Bio: Jana Beeman
Jana Beeman is President of Enchantment Unlimited Entertainment and Director/ Choreographer for the Essence of Egypt Dance Company. As a leading teacher and performer in the Middle Eastern dance community, Jana trains dancers to achieve their dance goals, whether for fitness, weight loss, self expression, body mastery or performance. Over the past 28 years in this dance, she has constantly learned and grown to acquire more effective ways to teach and perform.
Jana, aka "Amira", will be the first to say she’s not a natural dancer but has had to fight for every shred of grace, flexibility and style. Starting out in the dance at 240 pounds (at 5’2), she’s battled with weight, coordination, almost every issue known to dancers. But with a love of the music and culture, she has moved through her own challenges to lose over 100 pounds, increase flexibility, to embody the grace, flow and ‘vibe’ of Middle Eastern dance.
Jana’s unique dance teaching style will allow you to achieve your own goals, whatever they may be, including:
|Jana is available for private or small group instruction,
workshops, troupe coaching, weekend intensives and private choreography and
costume design. For those ready to put in the work and grow in every way,
she’ll give a dancer the tools to move through it, step by step.
Dance Background & Training
It's always very important for a student to work with a teacher who is capable of taking you beyond your current boundaries in a safe, efficient and supportive way.
Most of my dance experience comes straight from performance. My average number of shows during my dance career is 300 per year, which has given me a lot of time to experiment, grow and learn about performing as a business. I have done almost all private family and corporate parties, so I did not get the big "name" of many other dancers, but there are not many other dancers in the world who have performed as much as I have over the years.
I first studied with a teacher in LA who was really bad, and I didn't know it since I was a beginner. Another dancer, Karima, showed me some moves and helped me start performing. Overcoming the bad habits I learned with my first teacher in my first 3 years has taken me many, many years and a lot of hard work.
After I really started getting stronger as a dancer, I started working with a Chiropractor in LA who had me teach his movement-restricted patients. We worked extensively, breaking down each move and analyzing the muscles involved and how it affects body structure. Any moves I had at the time that could have been in any way harmful for his patients were restructured. Through the years I worked with his clients, my knowledge of muscular, skeletal and nervous systems and well at general fitness and nutrition were expanded immensely, a study which I have continued to this day.
I have studied (about 2 years) with Angelika Nemeth (Dancing Live to Raja Video) and have taken workshops with Beata Zadou, Shareen el Safi and many other great dancers.
When I moved to Northern California, I started studying privately with Jeanette Cool of the original Salimpour School, a fabulous teacher, whom I worked with for a couple of years. Then I discovered Suhaila Salimpour was teaching in Berkeley again and joined her Level 3 class, and eventually her dance company as well, opening for the band Alabina, doing the Renaissance Faire and lots of other venues. I was with Suhaila for several years. When my mom passed away a few years ago, I dropped out of the troupe and started building my own.
Since then I've studied privately with Rachel Brice for over a year as well as extensive workshop and video studies. I've gone to Egypt to study and intend to return there again soon, both to expand my dancing and my Arabic.
I have to say, over the years I've been dancing, I've overcome MANY obstacles. I have a cracked kneecap and a fused vertibrae in my spine. I get debilitating migraines. Way back when I first started dancing, I was 240 pounds and so weak I couldn't walk across a big room without passing out. I have fought with my weight more times than I can count, but each time, I am more successful. I had horrible stage fright, was amazingly uncoordinated, and unaccountably awkward. All I can say is I am not a natural dancer or athlete - or at least I wasn't. Now...it's a different story. I have fought for every win, but my desire to learn and my passion for this culture has never waned.
Every day is another day I get to dance.
I hope you'll come join me.
This photo was taken in my old studio. In 2005 we were able to
build a new private studio, which holds up to 15 students comfortably
and is where I film all my instructional videos.
All of my classes except special workshops, private classes and troupe
rehearsals take place in the new studio.
This is me a few years ago when hormones shot my weight up to 170 pounds, and my doctor
couldn't help me lose it. I ended up trying a very extreme food program, and with a lot of work
I brought my weight down from 170 to 120 pounds. And from a size 14 to a size 4!
This is after!!If you have weight or mobility issues and are interested in dance but maybe a little afraid to try, give me a call and let's talk. My number is 707/837-1793. I'm here to help.