The Hamer sisters, Christine Andrews, Jennifer Imashev & Maria Hamer, have been dancing together literally since birth. Christine & Jennifer started middle eastern dance in 1988. Maria joined them in 1992 and in 1995, they co-founded, along with some friends, Ghawazee Middle Eastern Music & Dance Ensemble, one of the first tribal Bellydance troupes on the East Coast. Together they performed, sang, danced & played music with Ghawazee until 2000. Soon after Christine & Maria started Zafira Dance Co with Olivia Kissel then added Tamara Juel & Jennifer Imashev. They had 11+ successful years touring the world with their unique style. Presently, the Hamer sisters enjoy covering folk classics & dancing with each other as sisters in blood & in dance.
Maria Hamer is a long time bellydancer of Pittsburgh, Pa, training tirelessly & passionately for over 2 decades with some of the most sought after teachers in this dance form including Suhaila Salimpour, Helena Vlahos & Aisha Ali. Her love for bellydance has evolved through many styles over the years. She has co- directed & helped in pioneering East Coast Tribal companies such as ‘Folkloric inspired’ Ghawazee Middle Eastern Music & Dance Ensemble in the mid 90’s to the more theatrical & earthy glamour/contemporary elements of award winning Zafira Dance Company, active for over 11 years.
She has spearheaded & been a part of many successful events & festivals in the Pittsburgh areas with shows from big theater stages to small intimate settings.
She’s traveled the globe studying, teaching, performing & has collaborated with some of the most notable dancers in her genre such as: Jill Parker, Zoe Jakes, & many others. Currently as a solo artist, she collaborates with her sisters Christine Andrews & Jennifer Imashev as ‘The Hamer Sisters’ as well as building her student troupes- Hamsa & EvilEye.