We provide the highest quality expert instruction. Chief instructor, Katayoun Hutson, is among the most respected belly dance instructors in the community. Her teaching experience, dance expertise, dedication, and innovative approach are unmatched. In addition, Ayperi, Nica and Suzana were hand-selected by Katayoun for their special expertise and excellence in artistry and teaching.
CEO & Artistic Director
Katayoun is a master instructor and performer of authentic Egyptian dances and the Persian dances of her Iranian heritage. A popular and respected professional since 1999, she is especially known for her elegant and expressive dance style and dazzling technique. Her dance style has been described as “elegant and earthy,” “powerful yet subtle,” with “perfect musicality and interpretation.”
Promoting teaching standards and education of the cultural roots of contemporary belly dance, Katayoun has garnered a national reputation and 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.
An innovative artist, she is a mentor and community leader with over 15 years experience as a professional in the belly dance industry. She is a nationally recognized author, speaker and instructor, extensively trained in authentic cultural dance and music. She is the author of the newly released book, “Oriental Dance Curriculum: A Complete Guide for the Belly Dance Teacher,” the first and only book of its kind distributed worldwide.
A generous teacher, Katayoun shares her fountain of knowledge freely, drawing from her vast repertoire and teaching experience to all ages, abilities and backgrounds. With her extensive teaching experience and training in Middle Eastern dance and music, she aims to bring out the best in her students, while taking into consideration their individual performance goals.
An active community leader, she serves as a mentor and role model for area instructors and aspiring belly dance professionals. She was a co-founder of Tiraz Dance Network and instrumental board member since its inception in her living room in 2007. She is member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), Dancers Over 40 Inc, and International Dance Council.
Katayoun’s website: www.katayoundance.net
From a very young age, Nica was enamored with dance and movement. She began ballet training with The National Ballet of Canada and then studied Asian traditional dances with The Beijing Song and Dance Company in Beijing, China and at STSI Indonesian Dance Academy in Bali thanks to a year-long fellowship from the Indonesian Embassy of Washington DC.
Nica graduated from American University with a B.A. in dance. She currently teaches belly dance in the Washington, DC area and directs her dance company, Arabesque. She feels very fortunate to have studied with Tamra El Henna, Amir Thaleb, Jillina, Mohamed Shahin and Saida among many others.
Prior to belly dance, she was a professional ballet, modern, Spanish, Flamenco, and Classical Balinese dancer and choreographer. Her career brought her the opportunity to live and dance on four continents and perform at diverse venues, from Lincoln Center in New York City to the sacred temples in Bali.
As a Spanish dancer, Nica studied and performed both regional Spanish and Flamenco with the Spanish Dance Society under Dame Marina Keet and with the Joanna Del Rio Dance Company. Nica is honored to have studied with studied with Dame Alicia Diaz of the National Ballet of Spain, Nelida Tirado, Susana di Palma among others. She currently takes classes with Debra Belo.
Nica also studies the doumbek/tabla and credits her teachers Brad Sidwell, Souhail Kaspar, Ozzy, and Issam Houshan of the Bellydance Superstars for enlightening her to the beautiful rhythms of the Middle East.
Nica is founder and executive director of Circle of World Arts, a 501-c educational organization whose mission is, “Peacebuilding through the performing arts.” She is also founder and director of CWA’s Oriental Dance Academy.
Nica teaches Adult Ballet at Mosaique, as well as specialty topic workshops, drawing from her vast cultural dance background.
Nica’s website: www.verynica.com
Born and raised in Maryland, Ayperi began pre-professional dance at an early age, taking up ballet and tap until her teens. During that time, she was also introduced to the Middle Eastern dance styles by her mother, who taught and performed on the East Coast. Ayperi began her pre-professional Middle Eastern dance training in 2004 with Wendy Broadway of Masala Movements and then with Katayoun of Mosaïque.
In 2010, Ayperi started teaching and performing Middle Eastern dance, or “belly dance” in Northern Virginia. She taught level 1 and 2 dance at the Cub Run RECenter in Fairfax, VA for a year and filled in as workshop guest instructor for various studios in the area. In 2012, she opened her own studio in Haymarket, VA where she taught weekly classes.
Ayperi teaches and performs Classic American Belly Dance styles and also her own Contemporary Fusion Belly Dance style. She can sometimes be found on the weekends dancing in various restaurants in the Northern Virginia area.
Ayperi’s website: www.dancewithayperi.com
Suzana brings her joyful, expressive Egyptian-American style to a wide range of cultural events and celebrations. Her passion is exploring dance styles from Egypt and the surrounding region both as a soloist and as a member of Troupe Eshveh. Suzana’s dancing is informed by her music and theater experience and inspired by her connection with the audience.
Suzana has trained with many renowned masters of Oriental dance, including Autumn Ward, Faten Salama, Sahra Saeeda, Yamina Ramzy, and Aziza. She has deep knowledge of the belly dance industry and shares it generously with her students. She has completed all three levels of Katayoun’s Raqs Mosaique Teacher-Training seminars and continues her dance education with classes and workshops.
She emphasizes elegant, expressive and body-friendly movement practices. Her deep knowledge of the dance along with her expertise in language and culture add a dimension to her teaching that engages students on many levels.