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Jacinda (aka Aliya Dalal)

Healing Emotional Blocks and Traumas Through Belly Dance

Jacinda (aka Aliya Dalal)

Occupation: Professional belly dancer

Country: USA / China

Started Learning Belly Dance: 14 years ago

Joined the Iana Dance Club: December 2019

Belly Dance Transformations

‘’Dance helped me to overcome my body image and eating disorders. It taught me to love my body not for how it looks like, but for what it can do. It felt very liberating.’’

‘’I realized that I can’t compartmentalize. If I want to have emotions in dance, I have to have emotions in life.’’

‘’Many of us are afraid to express emotions because we are afraid that it will overtake us. But dance helped me to get in touch with my emotions.’’

‘’I became fascinated with the potential for this dance to heal for women with trauma.’’

"This dance saved my life in so many ways. It saved my health. It helped me to overcome my eating disorders. I helped me to see value in myself, not just as a dancer and artists, but also as a human being. It helped me to connect with the world. It helped me to become a more open person. It helped me to be in touch with my emotions, which allowed me to be supportive of others in their emotions."

Jacinda (dance name: Aliya Dalal) is an award-winning international Belly Dance performer and instructor based in Washington DC, USA. Jacinda has studied Belly Dance for over 10 years, and has trained extensively in Egyptian, Lebanese, Turkish Oriental and Folklore, and American Cabaret styles. Known for her graceful, powerful, and expressive dance style that combines traditional with modern theatrical elements, Jacinda performs regularly at restaurants, nightclubs, and special events throughout the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region.

Driven by a passion for teaching, Jacinda loves sharing her knowledge and experience in this dance form with people of all backgrounds. She is a certified group fitness and Pilates instructor and teaches Belly Dance and fitness classes and workshops in-person and online. She has worked with individuals of a wide age range and fitness levels in settings that include dance studios, fitness and wellness centers, conferences and festivals, and retirement communities.

Jacinda holds a PhD and specializes in health research. Her work focuses on the impact of early-life stress and adversity on an individual's physical and mental health across the lifespan. Jacinda is particularly interested in exploring the use of Belly Dance to help women with a history of sexual trauma and eating disorders to heal from their traumas and achieve improved well-being. For more information, visit at

Reasons she chose to join the Iana Dance Club:

- first tried Iana’s free classes on Youtube and liked them
- was searching for flexibility in scheduling her practice
- felt that club has a structure, provides guidance in training, but leaves space in free exploration
- enjoyed personal touch by Iana and Pedro
- felt accountability even despite it’s an online training with pre-recorded videos

Favourite piece of content inside the club:
Mejance intensive because it taught the idea of deliberate practice.

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