The first time Jayna Kouzouyan graced the stage, she was wearing whiskers, alert pink ears and a tail. She was 8 years old, and a (very proud) little mouse in her ballet classes production of Alice In Wonderland.
Though she has since traded ballet for balady, not much has changed! Jayna's love of performing continued through her high school years as head of the dance team, then into her early 20s when she finally began to study the magical art of Bellydance. Under the instruction of many beloved teachers, amongst them, Superstar Jillina Carlano, Jayna fell in love not only with the fabulous costuming and the intriguing mysticism but mainly with the intimate connection that can be found between the dancer and the audience by translating the music through Bellydance.
These traits came naturally to Jayna, having grown up in a culturally saturated household (her mother, Marta Schill was a renowned dancer and author, and her father, who is from Lebanon, played classical Middle Eastern melodies from sunrise to sunset), Jayna was already familiar with the rhythms, nuances, and soul of the music.
As a DESERT ROSE with the BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS, Jayna has toured Europe, the United States and Canada. She starred in her own instructional DVD, as well as being featured in several performance DVDs. Prior to joining the Superstar group, Jayna rocked the L.A. nightclubs both as a soloist as well as with several hot dance troupes in Southern California.
Though Jayna's first word could have been "shimmy" (her mom was a Bellydancer as well) it wasn't until a little over a decade ago that she fell hard for the art of Bellydance. A jazzy/modern/bellydance fusion performance to "Kashmir" by Zed Zeppelin showed her she had no choice but to start pursuing this dance for reals! When she was a kid, it took an array of jazz, ballet and gymnastics lessons to get super active Jayna to chill out! | Photo: Aaron Stipkovich | Link |
From her official website:
Some of Jayna’s first memories took place in the middle of the dance floor at home, amongst the painted toes of the ladies of her mother’s Bellydance troupe, Caravan. Though most of those toes probably wanted to kick little Jayna (gently, of course) out of their dance space, she was oblivious…the magical sounds of their shimmying coined belts, the beautiful way their hair fanned out when they would spin and turn, the thrill she felt when they would zagahreet like some wild Disney cartoon animals she’d seen on TV on Saturday mornings…it was where she knew she wanted to be.
Today, this is still where she wants to be: more in love with Bellydance than ever. Jayna’s main goals are to continue to learn and teach the beauty, complexity and emotional camaraderie the incredible art form of Bellydance has to offer.
A second-generation southern California Bellydance artist, Jayna Manoushe brings passion, playfulness and sexiness to her dance routines. Her movements will mesmerize you.
Jayna performs with some of the most innovative oriental dance companies in California, including Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers and has traveled the world with the Bellydance Superstars. She also appears in many performance and instructional belly dance DVDs and music videos.
Jayna also is an energetic and passionate teacher. BELLYQUAKE is a cardio workout that blends bellydancing movement & fun traditional dance combos. Bellydance Basics will help you become familiar with your body and learn just HOW you can make it move like a bellydancer.
Photographer David Gueringer is the man! I usually hate photo shoots cuz I get all plastic-face, but he knew how to keep me feeling like "me"! So I slapped myself in the face with a spoon --Jayna | Photo: David Gueringer | Link | Jayna Manoushe, Bellydance Superstar, Spook, Comedy, Dancer, Retro,