Nada El Masriya for the Gilded Serpent
Nada El Masriya photographed by ?

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Nada El Masriya

Nada El Masriya was born and raised in Cairo where she grew up belly dancing. Nada's formal dance training began in high school where she performed with her school's folkloric troupe. She attended Cairo University, earning a degree in Egyptian Law with a minor in History of Egyptian Culture and Dance Traditions. While still in university, she performed with the Law College's folkloric troupe in the roles of dancer, assistant instructor and stage director. Nada had the honour of being chosen twice to represent Cairo University at the Ismaliya International Folklore Dance Festival. At seventeen, Nada was accepted into the Reda Troupe, Egypt's first and most famous folkloric dance company. The Reda Troupe was the first company to stage Egypt's regional dance traditions and to present them to international audiences. Nada's primary trainers and mentors were Mahmoud Reda (founder, choreographer, and artistic director of the Reda Troupe), Hisham Saleh, Aida Nour, Hassan Khalil, and Hassan Afefe. Nada trained and worked professionally with the Reda Troupe for over 5 years, dancing in over one hundred performances throughout Egypt. Her full length shows with the Reda Troupe include El Hassad, Isis and Osiris, Weffe El Nil, and Folklore Egypt.

She performed folkloric dance many times on Egyptian television, most notably on the weekly national cultural events program, Layali El Television. Her time in the Reda Troupe allowed Nada to develop her remarkably expressive style, winning her many dance awards within the folkloric community.

In 2000, Nada was in intensive ballet training by Diana Calenti for a full six months. When Nada moved to Canada in 2003, she immediately began teaching and performing her native dances. Early in 2005 Nada and her husband moved to Toronto and immediately became a notable figure on the Toronto belly dance scene. She quickly became known for her obvious expertise in Egyptian Folklore and understanding of Arabic Music and Culture.

On Dr. George Sawa’s invitation, she lectured at York University about dance, where she explained a Medieval Baghdadi passage on dancing to an eager crowd.

In 2005, Nada founded her own dance company, Rhythm of the Nile, with co-founder Ioana Timariu, and has since been the company's artistic director, trainer and choreographer. Through the dance company, Nada's mission is to preserve Egyptian Culture and present it accurately as well as educate western audiences in the culture, history and traditions of her home country, Egypt.

In 2008, Nada directed and produced the company's first full-length production, the successful show "Rhythm Of The Nile" and became owner of the Toronto belly dance school, Hannan's Belly Dance Studio. In 2009, Nada directed, with Abigail co-directing, the major production Ayyam Zaman - the golden Era of Egyptian Belly Dance. The next major production for Rhythm of the Nile, "Layali Masriya" (Egyptian Nights) is currently being worked on by Nada and will be performed in November 2011.

Nada returns to Egypt on a regular basis to attend the Nilegroup Egyptian Dance Festival and furthers her professional development through studying privately with Egyptian dance masters – most notably Tito, Randa Kamal, Dina, Kamelia and Lubna.

Nada's goal as a teacher and trainer of Egyptian Dance is to take the belly dance skills of her students beyond mechanical technique so that they become artistic and fluid belly dancers. With Nada's in-depth cultural perspective and understanding she enriches the lives of her students with the culture, history and traditions of her home country. She seeks to make belly dancing accessible to everyone as a form of fitness and as an art. Students come to her classes looking for ways to take their exercise routines out of the ordinary into the extraordinary and as such she has witnessed them transform into confident, graceful dancers, no matter what their previous dance or fitness experience has been.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by Nada

  • A Moulid in an Egyptian Village
    After the feast, the traditional Sai’eet (story teller), who could be a man or a woman, started telling stories accompanied by a full traditional orchestra. The entire village enjoyed stories about life, love, religion, and wisdom. Throughout history, the Sai’eet has been the educator, entertainer, and critic of life.