Shyama Studios - Metal Fusion Belly Dance
Metal music gets into your bones and, for Shyama, it went straight to her hips with belly dance. She started out mesmerized by traditional belly dancers, but quickly innovated a style all her own. Shyama focuses on using metal riffs to bring out the dark side of belly dance, and directs the dark fusion troupe, the Stygian Sisters. They have quickly carved a niche in the belly dance community, becoming a crowd-wowing staple on the Tribal Revolution stage and at events across Illinois... and now Shyama has come to St. Louis!
Shyama leads the Stygian Sisters, conducts workshops upon request, hosts an online studio for instruction in her style, creates and participates in large-scale events like the Boneyard Arts Festival, and inspires event-goers and participants everywhere she performs. She has studied extensively in the tribal fusion style with belly dance greats like Ariellah, Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Ashley Lopez, April Rose, Michelle Sorenson, Silvia Salamanca, and many more! With a massive repertoire that includes creative and emotional choreography, the Stygian Sisters’ improvisational format, sword and veil dance, and more, Shyama is as versatile as she is deeply versed in the intricacies of each style of performance.
For a small sampling of Shyama’s incredible work, you can visit her Facebook page or the Stygian Sisters Metal Belly Dance page, look her up on YouTube, or check out the Stygian Sisters Patreon page. Be prepared for a side of belly dance you’ve never seen before!
I love giving students the confidence to be themselves, appreciate their body and what it can do, and to push themselves to learn something new! One of the greatest things about the belly dance community is how truly accepting and body positive it is. Anyone can belly dance and have fun doing it!
I also enjoy inspiring dancers to perform outside of the box. Belly dance has blossomed into a fusion of all styles of dance, and students can truly express and perform whatever they like!
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
New students can sign up for my online classes and learn any time, anywhere, or we can discuss a location to meet in person. I offer private lessons or group lessons as requested.
Beginner level students will work through my 16-lesson plan for teaching the basic technique to belly dance. This includes breakdown of the movements, drills, and combinations. After completing the course, students can choose to learn a choreography!
Intermediate/advanced level students can request all sorts of instruction to meet their needs! Email me for details and scheduling.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
In addition to completing basic technique training, I have attended dozens of workshops and classes to continue my education in fusion belly dance. I have learned from amazing instructors like Rachel Brice, Zoe Jakes, Ariellah Aflalo, Michelle Sorenson, Silvia Salamanca, Ashley Lopez, April Rose, Ami Amore, Eliza Perry, Pixie Fordtears, Acushla, and so many more.
My focus in continued training tends toward advanced technique, layering, emotion in dance, expression, storytelling, and creative choreography.
I am currently working through Acushla's "Belly Dance Blueprint" training and intend to certify in her style of teaching.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Online instruction varies. All Access Passes to all my content are only $20/month! I also offer various packages based on what content you want, from just drills to full choreography.
Private lessons are $40/hour. Group discounts are available. Please email me for details.
How did you get started teaching?
I began teaching by request from friends as they saw me begin to perform belly dance. I fell in love once students began to tell me how inspired they were and how much better they felt about their bodies and self esteem!
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked will a great variety of students! All sizes, genders, levels, shy vs outgoing...Anyone is welcome to learn with me!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
The best teachers are of course knowledgable in their artform, but are also down-to-earth and open-minded. Find a teacher you could easily be friends with too!
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Be clear about your intentions in learning belly dance.
Be clear about your scheduling needs.
If you have any physical pains or medical issues, check with your doctor to be sure belly dancing is ok for your body. It is low impact, so most people are fine! If you decide to belly dance, make sure to tell your instructor about your needs.