Anita (Rhiana)
Looking to find something for herself, a friend saw in
the Chesterfield Parks & Recs a class for Belly Dancing.
She laughed at first but said what the heck….that was
in 2001 and she is still hooked! In early 2009 Anita
started classes with Ann and shortly thereafter was
approached about becoming a “Queen”. It took her a
little bit to feel worthy but she is so glad to be a part of
this troupe. She has been asked to teach a truly
beginner class in Emporia…. but she is still thinking
about that one!
Ann Elliotte is a local Middle East dance teacher and
dancer.  She has been performing up and down the
east coast for a number of years. Ann became
interested in Middle Eastern dance when she saw a
local dancer perform.  She soon became mesmerized by
the movements and the power of the music and stayed
to learn more!! Middle Eastern dance has taken Ann to
Egypt and around the country to visit and to study this
beautiful dance form.  She has had the opportunity to
study and learn from master teachers and dancers from
around the world. Ann was a member of the Richmond
area, Women of Selket Middle Eastern dance troupe
when she decided to branch out and start her own
dance classes and troupe.  The wonderful result was
The Queens of the Universe " dance troupe, a group of
student dancers who love to dance and to perform.  The
troupe name came about because during class, Ann
would admonish her students to stand tall, be proud,
and dance like they were the queens of the universe.
the name stuck!!
Barbara (Vavara)
One of the founding members of the Queens of the
Universe (QOTU) Dance Troupe.
I began belly dance lessons in Germany from Satania
(Sharon Weiss of San Diego). When we
moved to Richmond, I took lessons from Sheva. After
performing in my first recital, I was
hooked on the dance and the costumes. I danced at the
Phoenicia and the Palisades. During that
time, I attended belly dance seminars with well-known
teachers such Ibrahim Farrah, Phaedra,
Horatio, Morocco, Elona, and others.
I took belly dance lessons from Heidi in Nurnberg on our
second German tour. I continued
attending belly dance seminars there though at times
the language was a challenge. In Nurnberg,
I had the wonderful opportunity to dance on a regular
basis in several local restaurants featuring
belly dancers.
Since returning to the U.S., first to New Jersey and
ultimately back to Richmond, I have been
able to continue my belly dance education through local
teachers and seminars; and perform in
Colonial Heights and Richmond.
Deborah (Zahirah)
I started dancing in 1982 with the great Lettie
Abdelaziz stage name Mish Mish D'Amira at the YWCA in
NYC.  I danced for 5 years in NY before moving to
Germany where I continued dancing on and off for
several years.  Upon my return to the US and moving to
Virginia, I studied with Alice Warner for 2 years, Heather
Merrill for a year and have been a member of the
Queens of the Universe for the past 5 years studying
with the fabulous and extremely talented Ann Elliotte.  
Jeannie (Hana)
I was introduced to belly dancing purely by chance
when I signed up for a beginner class at the Colonial
Heights Recreation Department in June 2004.

I have always loved to dance, get dressed up and enjoy
making people smile.    It has been a full-blown love
affair with belly dancing, the costumes and the dear
friends I have met.    Belly dancing is indeed one of my
greatest passions.  I have the honor of being a member
of the dance troupe Queens of the Universe and I have
chosen Hana as my dance name in honor of my
Joyce (Ameena)
Joyce started taking a belly dance class for exercise,
which turned into a passion.  She started in 2004 and
have been dancing ever since and plan to keep going till
She cant dance anymore. When the Queens were
formed Joyce was one of the oringinal dancers who
helped Ann make the decision to create the troupe.
  Kara (Gaia)
I decided to start belly dancing after a trip to the
Virginia Renaissance Faire in 2007. Since that time, I've
taken lessons with three different teachers and decided
to start performing after attending a Queens of the
Universe hafla. I love belly dance because it has grown
my confidence tremendously and makes me feel happy.
I enjoy the ability to express myself in my own unique
way and love bringing creativity and drama to my
dance. I chose to join the Queens of the Universe after
seeing what a wonderful group of ladies they are and
wanting to get more involved in the bellydance
Patty (Lahna)
She joined a belly dance class on a dare with some
co-workers in the late 70's and continued taking classes
for several years.  Then she decided to try martial arts
and after 10 years and a 3rd degree black belt, she
returned in 2002 to her first love - belly dancing.  An
original founding member of the Queens of the Universe
troupe, she participates in classes taught by other local
teachers, workshops as well as Latin Dancing.
Rosemary (Rya)
Rosemary saw a sign advertizing a bellydance class and
thought it sounded like a fun thing to do, so she signed
up! The instructor asked her where she wanted to go
with her dancing and she responded "I am only doing
this for the exercise and the fun of it. I never want to
perform for an audience!" That was in November 2004,
Rosemary has been taking classes and dancing ever
since. And yes she has performed for an audience too!
She has been a QotU since the troupe formed, "What a
great bunch of ladies. Let's shimmy!!!"