Photography provided by Stereo Vision Photography

With over a decade of experience, Mariza can help you find your shimmy.



Mariza is a belly dance artist and instructor based in Baltimore, MD.  As a dancer, she is known for her playful, humorous style and musicality. As an instructor, she creates a welcoming, non-judgmental environment for all dancers to learn and grow (and play!). 

Mariza started studying Middle Eastern dance in 2004, taking both Egyptian Cabaret (with Alexandra) and American Tribal Style (with Joy Rayman of Fire in the Belly) in Charlottesville, VA. She acted as president of the University of Virginia Belly Dance Club and established their first performance troupe. 

In 2008 she began studying with Shems and later became a founding member of Shems' dance company, Barakaat, in 2010. Mariza was a major choreographic contributor to Barakaat during her time as a member.

Mariza has performed at weddings, festivals, corporate events, community showcases (called haflas) and other festivals, including a notable appearance at the Smithsonian as part of Barakaat. Click here to read Mariza's interview with the Smithsonian blog

Mariza founded the Lazuli Dance Company in 2011.  Lazuli is a semi-professional dance troupe that performs at local haflas, showcases, and festivals such as Rakkasah and Art of the Belly.

As if she wasn't busy enough. Mariza will also be taking over as organizer for the All Seasons Hafla (belly dance show) in 2017. 

Mariza’s engaging personality and dynamism make her a treat to work with both on and off stage. Her performances and choreography blend classic and contemporary belly dance elements with mastery and subtlety. She is easily one of my favorite local dancers.
— Shems


  • Mariza has hosted workshops with local and national dancers, including: 
    • Outi of Cairo
    • Asharah (California)
    • Autumn Ward (New York)
    • Sharhzad (DC)
    • Samira Shuruk (Baltimore/DC)
    • Mahin (Arizona)