Phoenix Belly Dance

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Professional Performer Profiles

Candice Frankland

Principal dancer, choreographer and founder of Phoenix Belly Dance. 

Candice Frankland is the founder and director of Phoenix Belly Dance, a multi-award winning dance company and home to some of New Zealand's most sought after performers and teachers. Her troupe are the proud winners of the Jambalaya Dance Competition 2011, NZ Corporate Event’s Best Entertainment Company in 2012, and the Viva Eclectika 2013 Asia Vision Cup. Candice received the Tarazade Festival’s Trained by the Stars Award in Turkey in 2012, was winner of the Bellydance Evolution International Casting Competition in 2014 (LA/Sydney) and has taught and performed at the Tarazade festival in Istanbul in 2015.

Links to Videos:

Award-winning performance submission with Voi and Drum Solo

Solo at Tarazade Festival in Istanbul, Turkey 

Cleopatra Character Solo

Candice Frankland and Phoenix Belly Dance: Wedding Performance

Aziza, Candice Frankland and Helene Skaugen performing Melaya Lef at Tarazade Festival Istanbul 2015

Suei Lin

Soloist and Troupe Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher for Phoenix Belly Dance

From a young age Suei has immersed herself in dancing and performed the art of Dun Huang dance. This dance involves very fluid and beautiful movements, many of which are similar to belly dancing. She has since found passion in belly dancing and went on to develop her belly dance skills from a variety of belly dance studios and have attended many workshops from well known belly dance instructors.

Suei has performed professionally for many years as a soloist, duo and within a troupe. This ranges from large scale performances to small settings such as restaurants and weddings. Suei's performances often include belly dance props such as sword, zills, isis wings, silk veils and fan veils. The belly dance training she has developed after many years along with her background in traditional dance has shaped her into the versatile belly dance performer she is today.

Link to Video:

Suei Lin of Phoenix Belly Dance - Classic Veil Performance

Trio performance by Suei, Lisa, and Candice in Christchurch

Candice Frankland, Suei Lin & Cindy Corne of Phoenix Belly Dance: Spanish Fusion

Astra Burrowes

Soloist and Troupe Dancer for Phoenix Belly Dance 

Astra is a beautiful red head with a passion for dance, having always danced in some form or other she first discovered her love of Belly Dance back in 2007 and started training under Kali Zahira. Since then she has strove to improve her understanding and performance of Middle Eastern dance, leaning towards the Oriental and Baladi Styles and incorporating fan veils, sword, isis wings and veil. In 2010 traveling to Egypt to further her training she attended the Nile Group Festival, where she studied with Mahmoud Reda, Aida Nour, Mona Moustafa and Nevein Ramez. In 2012 she attended the Tarazade Festival in Istanbul studying with Prof. Hassan Khalil, Azad Khan, Aziza, Serkan Tutar, Rose Ottaviano and Sema Yildiz before travelling to Cairo to study with Outi of Cairo. Back in New Zealand she has done workshops with Pip E-Lysaah and a weekend intensive with Ranya Renee. She is also an accomplished fire performer and can incorporate fire into her performances.

Link to Video:

Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park 2014 Troupe Performance

Sydney Latin Festival Troupe performance

Astra of Phoenix Belly Dance

Vanessa Castro

Teacher, and Troupe Dancer for Phoenix Belly Dance 

Professional belly dancer and master teacher from Brazil, Vanessa Castro has around 13 years of experience in belly dance. She's the director of her school, 'Studio Vanessa Castro', in Curitiba, Brazil, and studied with Brazilian belly dance titan Lulu Sabongi and Lebanese folkloric master Tufic Nabak. In 2014, Vanessa took her training to the next level, travelling around the Emirates, Lebanon and Egypt to learn more about culture and dance. Her passion for her art form is matched only by her love of teaching it.

Links to video:

Vanessa Castro performing at the Phoenix Belly Dance Retreat

Duet with Candice Frankland

Brazilian Fusion Solo

Cindy Corne

Soloist and Troupe Dancer for Phoenix Belly Dance 

Cindy has danced for as long as she can remember. Though belly dancing is where her passion truly lies, she has trained in contemporary, Indonesian Jaipong and ballroom and Latin dancing. Tutored by international dancers Sandra Bogart and Kim Grison, she made her way into the professional belly dancing world by becoming the resident belly dancer at Nomad Cafe - a popular Middle Eastern restaurant in her hometown - and spent her time there honing her skills and knowledge of the art form. Cindy has participated in workshops with various well known belly dancers, constantly striving to improve and perfect her technique and performance. She is proficient in many props – including veil, cane, Isis and silk wings. After moving to Auckland, she began training with Candice Frankland and promptly joined the Phoenix troupe, gaining experience in many areas – with performances ranging from restaurants, to hen’s parties, to large stage shows. She is a dedicated and experienced soloist and group dancer who brings passion and graceful flair to every performance, her infectious joy of belly dance will illuminate any stage and resonate with audiences. 

Link to Video:

Folkloric Egyptian Saidi Solo

Sophie Kaulima

Troupe Dancer for Phoenix Belly Dance

Sophie Kaulima fell in love with belly dance some time ago, and has never looked back since. Trained by Kali Zahira, Rayna Renee, Pip E-Lysaah, Sashi and Candice Frankland, Sophie has a strong background in Oriental dance with skills in Tribal Fusion. Prior to her career in Middle Eastern tap, Sophie also has training in tap dancing and acrobatics. A natural entertainer, she enjoys experimenting with different styles and elements. Her skill repertoire with props is impressive, including fan veils, silk wings, poi, veils, and cane. She brings a friendly, warm nature to every performance.

Sophie has appeared with Phoenix at Breaker's half time performances, their winning performance at Jambalaya 2012, MEDANZ 2011-2013, and the 2013 Sydney Latin Dance Festival. She is one of our most versatile performers, able to adapt to frequent changes with ease. 

Link to Video:

Bex Wilson

Troupe Dancer for Phoenix Belly Dance 

Bex is one of our troupes newest recruits but has over a decade of experience under her belt. This vibrant dancer has been trained in both tribal and oriental styles and is one of the most captivating performers to watch live.

Sophie has appeared with Phoenix at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, Middle Eastern Memories Show, and is a regular dancer Taksim Restaurant on Friday nights. 

Link to Video: