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About Magaña Baptiste

Magaña Baptiste is the founder and director of the first School of Middle Eastern Dance in San Francisco. She is currently the owner, founder and artistic director of the San Francisco Royal Academy of Belly Dance. Along with her husband, Walt Baptiste, she also established the first Center of Yoga.

With her company, she has appeared widely in all the media, many art festivals, Middle Eastern gatherings, and the Los Angeles Music Center. Magaña has also made appearances on "Evening Magazine", "People Are Talking", TV specials with health and fitness star, Joannie Greggins, and the

"Lee Rogers and Jim Dunbar Radio Talk Show". She has led dance and music study tours to the Middle East, India, and Central America. Magaña is a freelance writer and she has written for "The Belly Dancer Magazine", "Lifestyle", and other periodicals of dance and yoga . She is the author of a book titled "Breath Is Life, The Wholistic Art of Belly Dancing for Men and Women". Among her credits are an album of yoga instruction, and an instructional audio cassette about belly dance. She is a producer of videos and the audio cassettes and is an artistic member of the Press Club of San Francisco.

Ms. Baptiste is the Originator, Producer and Artistic director of the San Francisco Belly Dance Festival and the Mr. & Ms. America of the Belly Dance Contest, now going into its 16th year.

Magaña has been a recipient of many awards:

  • Last year, she was inducted into the "The Hall of Fame" in New York by the prestigious A.A.M.E.D.
  • She accepted an award by the N.A.A.C.P.,
    the Vaslav and Kyran Nijinsky Achievement Award for Dance, Choreograpy, Teacher.
  • Last year, Ms. Baptiste was inducted into the Hathor Dance Troupe of Berlin by Dr. Mo Geddawi.
  • She was the First Runner Up in the "Miss U.S.A." Pageant.

Magaña has studied with the Egyptian Masters Dr. Mo Geddawi and Mr. Mahmoud Reda, and modern dance pioneers Ruth St. Denis and Devi Dja. She was teaching and performing the "Dance Oriental" long before the Cabarets in San Francisco came into existence; therefore, Magaña is conversant in the "Old Style Beledy" dance, but has also kept abreast of the more recent classical cabaret style, music, and costuming.

She has introduced many Masters of the Dance Arts throughout the years in her studio, and to San Francisco, some for the first time such as:

  • Bert Balladine,
  • Ibrahim Farrah,
  • Dr. Mo Geddawi,
  • Mahmoud Reda,
  • Amaya,
  • Jajouka,
  • Zahra
  • Zuhair,
  • Shareen el Safy,
  • Serena of New York,
  • Ramzi el Edlibi of Lebanon,
  • Delilah of Seattle,
  • Shireen from Germany,
  • Aziz,
  • Horacio Cifuentes,
  • Kyra Nijinsky (daughter of Vaslav)

She and her troupe have been featured for the past five years at the International Folk Dance Celebration at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles (Home of the Academy Awards).and many other musical Magaña is currently the Artistic Director and Choreographer for the well-known San Francisco Royal Academy Belly Dancers.artists such as Farouk Tekbilek and Raja.

A great influence in her knowledge of Egyptian dance technique has been her friendship of more than 20 years with Dr. Mo Geddawi, the great dancer, choreograper, and teacher from Cairo, Egypt.

Ms. Baptiste is also a noted YOGA teacher. She established the first Belly Dance Boutique in the San Francisco Bay Area. She designs costumes for herself, for her dance group, other Oriental Dancers, theatrical stars, the Opera, and Society.

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