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JoEllen Handelsman

JoEllen Handelsman (Sohaila) is a world-renowned professional Middle Eastern dancer with over 30 years of experience. She has performed in major entertainment venues across the United States, Europe, and Latin America, with extended stays in Mexico City, The Middle East, Egypt, Syria, Dubai, Jordan, and Greece. She has been featured as a top solo performer in venues that range from cruise ships to dignitary events. She has received instruction and training from a diverse set of world famous dancers and teachers from the Middle East. Sohaila was a 2001 International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance nominee for Best Modern Egyptian dancer of the Year, and her studio was selected as the “Best Place to Learn How to Shake your Belly” by San Diego Reader Magazine in 2003. Sohaila has mastered the art of belly dance and personalizes the dance with fluidity, class, grace, and style. Achievements include performing, teaching, researching, and writing. With over a dozen instructional DVDs, Sohaila’s techniques have been seen around the world and have helped many dancers add to their dance repertoire. Sohaila is committed to passing on her knowledge to her many students through patience and encouragement. Her main focus: “I strive to preserve, promote, entertain, teach, and train others to experience the art of belly dancing with passion, class, elegance, and style.” Sohaila has her own company, Sohaila International Promotions, dedicated to promote Middle Eastern Dance at its finest. Sohaila credits Patriceann Mead for the opportunity to be included in the World Dance Program here at Palomar College.