Maki is a naturally captivating performer who has loved dance all of her life, starting with ballet at the age of four. She went on to become a competitive Rhythmic Gymnast at the national and international level. After retiring from the sport, she wandered into her first Raks Sharki (bellydance) class in Vancouver and immediately fell in love with the style. The music touched her like no other and the movements, although new to her, felt very natural.
As a dancer, Maki is known for her fluidity and warm, engaging stage presence. Her smile is infectious and audiences can't help but smile along with her. She presents the style with respect and sincerity. Her dance is classic with a modern touch. She stays true to Middle Eastern nuances and it is not uncommon for Arabic audiences to ask her if she has spent time in the Middle East. Due to her technical prowess and natural feeling and ability, Maki was a featured soloist of Ninawa Eastern Magic Dance Co. (Vancouver) headed up by Moh Alratta and Moh Abu Ras. These two are amazing dancers, formerly of the Caracalla Dance Company of Lebanon.
As a featured performer for the 2010 International Bellydance Conference of Canada, Maki was invited to return to dance as a special guest in the 2012 Opening Night Gala and to speak as a panelist. Other highlights include winning an online casting competition and being invited to Los Angeles to be part of Jillina's Bellydance Evolution-Immortal Desires. Maki was given an acting role in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony and was also cast as the character "Jenny" and as the featured belly dancer in the independent film "Almost a Turkish Soap Opera". Maki has been involved as one of the choreographers for the Shimmy Mob since its inception and has had her dance performed by thousands of dancers in over 9 countries around the world.
Students love the energy and enthusiasm Maki brings to her belly dance class. Her love for dance is contagious. She instills in her students the importance of understanding the music and feeling for dance in a fun atmosphere with a touch of humour. Maki has the ability to be able to break down and explain movements in a variety of ways so that everyone can reach their potential. In addition to teaching her regular classes, she is currently the folkloric instructor at Ammara Dance Company for the award winning Raks Devas advanced/competitive group.
Maki herself continually seeks further training in not only Middle Eastern Dance but in ballet and jazz as well. In addition to bellydance and folkloric performances, she has performed other styles such as ballet, Broadway Jazz/Burlesque and Bollywood. She has studied with many teachers to immerse herself in Middle Eastern Dance. She has taken classes and workshops from teachers such as Jalilah, Jillina, Bozenka, Amir Thaleb, Mahmoud Reda, Morocco, Tamalyn Dallal, Yasmina Ramzy and Sahra Saeeda. Outside of dance, her education includes a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia.