Welcome to Urban Gypsy!

Urban Gypsy is Houston's premiere Tribal Style dance troupe with a combined 50+ years of experience in dance! Urban Gypsy has been bringing the beauty and grace of tribal dance to Texas for seven years, and since their debut in 2003 have been sought after to teach workshops not only around the US, but in Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Egypt. Urban Gypsy teaches weekly classes in Houston, Texas, as well as regular workshops around the country.

Urban Gypsy is available for performances and events. Entertain your guests with a one-of-a-kind belly dance performance with a Middle Eastern, Indian, Spanish, or Urban flair! Each show is custom-designed for you and your event, and can include between one to six dancers, performances with zills, sword, or fire! For details and a quote, please contact sahira[at]urbangypsy.cc or call 713.269.4881.



Sahira was practically born on stage, having studied music, drama, and dance since the age of two. The musicality instilled within her as a classically trained flautist and singer infuse her dance with a sophisticated quality that is admired by dancers around the globe. Her extensive training in Middle Eastern as well as Tribal, Modern, and West African dance gives her performances an intense and earth energy that has captivated audiences’ hearts and minds.

In 2005, Sahira released her first instructional DVD, "Arabian Spices" and has since then been invited to teach and perform across the USA as well as Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Canada, and Taiwan. In 2006 Urban Gypsy had the honor of being the first tribal instructors ever invited to teach at the largest belly dance festival in the world: Ahlan We Sahlan, in Cairo, Egypt. In 2007 Sahira released two more instructional DVDs: "Ali" and "Bella Donna Ya Helwa." When in Houston, Sahira performs five nights a week with Bella Donna, voted Houston ’s Best Belly Dancers by the Houston Press. She is founder and director of Urban Gypsy as well as a founding member of Empyrean Fire Tribe. In addition to dance, she performs regularly on flute and vocals with the award-winning world fusion music group Moodafaruka, as well as early music ensemble Istanpitta.

For more information about Sahira, visit www.SahiraDances.com.



Zymirrah began her dance adventure in 1991. What a journey it has been so far! She began in Houston with her 'dance Mom' Shakira Massood Ali. Since those beginnings, Zymirrah has studied under a myriad of teachers from all over the United States and abroad. These opportunities have exposed her to many dance styles, from classic and modern Egyptian cabaret to the varied folk dances of many Middle Eastern and African cultures. More recently Zymirrah has taken an in-depth leap into Improv/Gypsy Tribal Style, which in its diverse expressions has become a fusion of all of the above and more! She is proud to be a part of Urban Gypsy. When asked what dance means to her; "What is dance for me? An art ~ an expression of emotion. It releases stress ~ stimulates creativity ~ lets you turn off your mind and listen to your body. It is connecting with other dancers. It is sharing yourself with the audience - relating to them ~ or maybe with the moon on a starlit night. I love this dance!"



Always embracing her passion for the world of dance, Amiya has studied various forms since 1986; including classical ballet, jazz, modern dance, and Egyptian style belly dance. Amiya performed locally as a member of the Desert Orchids belly dance troupe, under the direction of Jenna Ali from 2003 until 2006. She began studying with Urban Gypsy in 2005, finding tribal style belly dance to be the most satisfying outlet for self-expression. Her love of the dance lies in its timelessness, its embrace of all and most distinctly, the synergy created among dancers. In 2007, she joined the Urban Gypsy performance troupe and has since performed for audiences across the country, enjoying every moment shared with her dance sisters. Incorporating her years of various dance training, she articulates grace, poise, and presents delightful energy for all audiences. Amiya also specializes in hoop dance, offering energetic performances with traditional, fire, and LED hoops. Through performing and teaching, she hopes to inspire and encourage love for this timeless art.






Jye began her dance lesson with Urban Gypsy ladies in 2006, and soon fell in love with this graceful dance form. Since the dance journey began, Jye studied with various instructors and went to many workshops that just enriched her from inside. Being the only child in the family, Jye is happy to have new dance sisters in the Urban Gypsy troupe.



Kat is an indigenous Houstonian that has always been interested in a variety of different art forms. From free-hand drawing to photography, she has received merits for her approach and sense of style. It was only fitting that she take this versatile mental conception and develop it into a physical manifestation. Thus, she extended her talents into dancing .... belly dancing to be specific. Under the tutelage of Jena Ali, she began learning Egyptian Cabaret and other dance forms at the Sirrom School of Dance in 2003. For the next two years she performed locally with Jena her and her troupe, Desert Orchids. In 2005, Kat attended a workshop coordinated by the dancer Ansuya. Here she witnessed her first show of tribal style dance, performed by none other than Urban Gypsy. Captivated by its slow, seductive nature, she knew she had found her calling. Kat was spellbound by the music, the costumes, and the style of dance itself. She immediately commenced with taking classes from Sahira and Zymirrah, and she began to study tribal and fusion belly dance. For Kat, the belly dance experience has grown from an avocation into a way of life. She has performed at numerous events across the state, both festivals and private venues alike. She is an ambitious, skillful dancer who enjoys her art form, because it is what she and her fellow dance sisters have grown to love.



Shandril has been on or near a stage most of her life and dancing even longer. After exploring ballet, jazz, clogging and even a little bit of ballroom dance, her first foray into bellydancing was in 1996. She came back to it in 2002 under the direction of Sarin and began studying ITS with Urban Gypsy in 2006. Shandril is personally thrilled to have finally found a place in life where people really do burst into spontaneous synchronized dance. She has long been awed by the talent, grace, and energy of Urban Gypsy and is overjoyed to call them her sisters.



Silvia is a life-long dancer from Mallorca (Spain). She graduated at the age of nineteen as a major in ballet and has performed professionally as a modern dancer in major Europe festivals with the company of modern dance from the University of Barcelona.
She started her career as a bellydancer 6 years ago, when realizing the enormous benefits that this art-form brings to women in both body and spirit (something that she felt truly missing in other dance practices). From her first teachers, Tasnim Melendres and the acclaimed Nur Banu, two natural born-egyptians, she realized how with the practice of bellydance the woman can get closer to their self identity and discover oneself in a new level, increasing self-esteem, releasing tension. She has studied with Rachel Brice, Sharon Kihara and Urban Gypsy, and has been a two-time finalist for the Bellydance Supestars Auditions as a Tribal Dancer. With her personal tribal-fusion bellydance project (Shunyata Bellydance) Silvia has been performing at the Texas Renaissance festival. She has also been invited to teach workshops around Texas. Silvia feels honored and blessed to be now part of the premiere Houston Tribal performance troupe Urban Gypsy, and expects that this new adventure will make her grow in talent alltogether with her new sisters in dance!!

Founding Members

Zymirrah             Julie                       Reetu