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ABOUT Leilainia

san diego magazine

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 and is a unique blend of belly dance fusing all styles of Middle-Eastern dance and stage theatrics to entertain and bring out the essential elements what the moment calls for. Leilainia is known for her extemporaneous performances, with include wing dance, veil work, sultry snake dance, hot fire act, intense sword work, and mesmerizing mermaid-ing. This, combined with her acting training, gives her a theatrical romance, which captures audiences of all ages. She is graceful, elegant, and she makes the music become an extension of herself while executing a beautiful presentation. 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....


“Born into the world of art and dance, constantly surrounded by philosophers, artists, performances, writers, and people of inspiration an passion. They taught me rhythm and dance, musicality 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 wonderful fantasy land of preparation, performance, and creation.”- Leilainia.

Leilainia co-owns and operates Nomad Artz Entertainment and Background Productions, co-created (with her sister Adelaide) the world-renowned dance troupe “Shimmy Sisters”, has been a finalist in San Diego Magazine’s Women Of The Year. She has performed in theatrical, film and television productions, released an internationally-sold fitness/dance DVD, has appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent and BRAVO's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, managed an art gallery, has been an entertainment writer for various magazines and newspapers including the Reader, Beach & Bay Press, and No Cover Magazine, and worked on projects with NPR. As an Entertainment Specialist, she’ll fit the perfect entertainment for your event atmosphere. As a Performer, she’ll always impress.

"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: