Justina has been dancing since 2003. She has studied with a variety of teachers in the Portland area, the most influential being Oberon who sadly passed away in 2011. Oberon had a true ear for the music, being able to convert the passion of the music into visual form through the dance. From her Justina learned and strives to portray when performing that “the music is first, and the dancer is only there supporting the music”. The year before Oberon passed, Justina was honored to join her in a private lesson from the great Egyptian choreographer Mahmoud Reda.
Justina enjoys performing classical Egyptian bellydance. Whenever possible, she prefers older music, and even has some pieces from the 1940’s. The musical legends are her favorites: Abdel Halim Hafez, Mohhamed Abdel Wahab, Fairuz and of course Om Kalthoum.
Justina also enjoys playing the dumbek and has studied with various drummers for that craft. She has also met many people from a variety of middle eastern countries when performing, and the stories and friendships that have been shared have made for a colorful and enriching journey in this dance.