Amandari was formed in 2008 with founding members Naimah (director), Patti, Mandy Rust and Jeanne Gary. Jeanne Gary was the one who bestowed upon them the lovely name of Amandari meaning “peaceful spirit”. Since then Amandari has grown steadily in popularity and size and regularly showcases different combinations of its over 20 talented dancers at various events and festivals throughout the region.
Naimah began her study of belly dance in 1999 bringing with her a background in ballet, modern, hip hop, and African dance. She began her study with Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, but after intensive study with many instructors exploring new interpretations of contemporary belly dance, she found her niche in the art of Modern Tribal style belly dance. Naimah is known for her mysterious, gothic infused, fluid movements. Her moves have been compared to that of a “man eating plant” and a “mechanical snake”. She has also performed and taught workshops at well known festivals such as Rakkasah’s Spring Caravan, CCBC World Dance Festival, Tribal Fest 13, the BOCA Festival, KisFest, Shimmy in the Sun in Costa Rica, Bellypalooza, Belly Horror, and Raven’s Night : Grimm Fairy Tales.
Naimah is the current director of the bi-monthly show Moonlight Tribal Lounge and is also the co-director of Maryland’s largest belly dance festival, “Art of the Belly” in Ocean City, MD which showcases all styles of belly dance.