Sahara Dance


Sahara Dance's Belly Dance Blog

Prenatal belly dance!

March 29, 2017

Cynthia dancing In honor of Mothers Day, we are featuring Cynthia! Belly dancing while pregnant is a healthy, relaxing activity for both mother and child and is an excellent form of exercise. One of our students, Kendra Tolbert RDN, CDN, CLC, is a Registered Dietician and wrote this excellent post on the health benefits of belly dancing while pregnant! Cynthia danced before, during, and after her pregnancy (and is currently dancing during her second pregnancy!) Read her Sahara Story below.

What is your role within the Sahara Dance community?
Company member, Raqs Caravan East Manager, and Raqs Sahara member.

How long have you been dancing with Sahara Dance, and how did you start?
I have been with Sahara Dance since Summer 2006. I started bellydancing in Brazil in 2001; when I moved to the USA I was looking for a belly dance studio, and luckily I found Sahara Dance!

How do you think belly dancing has affected your life (or health)?
Belly dance involves so much more than just the belly! Its a whole body workout. Its relaxing and fun exercise.

Can you tell us about your experience of dancing while pregnant?
With my first child, every time I would start shimmying or turning my baby would go to sleep. It was almost like he was enjoying the music and the movements. My second (current) baby does not stop moving, its like having a mini bellydancer inside me…ha!

Can you tell us about your experience of performing onstage while pregnant?
Its an awesome feeling, all eyes are on you. I still remember performing with the cane, I did a back bend and everybody was shocked. You feel feminine, you feel like a star!

Would you recommend women who are pregnant participate in belly dance?
Absolutely!!! It strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles, which made it so much easier during childbirth. (I had a normal delivery…and trust me it helps!!) Afterwards, your body knows to go back to its natural shape easily. I gained 20 pounds in my first pregnancy, and in less than 2 months I was down 24 pounds! Even my doctors couldn’t believe it. Eat healthy and dance!

Do you think your dancing has affected your children?
Yes. My first child was a very calm baby and now my he is totally in love with any music! If he hears any music he starts dancing and won’t stop.

Anything else you’d like to share?
The studio has such a positive atmosphere celebrating women, and celebrating life. I’ve been in love with Sahara Dance from the moment I stepped in the studio, no kidding! I definitely recommend for all moms-to-be and current moms out there.

Gratitude as Dance

November 23, 2016

Hi Sahara sisters,

This post was written in 2009 by our Founder and Creative Director, Rachel Kay Brookmire, about why she is grateful for belly dance and for Sahara Dance. As Thanksgiving approaches and you gather with family and friends from near and far, it is ever relevant now 😃

As you take a moment to think about what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving please know that we are all endlessly thankful for all of you, and for our Sahara Dance community!

Much love and shimmies,

Your friends and teachers at Sahara Dance

Gratitude as Dance (Rachel Kay Brookmire, updated from 2009)

I feel very fortunate to have the luxury of dancing daily. Several years ago, as part of the original Hip Talk blog, I sent around some of the things I’m grateful for about belly dance. My list keeps growing, but the things I first mentioned still hold true so I’m updating and reposting them again below. What things are you grateful for about belly dance?

I’m grateful for:

  • * the political freedom we have to dance and express ourselves as we choose
  • * the beautiful and creative people that share in building our Sahara Dance community
  • * the silly times we have in the studio and our ability to laugh at ourselves
  • * the incredible talent, leadership and professional commitment of our teachers
  • * the soulful music that gives spirit to our dance
  • * the dedication and kinship of Raqs Caravan members
  • * the tremendous encouragement and support of students, family and friends
  • * the pure joy and playful fun of raqs sharqi

I hope we all keep the joyful spirit of the dance close at hand throughout the holidays and beyond. I’ve come to discover that the light and beauty of belly dance is incredibly resilient. And, it comes in as many shapes, sizes and colors as there are women :). A better gift than most anything that can be purchased off a shelf, be generous and give yourself the gift of a consistent dance practice. Remember to treasure your time to just be in your body, enjoying the music and the dance, and letting go of everything else.

In the spirit of the season, I want to extend my gratitude to all of you for supporting and encouraging our local dance endeavors. Belly dance is continuing to flourish in DC and I’m so grateful for the strong community we have to share in, and bolster, the growth of our dance form. 2017 is around the corner and full of more good dance opportunities. I hope you’re all healthy, happy and able to come out and share in the shimmying spirit!

With much gratitude for good health, dedicated students, inspiring music, beautiful dance and wonderful friends to share it all with…

Yours in dance, Rachel

Stay Tuned.... Hip Talk is Back!

November 17, 2016

This is an exciting week at Sahara Dance. The spring class schedule and the Sahara Dance Golden Era Salon: A Vintage Belly Dance Brunch show tickets are both set to launch this week!

Plus, the return of this blog :)

Stay tuned!