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Jillina Carlano
“My passion for dance is driven by a deep desire to connect physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually with the creative artist inside each of us. After 30 years of performing and teaching, I continue to find deep reward in sharing the art of bellydance through coaching, choreography and production.” Jillina
Jillina has devoted her life to dance.
With a background in Middle Eastern, Folklore, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip Hop, she creates a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire that has inspired collaborations with some of the world’s leading instructors and performers. Traveling extensively to create productions and teach seminars that embody her unique style of dance and dance education, Jillina also advocates a local dance community, owning the creative hub, Evolution Dance Studios in North Hollywood, California. Whether on stage, coaching one-on-one, or teaching a group of 1,000 students, Jillina’s vibrant ability to connect with people on and off the dance floor continues to influence dancers and entertain audiences worldwide.
In 1999 Jillina established her own dance company, Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers, currently LA’s premier Middle Eastern and world-fusion dance entertainment company. From 2003-09 she served as Artistic Director and Main Choreographer for the Bellydance Superstars, performing with them in over 700 shows across a dozen countries. Highlights include the main stage at Lollapalooza, The Follies Berger in Paris, The Queen’s Theater in London and Theatre Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco.
In 2009 Jillina created Bellydance Evolution with the goal to take Middle Eastern dance to a higher level. Bellydance Evolution has appeared in over 20 countries and was a featured company at the Mawazine festival in Morocco, performing for the Queen of Morocco. In 2016 Jillina & Bellydance Evolution were commissioned to produce “Le Voyage de Scheherazade,” a multi-national, multi-discipline collaboration between Moroccan, European and American Oriental and ballet dancers with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Maroc.
Jillina has won numerous awards from International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance and the Giza Academy, including Best Modern Egyptian Dancer, Best Instructional Video, Best Dance Company and Dancer of the Year. Jillina has appeared on several television programs, including, “Dancing with the Stars” & “Tsukiri,” a widely-viewed show in Japan. She has co-produced 12 instructional DVDs, now offered in five different languages and distributed by Universal Records. In the summer of 2009 and 2010, Jillina was the first American to be invited as a featured performer in the prestigious Closing Gala at Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Egypt.
In the United States, Jillina owns Evolution Dance Studios located in North Hollywood, California. The studio provides rehearsal space to some of Hollywood’s top artists, including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and choreographers from “So You Think You Can Dance,” and serves as a focal point for the Los Angeles Dance Community.
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