Aliya Dalal (also known as Jacinda) is an award-winning international belly dance performer and instructor based in Washington DC, USA. Known for her graceful, powerful, and expressive dance style that combines traditional with modern theatrical dance elements, Aliya performs regularly at restaurants, nightclubs, and special events throughout the DC, Maryland, and Virginia regions.
Aliya’s unique and dynamic dance style has attracted international attention and netted her multiple awards. Most recently, she won the 2020 Ishtar Congress Oriental Dance Competition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the 2020 Serpentine Dance Studios Choreographer Competition in Bethesda, Maryland. She also was a finalist in the 2020 Drum Solo Queen Online Competition and the 2020 Belly Dance World Cup Online.
Driven by a passion for teaching, Aliya loves sharing her knowledge and experience in this dance form with people of all backgrounds. She is a certified group fitness and Pilates instructor and teaches belly dance and fitness classes and workshops in-person and online. She has worked with individuals of a wide age range and fitness levels in settings that include dance studios, fitness and wellness centers, conferences and festivals, and retirement communities. In her teaching, she inspires students with dynamic choreography and technique, while providing a nurturing, supportive, and fun environment in which they can master new challenges.
Aliya has studied Middle Eastern Dance for over 10 years, and has trained extensively in Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish Oriental and Folklore, as well as American Cabaret styles. She is constantly seeking to further her knowledge of Middle Eastern dances and cultures with master instructors from across the globe. She has trained with internationally-renowned experts such as Eyad Malaeb, Kamilia of Lebanon, Artemis Mourat, Yasmin Henkesh, and Raqia Hassan to name a few.
Aliya holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Nutritional Sciences and specializes in stress and health research. Her work is devoted to mitigating the long-term impact of early-life trauma and promoting health and well-being for trauma survivors across the lifespan. Aliya believes that Middle Eastern Dance has a tremendous potential to serve these purposes, particularly for women and girls with histories of sexual trauma. In her teaching program, Aliya strives to highlight the joy and beauty of Middle Eastern Dance as a powerful tool for stress reduction, positive self-image, and empowerment.