haDI'a means gift / present in Arabic and Turkish (with a slightly different accent - Hediye). HA'dia is an Arabic name, meaning "calm, peaceful woman".
Hadia loves to dance. Hadia has always loved to dance. Her twenty seven year career as a professional dancer began with extracurricular studies of classical, modern, jazz and eventually oriental dance while undertaking a theatre degree at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. It was there that she performed her debut oriental solo in the Frederick Wood Theatre for her class of two hundred people, followed by her role as Fatima in Roger's and Hammerstein's "Boys from Syracuse". Shortly afterwards she began teaching oriental dance classes through the theatre department and by the time she graduated from the university, her career as a performer/teacher was already established.
Initially inspired by the legendary Badawia of Jordan, she continued her studies with the best instructors that the world of middle eastern dance had to offer including Jamila Salimpour, Ibrahim Farah, Ahmed Jarjour, Nadia Gamal, Raquia Hassan, Lala Hakim and the National Folkloric Company of Egypt. Frequent trips to Egypt and Turkey as well as contracts in Morocco, Tunisia and Syria enabled her to absorb the richness of middle eastern music, dance and culture in the countries of origin.
To date Hadia has achieved success as a performer, choreographer and master instructor throughout Canada, the USA (including Hawaii), Europe, North and West Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, New Zealand and Australia.
Although oriental dance remains her first love, Hadia never abandoned her pursuit of jazz, continuing to study with Les Ballets Jazz du Montreal, Phil Black, Luigi and Alvin Ailey of New York.
The Moorish influence so evident in Spanish music soon drew Hadia into the world of flamenco. For the past fifteen years this passionate and explosive art form has remained her "other" love. Hadia (alias Joselina de Leon) has studied with many of North America and Spain's greatest instructors and she has made several study trips to Spain before settling into Madrid for a two year intensive immersion into the art of flamenco. This was funded by occasional contracts as an oriental dancer in the Middle East and Africa.
Twelve years ago, one such contract took her to Nigeria and her initiation into the world of African dance. Following this her studies included weekly classes with Ken N'Diye of Senegal and Jeanne Bagne of Zaire while in Brussels (her home for five years); in Paris with Congolese Irene Tassakewembo; in Amsterdam with Fatalla of Guinea and Ocheami of Ghana; and New York with Baba Tunde Olatunji. Also while in New York, she studied Afro-Caribbean at the Alvin Ailey school, and Afro-Brazilian with Eckleson, Maria de Jesus, Laura Monteiro and Alicio Pittir and Latin dance with Nino Acosta.
Three years of studying and performing Polynesian dance with Tamure Tahiti of Vancouver, Canada put the finishing touches on an exciting and eclectic dance education; an education which she generously shares with all of her students.
After so many years entirely devoted to dance, Hadia is now a registered massage therapist and instructor of massage and manual therapy. This has enabled her to further augment her skills as a dance instructor with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. She is also fluent in French and Spanish and speaks basic Arabic and Turkish.
Since her return to Canada, Hadia has also created the dynamic and sophisticated Aiwa Egyptian Dance Ensemble. This group of dedicated dancers is rapidly changing the pace of oriental dance, raks beledi and traditional folklore, by presenting these often misunderstood art forms to the general public and more traditional institutions of dance.
Hadia's honesty and professional integrity in the world of oriental dance is refreshing. She has the energy of a five year old, the knowledge of an old woman and the ageless spirit of a dancer. Hadia is not only a dancer, in every aspect of the word, but she is also a dancer's dancer.
See Hadia's Workshops for more information on workshops in Belly Dancing, Flamenco, Massage Therapy and Combination Dance/Massage.
Box 24009, Tower Postal Outlet
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 4K6
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