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Karen Elizabeth Robertson

Aaliyah Dance


Karen Elizabeth (Aaliyah) is an independent dance instructor and performer in Brockville, Ontario, and founder of Aaliyah Dance, Aaliyah Dance & Friends, and creator of the Hafla! series of fundraising shows supporting victims of violence. One of Karen’s passions is helping dancers discover their voice and reconnecting with their authentic self.

Specializing in Middle Eastern, Belly & Fusion Dances, Aaliyah Dance is for dancers dedicated to learning the skills, culture, and music of the Middle East. Karen studied dances of the Middle East and northern Africa learning Raks al Sharki, or 'belly dance', when she was a teenager. * Karen has a love of the music and dances of these regions. Dance is joy!

“Take up space. Speak your truth. Dance with your heart song. You are a

gift to the world.” Aaliyah

*Aaliyah also has a background in Ballet, American Jazz, Martha Graham modern dance, African and dances of the Caribbean. 

What is Raks al Sharki?

Colloquially called 'belly dance' in North America, Raks al Sharki is a dance form with its roots in the vast cultures of the Middle East, the Maghreb, and the Levant. This beautiful dance form evolved from the blending of traditional dance steps and movements of many regions into the distinctive style it holds today.

Raks al Sharki has such depth that it also gave rise to new forms of dance such as fusion styles and group improvisational styles formerly called ATS. These new forms are what we refer to as belly dance.

We at Aaliyah Dance celebrate the culture and history of Raks al Sharki while welcoming and celebrating the exploration of its movement and artistry and the many iterations that develop as a result.

For more about Aaliyah Dance go to

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