Biographies & Links


Born in Brazil and living in Portugal for many years, Cris Aysel has danced Ballet, Brazilian and African dances from a young age. Since she discovered Oriental Dance, she never stopped her training and research in that style of dance.  In 2002 she started performing professionally and teaching. She also love fusions and mixing inspirations from other dance styles with oriental dance... and thus her Indie Fusion technique was born, a style where middle eastern dance is the starting point for the interpretation of alternative/indie songs, combining movements and inspirations from other dance styles (tribal fusion, contemporary, jazz, etc). Indie Fusion is a personal exploration with an intense commitment in developing this personal style.

Cris Aysel is involved in several dance projects in Portugal, she was a co-founder of the Mahtab Dance Studio, the founder of the All for Dance studio (her own personal project), she is a co-sponsor of The East Fest International Oriental Dance Festival of Lisbon, and a co-sponsor of TribaLX. She also performs with many different dance groups, and has recently joined the Munique Neith International Ballet.


Born in Brazil but raised in Portugal.

Dougie Knight is a professional dancer, known nationally and internationally for being a leader and pioneer for the Portuguese Krump movement.

started his path at a very young age, but always ambitious for evolution and growth of himself and his small KRUMP community.

He gained his respect inside the dance community trough national and international individual competitions, showcases and for creating and developing future dancers trough his project Knight Fam (Family).

KRUMP (Kingdom Radically Uplifted Migthy of Praise ) is a dance style and urban culture that  officially surfaced in the year 2000 in Southe Central, LA, USA, created by Cezeare Willis (Tight Eyez) and Jo'Artis (Big Mijo). Known for being very energetic and expressive, it brings a liberating feeling for those who dance it. It has its own music, and its technique is very demanding, both physically and musically.

The primary basis in KRUMP are: Stomp, chest pop and arm Swing, with originate from Ballet, African tribal dances and other urban dances (Popping, Locking, breathing, c walk, etc) and contemporary dance. It became popular in 2005, with the “Rize” documentary, by David Lachapelle, and with cameos in movies and TV shows like “Step Up 4” (2012), “SO you Think You Can Dance” (2012), “America’s best Dance Crew” (2011), “Stomp the Yard” (2007).


Lelyana Stanishevskaya is a leading tribal fusion dancer, performer and teacher in Russia. She has been teaching for ten years, from the very beginning of tribal fusion in Russia, and dancing since her childhood. She performs on stage and gives workshops all over Russia and abroad, in many European cities, but also in Argentina and Morocco, for example.

In addition to tribal fusion, she studies other dance styles - contact improvisation, somatics, contemporary dance, afro, butoh dance, axis syllabus and ga-ga - which give her a very unique style and varied technique.

Lelyana cooperates with the bands EXILADOS and MAATA and performs together with the Australian singer Peruquois, the inventor of the “vocal yoga” practice, whose voice is said to stop time and open the gates of mystery. She is one of the heroines of the documentary “Parables of woman spirit 3.0” that tells the stories of the life and creative work of three women.

Lelyana is the creator of the Tribal Hunters dance group focusing on experimental choreography with elements of ancient folk dances.

She also designs stage costumes and jewelry.

She finds inspiration in the world inside and outside her.


Melli Sarina has been performing different styles of oriental dance for 19 years. After discovering Tribal Fusion Bellydance, she has twice participated in the Professional Dancers Tribal Massive Program in Las Vegas, and successfully completed the Level 2 Dancecraft: Key of Spades training with Zoe Jakes in San Francisco in 2017. With the participation in the Orchidaceae Dance Intensive in Lisbon 2017 her heart was also set on Urban Fusion Styles.

In addition to managing her own More Moves Studio dance studio in Augsburg, Melli Sarina has been touring all over Euro, passing on her knowledge and skills.


Sofia started dancing when she was little, studying Ballet for 5 years, then Jazz and Tap Dance. After a hiatus in dance, when she was using up her stamina as a federated swimmer, she tried her first belly dance workshop with Cris Aysel, in 2003, never letting go again. She has had the good fortune of learning with some brilliant dancers and teachers, throughout the world, and is always learning something from her students. Her work with several dance groups and projects, and her own research and taste for the odd, lead her to Tribal Fusion and to ATS® where she found herself at home. She is now a very happy certified ATS® teacher and Sister Studio to FatChance BellyDance®. Parallel to oriental dance, she started studying Hula, with Kumu Hula Rich Pedrina, and the Hawaiian culture soon became another great passion. She learned the basics in beautiful Oahu, Hawaii, and now takes every chance she gets to learn more with her Kumu or other teachers. She also began to study other Polynesian dances, such as Ori Tahiti, and recently had the chance to perfect her technique with Tahia Cambet and Leolani Gallardo, and is currently taking classes with Tiana Guénant. She’s been teaching Hula ‘Auana since late 2007. In December 2016 she fulfilled yet another dream – to study with Kumu Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu, founder of the Academy of Hawaiian Arts, and Kuana Torres Kahele, the brilliant singer, composer and Kumu Hula. Apart from dance, she takes great interest in music, has been a student at the Hotclube de Portugal jazz school and studies Arabic and Polynesian percussions. A psychologist, mother of two girls, and an avid entrepreneur, she is currently mentoring the girls from Altair, an ATS® student troupe, launched Black Dahlia Creations with her "partner in crime" Marisa Gama, opened the Mahtab Dance Studio with her friends Cris Aysel, Silvia Orchidaceae and Veronique Divine and is a co-sponsor of TribaLX.


Veronique began her training in dance when she was 8 years old, with Jazz, followed by Ballet, Modern Dance and Tap Dance. From 2002 she gets involved in the world of Oriental Dance, going to workshops by many national and international masters, in Portugal, Barcelona, Sweden, the UK and Egypt. She also gets trained in oriental percussion, musical education, gipsy dances, jazz, floor barre, hula, among others. She’s been teaching Oriental Dance since 2003. She has also started to develop a passion for more alternative dance and theater projects. Burlesque, satire, and fusions of unconventional dance styles become a constant in her life when she joins the Custom Circus Company in 2008. Looking for a more revivalist project, she joins the Cabaret Cais Sodré Project where she acquires technical and choreographic training in the style if the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s cabaret dance. As well as innumerous shows and performances, solo and in group, she organizes the La Belle Bombshell workshops with Sara Vargas and Alípio Padilha, and has been all over the country teaching the art of burlesque and the pinup aesthetic. She won 2nd place in the international newcomer category at the London Burlesque Festival in 2012 and the 1st place at the New Burlesque Awards London in 2013. Founder of the Mahtab group and cofounder of the Mahtab Studio, she is also a member of the TribaLX organization.

Please reload


After finishing high school in the course of Nature and Sciences, she went on to study Theater, in the University of Music and Performing Arts of Porto. She receive a scholarship, to go three months to England to the Dartington College of Performing Arts and was later accepted as a foreign student in the University of Dance of Bahia in Brasil, making one year of Specialization in Dance. She has also studied Classical Ballet, until the 4th grade, from the England Royal Academy and accomplished a six months course of Choreography  in the Forum Dança.

She has been studying Middle Eastern Dance with several teachers, and to further deepen her research, she has  travelled to Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Spain, etc. She has been in India for five intensive immersions to study Kathak and Odissi, Bollywood and Rajasthani folk.

She has been teaching Middle Eastern dance for more than ten years, and also Odissi dance and Bollywood

She performs with several dance companies (Terrae Ignota; Anaidcram; Gadjé; Zambra and Terrakota), and has toured  in Mexico, Spain, France, China, India, La Reunion, etc.

Choreographer of her own pieces, and for other dancers as well, and is creating her own dance company.


