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by Brian Clarey

Daliana AKA Diane Simon — Dancer and teacher

Back when she was attending Sacred Heart on Long Island, she was Diane Simons, but now she embraces her alter ego, Daliana, with an eponymous dance studio that specializes in exotic fare — and we don’t mean stripping or pole-dancing. “My dance originates in the Middle East, but it travels every continent,” she says. “We have influences from Asia, we do fan dances, we do veil dances from Turkey, we do gypsy dances from Romanian, some that could be considered Indian and lots of Latin-influenced steps as well. So it’s really a dance of all cultures, even modern dance today — ballet, hip hop — so it’s truly a dance for everybody. It’s like a universal sign language. There are no barriers when it comes to dance.” Daliana Dance, at www.dalianadance.com and on Twitter and Facebook, is open for private lessons and group classes for children and adults.

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