Shahin, PSI Theater, Durham, NC
Co-producer/performer, BellyDance in the Islands w/Joe Zeytoonian and Myriam Eli of Harmonic Motion, Fayetteville,NC
Featured performer, Mosaic Nightclub, Raleigh, NC
Director/Performer/Choreographer: Qarisma Dancers, Sunrise Theater, Southern Pines, NC
Featured Instructor/Performer, NCBellydance.Org Benefit
Featured Performer, Shimmy South X Gala, Raleigh,NC