Phoenix Belly Dance

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Teacher Profiles

Candice Frankland

Principal teacher, choreographer and founder of Phoenix Belly Dance.

Candice Frankland is the Founder and Director of the multi-award-winning Phoenix Belly Dance Company. Her company provides lessons to all levels of students from shiny new Beginners to seasoned Professionals with established backgrounds. Candice also caters for all manner of performances from Hen’s Parties to large corporations, politicians, movie, TV, music, and sports stars that demand the highest quality shows. Candice has become one of NZ's most sought after teachers and regularly travels around New Zealand, Australia, and the world to teach workshops

In addition to this, Candice’s biggest passion is working with the dancers in her classes and troupes to develop and challenge them to reach their potential. Candice aims to show her students that belly dance has benefits for everyone, both psychological and physical. Many of her students have found belly dancing to be a catalyst for their personal growth, and becoming part of a caring community. The multiple layers and genres of belly dancing that Candice teaches, allows students to explore and find the styles they are most comfortable with, ones which make them feel beautiful and powerful.

Some of the highlights of her career have been presenting performances and workshops internationally in Turkey, Fiji, Australia, South Africa, and soon to be - Spain, as well as featuring in Jillina’s Belly Dance Evolution and BellyQueen’s Silk Road Show! She has also led her troupe to win prestigious titles such as the Jambalaya multi-discipline dance competition, the Viva Eclektika Asia Vision Cup, and the Corporate Event Guide’s Best Entertainment Company Award. Some of her high profile clients have been Coca-Cola, Sky City, Fairfax Media, Tamati Coffey, Atif Aslam, Phil Goff, and Julian Savea.

Candice is not only a performer and teacher, but also an event producer. Some of her undertakings include: international belly dance tours to the Middle East and North Africa, annual retreats with international guest teachers that are about reminding dancers of the social and fun aspects of the dance, festivals and workshops with local, national and international stars, and theatre shows. She uses many of these opportunities to fundraise for her local women’s shelter, the North Shore Women’s Centre, for whom she is a devoted supporter and campaigner.

More than all of these wonderful experiences, it is Candice’s expertise is as a Business Analyst which has given her a wonderful foundation for managing the every day workings of one of the largest Belly Dance Companies in New Zealand. Her greatest responsibility and dream is to uplift and educate the community, share this art form with the public, and produce both modern concepts and preserve the integrity of the cultural roots of the dance. 

Bellydance Evolution Winner: Phoenix Belly Dance's Candice Frankland Voi and Drum Solo               


Troupe Dancer and Teacher 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. 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.

Vanessa has something to offer for dancers of all levels- solid foundations and movements for beginners, and advanced technique for the more experienced. Her expert veil work and flowing movements make her a valuable addition to the Phoenix teaching team.

Vanessa of Phoenix Belly Dance performing Modern Oriental               


Troupe Dancer and Teacher for Phoenix Belly Dance

Elea hails from France, and has been a dancer most of her life starting with ballet, that she practiced for 4 years, and eventually falling in love with belly dance. She has developed her belly dance skills from a variety of belly dance studios and has attended many workshops from well known belly dance instructors  from all over the world, such as Jillina, Aziza of Cairo, Kami Liddle, Diva darina... She is continuously trying to improve her dance style and technique by trying new styles or taking workshops with different teachers.

Elea has performed professionally for many years as a soloist, and joined the Phoenix troupe in 2017. She is always excited to see students shine and learn and does everything she can to help them on their way.

Phoenix Belly Dance's Elea performing a Romantic Ballad               


Troupe Dancer and Tribal Fusion Teacher for Phoenix Belly Dance

Danielle is a tribal fusion belly dance instructor with 10 years of tribal fusion belly dance instruction experience. Danielle is also a professional belly dance performer who has been cast in professional music videos and has experience at halls, clubs, and restaurants, and with live bands. Danielle has been part of Jill Parker's dance companies Foxglove Sweethearts and Little Egypt and Ariellah's company Deshret in California and Audra Simmons' company Lavish in Toronto. Danielle earned a college dance certificate in African Heritage Performance from San Francisco City College and holds a registration in dance-movement therapy.

Phoenix Belly Dance Teacher Danielle performs Tribal Fusion Solo               


Dancer and Teacher for Phoenix Belly Dance

Setsuna hails from the US and performs, teaches, studies, and revels in dance. A belly dancer since age 15, she has spent most of her life practicing this art form, and continues to learn all she can to make her classes fun and educational. She has studied many other dance forms including Chinese Traditional Dance, R&B, Brazilian Samba, and Afro-Brazilian. Setsuna is an avid researcher and loves to share not only beautiful technique with her students, but also the cultural nuances and roots of the dance. 

Setsuna of Phoenix Belly Dance performs Taheya Karioka Golden Era inspiration               


Troupe Dancer and Teacher for Phoenix Belly Dance

Lynette has been dancing for over a decade now after being instantly hooked at her first class. She has since then have expanded her dance repertoire through many workshops and dance festivals, learning from international dancers such as Hadia, Orit Maftsir, Serena Ramzy, Jillina, Aziza as well as many of the Australian and New Zealand based dancers. Her style is Egyptian influenced.

Lynette has danced professionally around Auckland at restaurants and in more formal settings.

Lynette enjoys the process of teaching and focuses on passing on the dance in a friendly and relaxed environment. She believes that belly dance is for everyone and enjoys watching as new dancers explore moving and expressing themselves through belly dance.


Troupe Dancer and Teacher 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 trained with many high level dancers, including Jillina, Kaeshi Chai, Irina Akulenko, Elisheva, Aziza, Karim Nagi and Ava Fleming. She has performed with Phoenix at Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park, as part of the opening act for Bellydance Evolution in Oz. She was also cast in a supporting role in the Bellyqueen Journey Along the Silk Road in Australia 2016 tour.

Cindy is proficient in many props – including veil, cane, Isis and silk wings – and has experience in a range of performance types.

She is a dedicated, patient, and caring teacher who loves watching her students’ skills improve and their confidence grow. Her emphasis is on strong basic technique, modern choreographies, performance skills and of course, fun! Cindy’s infectious love of dance and thoughtful teaching style give students of any ability, age or background the skills to improve and excel.


Troupe Dancer 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. 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. As a teacher, she strives to convey the technique and culture of the dance form, whilst providing a safe, educational atmosphere. 

Phoenix Belly Dance's Suei performing a Double Silk Fan Solo