The Shahrzad Dance Company, part of the Shahrzad Dance Academy (SDA), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded by Shahrzad Khorsandi in 1996,  is a group of talented performers who perform all over the San Francisco Bay Area. See the events page for upcoming performances.



Rebekah Fessenden

Rebekah is a Bay Area native, with a B.A. in Fine Art from the University of California in Santa Cruz. She began her love of dance at 8 years old, happily sampling any dance class that came her way. However the core of her training has been ballet, which she has studied since age 13, tempered and softened with a simultaneous study of modern dance, primarily Hawken’s technique. For many years the stable foundation beneath all of Rebekah’s dancing and her life in general has been her ongoing practice of Iyengar yoga which she also teaches. Once exposed to its classical lines and sensual rhythms Rebekah quickly fell in love with Persian dance. She has studied, taught and performed with Shahrzad Dance Company since 2003. It has been her great joy and honor to share Persian dance with audiences across the United States and in Pakistan.




Mona Heir

Mona Heir

Mona Heir has been enchanted by the art of motion since childhood; when she fell in love with creative movement and ballet.  After graduating from UCLA, and relocating to the Bay Area, she has been blessed to study rich and authentic styles of Middle Eastern dance, from Egypt, the Levant, and Persia.  After the birth of her daughter in 2010, a synchronistic path led her to an immersion in the beautiful language of Persian Dance; under Master Shahrzad Khorsandi.

Mona intends to dance and study this supreme art into a fluency; worthy of transmitting its intended vision.

Mona cultivates a yogic practice, and teaches around the Bay Area; specializing in Perinatal fitness and Children’s Yoga. She also makes special love chocolates, to open the heart and fuel the soul. <3



Kim Ganassin Mendes

Kim Ganassin

Kim is a Bay Area native and graduate of John F. Kennedy University. After a long break from performing Jazz and Tap as a teenager, she attended an SDA class and fell in love with the beauty and sensuality of Persian dance. In her 8+ years studying Persian dance with SDA, Kim has become an instructor for the Academy, and with the creation of Shahrzad Dance Company, has enjoyed continuing growth in Persian and Modern dance performance. Dance, as a physical and mental discipline, is her favorite method of self-discovery and healing, and she enjoys the journey whole-heartedly! Kim also interprets and teaches American Sign Language for teenagers with special needs at a local high school.

Samira Saffarzadeh

Samira Saffarzadeh

Samira Saffarzadeh is an American born Iranian that has found her connection to her Iranian roots through Persian dance and music.�� As a young girl she learned different Persian dance styles from her mother and other women in the community until she moved to the Bay Area in 2010 and started studying dance under popular dance companies until finding Shahrzad Dance Academy (SDA).  Since the summer of 2013 she has been studying with ShahrzadDanceAcademy and is a supporting partner of Shahrzad Dance Company.  She is passionate about preserving her culture and heritage and sharing her heritage with the community.

Samira currently resides in the Bay Area and is a single mother of two boys and is a certified Project Management Professional working full time as a project manager in utility construction.  She also brings 13 years of experience in teaching children as a volunteer at several different cultural centers in Fresno, Oakland, and Walnut Creek.



Marta Serra - color

Marta Serra

Marta Serra, from Barcelona,  began training in classical ballet at Royal Academy of Dance at the age of 4.  For the next decade of her life she trained in classical, contemporary/modern, Jazz and artistic roller-skating in various academies in Barcelona.
A few years later she discovered her real passion for dances of the Orient. Marta has studied dances of India (Mohiniyatam, Bharathanatyam, and Kathakali) as well as Yoga (Kundalini, Astanga, Hatha,). In addition to her studies in dances from the silk road and other Middle Eastern countries (Belly dance,Raks sharki, Egyptian Cabaret, Turkish Romani, Tribal and Tribal fusion…) she has also studied Kung Fu Shaolin.
In 2000 Marta began choreographing in these styles. She also teaches Oriental dance and Pilates.���������� Marta discovered Shahrzad Technique in 2013 and has been heavily involved in training.  She soon auditioned for the dance company and did her debut performance with SDC in February of 2014 at ODC Theater.
Marta’s experience as a nanny gives her an advantage in working with kids.  Her joy of children and passion for dance have prompted her to get her teaching credential  in Shahrzad Technique.  She hopes to help disseminate this beautiful art form to children in the community and beyond.