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ABOUT Leilainia

san diego magazine

Leilainia is a finalist in San Diego Magazine's Women of the Year 2012. She is honored to be recognized as a leader amongst the prestigious group of female entrepreneurs in the San Diego community. Leilainia is co-owner of Nomad Artz / Backgroud Productions and half of the world renown Shimmy Sisters.

Leilainia and her husband Gabriel help culture thrive through the arts. Their two companiesNomad Artz and Backgroud Productionsgather talented people who inspire and entertain. The dynamic duo organize and manage events, produce stage shows and arrange ambient entertainment. Leilainia and hersister Adelaide inspire by thier authenticdance perforamnces as The Shimmy Sisters.

San Diego Magazine's Woman of the Year award recognizes dynamic women who work to create positive change and contribute to the community. Celebrate with this year's inspirational nominees over hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and the 2012 Woman of the Year presentation.

women who move the city


Leilainia is a second-generation dancer. She was raised engulfing the spirit of music, dance and art. Her dance style invokes a gypsy creative power. Her style is a unique blend of belly dance forms she terms as Cabaret Collage. She fuses all styles of Middle-Eastern dance to entertain and to bring out the essential elements of who she is and what the moment calls for. She performs for private & corporate parties, Middle Eastern events, interactive performing arts exhibits, kids parties, restaurants, weddings, belly grams, concerts, fashions shows, bridal showers, workshops, belly dance galas....




Leilainia is known for her
extemporaneous performances,
wing dance, veil work,
mesmerizing snake dance,
fire dance, and intense sword work. This, combined with her
five years of acting training, gives her a theatrical romance, which captures audiences of all ages.

She embodies the true essence of a dancer. She is graceful and she makes the music become an
extension of herself while executing beautiful presentation.

“Born into the world of art and dance in El Paso, Texas, I was constantly surrounded by philosophers, artists, performances, writers and people of inspiration an passion. They taught me Middle Eastern Dance. They taught me steps and showmanship. They taught me not in a class setting, but in a life setting. I learned through watching, playing and appreciating. It was a terrific fantasy land of preparation, performance and creation," explains Leilainia.


"It was a dream of mystical colors constantly shifting and entertaining. I watched as these wonderful creators told their stories through art.
But i was young. I had no story of my own. I had no inner trauma, turmoil, love or loss. I had no formulated truths. I was simply a goddess in training. My mother would take me with her to yoga, African dance, Middle Eastern dance, ballet, modern and flamenco classes.
I thought this was the normal life.

sword dancer

As I grew I learned through the uniqueness of my upbringing and nourished it.
I am trained in Cabaret, Gypsy, Fusion, Egyptian and Turkish Belly Dance.

Through dancing I express my natural excitement for life. I perform and teach throughout the U.S.

Dance is not a hobby to me. It is me.”
Read full article Leilainia wrote about growing up in this artistic environment.

Everyone always asks where my name comes from. It's a Donovan song.





Family / Heritage :

"I was born with the rhythm of Middle Eastern dance and music within me. My father's family is from Aleppo,Syrian. My mother's family are of European decent. I've been dancing since I was in my mothers womb and it continues to be a necessity in my life. In the early 70's my mother, Judith Ann Marcus began adding Belly Dance to her array of dance knowledge. At that time she was in college as a dance major. She studied oriental dance and quickly became an accomplished dancer and still is today. My father, Hal Marcus, is an accomplished artist and Middle Eastern drummer. He is the percussionist of Jitano and the Desert Prophets and owns Hal Marcus Studio in El Paso Texas.  My parents instilled in me, and all their children, a passion for the arts. My sister, Adelaide, is co – founder of The Shimmy Sisters, an artist and Yogi. My brother, Marco Mordahi (Aka MORDA of Ninja Nations) , is an amazing DJ, musician, jewelry maker and traveler. I am an artist and professional dancer. I have been dancing professionally long enough to experience its ups and down and realize it is not something I just do, it is who I am. Dance is not a hobby for me. It is me."







Plant Powered Living CO-Visionary/ Video Host 2011
• Self Discovery Coach 2010.
• Appeared on the season premier of AMERICA’S GOT TALENT ON NBC.
“I love this magical mystery tour, ” - Sharon Osbourne.
" I can’t wait to see you again.” -Howie Mandel. 2010
• Instructional Belly Dance DVD released by Acacia. Titled “Step by Step Belly Dance” sold internationally on Amazon, Best Buy and
Barnes and Nobles. 2010
Mermaid 2010
• Nomination San Diego Music Awards (Danyavaad and the Shimmy Sisters Best World Band & Best World Album “March of the Gypsies”) 2009
• The Shimmy Sisters are featured in the new Performance DVD "The Exotic Art Of Bellydance!"
• Award Winning Ultimate Troupe Hips Of Fury 2006
• People's Choice Bellydancer of the Universe Troupe 2007
• Certified Yoga Instructor 2008- present
• Co -founder Nomad Artz Entertainment 2006 - present
• Troupe co-founder of The Shimmy Sisters 2005- present
• Certified / Licensed Massage Therapist 2004 - present
• Business Consultant 2003
• Belly Dance Instructor 2002- present
• Published Journalist 1999 - present
• Fitness Instructor 1994 - present
• Dancer / Performer 1982 - present




Articles Writen by Leilainia:

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