All our instructors and staff are fun, friendly, and ready to support you in your exploration of dance and movement! We make ourselves available so that you get individual attention according to your needs and goals. This is YOUR dance journey, we are here to inspire you along your way by sharing what has worked for us, in the hopes that you will find some information useful too!
Each of us have individual talents and needs, and we recognize that you too will have your own path. By offering you choices that work for you, we guide you along your way with techniques, tools, and musical cues. Wherever you find yourself drawn, let us know so we can help! Our unconditional support comes without judgement, just a genuine interest in the evolution of dance, art, and fitness.
We are all ages, shapes and sizes, try us on!
(in alphabetical order)
Chris has been lucky to study various styles of dance including jazz and modern as well as gymnastics wherever she could. As a child, her family moved frequently, getting her used to exploring and discovering new places and cultures. Her gypsy upbringing drew her to another group of travelers who became her 2nd family when she started traveling with Renaissance Festivals as a teenager. This is where she was first introduced to belly dance. In the mid 90's, she and some friends came together and started the Flying Carpet Gypsies, a group of musicians, and dancers who performed at the North Carolina Renaissance Festival. Chris had no formal training in Middle Eastern dance at this time but learned the choreography and loved performing with this extremely talented group. Around this time, she also fell in love with another form of dance, the Lindy Hop. She became an avid social swing dancer and soon began traveling the country studying with some of the world's best swing dance instructors. She loves to perform, teach, and compete in this style of dance. She has also learned several other styles of ballroom dance as well as African dance, hip-hop, Capoeira, burlesque and yoga. Chris is a member of Meow Factor, Hip Expressions’ performing burlesque troupe, and performs regularly around the Tampa Bay Area with Meow Factor and other troupes as well.
Through teaching Nia and practicing massage therapy, it is with great joy I help people relieve pain and stress, learn more about themselves through body awareness and assist in their healing process. I love to help people feel better, move better and live better! Through practicing Nia, I was guided down a very complementary path. I became a massage therapist, graduating from the Colorado School of Healing Arts in 2004. I honed my craft at world class resorts in Colorado, Idaho and Florida before starting my own practice here in St. Petersburg. I’ve been in St. Pete for over 7 years now and since I’ve been here I’ve married, made new friendships, started my own practice, become a teacher of Nia Technique and became a mom. I love my body and I love my life!
Dawn was first introduced to dancing as a young child living in Hawai'i, but it wasn't until adulthood that she discovered her love of belly dancing. In 2003 she began taking improvisational tribal classes with Johanna for fun and never dreamed that she would perform and teach it as well. In 2004, she became a member of Loud Zoo, where she continues to share the love of dance with the other members of the troupe. Dawn also continues to explore her Polynesian dance roots as well.
EVELYN TOSI (TSUNAMI BLU)
Evelyn Tosi is a professional dancer and instructor classically trained in jazz, ballet, modern and belly dance. Her professional career spanning 20 + years has included a variety of performances from live theater to the "silver screen". Coming from a family of educators she eventually realized she loved to teach as well and has taught in almost every city in which she has lived and/or performed. She has enjoyed teaching a wide range of ages, levels and styles.
JILL CASTLE (NILLA BEAN)
Nilla Bean has been on stage performing various styles of dance since her teenage years. First stripping out of an evening gown on stage during the musical Guys and Dolls and being your typical boisterous cheerleader; she was hooked on making the audience laugh while being the center of attention. Nilla started belly dancing in upstate New York back in 2004 and was hooked after just one class. A few years later she and a partner started the SunDancers, a women’s dance workout group that catered to women recovering from cancer surgery and their supporters. From 2006 to 2011 she worked for a pro-choice health clinic and led youth empowerment and self esteem classes through dance. Moving on to New Hampshire in 2011 she joined the belly dance troupe The Raq-ettes under the dance name Jillian and worked for Raq-On Dance Studio. This allowed her the time to hone her burlesque identity while leading ‘pin-up and cheesecake burlesque’ classes. It was a sad farewell to her performance community who awarded her the Raq-On Dance Community Award at the end of her final show with the studio. Her latest move to the Tampa Bay/St Pete area of Florida in 2013 has yielded the highest results in her dance career. Joining Hip Expressions Dance Studio and performing with some of central Florida’s best belly dancers and burlesque babes she has found her home. She is becoming known for her pirate and mermaid acts and loves learning new combinations in belly dance to use in her improvisations. She’s been designing and sewing costumes since she was a teen, baking up cupcakes for those she loves for over 15 years, and has been laughing louder than anyone within earshot for as long as she’s been shimmying this earth!
