Photo credit to Ali Sohrabzadeh at Bam Studios

Shivaun moved to Turkey at the age of 19 with only a hip-scarf and her trusty fiddle. While working as a musician with the Turkish folk group Eylül, she was attracted to bellydance’s defiance of patriarchal categorization: its mixing of the spiritual and the sexual.

After studying under dancers such as Leyla Sultan, and Sema Yildiz, she began performing in venues in Istanbul and Fethiye. A desire to pursue media studies then led her to Vancouver where she finished her Masters degree in Communication at Simon Fraser University School of Communication then a PhD at Duquesne University.

She has produced several documentaries and life-style programs including Shimmy — a 26 episode television belly-dance instruction series with OmniFilm. She has worked as a translator at the European court of human rights and sat on the selection committee of the Amnesty International Film Festival.