Niosha Nafei (Founder / Lead Instructor)
Niosha was born in Tehran, Iran in 1971, and began dancing at age 5. At that time, she did not know why she loved to dance, only that she did. In 1991 she founded Niosha Dance Academy and began to teach children and adults the styles of Persian dance that she loved so much.
Niosha graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Psychology. In 1992 she won first place in a talent/beauty pageant and was crowned Miss Iran/Negin-e- Iran.
Niosha has been recognized by The World Affairs Council, The Society of Iranian Professionals, The Persian Center, an numerous other organizations for her contributions towards not just preserving Iranian culture and heritage in the US, but expanding. Has been awarded best choreography and best performance in several competitions.
She is an active member of the Iranian community and promoting it's rich culture and art throughout the United States. Niosha and her academy travel extensively and perform at numerous "Heritage Day" and "Cultural International Day" celebrations and have a big part in promoting Iranian heritage and art.
In 2002 Niosha was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the Lymphatic system of the body. Through a rigorous routine of chemo therapy, radiation, and most importantly the support and love of her friends, family and community, she was able to overcome this illness and to continue her valuable contribution to dance.
Under the passion-driven leadership of Niosha, NDA has received Commendations from the Mayor of Los Gatos and The American Cancer Society for her support and fundraising efforts towards cancer research.
Niosha is married and has 3 sons, Fardeen, Afsheen, and Rameen. With the support of her wonderful husband Fardad Jay Jamali, she has been able to bring Persian dance and culture to the Iranian-American community.