Sahara Dance

Workshops

We offer special workshops and master classes in addition to our regular instructional and performance classes. Workshops are selected to help students and experienced dancers alike broaden their dance training.

Upcoming Workshops

Tahitian Dance

Tahitian

Satarra is here to teach you Tahitian Dance!

Originally taught and performed in the island of Tahiti, Tahitian dance is widely known and practiced world-wide. The ʻōteʻa (or “otea”) is a traditional dance characterized by a rapid hip-shaking motion to percussion accompaniment. Dancers of the ʻōteʻa make gestures reenacting daily occupations of life or themes from nature, such as hand gestures suggesting combing their hair, or the flight of a butterfly.

Satarra Johnson got her start dancing in a hula school in Japan, and has been teaching hula, hot hula and Tahitian dance for many years. Satarra is here to share the joyful culture and beautiful dance with you!

This workshop is a perfect compliment to belly dance hip-work. Open to all levels.

Date(s): Saturday, July 2

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): Satarra

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Developing Choreography Intensive: Creating a Solo

Developing Choreography
photo credit: Toscana Photography

Learn the essentials for creating a belly dance solo or small group choreography for stage.

Delve deeply into your creativity through structured improvisation to discover and hone your own style of movement. Rachel will provide feedback to guide each participant’s choreographic process through revision to a polished, finished piece.

We’ll explore song selection, musical interpretation, transitions, diagramming music, costuming and other keys to creating a dance that dynamically reflects and highlights the music. Join us for a fun and playful summer project to express your inner artist!

Participants will perform their pieces in the Sahara Dance Carnival on August 13. Traditional, theatrical, and experimental belly dance pieces are welcome! Students provide their own costuming with teacher guidance.

A special graduate Developing Choreography Intensive is available for those who have previously completed Developing Choreography. Please contact us for the Graduate Intensive registration link.

Prerequisites:
1) Previous completion of Low Intermediate Technique class (or equivalent); and
2) Simultaneous enrollment in any Sahara Dance Low Intermediate I Technique class or above

Schedule:

Monday, June 6 - 6:00-9:00 pm (NEW DATE)
Friday, July 8 - 6:30-9:30 pm (NEW DATE)
Saturday, July 23 - 4:00-7:00 pm
Friday, July 29 - 6:30-9:30 pm
Friday, August 12 - 6:30-9:30 pm

(15 hours total)

Date(s): See schedule above

Time(s): Varies (see schedule above)

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Registration closed. Please contact us for the Graduate Intensive registration link.
Soft, Slow & Stretchy

Soft Slow and Stretchy

Immerse yourself in the softer side of belly dance.

We will play with ideas for incorporating relaxation, fluidity and extension into simple combinations.

Drawing upon foundational movements, add dimension and intentionality to your repertoire.

Emphasis is on enjoying movement and infusing your dance with elegance and sensual expression.

Open to all levels, with modifications to challenge advanced dancers. Some previous belly dance experience recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, July 9

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Introduction to Belly Dance

Introduction to Belly Dance

Voted the Best Dance Class in DC!

Discover the timeless beauty and joy of belly dance! Belly dance, or “raqs sharqi,” is a Middle Eastern dance form based on one of the oldest social dances in world history, originating in North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

As a social dance, belly dance is part of creative, joyful expression at festivals, weddings and celebrations. Belly dancing is a beautiful dance form and a great way to exercise. With movements stemming from the torso, hips and legs, it helps develop a strong core and contributes to an elegant and upright carriage. Belly dance is a timeless art form is practiced by people of all ages from all walks of life. At Sahara Dance, we dance to share in the transformative power of an ancient art form embracing femininity.

In this introductory workshop, students will learn basic technique including lifted stance and posture, shimmies, isolations, undulations and traveling steps. Class will also include a brief introduction to the history, context and philosophy of belly dance.

Celebrate femininity through an ancient, life-embracing art and find out why Sahara Dance has been voted Best Dance Class in DC for 7 years!

All levels are welcome. No prior experience necessary. This workshop is designed for students new to belly dance or new to Sahara Dance. Current students are welcome to bring a friend new to belly dance and join as well!

Date: Saturday, July 9
Time: 3:45-4:45 pm
Teacher: Rachel
Location: Sahara Dance Central
Cost: $20

Clowning Around: the Art of Authentic Performance

Alyssum

Clowns are the doctors of the performance world; laughter is the best medicine.

In this workshop, Alyssum will ask you to use your belly dance vocabulary to explore your own deep and raw authentic self. This means lots of physical comedy, dance-mixed-with-clowning, and theatrical exercises.

We will explore whimsy, play, connecting with the audience, what works to make people laugh and what doesn’t, and what it means to serve as a window into humanity’s soul.

Alyssum has been cracking audiences up for as long as she can remember, and will help you explore humor, and practice becoming comfortable with baring your soul on stage.

Appropriate for all levels of performers (yes, you should have experience or desire to perform).

Please come in loose clothing and bring a notebook.

Date(s): Saturday, July 16

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): Alyssum Pohl

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Hula Hoop Dance

Hula Hoop

Not just for kids anymore! Hula Hoop Dance is the renovated return of hula hooping.

Learn how to hoop on and off the body, walk, turn, spin, twirl, change levels & do other cool tricks.

Hula Hooping integrates right and left brain functioning, builds core strength, develops coordination and balance, increases energy and vitality while burning lots of calories. But what most people find surprising is how meditative it is!

All levels are welcome, progressions offered to intermediate hoopers. Hoops provided and for sale.



Debora is a certified Yoga Teacher with over 7 years of experience and Hula Hoop Instructor. She first saw “modern hoop dance” 4 years ago, fell in love with the hoop and has been spinning and teaching ever since. Debora’s commitment is to inspire her students to feel good in their bodies, realize their full potential and take their unique gifts into the world.

Date(s): Saturday, July 23

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): Debora Jackson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Introduction to Belly Dance

Introduction to Belly Dance

Voted the Best Dance Class in DC!

Discover the timeless beauty and joy of belly dance! Belly dance, or “raqs sharqi,” is a Middle Eastern dance form based on one of the oldest social dances in world history, originating in North Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

As a social dance, belly dance is part of creative, joyful expression at festivals, weddings and celebrations. Belly dancing is a beautiful dance form and a great way to exercise. With movements stemming from the torso, hips and legs, it helps develop a strong core and contributes to an elegant and upright carriage. Belly dance is a timeless art form is practiced by people of all ages from all walks of life. At Sahara Dance, we dance to share in the transformative power of an ancient art form embracing femininity.

In this introductory workshop, students will learn basic technique including lifted stance and posture, shimmies, isolations, undulations and traveling steps. Class will also include a brief introduction to the history, context and philosophy of belly dance.

Celebrate femininity through an ancient, life-embracing art and find out why Sahara Dance has been voted Best Dance Class in DC for 7 years!

All levels are welcome. No prior experience necessary. This workshop is designed for students new to belly dance or new to Sahara Dance. Current students are welcome to bring a friend new to belly dance and join as well!

Date: Monday, July 25
Time: 7:00-8:00 pm
Teacher: Rachel
Location: Sahara Dance Downtown
Cost: $20

Master Class with Shahrzad Khorsandi:
Classical Persian Dance

Shahrzad Khorsandi

Persia, bordering Central Asia and the Middle East, is the home of Classical Persian Dance. This dance style is a fluid yet rhythmic dance form, which emphasizes the use of hands and wrists. The movement and positioning of the body reflect the rich and refined aesthetics of Persian.

The focus of this course is on the shape of the hands, movement of the wrists and feet, isolation and coordination of arms and legs, and capturing the Persian aesthetics in the body line. Nomenclature of the movements will be presented in Farsi (Persian language).

Pre-recorded Classical Persian music will be used in class.


Born and raised in Iran, Shahrzad has been passionately involved in dance since childhood. She studied Dance and Performance Art at the California Institute of the Arts, and she holds a BA in Dance, as well as an MA in Creative Arts from San Francisco State University. Her dance training includes Modern, Jazz, Ballet, West African, Afro-Haitian, Congolese, and an introduction to Senegalese, Balinese and Flamenco.

Drawing upon her deep familiarity of authentic Persian dance, her formal dance training, and her intrinsic knowledge of Persian aesthetics, Shahrzad is a pioneer in Persian dance and quite possibly the first to create a formalized dance vocabulary and structure for Persian dance, helping in the artistic development and dissemination of an art form that has been outlawed in Iran for the past three decades.

Her system includes the introduction of fundamental Persian body positions and movement, categorization and designation of nomenclature to movements, assembly of movement into choreographed phrases, and composition of dance pieces woven intricately with Persian music.

Date(s): Saturday, July 30

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): Shahrzad Khorsandi

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $55

Tangos por Fiesta

Magdalena

This workshop is dedicated to flamenco song, dance and guitar and how they support each other in the form of Tangos (said to have come from the sound of a drum, or “tan”).

This simpler rhythm - a 4/4 time signature - will give students a chance to learn the dance while listening to the singing, guitar and palmas with an open ear.

Flamenco “por fiesta” is the quintessential cante chico. It is improvisational in nature, performed spontaneously at weddings, festivals, parties and on the streets of southern Spain. The Tangos form is sensual and feminine. Put it together and you have the basics of Flamenco Puro!

Recommended with Cante Chico workshop on June 11.

Please note: flamenco shoes are not allowed.

Date(s): Saturday, August 6

Time(s): 1:30-3:30 pm

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Massage Ball Stretch and Alignment

Lisa Johnson

The objectives of this workshop are to demonstrate and teach the use of massage balls for achieving deep tissue massage, acupressure release and overall body flexibility.

The focus will be on the neck, shoulders, spine and buttocks.

The outcome will be a rejuvenated body with improved range of motion for daily tasks, the restoration of athletic flexibility and a decreased propensity for injuries.

You will learn self-administered techniques for sustaining a healthy, flexible and pain free body.

    This workshop will include:
  • Circular warm up movements to promote flexibility based on therapeutic movement techniques
  • Stretching and strengthening of all regions of the body from the neck to the feet
  • Using massage balls of various sizes and firmness, in combination with movements to promote spinal flexibility and deep tissue release

Balls for the workshop will be provided and are available for purchase after the class. Please wear a tight fitted long sleeved top and bring a yoga mat.

Date(s): Sunday, Aug 14

Time(s): 1:00-3:00 pm

Teacher(s): Lisa Johnson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Master Class with Virginia

Virginia of Miami

Saturday, 1:30-5:30 pm: NEW! Oriental Opening

Set the stage with a charismatic and potent entrance that will be an instant crowd pleaser. This dynamic piece incorporates beautiful combinations with new and innovative musical interpretations to inspire you, the dancer!

Designed to delight and challenge each student, this choreography class includes intricate break down of technique with a focus on understanding the music. We will review a variety of emotional nuances taught in a manner in which everyone can grasp and incorporate into their own repertoire.

Change your range of motion by immersing yourself in this richly choreographed number!


Sunday, 12:30-4:30 pm: NEW! Balady Awady

Spend the afternoon with Virginia, learning the fundamentals of Balady with accordion! This latest sensation is a rich dance with depth of movement and expression.

Using one of her own choreographies and combinations, Virginia will teach you how to hear, see, and feel the music in a whole new way. This brand new choreography incorporates juicy down-to-earth Egyptian Balady steps with useful hints for the taksim section and build-up.

This style of dance is the hottest trend in belly dance today. Virginia will generously share a wealth of knowledge so you can perform a Balady or just appreciate the style with an enlightened sensibility!


Virginia has captivated a worldwide public with breathtaking performances, a dynamic presence, and a soulful interpretation of Oriental Dance.

Considered to be one of the most influential and sought-after performers, a gifted choreographer, and one of the most profound master instructors of this ancient art form, Virginia has been presented in the most prominent theaters and festivals across 5 continents and over 60 countries.

Incorporating innovative musicality and ingenious choreographic prowess, Virginia is known for constantly reinventing the dance.

She dares to elevate the dance to all new levels while staying true to its indigenous roots.

She has created 7 teaching DVDs, 2 theatrical productions on DVD, and 2 Oriental Dance Music CDs.

Oriental Opening

Date: August 20

Time: 1:30-5:30 pm

Cost: $115 through July 1 / $130 after July 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Balady Awady

Date: August 21

Time: 12:30-4:30 pm

Cost: $115 through July 1 / $130 after July 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Saturday & Sunday: $200 through July 1 / $250 after July 1

Cancellation policy: Master Class registrations are nonrefundable. If you are unable to attend, you may sell or transfer your registration to another person. Please send us notice of your registration transfer.

*Out-of-town workshop participants may be interested in these nearby hotels: Days Inn or Marriott Courtyard

Parking: Street parking is available in the neighborhoods around the studio:
Fort Drive, Alton Place or Yuma Street (behind St. Ann’s Academy)
Please check parking signs for hour or zone restrictions

Master Class with Shahrzad

Shahrzad

Save the Date: October 7-9
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Zoe Jakes

Zoe Jakes

Save the Date: November 18-20
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia, Photo by Carrie Meyer

Save the Date: December 2-4
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Mohamed Shahin

Mohamed Shahin

Saturday: Modern Egyptian Oriental

Brand new material! Choreography not taught in NYC or Miami. New, just for you!
Workshop includes a 30-minute break.


Sunday: Saidi Technique and Combinations

All new material (not previously taught in NYC or Miami!)
If you have a cane/assaya, please bring it! If you don’t have a cane/assaya, no worries. (Cane / assaya not required.)
Workshop includes a 30-minute break.

Modern Egyptian Oriental

Date: January 28, 2017

Time: 1:30-5:00 pm

Cost: $115

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saidi Technique & Combos

Date: January 29, 2017

Time: 12:00-3:30 pm

Cost: $115

Location:Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


 

Package Pricing: Saturday & Sunday: $220

Cancellation policy: Master Class registrations are nonrefundable. If you are unable to attend, you may sell or transfer your registration to another person. Please send us notice of your registration transfer.

*Out-of-town workshop participants may be interested in these nearby hotels: Days Inn or Marriott Courtyard

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Costa Rica 2017

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica
February 11-18, 2017

Rachel Brice

Costa Rica Retreat with Rachel Brice: The HeART of Belly Dance
Put the world on pause to immerse yourself in an intensive yoga and dance retreat designed to rejuvenate your love for belly dance.

Don’t miss this unique tropical all-inclusive belly dance retreat, complete with:

* All-inclusive week-long retreat (room, meals, dance classes, yoga and Pilates)
* Daily technique, combination, choreography and yoga classes with Rachel Brice
* Q & A with Rachel Brice
* Wi-fi throughout the resort
* An epic swimmable beach with breathtaking sunsets
* Incredible salt water infinity pool
* Bonfire on the beach!
* The adorable, small surf-town of Nosara within walking distance (or short taxi ride)
* Baby monkeys!
* Salsa dance lesson
* Reggae night (in town)
* Heart of Egyptian Dance class with Rachel Kay Brookmire
* Creativity circle
* Closing hafla / dance party
* Available excursions including horseback riding on the beach, zip-lining, jungle adventures, surfing, Howler Monkey sanctuary
* Summertime in February!

This retreat is suitable for all levels, with individual attention to modify movements for beginners and/or challenge advanced dancers. A basic foundation in belly dance and/or yoga is strongly suggested.

* See details and register *

Private Lessons

For private lessons, workshops or parties, contact us.

Sahara Dance also offers other Special Topic and Brush-up Series Workshops. Find out more about our other upcoming workshops…