“As my first teacher and mentor, Farideh continues to influence and inspire me, even after 25 years. She is THE “quint essential belly dancer” and one of the very few ORIGINAL North American Gypsy style dancers and teachers that remain. Her extraordinary talent combined with her lifelong work in the field of ethnic dance have earned her the love and respect or many ethnic dancers who have since emerged. Farideh is a true legacy…a treasure for all who love this dance.” – Sarita

All Classes and Workshops emphasize refined technique and educated understanding of the music to create relaxed dancers, dancing to the music with Joy in their hearts. Farideh breaks down the various dance moves into a series of micro- steps that even the beginner can accomplish. This allows the dancer to progress quickly into the intermediate level. She is committed to preserving the traditional styles and respecting the origins and cultures of the art form. The dancer is also encouraged to understand the basic rhythms so that he/she may learn to develop their own unique interpretation of the music so the dance is both adaptive and personal.
Farideh Swirling

In House Studio CLASSES:
For Information about the current class schedule (Victoria B.C. Canada)
Please Phone (250) 598-2043 or E-Mail:

Given Name: Cathryn Balk

Founder/Choreographer: Farideh Dance Arts, guests at La Danse Oriental the McPherson Theater, Victoria, 2004. Royal BC Museum, closing performances for the Eternal Egypt Exhibit, October 16th and 17th, 2004.
Founder: Zincali dance troupe, winner of 6 awards at the Victoria Arts Fest 2000-2004. Appeared at the Yousrey Shrif and workshop in Vancouver, 2001. Appeared at the workshop and show at the Atrium Hotel presented by Genya in honor of many years as a teacher/performer, Vancouver, 2001.
Herald Street Theatre, Victoria. A Celebration of Middle Eastern, North African and Turkish Dance; featuring John Compton and Zahar Ensemble of Victoria, 1999 In collaboration with Rhama Haddad, Vancouver at Casa Manila featuring John Compton and Sirocco and Bou Sada Band. A Retrospective of Middle Eastern Dance, 199l.Chateau Granville Hotel, Vancouver. An Evening of Middle Eastern Dance, featuring Amir Garabidain from Boston, John Compton and Sirocco from San Francisco, 1979. Robson Square Theatre, Vancouver. A Middle Eastern Dance Association production in collaboration with Ahmad Joujour of Montreal, as guest artist, 1979. The Metro Theatre Vancouver. A Fantasy of Middle Eastern Dance and Poetry, 1979. University of British Columbia, An Evening of Middle Eastern Dance, featuring John Compton and Sirocco, 1978 In collaboration with Courtney Arts Alliance and Malaspina College. A touring production celebrating Middle Eastern Dance for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast, 1978. Artistic Director and founder of “The Creative Dance Center Studio” Vancouver, BC 1977 - 1980. Zincali Gitan American, University of California, Santa Cruz, an historical expose of Gypsy migration from India to Spain in song and dance, 1976.


Winner of the Open Solo Award at Arts Fest, Victoria 2003. Guest artist: Aisha Ali Show in Belingham, Shelly Muzzey presenting, 2001.
Company/Troupe Work as featured Artist, Principal Dancer: Bal Anat Jamila Salipour Artistic Director, Renaissance Fair, Marin County, 1971 - 1973.
Principal Dancer: Baba Ganoush Patti Farber Artistic Director, Renaissance Fair, Marin County, Los Angeles, 1973 - 1976.
Principal Dancer: Kos Kadas John Compton Artistic Director. A touring company, touring San Francisco (DeYoung Memorial Museum, Hurst Court); West Los Angeles (West Los Angeles Civic Center, Santa Monica); San Francisco (Invited to open the King Tut exhibition, DeYoung Memorial Museum) and Vancouver Playhouse, Vancouver 1975 - 1979.
Master class Workshops and Performance: 1978 - 1984 teacher/performer: During these years, taught and performed in both Canada and the U.S. in such places as: Saskatoon and Moosejaw, Sk. Lansing, Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts; Calgary, Alberta; Vancouver, B.C.; Los Angeles, Cal.; Powell River; Seattle, Washington.


Monterey Peninsula College, California Arts Major. Completed 5 years of a double major in literature and painting; then decided to travel and research Middle Eastern, North African, and Indian culture; particularly music and dance. Traveled for four years, studying with various teachers in these countries and learning as much as possible about the background of the dance. Professional Dance/Studio Training Middle Eastern Dance - 2 years with Jamila Salimpour and introduction by Bert Baladine in San Francisco. Both are foremost dancers in this field in California. Studied concurrently with Ibraham Farah in New York for 2 years in the late 1970 – early 80s. MR. Farah was world renowned in Middle Eastern Dance. Middle Eastern and Eastern European Dance: 4 Years with Patti Farber, LA and San Francisco: Balkan, Romanian, Yugoslavian and Rom (Gypsy). North African Dance - 6 Years with Aiasha Ali, World renowned Master, teacher and dancer, Los Angeles, in the late 70’s to early 80’s. Studied with Marti Rollo in Los Angeles in the late 70’s. Marti is the acknowledged authority on Moroccan Shikkat Dance in the world. Persian Dance – Robin Friend in the late 70’s in San Francisco. Robin is a highly respected authority on Persian dance in North America. Classes with Robin Friend in the late 70’s. Flamenco - 22 Years, studied and worked with Teo Morca of Los Angeles (and later in Bellingham) from 1972 to 1994. Teo Morca is and internationally respected Master, Teacher and performer of Flamenco. Even now, in his senior years, Mr. Morca still tours internationally, teaching Master classes. Studied concurrently and performed with Rosario Ancer for 6 years (from 1989 to 1995) in Vancouver. Ms. Ancer is an accomplished artist foremost in her field on the west coast.

Folk Dancer
Young Folk Dancer

Kos Kadas at SF Museum

Catheryn's mom
Farideh's Mom on right with partner

1920's-Dancers, posing
1920's LaVergne (mom, bending) and Partner

John Compton and Farideh
John Compton and Farideh of Kos Kadas dance troupe

Farideh in Flamenco Dance costume, under her tree
Farideh in Flamenco Dance costume, under her tree.

dancer with Snake Catheryn 2005
Farideh with her snake and more recently in yellow.

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