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

Lebanese Belly Dance and Folklore 101

Marlena=

This workshop will introduce movement found in Lebanese folkloric dance, including a combination of traditional dabkeh steps and stylized raqs sharqi technique. Movements learned during the workshop can be incorporated into Middle Eastern social dance and/or belly dance routines. A selection of iconic Lebanese music will be used throughout the class.

The workshop will conclude with participants learning an energetic Lebanese folklore choreography. Come ready to stomp, drop, and shimmy!

Date(s): Saturday, May 6

Time(s): 2:00-4:00 pm

Teacher(s): Marlena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Intro to Belly Dance

Rachel=

Discover the timeless beauty and joy of this organic dance. Students will learn basic technique including lifted stance and posture, shimmies, isolations, undulations and traveling steps. Class will include a brief introduction to the history, context and philosophy of belly dance. Come celebrate femininity through an ancient, life-embracing art!

No prior experience necessary.

Date(s): Saturday, May 13

Time(s): 1:00-2:00 pm

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $20

Intro to Zills

Omoladun=

Learn introductory finger cymbal technique, patterns and movement combinations. Designed to accompany Int. Combos: Props Intensive, we highly recommend this workshop to students interested in zilling. This workshop is a great way to begin developing technical proficiency with finger cymbals.

This workshop is recommended for students who have completed Intermediate Technique. No previous finger cymbal experience is required.

Please bring your own finger cymbals (Saroyan recommended).

Date(s): Saturday, May 13

Time(s): 2:00-4:00 pm

Teacher(s): Omoladun

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Mother’s Day Mother Daughter Belly Dance!

Alyssum and mom=

Alyssum Pohl and her mother, Brooke Pohl, will be co-teaching this class. Students will work on connection exercises, partner stretches and fun and simple belly dance combinations. This class is appropriate for those who have never danced before, and if we have experienced dancers, we will provide them with more advanced options.

Alyssum is a member of the Sahara Dance Faculty. Brooke has been dancing all her life and has been belly dancing for 18 years. She currently dances with Rakadu in Lexington, Kentucky, and says “It has been an honor to dance with my daughter and to share the community and friendships within the belly dance community with her.” They both look forward to sharing mother-daughter fun in this workshop with you!

Note: while this is workshop is held on Mother’s Day, and is called “Mother/Daughter Dance” we are gender-inclusive, and support our sons, transitional family members, and friends too! Bring whomever you would like to share dance with and celebrate a special connection.
All levels welcome, ages 8-108!

Date(s): Sunday, May 14

Time(s): 2:00-4:00 pm

Teacher(s): Alyssum and Brooke

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Workshops with Twila

Twila

Turkish Spices: Ornamented Arms and Embellishments

Join Twila for a fancy-arm exploration inspired by the lyrical, ornamented arm work seen in vintage Turkish Orientale dance. Together we will explore ways to use your arms to convey musical messages, form lovely frames for your body, and transmit bits of story and passion. Students will be guided through techniques for safe and strong arm-work. Open to all levels.

Saturday: Turkish Spices: Ornamented Arms and Embellishments

Date: May 20

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

Cost: $40

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Nomadic Movement

Nomadic Movement is all about making a journey across the floor while discovering new paths and intersections with other dancers, stylizations, and within your own body. In this workshop, we will drill exciting internal movements and isolations layered over roving foot patterns and weight changes. Come ready to sweat! Experienced beginners and up recommended.

Saturday: Nomadic Movement

Date: May 20

Time: 4:00-5:30pm

Cost: $40

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Twila Jane (formerly Khalima!) is a multifaceted artist who has walked a long creative road, and become part of many stories. Forest-raised and city-swathed, her creative beginnings flourished with paintbrushes, secret imaginings, gardens, playing music, writing stories, and exploring adornment, later expanding to photography, experiments in body modification, and dance.

These days, Twila dances everywhere, and owns and directs Electric Nomad Dance (formerly Illumination Dance), now in its seventh year of operation in Richmond VA. Twila also dances, sings, and plays music with her accordionist sidekick Barry Bless in their collaboration “Professor and Madwoman” and the Happy Lucky Combo; she tours nationally teaching bellydance and performing, and creates wildly theatrical dances and shows in Richmond and elsewhere. Twila’s dance training began in Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, and has evolved and fused over the years into Electric Nomad Dance, her ever-transforming style of performance and dance. Twila’s recent dance obsessions and studies have been in Turkish Orientale and Romani styles, and Unmata ITS, which she has recently completed teacher training in and plans to start teaching very soon! Visit Electric Nomad and Twila Jane Dance.

Belly Dance Cardio!

Leilah=

Belly dance Cardio (90 minutes!)

