Rana Kalila began dancing at a very young age, when in kindergarten she began ballet and tap lessons with Janice's Dance Studio (JDS) in northeastern Ohio. For 10 years, she took dance lessons and competed in ballet with JDS. She left dance to pursue other interests in high school, but returned to ballet with a class in college. This reawakened her interest in ballet and in dance in general. In January 2006, Rana was in graduate school at Purdue University (IN). It was there that she took extensive classes in ballroom dancing (both Latin and smooth styles) and salsa dancing through Purdue's student clubs. And she discovered Kat Lebo's Bare Bones Belly Dance beginning belly dance classes at the West Lafayette Community Center. Under Kat's direction, Rana participated in Troupe Oasis performances and took classes in cabaret and folk styles of belly dance for nearly seven years. During this time, Rana developed the graceful and precise technique for which she is known. Her belly dance style is greatly influenced by classical Egyptian cabaret style of belly dance and by ballet. In addition to dancing, Rana is well-versed in drum rhythms, having studied and performed with Troupe Oasis drummers concurrent with her belly dance lessons. She is accustomed to dancing to live music, especially drumming, as well as recorded music. Rana is also well-versed in dancing with props, including zills (finger cymbals), veils, Isis wings, fan veils and veil poi, sticks and canes, full skirts, thobes, swords, and candles. She has experience in choreographing solos, duets, and triple acts, as well as larger group choreography; and she is well-practiced at participating in group choreographies. A lifelong learner, Rana is always looking to improve her dance by attending seminars and classes, and she is eager to collaborate with other dancers and musicians and to share what she knows through teaching and taking classes in Middle Eastern dance technique and belly dance fitness.
In her day-to-day life, Rana is also a plant biologist and a college educator in biology. Her interests include spending time with family and friends, meeting new people and learning new things, reading in all its forms, discovering new music, watching movies new and old, practicing yoga, sewing, gardening, hiking, and spending time outdoors and experiencing nature.
Click here to see a resume of workshops, lectures, and continuing education that Rana participates in to keep her skills, technique, and knowledge up-to-date.