Let TZ lead you and your girl friends in some fun, flexibility building dance moves! Lori, Mandy and the gang are sure to get your group movin’ and groovin’!

PARTIES

TZ can get the party hopping! Let our ladies wow the crowd with a few group numbers and/or some solos. Whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, or what have you, we can coax the crowd into joining us on the dance floor!

*please, no bachelor parties, thank you!

Educational 

Presentation

Lori and Mandy pride themselves on sharing what they have learned through belly dance. The group can put together a fun and informative program for your group and/or event. 

FESTIVALS

What better place to enjoy music and dancing than a festival? Troupe Zephyr can enhance any festival atmosphere! And we LOVE interacting with the crowd! Whether it be a large show-style production or “street performer” style, contact us to book us for your festival now. 

Belly-Gram

Whatever your message is, send it care of a belly dancer! Great for birthdays, promotional celebrations, and more.

BEHIND THE SCENES

TZ has been at the event management game for a while now. Hire us to keep your gig running smoothly. We offer our own sound and lighting, as well as superb management skills. 

CONTACT US

FOR PRICING

AND BOOKING

DISCLAIMER:

Lori Naseelah, Mandy Naseelah and any Troupe Zephyr performer and affiliates, reserve the right to cancel or refuse a booking based upon perceived threat to personal safety. We’re in the business of fun and entertainment. Let’s keep it that way! Thank you!

Mandy and Lori both started in their belly dance journeys in 2000 by studying with Hayada Gamal and Tiani Al’Shaheen, both local dancers. The sisters in dance chose to be business partners in 2009 by founding Troupe Zephyr. Since this time, Troupe Zephyr has grown one hundred fold. The duo is always striving to expand their repertoire by studying with other dancers through workshops and classes. They host two large scale events in west central Ohio every year. Schoolhouse Raqs and Gypsy Mystique are rapidly expanding in popularity, drawing instructors and participants from multiple states, and producing a quality show to the best of their abilities each and every time.

Dancers from which Lori and Mandy Naseelah have studied:

Caroleena Noreecio – ATS (American Tribal Style)

Laylia of the Ohio Renaissance Festival– Live drum improve, prop balancing, zills, double veil,

fluidity in dance, crowd interaction

Chandadra Gamal – Egyptian fundamentals, power hips, Khaleegy, zills

Taleetha Al Badyr – Advanced Zills

Kira Lafve – Musicality in belly dance

Deniz Dansah – fan veil, veil

Kay Louise Mezmeric – Tribal fusion

Piper – Advanced belly dance and fluid arms

Lisa Zahiya – Hip hop belly dance fusion

Zattana Al-Naseem – Gypsy skirt dancing, Spanish fans, prop balancing

Zoey Jakes Belly Dance Superstar – Balkan style dance

Nataj of Habeeba’s– Beledi Progression

Christina Nai’imah Mitchell – Bollywood 

Emily Marie – Drum solo

Amani Jabril– Reda technique

Aida of San Fransisco – Veil

Yazmina Ramzy – Egyptian, varied

Amy Sigil of Unmata – Stamina in advanced dance

Mezzeli – Drum solo, ballroom fusion, veil poi

Ageala – Traditional Egyptian and filling the dance floor with traveling combos

Avasa – Liquid arms

Natasha – Burlesque, hula hoop, and poi

Abernathy Hall – Tribal fusion

Dharma – Advanced veil

Athena Howe – Dance improve on stage

Soroya Dancer of Troupe Taleeba – Belly Dance Basics

Najhara – Bollywood Basics

Lila – Shaabi

Elianae Stone – Ballet for Belly Dancers

Back to Troupe Zephyr Main Page

Lori Naseelah is currently teaching at the Family Y in New Bremen, Ohio (contact directly at 419-629-9622), Art’s Place in Portland, Indiana (260-726-4809), as well as from the Troupe Zephyr home location. 

Mandy Naseelah from the Troupe Zephyr home location. 

BOTH are vailable for private classes and lessons. PLease use the CONTACT US box to find out details.

Workshops

Lori and Mandy have a variety of workshops which they formulated to take on the road. Have the Naseelahs come to you and your group to teach a one to two hour workshop. You can even make a day of it and the pair can team up to teach more than one. Peruse the list. If what you want is not there, contact us. We’ll do what we can to put together what you are looking for. 

GRACEFUL ARMS

The movement of the arms can add beauty and enhance the dance. Spend some time with Lori and Mandy as they go over graceful arm movements and drills to create a total dance package.

BUILD-A-BOOTY

Work it Sister! We’re going to have you squatting, popping, locking, bumping and more to create gorgeous booty moves to enhance your hip movements and  strengthen your body.

STAGE PRESENCE

Own that stage! You are the BOSS! Let Mandy and Lori help you increase your stage presence with exercises, guided imagery and movement drills to command the attention you deserve.

FOOT FOUNDATIONS

Your feet are the foundation of your life. They hold you up. They are the vehicle yb which you move. They need to be pampered, toned, and cared for. This workshop is a mixture of exercises, stretches, reflexology and self care mixed with common sense first aid and awareness of your feet. And don’t forget a few gorgeous step combos to spice up your routine. 

BELLYDANCE BASICS

Lori and Mandy love to share the very beginner steps to basic moves and drills. Let them come to you to share and enrich your life with flexibility, poise, posture and a teeny bit of sauciness we all need. 

GO WITH THE FLOW

The addition of veil work to bellydance can push a beutiful dance over the edge into awe inspiring. This beginner to intermediate veil workshop will have you captivating audiences and showing that veil who is boss. 

FAN VEIL

Fan veils have become a mainstay of belly dance props. Lori and Mandy can teach you the basics of fan veil, run though drills, and help with music selctions to polish that routine. 

VOI

Veil poi can be a graceful addition to your prop repetoire. Let Lori and Mandy lead you through the veil to voi transition. For a small additional charge, the duo can supply each workshop attendee with a “ball” that can be easily attached to a 3 foot, rectangular veil of choice. 

Troupe Zephyr is a dance group based out of Auglaize County, Ohio.

They specialize in:
-dances that fall into the “belly dance” category (Egyptian cabaret, Raqs Assaya, Tribal style and various fusions)

-Folk dances from America, Europe, and Near East
COMING SOON:
Latin based dances

The troupe founders, Lori (The Herbchick) and Mandy, offer classes and workshops, as well as book the troupe for shows, events, family entertainment, etc.

Click the tabs on the right side of this screen for more info about us.

2020 has sucked.

And not in a good way.

2020 has been the year of changes…and hardships. Troupe Zephyr has rocked with smaller, in-person events at Vino Bellisimo in Lima, Ohio; and we have reeled with the assorted shutdowns and the changes in our regular “real job” employment situations.

BUT YA KNOW WHAT? We have not faded away into oblivion. No! We have not gone silently into that dark night! HELL NO! That’s just not our style! Instead, we sat back a hot sec. We observed. We found we have what it takes to go the long haul. Enjoy our first venture into online “shows” with the following compilation. No…Troupe Zephyr is NOT GOING ANY DAMN WHERE! We are here…large and in charge…in the corn belt of the i75 corridor…and we are bringing the performing arts to YOU!

VIRTUAL VISUAL GALA YOUTUBE VIDEO

2017 has been…

Exhausting?

Exhilarating?

Emotional?

Busy?

Whatever 2017 has been for you, we here at Troupe Zephyr have been through it, too. Mandy and I have been on an emotional roller coaster. While most of it has been high, we have had our share of lows. Through all of it, belly dance has helped us maintain our composure.

In times of celebration, we danced.

In times of stress, we danced.

In times of mourning, we danced.

Now…as 2018 is quickly approaching…we want to be sure we extend our sanity tool to all interested. Won’t you join us to dance at the Troupe Zephyr studio? Our beginner, intermediate and private classes are now forming. Contact us ASAP to book your spot.

Happy New Year to you all!

Sweating profusely. Sticky palms. Dry mouth. The sudden urge to pee. Performing in public can be a terrifying experience. The genre doesn’t matter. A person can have an adrenaline response to all manners of public exposure, whether she is a seasoned veteran or a complete newbie. For me, dancing in public was not rally a big deal. I am a bit of a natural born ham. (Shhh…none of my long term friends are allowed to weigh in on this.) The terrifying part was performing ALONE.

Yup. Being on that stage is no big deal to me when I have others there to share the experience. It is as if being a part of a group deflects the gaze of too many people at one time. When I am a part of the group, I am only representing one faction of a population. There are equal representations with the entire group being there. It is the dreaded solo that strikes fear in my being. I know I am not alone!

DANCING IN PINK THING

I find many western raqs soloists like to use props. I love props. However, I have been forcing myself to perform solos sans all props. If I have a longer set – let’s say a fifteen minute bar/restaurant set – I think utilizing a veil entrance, followed by zilling and ending with a hard core drum solo would be bad ass! However, in most stage productions here in the US, each dancer or troupe is allowed about five to seven minutes. I started to feel as if I had a death grip on my veil…or cane…or hat…or fan veil..or what have you. WHY??? Why was I clinging to these things? Props can be shields to keep the audience focused on something else besides my dancing. For me, I felt as if I was a magician, keeping the audience focused on my prop to mask my lack of ability to convey musical emotions. So…I have ditched them. I still love my props. Trust me! Nothing says cool and awesome quite like a huge scimitar on a dancer’s head whilst she/he moves about. However, sometimes I feel it is time to dance with feeling, and leave the props behind. I have a very long way to go in this area, but I’m working on it. How about you? How’s your solo performance?

photo: Lori and Mandy Naseelah  with Zoey Jakes (center). October 2015
THEY ARE IN PINK AND POINTING AT A GIRL IN THE MIDDLE HOLDING A CERTIFICATE

With Schoolhouse Raqs fast approaching, I have been thinking back on all of the workshops I have ever taken. There have been a lot! I have been rather privileged to belong to a great lineage of dancers through my primary teacher, which traces back to Fifi Abdou (love that woman). Add to that the long list of dancers whom I have taken workshops. Local and regional favorites, as well as some very well known dancers, are on that roll. Taletha Al Badr, Avassa, Zoey Jakes, Chandara Gamal, Laylia White, Yasmina Ramsey, Amy Sigil…the list goes on and on.

One may think I would stop taking workshops at some point. Or perhaps I may start to feel as if I must only follow my own style. However, I want more workshops. I would love to soak up all of the energy, knowledge and wisdom from every dancer possible. I have a “style,” I think. But to me, each and every workshop is an opportunity to learn a new move, a new way of doing the same move, a look at my self as a dancer and to admire those great dancers around me. I may know a lot at this point in the game, but I definitely have a long way to go, and I don’t ever presume any one dancer ever knows it ALL (except maybe Fifi…lol). Workshops are where I get to tap into all that makes the art what is.

I once read that great runners never try to beat someone else’s time. The great runners run to beat his/her own previous time. This is how I feel workshops should be. I am not looking to exactly duplicate the style of that dancer, but to improve my own style. Maybe I will learn a new a favorite move. Maybe I will just tuck that move into my mental “file” to be pulled out at a later date while hammering out a choreography. Maybe I’ll use it in during an improv because it suddenly feels like the time and place to throw it in. However, if I had never taken the workshop, I would not even have that particular tool in my box to pull out.

There is always something to take away from workshops – always.

And so, with this sentiment in place, I want to formally invite you all to our spring “thaw out” event: Schoolhouse Raqs. Please see the info at http://www.troupezephyr.com/schoolhouse-raqs. Also be sure to check out our autumn event, Gypsy Mystique, as more details become available. 

I recently read a post on Facebook from a dancer whom I have watched dance for years. She described how, after her group was finished dancing, a spectator walked up and expressed her admiration of the dancer’s “guts.” You see, the dancer is heavy. And while she does have AMAZING GUTS, because she just does in every sense of the word, I think I understand why she found the admiration frustrating.

When you are not the socially acceptable “normal” body type, people of ALL types generally expect you to cower. It’s as if there is some unwritten rule you must be covered head to toe in an effort to hide the fact that humanity is not perfect. Only those who appear to be skinny enough, tan enough (or conversely white enough), have the proper sized chest, or a cute teeny bum are “allowed” to share themselves with the general public. Anyone less than these standards are A) not meant to be seen; and B) surely not allowed to publicly enjoy their apparent station or lot in life. So, when someone carrying more weight than the doctors’ offices chart say is allowable is seen not only enjoying life and expressing joy through dance, but is damn good at it, too, others think of them as “ballzy,” possessing “moxy,” having “chutzpah,” being especially “mutig,” etc.

