Nyla Crystal began her obsession with belly dance while earning her B.S. in biotechnology at UC Davis. Her background of ballet, tap dance, and cheerleading, combined with the graceful, feminine, and emotional aspects of Middle Eastern dance result in her unique style of belly dance. She has won multiple belly dance awards in solo, duet, and troupe categories. Performance highlights include belly dancing in shows with Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, Turkish pop star Sertab Erener and Demir Demirkan, and the Grammy nominated Brothers of the Baladi. She has performed for international corporations including Cirque du Soleil’s cast of Alegria, Nordstrom, SanDisk, and Herbalife as well as belly dance shows in Japan, Iceland and Germany. Between performing at parties, weddings and corporate events all over Sacramento and San Francisco, directing Kanz al Sahara and co-directing Troupe Scimitar, Nyla is working on a Ph.D. in biochemistry at UC Davis where she is researching the molecular pathways of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.