Johanna 'Xenobia' Krynytzky, Director and Owner of Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio, has been a full-time teacher and performer of belly dance for over a decade. This ancient art originally piqued her interest while a student of both Art History and Anthropology at the University of Chicago. After graduating with a double major, she worked at the Field Museum of Natural History where she managed the Education Programs and Performances. Today, she uses that information to run a dance studio with over a dozen instructors on staff, workshops with guest instructors, dance festivals, and monthly studio showcase, and countless performances.
Dance was a door for her as she continued studying movement and the human body, attaining her Massage Therapy license in 2001, and practicing ever since. Johanna, also a Reiki II, is currently enrolled in a Yoga Alliance 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program, where she is deepening her understanding of the body, mind, and emotions. She finds all these disciplines inter-connected and highly relevant in continuing to explore the art of being human.
Though Johanna is honored to be head of the Hip Expressions community, she loves teaching dance, yoga, and movement classes where she can inspire students through these ancient forms that continues to evolve today. She enjoys working one on one with students, to help them develop their personal practice to live more meaningful, enriched lives.
Great inspiration comes from working with other dancers, musicians, and artists on collaborative projects, from short choreographies to full length productions as well as fire dancing on the beach.
While her vision includes touching souls through her art, true transformation can only be achieved as a personal journey, and it is her goal to inspire you to explore yours.
KAREN SUN RAY
Karen has an extensive background in folk dances of Europe, Asia, the Americas and Polynesia and has studied and performed Middle Eastern Dance since 1976. She has eight years of experience as a performance director for folk dance groups. She has performed with Gainesville, Florida's internationally known professional ballet company, DanceAlive!, and has choreographed folk dance pieces for their production of Dracula. She is a member of the Sahnobar Dance Ensemble who has performed at Disney's EPCOT, Universal Studios, St. Petersburg's Florida International Museum openings of "Splendors of Ancient Egypt" and "Alexander the Great" to name a few. She has had the privelege of performing interpretive dance with world beat bands such as the Exotic Music Ensemble (Gainesville, Florida) and Loud Zoo (St. Petersburg, Florida). In 1998, she toured the country with a Polynesian performing group based in Orlando. Her teaching career began at an early age along side her mother and continues until today. Karen co-founded Hip Expressions in 2004.
Kimberly’s belly dance journey began in 1999, when she began studying classic Egyptian style with Deirdre Hamlett in Sarasota. In 2001 she attended a workshop with Jill Parker and was introduced to American Tribal Style (ATS) which started a whole new love affair with belly dance for her. In 2002, she discovered Johanna’s classes and was performing with Loud Zoo just a few months later. She loves the classic Egyptian style which she first learned, and also has a passion for Tribal Fusion and Fire Fusion which she was introduced to in 2005. Along her dance journey, she has learned how to play zills, doumbek, and the quarkabeb. She started teaching at Hip Expressions in 2004 and enjoys sharing her passion and joy for belly dance with new students or anyone that is interested…..careful she’ll talk your ear off if you get her started!
Her aptitude with words and quick thinking skills have served her well as she is a silver-tongued emcee at Hip Expressions monthly 1001 Nights show and other events.
Born with an innate flare for style and visual aesthetic, Kimberly also works as a Paramedical Aesthetician. She enjoys working on her students as clients, with make-up, facials, and other aesthetician services at the Spa at Hip Expressions in St Pete. Though her students find her friendly and encouraging, Kimberly commands the stage when she enters with her impeccable posture and dramatic presence.
You can catch her performing most Friday and Saturday nights at Istanblu Turkish Restaurant in Ybor City.
Michael is dedicated to helping students embrace their limitations as opportunities to transform and grow: to see themselves as complete. He is a Neuromuscular Massage Therapist (since 2003) & yogi since 2002, with roots with Iyengar and Ashtanga styles. His primary influence is Anusara Yoga, and Tantra, which sees creation as an expansion of supreme consciousness, and us all as intrinsically good. Michael sees beauty in everything and everyone: Unity through Diversity.
To him, yoga is a practice of living well in all aspects of life; the "work-out" is an ancillary benefit for physical health. He offers himself into service to share this revelation with whomever is drawn to receive it. On a more personal note, Michael is interested in showing dogs, playing classical music (saxophone), gourmet cooking, traveling, entertaining and has a deep appreciation for the arts in general. He enjoys growing his own food, boating, swimming, reading, hiking and is a huge Star Trek fan!
