Sahara Dance

Specialty Classes

Supplement your technique training with specialty classes exploring the historical, contextual and experimental sides of belly dance. Specialty classes focus on a variety of skills, and include:

Tabla I: Introduction to Tabla (Drum) & Rhythms (8 weeks)

Learn the basics for playing the tabla, including the primary sounds (doum and tek) and fundamental Middle Eastern rhythms. Individual feedback and adjustments will be given to each student on striking technique, timing, hand placement and how to hold the drum.

Each class is divided between practicing technique and playing rhythms. Special attention will be given to cultural and musical contexts surrounding rhythms and drumming, all while making music!

Learn 4 different rhythms with multiple variations throughout the 8-week session. Each session we will rotate learning a new set of rhythms.

Tabla II: Beginner Tabla (Drum) & Rhythms (8 weeks)

Now that you have a solid foundation it is time to move beyond the basics.

Expand your drumming vocabulary and learn how to put all of your knowledge together in a musical context. In this class you will continue to expand upon both your techniques (pops, half teks, rolls and other combinations and sound variations) as well as your knowledge of rhythms.

Tabla III: Intermediate Tabla (Drum) & Rhythms

Move beyond the foundational principals of playing the tabla into a world of musical self-expression. In this class we will practice creating and playing solos and learning songs/routines all while maintaining proper technique.

The class will also explore different approaches to use when playing with other musicians as well as strategies to use when playing for belly dancers.

Urban-Belly Dance Fusion Technique (LI+)

Urban fusion combines unique hip-hop combinations with traditional raqs sharki belly dance and tribal-style belly dance, through edgy isolations, locks, waves and other urban-inspired movement. Build coordination, isolation and an expanded repertoire with a variety of choreographies. This class will be high energy, prepare to sweat and have fun.

Prerequisite: Mastery of Shara Dance Low Intermediate Technique.

Experimental Fusion: Technique (8 week)

In this dynamic 8-week series, refine your technical proficiency with exercises in honing powerful stage presence, exploring movement concepts, and interpreting musical cues. Focus on experimental and fusion belly dance styles with concepts that can be applied to any dance form. Come away with tools for your personal dance practice, and spark new ideas to develop your own unique movement!

Prerequisite: Mastery of content from Sahara Dance Intermediate Technique or equivalent dance proficiency in other genres.


This unique and fast-paced belly dance workout combines the best of two worlds in the intensity of a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session with shimmy technique, combos and layers. Increase muscular strength and cardiovascular endurance by giving high effort during intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods and belly dance drills. This full-body workout features resistance training, cardio sessions and core strength work without the use of weights or props. This class is an excellent training tool for dancers looking to obtain a high level of personal fitness. Supportive dance shoes or athletic shoes are strongly recommended.
Only dance shoes or indoor-only, non-scuffing athletic shoes are permitted in the Sahara Dance Tenley studio; athletic shoes which are worn outdoors are not permitted. Practice and play with new combos every few weeks!