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avatar for Janelle Issis

Janelle Issis

World Belly Dance Champion, SYTYCD
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Janelle Issis has been dancing and performing since the age of 4. She studied belly dance under Aziza of Birmingham, and all other forms through various outlets including her BA in dance at the University of Alabama. She has extensively trained in multiple genres of dance in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Birmingham. Janelle was recently seen on the popular television show “So You Think You Can Dance” during Season 9 as one of the top 6 female contestants and very first Belly Dancer. Janelle currently teaches all across the United States traveling with Showstopper. You can also find her in Janelle Monae’s new music video “YOGA.” She was recently featured in B-metro Magazine and in the Birmingham Magazine for her choreography and performance for the St. Paul and the Broken Bones music video, “Call Me.” You can also find her in the February issue of Dance Spirit Magazine talking about “The Bellydance Difference.” Janelle recently choreographed and performed on a show called Super Dancer Born Tonight; a spin off of So You Think You Can Dance with Travis Wall, Melanie Moore, Tiffany Myers, Hokuto Konishi and many more renowned choreographers. Her love for the art of choreography is clear when watching her teach. Her unique style of intermingling Classic Egyptian belly dance with other forms of dance drives her to create new innovative work. Janelle has her own line of “Janelley Belly Dancewear” and has become a pioneer in the commercial dance world, broadening the minds and limitations of those she teaches by bringing in her love for the art of Belly Dance and all that comes with it.