Sahara Dance

Dance Companies

Raqs Caravan East

Participation in the student companies is for advanced students with the goal of developing performance technique, stage personality, ensemble dance experience and enjoying the camaraderie of dancing together.

Directed by Rachel Kay Brookmire, Raqs Caravan dancers progress toward artistic, charismatic, musical dance performance while building a strong foundation of sophisticated dance technique. The Raqs Caravan mission is to create joy and beauty while fostering the growth of individual dancers.

Raqs Caravan East

Raqs Caravan East is an Intermediate / Advanced Sahara Dance student company specializing in raqs sharqi for stage. Members embody the exuberance, nuance, and beauty of Egyptian-inspired belly dance. Dancers focus on soft, graceful styling, technical precision, and emotional expression.

The company performs to a wide variety of music, including Egyptian classical and folkloric, Arabic techno fusion and pop, and live percussion by Sahara Tabla. The company repertoire includes entrances, drum solos, Sa'idi, beledi, fusion, and pop. Members are versed in performing with multiple props, including veil, zills (finger cymbals), assaya (cane), fan veil, Isis wings, poi veil, and melaya.

Raqs Caravan East, and sister companies Raqs Caravan West and Raqs Caravan Folklore, are the featured companies of the Sahara Dance Community Outreach Program. As leaders within the Sahara Dance community, members represent the studio by frequently performing at community and educational events, festivals, and expos throughout the DC Metropolitan area.

Raqs Caravan companies develop an extensive repertoire of two to three choreographies each semester, culminating in a highlighted showing of their new works at the three annual Sahara Dance student productions: the "Under a Desert Moon" gala in the spring, the "Sahara Dance Caravan" show in the summer, and the "Raqs Caravan Showcase" in the fall. Several company members are also featured soloists at the "Raqs Caravan Showcase" and throughout the year and monthly Sahara Dance Salons.

Company Director: Rachel Kay Brookmire

Contributing Choreographers: Rachel Kay Brookmire, Chiaki, Colleen, Ebony, Elysa, Jennifer, Shahrzad

Prerequisites
1) Concurrent enrollment in Raqs Caravan East Intermediate / Advanced Technique; and
2) Permission of director (Rachel Kay Brookmire)

View these and other photos in our photo galleries

Performances
The Nutcracker Sweet & Spicy
James Lee Community Centre Theatre, Falls Church, VA - December 2009
Annual Middle Eastern Bazaar
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Washington, DC - September 2009
Bethesda Block Party
Bethesda, MD - September 2009
Sahara Dance Caravan - Exploring the Evolution of Belly Dance
Greenberg Theatre, Washington, DC - August 2009
Artomatic 10th Anniversary
Washington, DC - June 2009
Senior Citizens' Event
Church Parish Hall, Washington, DC - June 2009
T.S. Wootton High School
Rockville, MD - June 2009
7th Annual "Under a Desert Moon"
Greenberg Theatre, Washington, DC - May 2009
Sahara Dance Caravan - A Belly Dance Journey
The National Theatre, Washington, DC - March 2009
Adventure Travel Expo
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC - February 2009
NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC - January 2009
From Cairo to California
Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, DC - November 2008
Celebration of Culture
World Bank Group, Washington, DC - October 2008
Rakkasah East
Somerset, NJ - October 2008
Senior Center Entertainment Hour
Behrend Adas Senior Center, Washington, DC - July 2008
Sahara Dance Salon / Hafla Dance Party
Pasha Lounge, Washington, DC - September 2008
Sahara Dance Summer Student Showcase
Casablanca Restaurant, Alexandria, VA - August 2008
Raqs America
Joe's Movement Emporium, Mount Rainier, MD June 2008
South Silver Spring Block Party
Silver Spring, MD June 2008
6th Annual "Under a Desert Moon"
Greenberg Theatre, Washington, DC - May 2008
Adventure Travel Expo
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC - March 2008
NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC - January 2008
Sahara Dance Winter Student Showcase
Casablanca Restaurant, Alexandria, VA - December 2007
Sahara Dance Summer Student Showcase
Casablanca Restaurant, Alexandria, VA - August 2007
5th Annual "Under a Desert Moon"
Greenberg Theatre, Washington, DC - May 2007
NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo
Washington, DC - January, 2007
Sahara Dance Winter Student Showcase
Casablanca, Alexandria, VA - December, 2006
Rakassah East
Somerset, NJ - October, 2006
Arabian Nights
Colony South, Clinton, MD - September, 2006
Sahara Dance Summer Student Showcase
Casablanca, Alexandria, VA - July, 2006
Under a Dessert Moon
Greenberg Theater, Washington, DC - May, 2006
NBC 4 Health and Fitness Expo
Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC - January, 2006
Sahara Dance Winter Student Showcase
Flashpoint, Washington DC - December, 2005
Rakassah East
Somerset, NJ - October 2005
Arabian Nights
Colony South, Clinton, MD - August, 2005
SD Summer Student Showcase
Flashpoint, Washington DC - August, 2005
Under a Dessert Moon
Greenberg Theater, Washington, DC - May, 2005
Rakkasah East
Somerset NJ - 2005
The Fire of the Soul Tour
Casablanca, Alexandria VA - 2005
Arabian Nights
Colony South, Clinton, MD - 2005
Raqs Caravan Fall Showcase
Flashpoint, Washington, DC - 2004
Rakkasah East
Somerset NJ - 2004
"The Belly Dance Show" on Fairfax Public Access TV
September, 2004
Sahara Dance Street Dance
September, 2004
Lands and Cultures Festival
Malcom X Park - September 2004
Sahara Dance Student Showcase
Flashpoint, Washington, DC - August, 2004
Under a Desert Moon
Greenberg Theatre, Washington, DC - May, 2004
George Washington University
The Mediterranean Cafe and Sahara Dance Opening Gala 2004
The Black Cat
The Belly Dance Benefit Show at Georgetown University
The Anne C. Fisher Gallery
DC Jewish Community Center
Under a Desert Sky
The Jack Guidone Theater, Washington, DC - May 2003
Rakkasah East
Somerset, NJ - 2003