The Raquettes companies are new Sahara Dance student companies specializing in preparing students for the stage. There are two types of Raquettes companies: Egyptian-inspired belly dance companies and specialty companies. The Egyptian-inspired companies are named after famous Golden Age belly dancers, and are designed for students of raqs sharqi. We chose to honor these influential dancers to help students connect with the dance and gain a deeper understanding of the history and evolution of belly dance. The specialty Raquettes companies are named for style-specific dances. Members train in a specialized branch of belly dance, such as tribal, urban, and folkloric.