Shunyata Biography

Shunyata Belly Dance

Shunyata Belly DanceShunyata Belly Dance is an acclaimed professional dance company based in Houston, TX. The style of dance that they specialize in has been defined as transnational fusion dance, a discipline that encompasses traditions from the Arab, Indian, African, Latin and Spanish world and blends them with a variety of Western forms such as modern, jazz, ballet, and ballroom. The result is an extremely versatile group of dancers that can present stunning performances appropriate for everything from intimate gatherings to theatrical productions.

For over 5 years, they delighted audiences at the Texas Renaissance Festival with their own show. The incorporation of sword balancing, fire dancing, veil spinning (voi), dancing on top of drums and many other unusual treats make every show they present a non-stop, visually mesmerizing experience!

Currently they perform in major national dance festivals and in upscale local venues. Shunyata is available to perform at weddings, corporate parties, birthdays, anniversaries, quinceaneras, and other special events. Please see our Contact Shunyata page for details!

Silvia Salamanca

Houston Belly Dance PerformerSilvia Salamanca, the artistic director of Shunyata, is an internationally acclaimed performer and instructor from Mallorca, Spain.

A life-long dancer, she graduated at the age of nineteen as a major in ballet and performed professionally as a modern dancer in major Europe festivals with the contemporary dance company of the University of Barcelona.

She started her career as a belly dancer in 2001, when realizing the enormous benefits that this art-form brings to women in both body and soul. In her own studio, she keeps observing how women  can get closer to their self identity and discover oneself in a new level, increasing self-esteem, and getting deeply in touch with the feminine essence in their soul through bellydance.

As a natural evolution in her journey, Silvia discovered tribal fusion in the USA and combined it with a deep research into her own cultural roots: Spanish gypsy and Arabic. Hence with her work in the field of Zambra Mora (spanish gypsy-oriental dance fusion) Silvia gained international recognition and is currently invited to teach workshops and perform  as a headliner in major festivals world-wide.

Jenny Trimmer

Jenny Trimmer Shunyata Belly Dance BioTexas native Jenny Trimmer has been fascinated by unusual dance styles since she was introduced to oriental dance at the age of 8. Her discovery of Tribal Fusion belly dance in 2005 convinced her that this art form was ideal for those who want to freely express their multi-cultural individualities as it allows one to develop movement vocabulary from dances originating around the world.

Through her many studies in Europe and Latin America, she has taken bits of each culture that she connected with and was inspired by. As a result of her fascination and experiences with dance and movement, she has formed her own unique style of fusion.

This multifaceted dancer’s performances are mesmerizing, displaying a fluidity and style that leaves audiences in awe, while illuminating the empowering motion and energy of the female form. Through her dance, she hopes that she will help people to feel out their own emotions and be at peace.

Jenny graduated from the University of Saint Thomas with a Bachelor degree in Communications and International Studies. Her senior thesis was on Orientalism and the Modern Morphology of Oriental Dance.

Trisha Marlowe

Shunyata Belly DanceAfter graduating with an Associates of Applied Science degree in 1997, and becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician with a focus on veterinary emergency and critical care, Trisha’s creative side was searching for something, and that something became belly dance.

Trisha Marlowe began her studies in Cabaret and Egyptian style belly dance with Shakira Masood-Ali in 1997, before moving into American Tribal Style 1998, and finally into Tribal Fusion. Since 1997, she has sought instruction with the top masters of their fields, including Carolena Nericcio, Rachel Brice, Kammi Liddle, Olivia Kissel, Jim Boz, and many more.

In 1999, Trisha expanded her dance study to include fire poi spinning, and quickly added fire eating and trailing to her repertoire, along with fire fans, hand candles, fire headdresses and other props. She has performed professionally as a solo fire artist, and as a founding member of Kindled Spirits Fire Troupe.

Trisha has also studied privately under Silvia Salamanca for 6 years, and is a member of Shunyata Belly Dance and Hands of Fatima. She has performed as a musician, belly dancer, and fire performer at numerous venues, including Texas Renaissance Festival and Sherwood Forest Faire, in addition to theaters, coffee shops, universities, clubs, and private parties across Texas.



Shunyata Belly DanceBorn in Houston and raised in a rather nomadic family, Kimberly began her exploration of formal dance training with ballroom while earning a double major in Music and History. Since her introduction to Oriental belly dance in 2008, she has pursued training in ITS, Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tribal Fusion belly dance, and a variety of other dance styles.

Currently, Kimberly is a member of the dance troupes Inamorata and Shunyata Belly Dance and serves as the Artistic Director for Dance from the Heart, a Houston-based non-profit organization that uses multi-cultural dance education and performance to reveal common ground.  In addition to various arts, Renaissance, and dance festivals, she can be found performing weekly at Prohibition: Craft of Cocktails.

For further information on instruction, performance schedules, and private events, please visit



Angela Nations

Shunyata Belly DancePassionate about dancing and performing, Angela Nations is a professional Austin belly dancer and RYT 200 yoga instructor with extensive formal dance training. She studied the Erick Hawkins Modern Dance technique at Texas State University, in addition to jazz and ballet, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance. She studied Belly Dance under the direction of internationally acclaimed Belly Dancer Karen Barbee Adkisson, and has been performing and teaching Belly Dance since 1998.  Angela is currently a national choreographer and performer, dancing ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style), Tribal Fusion and Egyptian & American Cabaret styles.

She also teaches workshops throughout Texas, as well as Yoga Fusion and Belly Dance classes in the Austin area. Her expressiveness and fluidity, layered upon precise, controlled movements is a blend of various dance techniques combined with a dynamic presence that captivates and entertains.

For more information on hiring Angela Nations as a Belly Dancer for your next event, visit



Shunyata Belly DanceRaphaella has been a professional belly dancer for over 10 years with stylistic influences in Latin Ballroom and Hip Hop.

Raphaella began her belly dance career in American Cabaret before she stumbled upon Tribal Fusion.   Raphaella has been involved in dance since the age of five, starting with Ballet, Jazz, Ballroom and Latin dancing and finally Belly Dance.  She has studied with many of the world famous performers and teachers from Artemis to Zoe Jakes, and continues to travel the world adding the flavor of new cultural elements into her dance practice.

Raphaella is currently located in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and travels to the U.S. many times throughout the year.  While in the U.S., you can catch Raphaella performing at many of the posh venues in and around Houston, Texas.

Raphaella is widely recognized for her unique twist to the hip hop fusion, latin styles and fiery improvisation.

For more information on hiring Raphaella Peting as a Belly Dancer for your next event, visit