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Board of Directors




Bahaia, ABDA President, currently owns and operates Austin Bellydance Studio. She has been active in the belly dance community for almost 30 years, as a student, performer, teacher, event producer, studio owner, and mentor. 

Bahaia has been teaching belly dance for over 25 years, having founded and produced events such as the Austin Belly Dance Convention, Cabaret Dance Camp, Bahaia's HOT Seminars, and more. She is the director of the Kan Zaman Dancers student troupe.

As President, Bahaia chairs all ABDA meetings, is the primary liaison between the ABDA and our partners, and supervises all officers and appointed Board Members.

Contact her: 




Najla, ABDA Treasurer, has been active in the Austin belly dance community since 1997 and taught for nearly 20 years. She served as producer of Café Shimmy and has assisted with the production of events such as Ladies Night Out, Cabaret Dance Camp, and more. Najla is the director of Baharat Belly Dance Ensemble and Raqs al Sarab and was a member of Mirage dance troupe for nine years.


As Treasurer, Najla keeps all organizational financial records, reports on monthly expenses, and manages the ABDA membership database.

Contact her:



Association Agent

Phillip Shurtleff has served on the ABDA Board of Directors since 2003.


As Association Agent, he is the primary point of contact for the organization in all legal and financial documents, is the registered agent for the organization with the Texas Secretary of State, and manages any legal or financial relationship as needed. His role allows for turnover in the Elected Officers while maintaining ABDA continuity. 

Contact him:




Lily Tsai, ABDA Vice-President, has been studying and teaching belly dance since 2007. She holds Level 2 certification in Suhaila Salimpour format and is a certified Datura style teacher in Rachel Brice’s 8 Elements program.  Lily has previously served as Assistant Producer for the Austin Belly Dance Convention and directed the Rakataka student troupe. She has taught workshops in 6 different countries.

​As Vice-President, Lily oversees all ABDA events and shows, from managing operations to recruiting volunteers, and chairs any ABDA meetings in absence of the President.

Contact her: 




Stacey Lizette, ABDA Secretary, has been studying and teaching belly dance for over 16 years and holds Level 5 certification in both Jamila and Suhaila Salimpour formats. She has produced and co-produced various events, including the Austin Belly Dance Convention, Hip Circle Hafla, and more. She was a member of Sabaya, Eshta, and Mirage dance troupes, and is the director of the Tekatek Dance Ensemble.


As Secretary, Stacey maintains records of ABDA meetings, handles all ABDA correspondence, and keeps all non-financial documents and records in order.

Contact her:



Communications Director

Thais Macedo, Communications Director, has served on the ABDA Board of Directors since her initial appointment in February 2019. She has been studying belly dance recreationally since 2008, under Bahaia and Victoria Teel. She is a member of the Kan Zaman Dancers.

As Communications Director, Thais manages the ABDA website, blog, email communication, and social media. 

Contact her:

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