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Join Despina's Tuesday Night Class in Astoria! 

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Discover the mesmerizing world of belly dance at Asteria Belly Dance School, nestled within Cathy's Dance Studio in the heart of Astoria, NY! 

Dance Style:  Modern and Vintage Belly Dance Technique. Choreography projects for existing students.

Suitable for ALL Levels: Whether you're a beginner or an experienced dancer, Asteria's classes offer something for everyone! Our experienced instructor, Debbie Despina, tailors each session to challenge and inspire you.

Strengthen Mind and Body: Learn to identify and strengthen essential muscles and body parts for belly dance, including abs, hips, glutes, and arms.


Dynamic and Fun: Our classes are a lively blend of modern and traditional belly dance vocabulary, featuring exciting cymbal drills and mesmerizing layering techniques.


Inclusive Community: Join an all-inclusive and welcoming environment led by Debbie Despina, a community leader who prioritizes safety and fun for all her students.

Comprehensive Workouts: Every class starts with a strengthening warmup, followed by movement training, stamina-building drills, and a captivating combo (mini-choreography).


Record and Progress: Students can record combos to practice at their own pace, ensuring steady progress week after week.


New Challenges Every Week: Experience a variety of new movements and music in each class, keeping your dance journey fresh and exciting!


Convenient Location: Located just steps away from the N & W subway lines, Asteria Belly Dance School is easily accessible for dancers from across Astoria and beyond.

Join us today, and let the movement of belly dance transport you to a world of grace, and self-expression! 

Come as you are, and let's dance our way to joy!

Innovative instructor and virtuoso performer Despina is obsessed with belly dance. The rich sounds of music from her Greek childhood and the tantalizing movements of belly dancers in the Greek night clubs awakened a passion within her to study the dance. Despina’s belly dance adventure started in 2005 in Fat Chance Belly Dance Style, a form of fusion belly dance. She later on discovered the Salimpour institute (AKA the *University of Belly Dance*) through her teacher Irina Bellyrina Wen. Her connection to the dance fueled her to continue her training and exploration by joining world renowned choreographer's Dalia Carella’s classes. 

Despina's unique dance style seamlessly blends modern and vintage belly dance influenced by her Greek heritage and the Salimpour format and Dalia Carella. You can find her performing and teaching in NYC and at various belly dance festival's within the US. Despina is also a proud member of the Dalia Carella Dance Collective.

Teaching in Astoria, Queens, Despina creates a dynamic and enjoyable learning environment for her students, who attest to her ability to challenge them to dance safely with ease, grace, and power.


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Classes Monday and Wednesday night *ONLINE*

Join Despina's Live Mati Belly Dance Classes on Wednesday nights and Saturday ONLINE:

Updated Online Class Prices:

$100 for 10 classes / $60 for 5 classes / $15 for 1 class

New Online Schedule starting : 07/18/2020

Wednesday's-FatChanceBellyDanceStyle(R) AKA ATS(R) Tribal BELLY DANCE
7-8 p.m. CHOREOGRAPHY FCBD(R) Format / previously known as ATS(R) belly dance / tribal belly dance. Mixed Level 1 / Level 2. Basic finger cymbal patterns.
8:05-9:05 p.m. CHOREOGRAPHY FCBD(R) Format. Mixed Level 3 / Level 4. Complex finger cymbal patterns. Experienced dancers can drop in to this class. Please warm up before you join! Keep in mind movement from Level 1 / Level 2 will not be broken down so if you are joining this class you are expected to know the vocabulary.
11-12:15 POP-UP beginner's belly dance class to ALL Greek music, OPA! Pre-registration required!

This class is super fun! This class is open level. If you are new to this style and need additional training take my Monday night class 7-8 p.m.

​Classes in person will resume when we are safe to leave our homes.

Donation Class's a wrap! This class has been cancelled, thank you all for joining me for this super fun class!!!!
Join Despina Live at the Bouzoukia *ONLINE*!

Join Despina every Saturday morning at 11a.m. for a LIVE invigorating belly dance class taught to the best Greek tunes!

Learn fun moves and combos that you will be able to bust out in the club. This class is open to beginners and all ages.

Wear comfortable clothing, dance pants, leggings, a tank top, t-shirt, you PJ's, a hip scarf, any scarf to wrap around your hips, a full blown costume, anything your heart desires! This class is meant to get our bodies moving while having fun!

​To register: Send an email to stating you want to join the Bouzoukia class!

Suggested donation: $5 or more. If you do not have the budget to donate do not worry, please join the fun and share with your friends!

Classes Start September 23rd 2019!!!

Mati Dance Tribe Belly Dance Classes at Ripley-Grier 305 West 38th street Room #211.


Join Despina's Modern Tribal or Folkloric Fusion Belly Dance classes to embrace your strength, grace, and fluid body flexibility. Explore a new invigorating way to feel your innate feminine power. Belly Dance instructor Debbie Despina Cartsos will teach you how to identify and strengthen different muscles and body parts which are essential for the belly dancing technique (e.g., hips, torso, rib cage, arms, etc.). Special dance combinations will link the movements together, creating fluidity and continuity of the dance.

Monday 7-8 p.m. Tribal Fusion BELLY DANCE *Open Level* (required for Mati Dance Tribe dancers that will be performing with Despina at Art Of the Belly)

This belly dance class focuses on providing you with a solid foundation on all the basics movements of Tribal Belly Dance drawing inspiration from ATS(R) the solid foundation needed for Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. Introduction to playing finger cymbals is included. Playing finger cymbals is optional in this class but required for dancers that wish to perform with Despina. This class is open for dancers of all levels.

Monday 8-9 p.m. Level 2 BELLY DANCE *Intermediate-Advanced*

This is a Tribal / Folkloric Fusion belly dance class for intermediate to advanced dancers. In this class you will be learning combos, choreography and complex finger cymbal patterns.

Performance opportunity December 8th, Holiday showcase in collaboration with Dalia Carella.

On a Break!!!!

Despina is taking a break from teaching but you can still see her perform with her dance group: The Mati Dance Tribe!!! Stay tuned for more details! 

Start off 2019 with Belly Dance Classes with Despina!

Come join Debbie Despina for ongoing folkloric fusion belly dance classes at Sol Dance Center on Monday nights at 7-8p.m.  

Mati Dance Tribe members and advanced students can take the choreography class at 8-9p.m. ***This class is by invitation only.*** The drop in rate is $15. Contact Despina at to find out if you can join. For more info check out this FAQ.

Ongoing Belly Dance Classes every Monday at Sol Dance Center!

Come join Despina for two fantabulous belly dance classes at Sol Dance center on Mondays:

Level 1 7-8 p.m.

Level 2 8-9 p.m.

Bring your finger cymbals, your coin scarfs and your appetite to dance a lot!

ATS® Belly Dance Classes in NYC

Teachers: Kate Reid, Maria Naja Richardson and Debbie Despina Cartsos.

Welcome to ATS ® Ultd. Join us to learn American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance, a group improvisational style that relies on the cooperation of its dancers to succeed. Through a system of leading and following specific steps and combinations, dancers use non-verbal cues to create unique and amazing dances. We are a non-competitive, non discriminatory environment and welcoming to ALL. 

ATS Level One Plus: Beginner/Intermediate - 6 Week Course - For students who are new to dancing in a group improvisational format that includes cues. 
In this class you will learn the basic fundamental steps (fast and slow) and formations for American Tribal Style – Fat Chance Format. Movements and drills include (but not limited to) basic steps and simple variations, introduction to zills (finger cymbals) and rhythms, dancing in duos, trios and quads, and introduction to stage presence and etiquette. 

ATS Level Two Plus: Intermediate/Advanced - 6 Week Course - If you have not taken any ATS classes previously, you are required to take Level One Plus. 
In this class you will be challenged with complex combos and zill patterns, continue learning dance vocabulary, and improve technique. You will also be introduced to working with musicians, and solo performance. 

Class Location Gibney Studios - 890 Broadway, 5th Fl Studio 9, New York, NY 10062 

Weekly Class Schedule 
Level One Plus - Thursdays, 6pm – 7pm 
Level Two Plus - Thursdays, 7pm – 8pm 
Please be aware the elevator shuts down at 8pm and students will need to walk down the stairs to leave the building. 

6 Week Class Series Dates - 2018 
• September 13 - October 18 
• TBD 

Purchase Options 
6 Classes Punch Card: $112 
12 Classes Punch Card: $198 

Note: Class cards are good for 90 days from the first date of use and can be used for any class. 
• You will pick up your punch card the first time you attend. 
• If you lose your card, you will be subject to a $10 replacement fee. 
• If you need to suspend your class card there is a $15 charge.

Questions? Contact the Administrator

ATS Unlimited NYC

Dalia Carella & Dalia Carella Dance Collective Present: Annual Summer Immersion, July 20 - 22, 2018


Teachers: Dalia Carella & Debbie Despina

Day passes & individual classes available!

Gala Show Salon, Sunday July 22
Featuring Seminar Teachers and Participants
You Should Be Dancing,  412 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001
3:30 - 5:30 pm

Class Location:
Playwrights Downtown Rehearsal Studios
440 Lafayette Street, NYC

Friday, July 20 - Dalia Carella - Dunyavi/Turkish Roman Gesturing & Skirts
6:30-9 pm, Playwrights Downtown Rehearsal Studios
$65 pre-registration, $80 at door

Created by Dalia in 1979, Dunyavi (meaning "world") is one of Dalia’s signature art forms. In this class we will be focusing on dancing with beautiful full skirts while learning Turkish Roman hand gesturing to enhance the movement. We will be dancing to traditional Turkish Roman 9/8 Karsilama rhythm. This rhythm is all about the organic feeling that is sometimes challenging for dancers to internalize. Dalia’s technique simplifies this dance to enable you to assimilate the skirt work, hand gesturing and foot work, and immerse yourself in a worldwind of movement! Please bring a full skirt with no slits.


Saturday, July 21 - Dalia Carella - Danse Orientale: The Luminous Veil
11 am-1:30 pm, Playwrights Downtown Rehearsal Studios
$65 pre-registration, $80 at door

Looking for different ways of expressing yourself? This class is geared towards helping dancers to create movement and shapes with fabric. Learn to become one with the veil, feel its intensity, feel its beauty, flow with it. Expressive combinations and air design movement will be explored while using a veil that can be used in night club and theatrical performances to rivet audiences. Experience Dalia’s unique approach to veil work through her invaluable dance experience throughout the years. Please bring a 3.5-4 yard veil. 


Saturday, July 21 - Debbie Despina - The Artistry of Dancing with Your Sword
2:30-5 pm, Playwrights Downtown Rehearsal Studios
$65 pre-registration, $80 at door

Learn the artistry of dancing/performing with a sword. This workshop is geared towards all level dancers. Despina will discuss the importance of dancing with your sword as if it were an actual dance partner rather than just a prop. You will learn a short choreography that will break down technique, showing you how to handle this beautiful yet powerful blade while dancing with it. This is not a balancing act, this is about dancing creating shapes, framing, using musicality, power and fluidity. Come with an open mind and with an appetite to dance a lot. Please bring a sword and a hair scarf.


Saturday Pass
$120 for both Saturday workshops, pre-registration only

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Subbing for Danielle Hutton at BellyQueen

June 9th

Drills that thrill with Despina


One hour of exploring beautiful circular movements, such as interior hip circles, exterior hip circles, chest circles and more. Learn how to travel while using the features circular movements.


Werk that Masmoudi 

A fun mini combo to a beautiful Solace song. This combo is all about feeling grounded, taking it slow, exploring various foot patterns, with a touch of ooyee gooey movement all to the beats of the Masmoudi rhythm. 

Mondays are for Belly Dance!

Come join Despina for two fantabulous belly dance classes at Sol Dance center on Mondays:

Level 1 7-8 p.m.

Level 2 8-9 p.m.

Bring your finger cymbals, your coin scarfs and your appetite to dance a lot!

Ongoing ATS® Bellydance at Sol Dance Center

Come join Despina for a fun American Tribal Style® Belly Dance class at Sol Dance Center. Get ready to learn a lot and sweat!

Level 1: 7-8p.m. 

Level 2: 8-9p.m. (Experience in L1 vocabulary required)

Ongoing Level 1 Open Bellydance Class

Come join Despina for a fun Tribal Bellydance class inspired by the Suhaila and Jamila format. 

Get ready to sweat! 

Level 1: 7-8p.m.


Irina Belyrina Level 2: 8-9p.m.

ATS® Intensive at Sol Dance Center

Come join Despina for a fun 6 week dance intensive focusing on American Tribal Style Bellydance® developed by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman and FatChanceBellyDance® Level 1: 7-8p.m.Level 2: 8-9p.m.

Participants will be given the opportunity to perform in Sol Dance Center's Holiday Party! 

Starting October 25th. Last class of the intensive: November 30th.

Tribal Bellydance Class at Sol Dance Center

Come join Despina for a fun Tribal Bellydance class inspired by the Suhaila and Jamila format. 

Get ready to sweat! 

Subbing for Irina Bellyrina.

Level 1: 7-8p.m.

Level 2: 8-9p.m.


Tribal Bellydance Class at Sol Dance Center

Monday's - Subbing for Irina Bellyrina

Sub-Teaching for Irina Kom at Sol Dance Center in Astoria (Last Sub date: June 8th)

Level 1 / 7-8p.m.

A tribal fusion bellydance class inspired by the Suhaila and Jamila format.

Level 2 / 8-9p.m.

A tribal fusion bellydance class inspired by the Suhaila and Jamila format with finger cymbals.

ATS® Workshop at the Drum and Dance Learning Center in N.J.

ATS® Workshop at the Drum and Dance Learning Center in N.J.

ATS® Workshop at the Drum and Dance Learning Center in N.J.

Come join me and learn Classic ATS® Bellydance at the amazing dance studio!

Queen Hydra Choreography

Come learn from me an original choreography from me that will be performed the same evening! 

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Longer Bio:


Innovative instructor and virtuoso performer Debbie Despina Cartsos is obsessed with belly dance. The rich sounds of her childhood and the tantalizing movements of dancers in Greek night clubs awakened a passion within her to study the dance. Her connection to the dance fuels her deep dedication to both education and exploration throughout the art. 

Despina’s official belly dance training adventure started in 2005 when she began studying fusion belly dance (Fat Chance Belly Dance Style) with Mimi Fontana and became a founding member of Manhattan Tribal. Under the mentorship of Irina Bellyrina, she gained an appreciation for the legacy of the Salimpour family and the formats taught through the Salimpour™ School. The certification program has been an important tool in her growth as dancer: she is Jamila Level 1 and Suhaila 1 certified and plans to continue studying both formats. She also studies under renowned world fusion artist, choreographer, and master teacher Dalia Carella. Dalia is also Despina’s mentor, design muse, and co-producer for Menagerie d'Arte, "a surreal and immersive dance experience".

Despina started teaching in 2016 in Astoria, NY. She has also taught classes and workshops Manhattan, NY. She has also taught under Dalia Carella, Belly Queen and at the belly dance festival Art of the Belly in Ocean City, Maryland. She loves creating group choreographies and helping her students strive for the best. "Debbie takes a hands on approach with her teaching and ensures each and every student gets the personal attention and feedback they need, even during warm up. Her focus on drills and technique helps dancers achieve those beautiful lines, grace and power. Not only do her classes allow you to become a better dancer, Debbie creates a fun and dynamic environment! Classes are always filled with laughter and humor. You’ll always look forward to going to class! No matter what your dance goals are, whether you want to learn about Belly Dance for the first time, or if you’re looking to become a better performer, Debbie’s class is for you."

Despina’s choreographies are deeply influenced by the teachings of Dalia Carella and the Salimpour format. Her authentic love for music and movements is contagious. She has a weakness for finger cymbals, swords and pushing boundaries on stage. What kind of journey will she take you on next?


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