Malia DeFelice

Photo by Laini Katheiser

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Malia DeFelice

Born in Honolulu Hawaii, Malia DeFelice began classical ballet dance training at age 3 and formal music training at age 6. This, combined with the study of Polynesian dances gave her a unique feeling for music and dance at a very young age. As a child, Malia was first introduced to Mid-Eastern dance and to the music and dance of travelling Rom while living and touring throughout Europe with her family. In 1969, Malia met and began studying with her most influential Middle Eastern dance teacher, Jamila Salimpour. Through the decades, Malia has studied with many visiting teachers from the Middle East as well as many of the most well known and outstanding resident dance teachers of our time.

Malia’s main dance focus has been authentic Middle Eastern and North African dance. In college she majored in cultural anthropology with a minor in dance. She performed Flamenco Dance as a principal dancer in Rosa Montoya’s Bailes Flamencos for 9 years. Malia studied and performed other dance forms as well, including classical dance of India and Mexican Folkloric dances.

Malia’s Middle Eastern Dance styles include Egyptian cabaret and folkloric styles as well as North African styles such as Tunisian and Moroccan. Malia has been invited to perform numerous times with the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival presenting Tunisian and Egyptian dance styles both as a soloist and with her dance ensemble.

Malia also enjoys creating productions of American style Belly Dance as well as imaginative “Fantasy Dances”. She is however, quick to point out what is and is not authentic and traditional. Whether performing authentic dance or creative fusion styles, Malia believes dance should be executed well and it must be entertaining. Malia currently performs throughout the Bay Area both as a soloist and with her dance ensemble, New Moon Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble. She currently lives in Half Moon Bay and teaches weekly classes on the Peninsula and the Coastside.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Malia DeFelice

  • The Pirate, the Psychic and the Mummies in the Basement, Malia's Story Part 1
    So, at age 4, my world was good. I had a rich imagination sparked by images of Egyptians in the crawlspace and iron ore waiting to be turned into gold. I had a family that consisted of pirates, genies, fortune tellers, wanderers and minstrels. Most of all I had been captivated by the bejeweled beauty in the dancing tattoo. It was 1957 and I knew, like my Uncle Omar and great Aunt Katie, I would one day grow up to be someone who would follow a special calling. I decided, at age 4, that it was my destiny to become a Belly dancer!


Photos of Malia on Gilded Serpent