Meet the team

Jillina Carlano: Artistic & Executive Director

Performer, Master Instructor, Choreographer, Director and Producer, Jillina has devoted her life to dance.

In 1999 Jillina established her own dance company, Jillina’s Sahlala Dancers, currently LA’s premier Middle Eastern and world fusion dance entertainment company. From 2003-09 she served as Artistic Director and Main Choreographer for the Bellydance Superstars and performed with them for over 700 shows.

In 2009 Jillina created Bellydance Evolution with the goal to take Middle Eastern dance to a higher level world-wide.  After the success of touring 3 original productions from 2009-2016, Jillina & Bellydance Evolution were commissioned to create “Le Voyage de Scheherazade” a multi-national, multi-discipline collaboration with the Orchestra Philharmonique de Maroc. 

Jillina pulls from a strong dance background in Middle Eastern, Folklore, Jazz, Ballet, and Hip Hop to create a colorful Middle Eastern fusion repertoire. She travels extensively, teaching seminars and performing in concerts.  Jillina’s talents have taken her to over 30 different countries. Whether Jillina is coaching dancers individually or teaching a group of 1,000 students, she has a special ability to connect with people on and off the dance floor.

Jillina has won numerous awards from International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance and the Giza Academy, including Best Modern Egyptian Dancer, Best Instructional Video, Best Dance Company and Dancer of the Year. Jillina has appeared on several television programs, including, “Dancing with the Stars”.

Jillina is the owner of Evolution Dance Studios, located in North Hollywood, California, USA. The studio provides rehearsal space to some of Hollywood’s top artists.

Heather Aued: Associate Artistic Director

Heather Aued has been with Bellydance Evolution since its creation in 2009.  She is one of the main choreographers and Associate Artistic Director for the company and has performed with them in all four of their productions throughout the USA, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.  Heather began dancing at the age of five. Studying modern jazz & ballroom, ballet, hip-hop & contemporary.  At 9-years old, she was invited to join a Los Angeles based performing group, where she quickly became one of the lead dancers.

By the age of 13 Heather was already an Award-Winning choreographer & a lead dancer in 3 different dance companies.  That same year she performed at the Rose Bowl along with Cirque Du Soleil & Smokey Robinson for over 40,000 people.

Also, a professional singer and actress, Heather has recorded with Grammy and Oscar winning songwriters.  She has also recorded for composer Paul Dinletir on the animated series Samurai Jack and toured the Caribbean as the lead singer on the Freewinds cruise ship. 

At 18 Heather was cast by Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing Choreographer and Michael Jacksons final tour Director) to dance on the Fox TV show “Grounded for Life” which earned an Emmy nomination for Best Choreography.

Pulling from her background as an actress, Heather helps bring a lot of the theatrical aspects to BDE and their productions.