Sunniva posing in a costume from one of her favorite costume designers, Eshta Amar.
Sunniva posing in a costume from one of her favorite costume designers, Eshta Amar.
Sunniva at Hasani’s Hafla with her favorite pair of veil fans.
Sunniva accepting her 2014 Rising Star 1st runner up at the La Dance Orientale belly dance competition.
Sunniva showing love to the musicians of MBOrchestra at Belly Dance Off.
Sunniva mainly does American Cabaret style dance be can be found at time doing themed shows where she dances out of her comfort zone to nontraditional music. Left: 8-Bit Belly Dance, video game themed show where she did a Tron number. Right: Horrific Belly Dance, a horror themed belly dance show where Sunniva was portraying Bride of Frankenstein.


Sunniva has been active her whole life.  Most of her years, from birth through college, the activities included competitive team sports (mostly fastpitch, but a little soccer and basketball here and there).  After a shoulder injury in college she was advised against playing fastpitch anymore.  After college Sunniva was looking for new activities to be a part of outside the world of competitive sports.  She was introduced to Belly Dance in 2008. In her first class series she learned a dynamic choreography which sparked her interest to explore this artful dance. Since that time she has studied under different professionals exploring the different styles of raq sharqi, belly dance, tribal and alternative styles. Sunniva feels very fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, where she has the opportunity to study with such instructors as Melilah, Mirabai, Daliah, Shay Moore, Nazaneen and Jalene Hernandez, as well as many workshops from other local belly dance instructors.

She has discovered she excels with veil and veil fans!  When she discovered veil fans, she practiced so much that her hands and forearms were sore for days!  Sunniva has had the great fortune to be able to study with Mirabai, who she considers the master of veil fans!  

In 2010 Sunniva joined the troupe Bahar Belly Dance, under the direction of Jalene Hernandez.  She was one of its core members for several years. Bahar was a unique troupe that drew from the experience and training of each member to choreograph songs and organize full shows.

Toward the end of 2013 Sunniva felt a calling from her competitive side and delved into the world of Belly Dance competitions. She has participated in 3 local belly dance off competitions; Belly Dance Off (organized by Suzanna), Saqra’s International Ambassador to Belly Dance Competition (organized by Saqra) and the La Dance Orientale belly dance competition (organized by Gilana).  She was a 2014 Belly Dance Off rising star finalist, and was awarded the 2014 Rising Star 1st runner up at the La Dance Orientale belly dance competition.

Her newest venture is into the world of teaching! Sharing belly dance with others has always been very important to Sunniva.  She will talk for hours with anyone who will listen about belly dance! Now that she is teaching she is able to share belly dance with new dancers and help shape their belly dance futures. She teaches Wednesday evenings with the City of Bothell.  

Sunniva loves all things belly dance, from the moves and music to all of the pretty things that go along with music!  The music is so emotional and engaging that it draws Sunniva away from the real world and into a dream world! This helps get away from the stresses of everyday life and focus on something she is passionate about and very emotionally connected to.  The Pacific Northwest is home to some really great Middle Eastern bands that truly inspire Sunniva, Raqsband and House of Tarab are 2 of her favorites.  She loves experimenting with new makeup ideas and looks, providing dramatics to her dance.  The gorgeous costumes complete the ensemble!  Sunniva has spent quite a bit of time devoted to making belly dance costume.  When she was dancing with Bahar belly dance he assisted many of her troupe mates in making group costumes.  She has also made many of the costumes she has worn over the years.  

When Sunniva is not dancing she enjoys spending time with her supportive husband.  Having a supportive significant other is very important to Sunniva; she feels extremely lucky to be married to her husband.  He can be found at 99% of her shows and always pushes her to become a better dancer!  For her day job Sunniva works as a researcher at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, where she is able to enjoy her other passion, SCIENCE!  

Interested in taking classes from Sunniva?

You can find her Wednesday evenings, 6-7 pm for beginner level and 7-8 pm for intermediate level, at the Lytle House at Bothell Landing in Bothell, WA.

Current session is 03/02-04/06, next session runs 04/20-05/25 and the following session is 06/08-07/20.

 Please contact Sunniva for more information about her classes at  If you would like to register please visit, select Adult Health and Fitness and Beginner Belly Dance and Intermediate Belly Dance should pop up for Bothell.  


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