Kelley Beeston is well known for her inclusive, approachable teaching style often structuring her workshops holistically around a theme or concept. Her innate ability  to break things down and simplify the most difficult steps and ideas has earned her a reputation as a thorough and knowledgeable teacher. In 2008 she launched Oasis attended by ATS® students, teachers and Sister Studios   from all over the United Kingdom. Oasis is a much-loved event in the tribal calendar providing bimonthly structured workshops with tuition from an experienced, dedicated, warm and friendly teacher. Over the years Kelley has nurtured a growing tribal family who unite as “Oasis Tribal” to perform together. Her passion radiates through when performing with her dance troupe, Kalash Tribal, in her weekly classes and workshops both at home and abroad, and for her there is something magical and empowering about ATS® which she absolutely loves to share. Based in SW England Kelley regularly trains at the ‘mothership’ - the FatChanceBellyDance® studio in San Francisco and became a certified teacher and Sister Studio in 2010. She was selected by her master teacher and creator of ATS® Carolena Nericcio and her Tribal Pura International partner Megha Gavin as one of only 10 teachers worldwide to undergo their first ever Advanced Teacher Training and in June 2015 she graduated and qualified as a Tribal Pura International Sister Studio Continuing Education (SSCE) Instructor. She is honoured to assist Carolena and Megha in teaching both General Skills and Teacher Training. Kelley is currently working with Carolena Nericcio on their Sister to Sister projects to empower women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Leo graduated In Sports Science in 2002. In 2003 she had her first contact with Street Dance in a Hip Hop Dancers formation. But it was in 2005 that she started traveling to New York City and Los Angeles to really start studying the different dance styles in Hip Hop. In 2006 Butterfliesoulflow was born, an Hip Hop crew of female artists, composed by Leo, Piny and Lúcia. Since 2006, she has deepened and specialized her knowledge in Hip Hop, House Dance, Popping and Tap Dance. Since 2005 she traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London and Stockholm, taking classes in several dance schools. In 2009 she was invited to Jukebox Project, a professional Hip Hop Dance Company based in Lisbon.
In 2013, she started working with Piny Orchidaceae in Dance Fusion duets. In 2013, Leo is invited to join Orchidaceae Urban Tribal, being one of the main choreographers. She has been teaching since 2003, currently teaching Hip Hop and House Dance at Jazzy Dance Studios, in Lisbon. In the last few years she has taught several workshops in Portugal, Barcelona, Paris, Stockholm, Brest, Padova, Wolverhampton, Liège, Bratislava, Berlin and San Francisco and participates in several dance competitions, stage performances, videoclips and tv commercials. She was also the artistic director and choreographer of Jazzy Dance Crew.
At the same time, in 2012 Leo starts her studies in Quiromassage and Osteopathy, in Kiros Institute, creating a more specific approach to the anatomy, physiology and biomechanics of the Human Body allowing a more conscious and aware exploration of movement. In 2016, Leo finishes her degree in Structural, Visceral and Craneal Osteopathy and continues studying and developing her knowledge working as an Osteopath and Manual Therapist.


Silvia discovered the world of Oriental Dance by chance in 2007, when she was looking for something to break her work routine as an architect. Since then, it has been an increasingly intense and profound journey marked by several stages. She began her dance training in Lisbon. In addition to national training, she participated in several international workshops. Tribal Fusion Bellydance turned out to be her greatest passion. In this area, she had the privilege to learn from Rachel Brice, Ashley Lopez, and Samantha Emanuel among others. The connection to the dance went beyond her first oriental dance group called Mahtab, and with the opening of Studio Mahtab (2010-2013), Silvia began teaching Oriental Dance and Tribal Fusion. She is also one of the sponsors of TribaLX, the only international Tribal Fusion Festival in Portugal, going on it's 9th edition, always with participants from all over the world. She joined the group Orchidaceae Urban Tribal in 2013 leaded by Piny Orchidaceae. After winning the first place at the Tribal Fusion Competition of the Sommer Festival in Berlin she started in 2014 giving regular Tribal Fusion classes at the Tanzakademie Cifuentes. She loves fusion dance styles, mostly with urban flair, also she enjoys collaborations with other dancers, the most recent ones are Yuri Ferretti (D/IT), Lia Pavlidis (D) Haza (F), Iza Lo (P), Melli Sarina Baumeister (D) and Alice Bloom (D). Now she is teaching at the 1st floor studio in Berlin



Piny is a dreamer, an art lover, a passionate and intense performer and a dedicated teacher with a special taste for challenges and breaking boundaries. Born in Lisbon, she is a non-conventional performer always looking for new approaches and new comprehension of movement. Ate 17 she finished a 3 year course in Drawing, followed by a year in Graphic Design, while she was finishing her BA in Architecture. Later she finished a post-graduation in Scenography and completed a BA in Contemporary Dance and Creation, while working as an architect. During all this, she kept dancing. She had her first Belly Dance in 2000 but fell deeply in love with Hip Hop in 2003. In 2006, to express her love for breakdance, graffiti and vinyl records, she founded with her friends a female Hip Hop crew called ButterflieSoulFlow. In 2009 she integrated the all styles Hip Hop crew Jukebox Project, where they developed work around Popping, Locking, New Style and Breakdance. With her crews she battles and performs. The passionate and relentless search for new approaches and new vocabularies, led her to travel on a national and international level to learn, listen and understand the different styles. Her main areas of work are Breakdance, House Dance, Lofting, Waacking, Contemporary Dance, and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance, always as a lifetime research project. As a contemporary dancer she has choreographed solo and group pieces shown in different national festivals, and has been working as a dancer for several choreographers. In 2012 she founded Orchidaceae Urban Tribal where the Hip Hop background meets Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. It’s a dream project just starting to grow.

Please reload