Ziah and EDS

Personal Mission Statement: To create an empowered community by sharing the wisdom gained during my 25 years of experience, limitations, and transformation.


Ziah Ali, Director of Awalim Dance Company, is an internationally recognized Tribal belly dance performer, coach, community builder, and event producer who has studied this dance form since 1991. Her dynamic style is technically complex, historically informed, musically sensitive, and keeps the pure joy of bellydance front and center in every performance. She has watched the Tribal Bellydance Community unfold throughout the world, starting with the Urban Primitive and Feminist cultures in the US and seeping into all aspects of bellydance throughout the world.


  • Suhaila Level 1 and Jamila Level 1 Certified from the Salimpour School of Dance
  • General Skills Certified from Fat Chance Belly Dance
  • Has studied bellydance since 1991, from before there was a genre called Tribal
  • Her professional dance company, Awalim, was founded in 1999. It continues to evolve and aims to set a high standard for polished, theatrical performance.
  • Her classes are the longest continually running classes in the Atlanta area.
  • Since 1998 she has gone from producing small Red Light Cafe TribalCarnivale shows to producing the award-winning TribalCon, the largest Tribal festival on the East Coast, for 14 years.
  • Her bellydance studies began with Shakira Masood Ali at Sirrom School of Dance Houston, Texas when she was looking for a way to help strengthen her body to help with painful congenital defects, now diagnosed as Ehlers Danlos Syndrom/EDS. It turned out bellydance was ideal because it was low impact and focused on internal muscle contractions. The endorphins also made her forget about the pain during class.
  • She spent five years on the road as a true camping nomad, with her husband, two dogs and a cat, as a manager on the Renaissance Festival circuit for Ballena Bay Pewter. During this time she trained with two more dance mentors, Aegela and Zhaleh Fereshteh, on top of studying all over the nation with a wide variety of movement teachers. These studies in Persian, Rajisthani, North African, Turkish Rom, and Egyptian styles over the years have informed her vibrant fusion.
  • After setting down roots in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998, she began to immediately cultivate a community of well-informed and ethical dancers throughout the region. These dancers in cities throughout the Southeast are the mothers of the Southern Tribal community and our region is highly respected for its hospitality and cross pollination. This commitment to professionalism, sustainable technique, artistic discipline, and endurance has shaped the face of Tribal in the Southeast and beyond.
  • Also a home schooling mom, gardener, introvert, seamstress, adventurer, sci-fi/fantasy geek, wife of 24 years, and an avid cook due to food allergies. All these aspects of her life blur together on a regular basis which keeps things interesting.
  • Her thirst for the vast amount of masterful knowledge that is out there keeps her traveling and connecting. She continually studies with her mentors and seeks out new challenges for her body and mind.

    Ziah has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a condition that effects collagen, which makes up 85% of your body. Collagen is the structure for skin, organs, connective tissue, cartilage, veins, and arteries. She uses dance to help strengthen her muscles to support, promote healthy circulation, and provide healthy levels of endorphins for pain management. EDS informs her style of teaching to be very safety and alignment conscious. 


    Tradition and Innovation 8: Interview with Ziah Ali of Awalim

    Tribal Fest 9 – A Sort of Review

    Solo Fan Veil Performance of Ziah in Richmond, VA Song: Ziah avec Quinte Musicians: Al Cofrin, Majda Anwar, Dave Machek, Denys Proteau