Born & raised in Pittsburgh, Pa, Maria Hamer began training in dance & art at a young age. She was fortunate enough to be raised in a large family who spent the majority of their daily activities learning & studying all forms of dance & art. She studied ballet, modern, jazz & tap as a young child & spent most of her teens focusing on fine arts.
In 1992, Maria began her studies in Middle Eastern Dance (bellydance) under her sister Christine Andrews and later formed the troupe Zafira. In 2007 Zafira won “Troupe of the Year” from Zaghareet magazine readers poll. Maria has been involved with and spearheaded putting on events, shows & other projects under Zafira and has the fortune to travel to many festivals and events. In 2008 Zafira traveled to teach for the first time overseas and Maria was able to teach & perform in Barcelona- Spain, hosted by Maria Rosa & Eva Tallada-Boisin. Barcelona enjoyed Zafira so much, they had them back in 2009. Since then Maria has taught & performed with Zafira in Kiev- Ukraine, Croatia, Prague & Brno- Czech Republic, & The Netherlands.
In the fall of 2010, Maria had one of her dance dreams come true when she collaborated with her top inspiration since she began dancing, Jill Parker. Through Zafira (Maria, Christine & Olivia) & Jill Parker’s Foxglove Sweethearts (Jill & Tamara Juel), they collaborated & performed in Tempe- Arizona at Plaza De Anya & again in Pittsburgh when they hosted Jill & Tamara at a sold out show in November 2010. In February of 2012, Maria attended Ziah Ali’s Tribal Con in Atlanta, Ga & collaborated & performed with the amazing & inspiring Zoe Jakes! Maria hopes to continue collaborating with Zoe, Foxglove Sweethearts as well as others in the future.
Maria will be teaching: Layering with Finger Cymbals
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