Chandara Gamal was first introduced to Greek "Bellydance" in 1981 at a restaurant in Bamberg, West Germany where she was touched by not only the physical beauty of the dancer, but her graceful movements and the joy on her face as she danced. She took her first lesson in 1982 and has been in love with bellydancing ever since.
After returning to the United States and the birth of her second child, she continued her study of bellydance with Patti Lyle (IA), and later with Simone's 7th Veil Dance Company in St. Louis, MO. About 1988, Soraya Al Musri, founder of Aalim Dance Academy (St. Louis, MO), took Chandara under her wing and became Chandara's mentor, helping her grow into an excellent performer and caring teacher. She began teaching at Aalim Dance Academy in 1989, and later founded Raqs Al Dounya World Dance Ensemble, and co-founded Desert Moon Dance Academy in St. Louis. Upon relocating to Columbus, Ohio in 2002, Chandara created Bellydance Columbus to continue to share this ancient, beautiful art form.
Chandara has taught workshops from Missouri to Ohio and has performed in a variety of venues - including television, schools and universities, state and local fairs, renaissance festivals, parades, restaurants and nightclubs in 10 states.
Over the years, Chandara has attended numerous master classes, seminars & workshops with some of the greatest names in Middle Eastern Dance, including Mahmoud Reda (Cairo, Egypt); Suhaila Salimpour (CA); Sahreen El-Safy (CA); Morocco (NY); Bert Balladine (CA); Yasmina Ramzy (Canada); Sarah Kent (CA); Karim Nagi (MA); Sadie Marquardt (CO); Zoe Jakes (CA); Cassandra Shore (MN); Amaya (NM); Leila Gamal (IN); Ruby Jazayre (IN); Maleeha (IA); Mona N'wal (WI); Kamaal (CA); Aziz (UT); Karen Barbee (TX); Zahra Zuhair (CA); Conchi (OH), Faten Al Munger (IN), Valizan (Canada), and many more!
Chandara is dedicated to passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation of dancers, performers and teachers.