Currently, he is also pursuing his Doctorate in Chiropractic at National University of Health Sciences- St Petersburg FL Campus.
OMARIS 'THE DOMINICAN ROSE'
Omaris, also known as the Dominican Rose, is a world renowned Belly Dance performer and instructor. She has taught classes around the world in such places as Puerto Rico, has been invited twice to teach and dance in Mexico and South Korea. Has taught several private classes and workshops in The Dominican Rep. Guest Star and teacher in Brazil, Atlanta, Guadalupe, Mexico and Serbia! With more than a decade of experience of teaching and performing, she is highly recognized along the eastern coast of The United States (USA) and The Dominican Republic.She is a multi award winning performer with achievements including First Place Winner at Rakstar 2012, including the People’s Choice award. She is one of the main teachers of Hip Expressions Dance Studio, the largest and most well-known Studio in the Tampa Bay Area on Florida's West Coast. With her bachelor's degree in Advertising and a Professional Photography Course, she has also become the studio’s principal graphic designer. Omaris is highly acknowledged for her professionalism in performance and dedication to her students. Her natural elegance, grace, passion and power that she brings to the stage is mirrored by her sweet personality and kind heart. She is greatly admired by her peers and students. Many say that Omaris is Art in Motion.
Teri began practicing yoga in 1999 for relief of back pain and tight hips. What resulted was not only a healthier body, but a more peaceful mind and joyful self. She wished to share this wonderful practice of yoga with others, so she completed her 200 hour teacher training in 2006 and began teaching. Teri completed her 500 hour teacher training in 2014 and has studied with Wanda Howe, Tias Little, Roger Cole, Baxter Bell, Elise Miller, Cyndi Lee, Lillah Schwartz & Ray Long.
Teri loves teaching alignment based Hatha yoga with a positive attitude and encouraging words for her students. She hopes they come away from each class with a sense of lightness and ease throughout their body and mind.
Our mission is to provide a path of creativity, health, and self-development through dance and mobement arts, in a safe and nurturing environment, for a commmunity of all ages, shapes, and sizes.
We offer inspiration, motivation, and transformation, at our studio/ community center and beyond. We promise a creative experience for every spirit; the exploration of well-being, self-expression, and personal fulfillment through our classes, performances, and events.
Please feel free to contact us - we are lounging around at the beautiful studio, eating bon-bons, smoking hookah while our musicians play all originals for us... dressed in costume, full make-up and salon hair just waiting for someone to call or email us!
Unless, of course, we are out performing, rehearsing, teaching class, preparing for class, working on answering emails, updating the website, posting on Facebook, out shopping for new costumes, attending another class or workshop locally or around the world, planning new and exciting events, or sheesh just taking a break!
We are generally very prompt about returning phone calls, however, if it is the weekend or around a special event then it may take us a little more time so please be patient!
M - Thurs 5:30 - 8:30pm
Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm
Sun 11:30am - 2:30pm
...or by appointment, call today! 727.251.5241.
The Studio is available for rent; beautiful hard wood floors and three different spaces to choose from (small, medium, and large!). Perfect for rehearsals, private lessons, meetings, and more. Please call 727.251.5241 for an appointment to see the spaces available.
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2033 54th Ave N, Suite B, St Petersburg, FL 33714
Top floor of the big yellow building (Hill Law Group downstairs) between Cracker Barrel and Sexton Elementary just East of I-275. Enter through Red downstairs door, Suite B.
Overflow parking at Sexton Elementary.
54th Ave North Exit, go L on 54th Ave N
After Cracker Barrel look for Yellow Building on the Left...turn L on Urbane
US Hwy 19 South
L on 54th Ave.
After Cracker Barrel look for Yellow Building on the Left...turn L on Urbane
54th Ave. North Exit - EAST (first one on the Right)
After Cracker Barrel look for Yellow Building on Left...turn L on Urbane
Out of Towners, Where to Stay?
Two blocks from the Studio, next to Cracker Barrel & 275:
Holiday Inn Express, 2171 54th Ave. N, St Pete, 33714, 727.520.7800
Comfort Inn North, 2260 54th Ave. N, St Pete, 33714, 727.362.0075
On the Beach, why not? approx. 20 min drive
Florida Dolphin Motel Apartments, 6801 Sunset Way, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.360.7233
(across the street from St Pete Nights, 1 block from beach)
Post Card Inn, 6300 Gulf Blvd, St Pete Beach, FL 33706, 727.367.2711
(cute boutique hotel, on the beach)