I know I hear it. I have women tell me they are so happy to see someone of “my size” dance in public. While I am happy they find it inspiring, it’s not quite what I am going for by my efforts performing. I feel that dancing is a way to enjoy life. I feel music is a way to express emotions. I dance to express the emotions felt while listening to a song. I enjoy expressing those emotions. I was blessed to be able to walk…to have legs on which to stand. I was not blessed as equally with a voice with which to sing (my mother, sisters, cousins, nieces….they received that). I could stand to lose weight. I could also stand to make more money, drive a better vehicle, and clean my house a bit better. However, those things should not make me not be able to celebrate and enjoy where I am at right now!

So if it is “ballzy” to enjoy myself, so be it. If it is showing my “nerve” to dye my hair blue (I DO see people noticing the blue hair, by the way. Tomorrow it may be pink, so be sure to keep watching). I am going to enjoy myself. I am going to love myself. I am going to love where I am at right now.

Too many say things like, “when I lose 50 pounds I am going to dance in public,” or “when I get those washboard abs I am going to wear a bikini,” or what have you. You know what? I’m not waiting to enjoy my life! I can work toward those goals and still enjoy myself NOW! I am going to love myself, so I am better able to love others.

So, I don’t care if you are a size 2 or a size 22, please, for crying out loud, enjoy your life! Enjoy your body! It is the only one you will get! Take care of it! Move it! Express yourself with it! There are plenty of places in this world where other people believe they have the authority to suppress the actions of others. I have been extremely lucky to not have be born in one of those places. At least we do not outwardly do that. Let’s not passively do that, either, ok?

It took a long time for me to be able to be comfortable with myself, and some days still I am not. But I sure will not be old, gray and immobile someday wishing I would have danced when I had the opportunity. October marked Troupe Zephyr’s 7th birthday. When Mandy and I pooled our efforts to get this going, our intention was to enjoy what we were doing.I will not regret not celebrating the joy of life. Because I intend to and you should, too.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

At times, our group has been asked to attend a meeting or event and put on a bit of an “educational” program about “belly dance.” I thoroughly enjoy these types of gigs. They truly let my inner geeky nerd come out to shine! However, I have noticed the general “non-raks” public is not satisfied with my ambiguous answers on the origins of the dance.

I explain that I am no where near an expert in the field. Not by a long shot! I generally defer to those who have extensive research in the area and have been in the community much linger than myself. Sahra Kent and Shira are just two examples of wonderful ladies using their talents for the betterment of the oriental dance community. I dearly treasure their efforts! You can check out much more about them by looking into Sahra’s Journey Through Egypt programs and Shira’s website, shira.net.

But these people want answers and I am there. So I tell them what I know. It goes something like this:

What a lot of people consider to be belly dance in the western world, is not even close to what it even is. In fact, it may be easier to start with what it is not. It is NOT stripping! It is not pole dancing. It is not “just shaking your ass.” It doesn’t even use that much of the belly, per se, and probably should be called something else. Dance Orientale…there’s a much better term.

Dance orientale is a an amalgamation of various folk dances and movements from the area of the world many scholars refer to as “the cradle of civilization” and into what was ancient Phoenicia and Egypt. Since the times before memory, dance has been a part of life. As people move across the globe, their music and dances go with them…just as their daily habits, religious beliefs, etc. Each particular area or group of people have added their own touches and flavor throughout the eons.

BAREFOOT BLOND GIRL WITH SMILE AND BELLBOTTOMS

(This is the part where I tell the story of Ishtar going through the gates of Hell to retrieve her lover, consequently losing a veil at each gate, hence giving some shred of connection to ancient fertility rites. However, I was informed by a gentleman that that particular tid-bit was unnecessary and “unsettling.” So, for now, I have left it out from the usual spiel.)

Our group usually follows it up with examples of variations and costuming differences from different areas. We do our best to explain the folk dancing end of things.

So, while no one really knows the exact beginning of this dance, let us appreciate the ever-evolving dance with all it’s roots!

Judges 11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh to his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

Psalms 30:11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Psalms 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises to him with the tambourine and harp.

Psalms 150:4 Praise him with the tambourine and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Jeremiah 31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.