Sara Jo Slate, known in the Middle Eastern dance community as
"Zweena bint Asya", began belly dancing in 1990 and has been
teaching since 1997. Zweena has studied with instructors in both
the US and Morocco and has been inspired most by two teachers:
Leila Gamal, of South Bend, Indiana and Lucianne Estes (Asya) of
Ashland, Oregon. Recognized for her unique lyrical style and
creative approach to teaching, Zweena performs and teaches "old
style" belly dance with a modern twist.

Zweena is a former member of Troupe Shalimar (Oregon), Cosmic
Vaudeville (Boston), and is founder of the celebrated Troupe
Taleeba (Indiana). In addition to nightclub, festival, and educational
performances throughout the US, Zweena has soloed on several
notable stages such as the Embassy Theater (Indiana), the Fort
Wayne Performing Arts Center, the Tower Theater (Oregon), Les
Schwab Amphitheatre (Oregon), and the Chicago Civic Opera House.
Zweena bint Asya
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In 2003, Zweena choreographed the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production
of Thais and performed in the production as a principal soloist. Zweena also
choreographed Thais for the Metropolitan Opera's 2008/2009 season. The New York Times called the the opera a
"star vehicle for the invaluable Ms. (Renee) Fleming" and the Huffington Post described it as a "totally absorbing Live
in HD series and airs on PBS's Great Performances.Live in HD series and airs on PBS's Great Performances.

Zweena holds a BA in American studies from Wellesley College and a masters in education from Harvard University.
She is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists and is a founding member of the High Desert Bellydance
Guild. Currently raising her family in Sunriver, Oregon, Zweena teaches dance at the Sunriver Dance Academy and is
fortunate to be a member of Central Oregon's thriving and supportive belly dance community.


Contact: or (541) 593-3558

Class Location:
Sunriver Dance Academy
9 Venture Lane, Sunriver, OR

Teaching Schedule: Please visit

Questions?  Email Zweena at