In 1977, at the age of seventeen, I began my Middle Eastern dance training with Denise Enan, the world-renowned Egyptian dance master. After studying intensively with her, learning both folkloric and cabaret styles, I began teaching and performing professionally. I was a soloist for many years in the Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto areas, and had wonderful opportunities to work with many celebrated musicians including Chafic Hashim, Ousama Naja, and Hashim el Khayaat, and popular singers Tony Hanna, Amin Himo, and Wadih Safi.

When Denise and Ahmed Enan, both former principal dancers in the National Folkloric Troupe of Egypt, decided to form their own troupe in 1978 I joined immediately but unfortunately my own dance schedule forced me to leave after only one year. In 1979 I had the opportunity to join the Lebanese Debke troupe, Banaat Sahara, and was trained by Brahim and Shadia Maalouf and Chafic Hashim. I moved to Beirut, Lebanon in 1981 during the war, and stayed for seven years. It gave me the opportunity to absorb the language and culture, and explore the music and dancing.