Recognized among the leading authorities on Middle & Far Eastern Dance, TAHYA  is a vibrant and natural dancer with over 30 years of teaching and performance experience both nationally and internationally. Explore global best practices with a sovereign of multi-cultural sacred and secular dance and drumming traditions ~ an award-winning dancer, member of the elite Lehigh Valley College Dance Alliance, and a teacher recognized among the leading authorities on Middle & Far Eastern Dance who is also an ACE-certified instructor.

Tahya's grounded, earthy, sensual style celebrates the beauty within and her on-going dance and frame drum classes and weekend workshops and retreats explore multi-cultural sacred and secular dance and drumming traditions.

Tahya's mission has always been and always will be to serve as bridge between East and West
utilizing, music, dance, drumming and poetry as a gateway to the splendidly rich
cultures of Northern Africa and countries throughout the Middle and Far East.


February 8, 2008 : LVAIC Dance Consortium inducts Tahya to its distinguished list of dancers. Truly honored, I felt like a celebrity at the reception where nearly all the Lehigh Valley'sdistinguished dancers, dance educators and dance presenters filled the room. Thanks to Karen Dearborn, Marilyn Roberts and Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance for hosting and producing a brilliant night of dance! In my acceptance speech I acknowledged how lucky I consider myself to be living in a community where dance is so highly regarded and celebrated. Furthermore, I consider our area blessed with highly talented choreographers, dancers and dance educators not to mention enthusiastic presenters and audiences!

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TAHYA, 2008 LVAIC Dance Consortium's Distinguised Service in Dance Awardee, has been continually teaching and performing Danse Orientale since 1977. 

Recognized as the area's leading authority on Middle Eastern Dance, her classes awaken inner creativity while emphasizing music and dance as a window on the unique cultures of North Africa and countries throughout the Middle and Far East.

TAHYA concerts and workshops build cultural awareness and dance appreciation, replacing misconceptions with informed concepts and boosting a respect for art forms steeped in antiquity.Furthermore, with humanity's need to express the spirit within, the intent is to

1) Engage persons of all ages to explore their creativity;
2) Bring the ancient technologies of drumming and dance into our modern lives stirring the creative spirit within, revealing a pathway of relaxation and well-being; and 
3) Illustrate the magical ability of the arts to inspire beauty, respect and tolerance in our hearts while building cultural awareness.

May inspiration abound to find the rhythm and music that dances within us all,
allowing creativity and graceful healing harmony to emerge as part of daily existence
(all across the planet).

The name 'Tahya' is a salutation; it means "greetings" or "welcome" .... and Tahya welcomes you to the magic carpet ride ancient arts provide.

Performance artist and instructor of Danse Orientale, Belly Dance, Frame Drum, Sistrum (aka Systrum), Poetry and Percussion, and FitRhythms, Tahya invites you to experience the joy and wonder of ancient and enduring arts. Discover the mystique of traditions steeped in ritual. Dedicated to dance, drumming and other creative healing arts, we connect sacred and secular movements of ancient dance arts with rhythmic drumming. Recover the power of personal creativity.

TAHYA is an ACE-certified Group Fitness instructor and a spellbinding performer who has been devoted to presenting as well as teaching dances steeped in antiquity for over 30 years. Dedicated study with masters of middle and far eastern dance have resulted in the creation of a cultural form representing traditional dance as well as maintaining the dance spirit in new pieces of choreography.

She has produced the "Tahya Technique Healing Dance" DVD and three CD's collaborating with renowned percussionists including Pete Barnhart, Paulo Mattioli and Grant Smith to create an ethereal experience connecting one with his/her Inner Wisdom. The Tahya Meditations CD's assist in quieting the restless mind. Each CD has a guided narration with soft percussive soundscape spiraling the listener to the very core of his/her essence. In addition, her most recent venture is a collaboration with Mid-East manufacturing in the re-emergence of a percussion instrument used by devotees of the Goddesses Isis and Hathor in Ancient Egyptian civilizations ~ for more information, see Ceremonial Systrum.

She also co-facilitates Women's Wisdom & Wellness with Helene Leonetti, MD. 


"Tahya adds to the breadth of what it is to be a successful and assertive woman today. She leads us to expand our confidence in our femininity, our sensuality, and to deepen our spirituality and inner sense of ourselves. Tahya models how to bring together mind/body/spirit."

- Annette Carpien, Rich Journey Life Relationships Coach

"...dancer extraordinaire Tahya dazzled the crowd. The combination of strong musical numbers selected and considerable stage presence added an elegant component. Her dance activated the space... I highly recommend Tahya."

- Tom Katsimpalis, Curator of Interpretation
Loveland Museum/Gallery, Loveland, CO

"Tahya graced the stage with her elegance; she captured the essence of Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade music with a wonderful sense of style."

- Paul H. Chou, Director, Lehigh University
Philharmonic Orchestra, Bethlehem, PA

"I strongly recommend Tahya as a master teacher. She is professional, knowledgeable, and she easily and effectively communicates her subject matter to all types of learners. Both her passion and her knowledge of the dances and music permeate her instruction. 
You will be delighted with her."

- Karen Dearborn, Professor, Director of Dance Program,
Muhlenberg College
, Allentown, PA

"Tahya can transform any school assembly or concert hall into another time and place with her artistry. I have performed with her and she is a true artist as well as a gifted communicator."

- David Amram, internationally-acclaimed composer/conductor/multi-instrumentalist.


TAHYA is a vibrant and natural dancer with over 20 years of teaching and performance experience both nationally and internationally. Tahya's on-going dance and frame drum classes and weekend workshop/retreats explore multi-cultural sacred and secular dance traditions. Her grounded, earthy, sensual style celebrates the beauty within. Her artistry has led her to collaborations with internationally-acclaimed artists/musicians/composers including David Amram, Paul Chou, Lori Cotler, Mimi Janislawski, Paulo Mattioli, Morocco, Grant Smith, and Glen Velez. To date, her art has led to engagements throughout the U.S. continent and Hawaii, Bali and Scotland.

Tahya travels both nationally and internationally performing with the brilliant percussionist Grant Smith with whom she also offers master classes and workshop/retreats. Launched in August 2004, Tahya and Grant are touring Rhythm and Rhyme, a new program of poetry recitations enhanced by a percussive soundscape. She also works in collaboration with master Djembe drummer/composer/teacher Paulo Mattioli. Together they facilitate Rhythm Journey workshops and retreats. Working in collaboration with Grant and/or Paulo, Tahya presents a program designed to revitalize body, mind and spirit through community drumming and dance celebration.

Tahya is well-known for presentations of Danse Orientale treating audiences to an expansive view of the richness of North African, Middle and Far Eastern Dance - from the faithful renditions of traditional dances to innovative combinations of oriental movement. From a pharaonic dance inspired by ancient paintings, through folk dances developed and preserved through the centuries to the present day form of the dance with its new trends and directions, the dances, choreography, and costumes of her programs provide an exciting, exotic journey guaranteed to educate, fascinate, and entertain. For example, The Loveland (Colorado) Museum Gallery presented TAHYA in conjunction with "Contemporary Bead and Beadwork: Innovative Directions", an international exhibition featuring many of today's foremost bead artists. TAHYA's performance at the opening reception was described as "brilliant and elegant."

Founded in 1985, Tahya is the Artistic Director for the Pennsylvania-based Troupe Bannat Tahya. The ensemble has performed for Lehigh University's Cultural Affairs, the Allentown Arts Festival, Mayfair Festival of the Arts, First Night State College, and Bethlehem's Musikfest. She has contributed choreography to Muhlenberg College and Colorado State University theatre productions, was featured in performance at a gala reception at the Loveland (CO) Museum gallery and, dressed as a member of an ancient royal Persian court, narrated the tale of Scheherazade with the Lehigh University Philharmonic Orchestra.

Inspired by Layne Redmond's work, Tahya now also directs Troupe Bannat Tahya in a choreographed percussion processional, a tribute to ancient rituals when the "Drummers were Women." An inspired invocation for any auspicious occasion the troupe, attired in beautiful multi-layered dresses of rich colors, the processional brings together the sounds of riqq, finger cymbals, dumbek and bell in combination with choreorgraphed movements steeped in antiquity to arise and celebrate the Divine within! One of her most popular workshop/retreats is Dance & Drum with Tahya, a program designed to empower others to re-create a processional and generate a positive esprit in the communities in which we live.

Tahya teaches in Pennsylvania for Lehigh Valley Hospital & Health Network's Healthy You programs, Northampton Community College and at her private studio.  She also lectures at collegiate venues throughout the area on the art of North African, Middle and Far Eastern dance and the influence of these arts on American Modern Dance.  Furthermore she is an advocate for arts education. [See artlinks, the Arts-in-Education Resource Book of artists juried by the Lehigh Valley Arts Council.]

Her teachers are a vertiable "Who's Who" of Middle and Far Eastern dance, including Bert Balladine, Tasha Bannat, Ibrahim Farrah, Mimi Janislawski, Morocco, Jamila Salimpour, Serena, Shahrezade (former member of the National Folkloric company of Tehran, Iran) and many more. Frame drum teachers: Glen Velez, Layne Redmond, Randy Crafton and Mary Ellen Donald.

The focus of her work into the new millenium is to bring these ancient technologies into our modern lives stirring the creative spirit within, revealing a pathway of relaxation and well-being, synchronizing the mind/body complex, creating conditions for psychological and physical healing through her
Healing Dance and Dance & Drum classes. The Tahya World Drums & Dance school assembly programs bring georgraphy alive and are often presented in collaboration with percussionists expertly versed to present West-African, North African and North African, Middle and Far Eastern rhythms. View Tahya resume.  

Since 2001, Tahya has worked in collaboration with djembe master Paulo Mattioli to co-facilitate Rhythm Journey, a program designed to revitalize body, mind and spirit through community drumming and dance celebration.

Launched in August 2004 Tahya is now touring a new program of poetry recitations Tonight's Subject is... Love, enhanced by a percussive soundscape provided by Grant Smith.


Let us bring this experience to YOUR community ~ contact Tahya today!






Intoxicated with love

I too dance the rhythm of this moving world

                                                                                    - Rumi




September 15, 2001: In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, Tahya (in ivory dress, center right) directed members of Troupe Bannat Tahya in a percussion processional as an invocational prayer for planetary peace. In addition, the audience was invited to join together hand-in-hand in sacred circle dances.