Biography & Mission statement

Art as ethical, and well rounded.

Rahel ClamanTo Rahel, being an ethical, respectful and culturally sensitive ambassador and guest to this dance form is of the the utmost importance. Part of Rahel’s mission as a teacher and performer is to accurately and respectfully represent this dance form, educate others on issues of cultural appropriation, Orientalism, and colonialism, and to do her part to fight against racism and bigotry within and outside the dance community.

Before learning any movements, new students must learn about bellydance history and cultural context, and the issues of racism, patriarchy, and cultural appropriation that have been and continue to be rampant in regards this dance.Students are encouraged to also do additional reading or research (and are provided with resources to do so), to travel to and study in countries of origin when possible, to seek out authentic sources and representation, and to approach the dance with sensitivity and curiosity.

Rahel believes in inclusion, equality, and anti racism. Bigotry or discrimination towards BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour), MENATH (Middle Eastern, North African, Turkish and Helenic) people, Muslim people, Jewish people, Trans people, non-binary people, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities,  or anyone who is different because of their religion, race, nationality, creed, sexual preferences etc. as well as slut shaming, body shaming, etc will NOT be tolerated. In Rahel’s class, all bodies are beautiful, and everyone deserves equal rights and respect.

Listen to a podcast by Rahel on body image, self love, gender identity, the business of bellydance and more, here: https://www.ianadance.com/bellydance-life/episode133

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Since a young age, Rahel has been involved in artistic exploration through various forms of dance, rhythm and music. She found her calling in Raks Sharqi (Oriental/Egyptian Style) and Fusion Bellydance at the age of fifteen and has been passionate about it ever since, wholly immersing herself in it.

Although she initially studied primarily under her mentor Narmaya, Rahel has taken inspiration and influence from a number of dancers from around the world, and has trained and taken workshops with Bozenka, Sabura, Ranya Renee, Rahma Hadad, Sadie, Jim Boz, Moira Chappell, April Rose, Gigi Dilsah, Zahra Zuhair, Katalin Schafer, Farideh, Karim Nagi, Suhaila Salimpour, Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Angelique, Randa Kamel, Mohamed Shahin, Elena Ramazanova, Mercedes Nieto, Yasmina Ramzy, Dr. George Sawa, Ruby Beh, Nourhan Sharif, Alla Kushnir, Mariam of Mexico, Lulu Sabongi, Mohamed Salah, Vanessa of Cairo, Camelia Masreya, and Dr. Mo Geddawi to name a few. Rahel also completed Ranya Renee’s Teacher Certification Training in March 2012, is Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 2 certified and Jamilla Salimpour format level 1 certified.

As a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500) from Prana Yoga College, Rahel incorporates elements of her yoga training into her dance lessons for a more well-rounded, body-educated practice. Rahel is currently only teaching yoga in private one-on-one or small groups by request. Click here for yoga class information.

Rahel is the choreographer and artistic director of bellydance troupe The Helwa Dancers, (click here for more info on the Helwa Dancers, if you want to join the troupe or hire them for your next event) and she herself has danced with former bellydance troupe Banat Dallah directed by Narmaya, and for several years was a member of Ninawa Eastern Magic Folkloric Dance Company run by internationally renowned dancers Moh Abu Ras and Moh Al Ratta.

Her film credits include the star role in the award winning short film “Imago” by Drea Morin, as well a featured performance in an episode of the short-lived but popular TV series “Hellcats”. Rahel was also a featured performer in the high profile event Illuminate Yaletown in 2011. Rahel had the privilege of having her choreography selected for the 2012 “Shimmy Mob”, the world’s largest bellydance flash mob featuring thousands of dancers all over the globe. She has choreographed solo performances for the talent portion of Miss Canada, Miss Hong Kong and Miss China International competitions, as well as Salome’s “Dance of the 7 Veils” in a 2013 production of the play by Oscar Wilde. Rahel also holds the title of 1st Place in the solo category for the Safar Conference for Middle Eastern Dance and Music’s 2014 Dance Challenge, as well as the Audience Choice award for the same competition.

Rahel can be seen performing with well-loved local fusion band Tambura Rasa at their exciting shows around BC. Previous shows have included the 2011 Harrison Festival of the Arts, and Vancouver’s high profile Dragon Boat Festival in 2014. Rahel has also performed with other musical sensations such as Shantel, Nickodemus, Juno Reactor, SaQi, Human Experience, Bif Naked, Kenny G, and has performed for prestigious clients like MGM Grand and the City of Richmond’s 140th Anniversary event.

Rahel hosts her own annual student showcase “Ya Helwa” every Spring, and smaller shows throughout the year. Click here for info and tickets to this year’s show

Rahel is also the co-founder of RainCoast Raqs, a production company that hosts MENATH dance workshops in Vancouver or online with international guest teachers. Rahel and her co-producer Tamara Dewar are committed to hosting BIPOC and MENATH dancers only, so as to support underrepresented groups, and provide sources from the culture for their community. Guest so far have included  Mohamed Salah of Egypt, Vanessa of Cairo (not BIPOC, but has lived and worked in Egypt for over a decade, is married to an Egyptian, and is respected within Egyptian culture), Chudney Raks of Virginia and Khadijah K.S. Smith from Colorado, by way of the Gulf region.

Rahel is currently teaching weekly beginner, intermediate and advanced bellydancing classes in Vancouver at the Jewish Community Centre, Ache Basil Capeoria Academy and Mount Pleasant Community Centre. Click here for a full menu of all of her classes. NOTE ALL CLASSES ARE ONLINE DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC. Rahel has been performing professionally at restaurants, weddings, birthday parties, Christmas/New Years parties, bridal showers, awards shows, corporate events and more in the Lower Mainland since 2003. Click here for upcoming events and performances.

Rahel takes the greatest joy in inspiring and empowering peopleof all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds with this beautiful art form… because everyone deserves bellydance! Click here to hire Rahel, ask a question, or join her newsletter

Rahel Claman

Since a young age, she has been involved in artistic exploration through various forms of dance, rhythm and music. She found her calling in Raks Sharqi (Oriental/Egyptian Style) and Fusion Bellydance at the age of fifteen and has been passionate about it ever since, wholly immersing herself in it.

Although she initially studied primarily under her mentor Narmaya, Rahel has taken inspiration and influence from a number of dancers from around the world, and has trained and taken workshops with Bozenka, Sabura, Ranya Renee, Rahma Hadad, Sadie, Jim Boz, Moira Chappell, April Rose, Gigi Dilsah, Zahra Zuhair, Katalin Schafer, Farideh, Karim Nagi, Suhaila Salimpour, Zoe Jakes, Kami Liddle, Angelique, Randa Kamel, Mohamed Shahin, Elena Ramazanova, Mercedes Nieto, Yasmina Ramzy, Dr. George Sawa, Ruby Beh, Nourhan Sharif, Alla Kushnir, Mariam of Mexico, Lulu Sabongi, Mohamed Salah, Vanessa of Cairo, Camelia Masreya, and Dr. Mo Geddawi to name a few. Rahel also completed Ranya Renee’s Teacher Certification Training in March 2012, is Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 2 certified and Jamilla Salimpour format level 1 certified.

As a certified yoga teacher (RYT 500) from Prana Yoga College, Rahel incorporates elements of her yoga training into her dance lessons for a more well-rounded, body-educated practice. Rahel is currently only teaching yoga in private one-on-one or small groups by request.

Rahel is the choreographer and artistic director of bellydance troupe The Helwa Dancers, and she herself has danced with former bellydance troupe Banat Dallah directed by Narmaya, and for several years was a member of Ninawa Eastern Magic Folkloric Dance Company run by internationally renowned dancers Moh Abu Ras and Moh Al Ratta.

Her film credits include a starring dance role in the award winning short film “Imago” by Drea Morin, as well a featured performance in an episode of the short-lived but popular TV series “Hellcats”. Rahel was also a featured performer in the high profile event Illuminate Yaletown in 2011. Rahel had the privilege of having her choreography selected for the 2012 “Shimmy Mob”, the world’s largest bellydance flash mob featuring thousands of dancers all over the globe. She has choreographed solo performances for the talent portion of Miss Canada, Miss Hong Kong and Miss China International competitions, as well as Salome’s “Dance of the 7 Veils” in a 2013 production of the play by Oscar Wilde. Rahel also holds the title of 1st Place in the solo category for the Safar Conference for Middle Eastern Dance and Music’s 2014 Dance Challenge, as well as the Audience Choice award for the same competition.

Rahel can be seen performing with well-loved local fusion band Tambura Rasa at their exciting shows around BC. Previous shows have included the 2011 Harrison Festival of the Arts, and Vancouver’s high profile Dragon Boat Festival in 2014. Rahel has also performed with other musical sensations such as Shantel, Nickodemus, Juno Reactor, SaQi, Human Experience, Bif Naked, Kenny G, and has performed for prestigious clients like MGM Grand.

Rahel hosts her own annual student showcase “Ya Helwa” every Spring, and smaller shows throughout the year.

Rahel is currently teaching weekly beginner, intermediate and advanced bellydancing classes in Vancouver at the Jewish Community Centre, Ache Basil Capeoria Academy and Mount Pleasant Community Centre, and has been performing professionally at restaurants, weddings, birthday parties, Christmas/New Years parties, bridal showers, awards shows, corporate events and more in the Lower Mainland since 2003.

Rahel takes the greatest joy in inspiring and empowering women (and men) of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds with this beautiful art form… because everyone deserves bellydance!

Rahel Dance Photo Shoot Photos
Rahel Dance Performances Photos
Rahel Dance Helwa Dancers Photos
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