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January Gallery Hop at Arabesque

Jan 20


Come join us for a Magical Evening during the 2017 edition of Gallery Hop. Once again, Arabesque will open its studio doors to the public as they continue their ‘Hop’ around the World at Arabesque gala show. Each Gallery Hop night will aim to have a different theme, introducing the audience to a different style of dance and music. Our January show will be a melting pot of sorts as Safiya and members of Troupe Hala Alimah explore some of their signature styles. Expect an amazing evening of both traditional and modern belly dance.

So, mark the date and… ‘Let Our Stage be the Canvas’!


Safiya Nawaar

gh11198-1-of-1-17lowresSafiya Nawaar
 is the founder and director of Arabesque World Dance in Lexington, Ky. She has been an avid student and lover of dance her entire life and music and movement hold a very special place in her heart.

Her dance history consists of Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Theatrical, and Raqs Shari. She has been performing professionally since 2002 and took on the profession of instructor in 2007.

At her downtown Lexington studio, she teaches classes as well as hosting workshops and gala shows. Her time is devoted to teaching, mentoring and performing both locally and regionally.

Safiya brings to the stage and the classroom a variety of styles ranging from Egyptian, Turkish Orientale, Lebanese, American Vintage and Classical Persian.

She is the director of Troupe Hala Alimah who perform in Stage Shows, Cultural Festivals, and Corporate Events throughout the Eastern U.S,

Regionally, Safiya has also become a favorite performer for weddings and other celebrations within the Middle Eastern Community, and performs traditional Raqs Sharqi and Folkloric dances as well as Zeffa Processions throughout the Eastern U.S.

Safiya is the producer and director of a number of annual danceshows and workshops including ‘A Dancer’s Journey’, ‘Raq The BlueGrass’,and ‘Shimmy!’

Introducing culture to the community through dance and music has also brought her performances to events hosted by Universities such as, UK, KSU, and EKU.


Selene Alimah
gh11198-1-of-1-3lowresSelene started her dancing career in 2010 when she began dancing with Safiya Nawaar. In 2011 she became a member of Troupe Hala Alimah and has since attended many in/out of state workshops, as well as, performed in many professional shows. Her love of music and performing for an audience has driven her to expand her knowledge of Raqs Sharqi, and eventually her eye for detail, especially in regards to group dancing, led her to the position of Troupe Captain of Hala Alimah.



gh11198-1-of-1-11lowresAmorina Stone is a belly dance instructor and massage therapist at Arabesque World Dance and a troupe member in Hala Alimah. She began dancing at age 17 when she was first inspired by dancers in the SCA (society of creative anachronism). Watching their graceful movements around a bonfire circled by live drummers was like viewing a fairy tale come to life. Within the SCA she learned from a multitude of dancers with a wide range of styles and decided she couldn’t get enough. This further compelled her to take an array of dance classes in NYC and when she moved to Lexington, KY she began taking classes from Safiya Nawaar and has been a steadfast student since 2010.

Visual Artist Showcase

Art created by the talented Michelle Newby Armstrong

Michelle Armstrong- Artist Statement

Michelle Armstrong…

michelleimage-muralMy love of creating art started at a very early age. When I was nine years old, my family and I traveled to France for a month due to my father’s job as a computer programmer for IBM. We went to the Louvre museum in Paris and I fell in love with all of the famous paintings and sculptures that we encountered. When we returned home, my mom began taking me to an art teacher for private lessons. It wasn’t long before I began creating drawings for all of my friends in the elementary school.

When I began my college career at the University of Kentucky, I received my first degree in art education. I followed this up with a degree in special education and another in library and information science. I am currently a visual art teacher at an elementary school in Fayette County and I absolutely love my job! I previously worked as a librarian in an elementary school and I taught arts and humanities at Winburn Middle School. I have also taught art at the Living Arts and Science Center and in Brooklyn, NY at the Berkeley Carroll School.

I have exhibited work at the Living Arts and Science Center, the Lexington Art League, the Cincinnati Art Institute, Arts Place, and Art Connects, as well as many private galleries. I have recent sales of paintings to St. Joseph Hospital through LexArts , and to LexTran, Lexington’s mass transit system.   I typically create mixed media collage pieces on canvas or paper. I like to paint female figures and I try to capture both emotions and movement, creating images of beauty and peace as I hope that my art will inspire positive feelings in the people who view it. I believe in the power of positive visualization and I try to reflect that in my art.

I recently wrote and received my first grant as an artist from LexArts to raise awareness about the declination of the honey bee population and to engage groups of students in assisting with painting the mural. I started working on The Hive mural in August 2015, and I completed the mural in July 2016. I worked with the community, and three different groups of students in painting the mural. The mural encompasses the four sides of the building. The owner of The Hive Salon and I hosted a reception and celebration of the mural on July 30, 2016.

For this work and throughout my artistic endeavors, I am exploring the philosophy of ecofeminism. There are many connections between women and nature, and I hope that my work can reflect on the challenges women find co-existing as an artist and activist. Both nature and women have been oppressed, exploited, and repressed by a patriarchal society and both share the values of reciprocity, nurturing and cooperation.

Another local artist/art teacher, Debbie Eller, and I applied for and received a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women to work with the women at the HOPE Center Recovery Program for Women. We just completed painting a mural at the Women’s HOPE center with assistance from the clients of the HOPE center. We will also conduct some artist lead workshops this fall and winter with the female clients of the HOPE center and we will have an exhibit of their work this summer.

I consider myself to be an artist/activist and I feel like I definitely play this role daily in my classroom.  I work in a school that is 97% free and reduced lunch with 49% of our students learning English as a second language. With so many of our students facing the issues that poverty brings to a child’s life, I see art instruction for them as very important. It is my goal to build relationships with my students and help them become creative problem solvers and thinkers. I also see art as therapy for many of my students. On a daily basis, I work to instill values of equality in my students as they interact with each other and the world at large.  My hope is that they can take something away from art class that makes them feel successful or helps them to relax.

I grew up on Honeysuckle Rd. which is right around the corner from the Alexandria Dr. Kroger. We still get my mom’s groceries and prescriptions filled at this Kroger. I am the art teacher at Cardinal Valley Elementary school and have worked there for 16 years. I often run by the Alexandria Dr. Kroger after work to get groceries before I head home and I usually see one of my students from Cardinal Valley shopping there. I would love to work on mural for this Kroger along with my friend, Debbie Eller, who currently lives in the neighborhood as well.



studio-venue-postcardbacklowresGallery Hop performances at Arabesque are complimentary shows. Our ethnically inspired studio will transform into a theater style venue with plenty of seating. The annual lineup will be a melting pot of performances that will draw you into a mesmerizing world of dance and music. Performers will be a collective of local and regional talent, and are selected for their dance knowledge and artistry.
Occasionally, we will be joined by art vendors plying their wares or other local  artists capturing the moment on canvas in whatever medium they work in. Doors open at 5pm and light refreshments will be served.

Hope to see you there!



Jan 20


Safiya Nawaar


Arabesque World Dance
451-B Chair Ave
Lexington,KYUnited States
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