Janelle Jalila Issis
Janelle Jalila Issis is a talented, fun-loving, full-blooded Palestinian-American national touring bellydance artist, choreographer, performer, certified Yogini, nutritionist, and CESD-signed model.
My mission is to help you grow the confidence to face all of life’s obstacles, challenges, and joys with an open heart through the body-loving art form of Bellydance!
I started my bellydancing journey at the age of 4 by studying the art of Classical Egyptian Bellydance as the protege to “Aziza of Birmingham.” After 17 years of Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theater I went off to college and continued to train at the University of Alabama where I received a BA in Nutrition and in Dance Performance, learning under Cornelius Carter of Alvin Ailey! I had trained heavily in other dance styles that Raqs got left behind for a moment. It wasn’t till my junior year of colleague did I realize that Arabic dance could be the genre I felt most connected to. This is when I began creating the “JBelly Style”!
I am best known for my contagious laugh and my sultry elegance on the hit U.S. show “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 9 as the top 6th female finalist and the only classically & fusion trained bellydancer ever to hit the Fox stage! Today I teach bold women like you how to encompass mental, physical, and emotional wellness through the art of dance!
SINCE GRADUATING, I’VE HAD A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO BE GRATEFUL FOR!
Here are a few of my faves:
- Currently traveling all over the United States and abroad teaching and performing with “Showstoppers On Tour” and on my own.
- Featured in my first international T-Mobil commercial with artist J.Balvin
- Made New York my home in 2018. I enjoy connecting to my students of all ages & abilities at the world famous Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey Extension & Ripley-Grier Studios, NYC.
- Joined Raks Al Zahra “Egyptian Bellydance Company”
- Choreographer to International Moroccan vocal artist Abir
- Featured in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 working with renowned choreographer Marguerite Derricks
- Featured on Good Morning America with Derek and Julianne Hough while working with the Tabitha and Napoleon
- Featured in the video of the hit single “YOGA” with Janelle Monae
- Gain my YTT200 HR Yoga Alliance Certification
- Featured on The Wendy Show 2021 for BellydanceBURN!