About Me

Iris' story

Iris’ passion for Oriental dance spans nearly 2 decades.

Iris was initially trained in a mix of Lebanese, Turkish and American Cabaret style Oriental dances, but she always knew her heart belonged to Egypt. Nearly 20 years of intensive study with Egyptian master teachers deepened her knowledge of Egyptian dances and music and helped discover her passion for teaching musicality and movement quality, the Egyptian way.

Iris’ personal style can be described as Egyptian oriented with strong influences from folklore, classical ballet and various contemporary Oriental dance styles from the Middle East and North Africa. Baladi, saidi and shaabi are a significant part of her repertoire, as well as modern day Egyptian 'mahragan' or Electro Shaabi. Whether she dances a modern lyrical ballad, a tabla solo or one of the legendary classics, her great love for Egypt and Raks Baladi is strongly visible in her authentic aproach and musicality.

As a professional dancer working from Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Iris performed both nationally and internationally on the Egyptian, Moroccan, Algerian, Tunesian, Iraqi and Turkish party and restaurant circuit for over 15 years. She was a popular guest at many weddings and family events throughout Western Europe and 'house dancer' at Shi Sha restaurant Den Bosch for over 10 years.

Iris teaches weekly Egyptian bellydance classes in various places, as well as the monthly CKE Eindhoven based 'Supreme Saturday Specials' Egyptian dance study programme for advanced dancers (and yes, it was named after pizza :). Furthermore, she's part of CKE Eindhoven's teacher team for the annual 'Dance Around the World' world dance curriculum. She coaches dancers of all levels in discovering their musicality through taqsim and improvisation, developing an 'Egyptian ear' for music and finding authenticity in their personal styling. She also coaches performers across the globe in various topics, including choreography and setting dancers up for the stage.
Over the past decade, she has created a unique coaching concept that translates theoretical knowledge of Arabic music directly into improvisation and expression. 

Iris has won several national and international awards, both for her skills as a choreographer and a stage performer. She is one half of a succesful duet with Tato of Rotterdam, performing their world class dance pieces in prestigious venues such as Floriade Netherlands, Corendon Orientalicious Festival by Aisa Lafour and the annual  international gala hosted by Leyla Jouvana and Roland of Germany.
For 4 years, Iris and Tato toured with internationally acclaimed DJ collective "Cairo Liberation Front", bringing raw and lively electro shaabi and Egyptian dance to mainstream music festivals (Dour, Oerol, Pukkelpop Belgium, Noorderslag, Belluard Bollwerk Arts Festival, Best Kept Secret, Solar Festival) around Europe.

In the past years Iris was an international guest in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, France, the USA, Portugal and Brazil, where she taught workshops, summer intensives and private classes and performed in gala, restaurant and studio shows. In 2015, Iris joined the CIAD Brazil dance council as an official jury member and guest artist, judging (interdisciplinary) dance competitions both on location in South America and Europe, as well as online.

Iris continues to study Oriental dance in depth. Since 2021, she reentered the academic side of Raks Sharki as a lecturer, researching and speaking on all things body image and body positivity from both historical and modern perspectives, within Egypt and the international Oriental dance scene as a whole. She is a part of the international A'isha Azar Dance Project and owner of the 'Farha Egyptian Dance Company' showgroup. 


"Artist. A single comment on one of my performances,

watched almost 2 million times through YouTube.

Grateful. For that comment. For my beloved body, my instrument. For the Oriental dances, and for the love and feelings I get to experience and share through this art every single day, increasing my passion for this dance."
~ Iris

"Oriental dance is an art of subtle expression. There are delicate, shifting moods that coalesce to create feelings such as surprise, anger, shyness, fear, delight, disdain, pride and the sensuous. A good Oriental dancer must be able to depict darker shades within man's heart as well - life and death, happiness and sorrow, all with great dignity."

Nadia Gamal


Iris is teaching, performing, lecturing and judging in a number of upcoming national and international events.
Keep an eye on the space below for events near you.