Choreographer, Performer, Certified Personal Trainer
Amanda "Zahira" Nolan has been passionate about dancing since she was two. She trained at Cenla Academy of Perfoming Arts under the instruction of the director Rita Barton for 13 years. She has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical and modern dance. While attending Tioga High School, she was a member of the "Apache Belles" danceline and served as co-captain her junior year. During her time at LA Tech, she continued to dance under the training of Ms. Dianne Maroney- Grigsby for two years.
After graduating, she took a few years off from formal training to settle into a family and work life. In the fall of 2010, Jessica "Ameelah" McDaniel , owner of Ameelah's "Desert Jewels" Belly Dance Studio, convinced her to give belly dancing a try. She fell in love with the art form and the amazing friendships she created with the other dancers. She became a member of the "Desert Jewels" troupe in June 2013. It is her goal to provide women that same opportunity to become comfortable with their bodies, have fun and create life-long friendships.
Outside of dance, Zahira spends her time with her children and family. She has taught for the Rapides Parish School Board for 11 years. She graduated from Northwestern State University with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood. She currently teaches 5th/6th grade Science and Social Studies. She has previously taught grades K-3rd.