Arizona native, Ashtalea, began dancing at the age of four. She has studied classical ballet (in both the French and Russian method), Tap, Jazz, Flamenco, Mexican Folkloric, Modern dance and even the Can Can.
In 1992, thanks to her ballet training, she took naturally to Mideastern dance. Always eager to try something new, she began taking classes with the local Parks and Recreation under the direction of Shirley Thompson. She soon became hooked. Seeking more formal training, she began studying with Kathryn Ferguson, director of the “Xanadu Dance Studio”.
Ashtalea quickly excelled to the performing level and became a substitute instructor for Miss Ferguson’s classes and a member of the “The Xanadu Dancers”. She also taught an arobicised version of belly dance at “Naturally Women Fitness Center” of Tucson, AZ.