Up and at ‘em! Get your blood moving and heart rate up with drills, conditioning exercises, and easy-to-follow choreographies in a dance cardio format similar to Zumba. We’ll utilizing movement inspiration from Egyptian and Lebanese bellydance, and folkloric dances. Let’s sweat, shimmy, and have fun! No bellydance experience required, just your playful spirit!


Leilah Moon is a professional belly dancer in the DC Metro area. Leilah’s nuanced style, luscious abdominal movements, and engaging smile are what audiences find most mesmerizing about her as a performer. Leilah Moon started her dance career at the age of 17 with Susquehanna University Bellydance Circle, studying further under various teachers in the Baltimore and DC area, including private instruction under Shahrzad Raqs. Leilah taught classes for several years at Rendezvous studio in Rockville, and is a graduate of the Teacher Training Program here at Sahara Dance. You can catch her performing regularly at venues throughout the DMV.

Developing Choreography: Creating Belly Dance for Stage

Developing Choreography

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

Do you have a bit of inspiration, a fragment of a dance that you’d like to develop and bring to the stage? You can start with even the smallest hint of inspiration - a costume, a prop, a favorite song - or just the desire to explore the creative process of developing a choreography! 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 Summer Hafla on June 17. 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:

Developing Choreography Schedule:
Monday, May 15 - 6:00-9:00 pm
Monday, May 22 - 6:00-9:00 pm
Monday, June 5 - 6:00-9:00 pm
Saturday, June 10 - New time 2:00-4:30 pm
Monday, June 12 - 6:00-9:00 pm
Dress rehearsal: June 17, 6:15pm - 7:45pm
Sahara Dance Summer Hafla: June 17, 8:00-10:00 pm

Limited spots available

Date(s): See schedule above

Time(s): Varies (see schedule above)

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Master Class with Shahrzad

Shahrzad

Friday, 6:30-9:30 pm: The Art of Contrast

Want to add more variety and excitement to your dance and make the most of the skills you already have? Learning how to balance your use of technique can add a whole new level of intricacy to your routines. This workshop will explore different ways to contrast slow and snakey movements with fast sharp accent to make exciting combinations. This workshop will be fast paced with lots of combinations and drills oriented to intermediate and advanced dancers.

Friday: The Art of Contrast

Date: June 16

Time: 6:30-9:30 pm

Cost: Early bird: $85 before May 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday, 2:00-4:00 pm: Layer it Up

Perfect your layering skills in this fun and challenging workshop. Shahrzad will be teaching techniques for layering movements of the shoulders, chest, belly, and hips and using them in a variety of drills and combinations to both slow and fast music. Drummer Marshall Bodiker will be setting the mood for shimmies, pops, and locks with some exciting tabla tunes.

Friday: Layer It Up

Date: June 17

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Cost: Early bird: $55 before May 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday, 4:15-6:15 pm: Drum Solo Secrets

Learn excellent techniques and tricks for staying on top of the music and giving a dynamic drum solo performance. Shahrzad will help students through the different aspects of putting together a dance from the music from rhythms and instruments to expressions and movements. Drummer Marshall Bodiker will join to help explain and demonstrate the rhythms used as well as set the tone with some fun drum solo music.

Friday: Drum Solo Secrets

Date: June 17

Time: 4:15-6:15 pm

Cost: Early bird: $55 before May 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Package Pricing: Friday & Saturday (not including Hafla): Early Bird: $150 before May 15


Saturday, 8:00-10:00 pm: Summer Hafla with Shahrzad!

Join us following the Master Classes for a Summer Hafla with Shahrzad! A “hafla” is a Middle Eastern dance party, and this is a great opportunity to take your belly dancing out of the classroom and try out your moves in a supportive in-studio party atmosphere. Admission is free for Summer 2017 Beginner I students! Join us for treats, henna, and plenty of shimmies! See more information and register here.


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


Master Class with Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda

Friday, 6:30-9:30 pm: Baladi Awad & Tet Baladi

“Baladi” is one of those words that mean so many things; it literally means “my country” but to Egyptian-style dancers it can refer to a specific progression of musical sections. In Cairo “Baladi” is particularly used for dancing and associated with Awalim (the professional dancers) from the famous “Mohamed Ali Street” in Old Cairo. Sahra will first present the cultural history of the Awalem, Mohamed Ali street and of the possible roots of “Baladi” progression. Then we will learn the classic structure of the musical/rhythmic sections in the two basic types Baladi; “Awadi Baladi” and “Tet Baladi” - and learn steps and movement for each section.

Baladi Awad & Tet Baladi
Date: July 21
Time: 6:30-9:30 pm
Cost: $85
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


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

Journey Through Egypt Intensive / Certification
with Sahra Saeeda

Journey through Egypt, with Sahra Saeeda

Sahara Dance is pleased to host Sahra Saeeda’s Journey through Egypt Workshop Intensive / Certification Series!

Journey through Egypt (JtE) is a structured series of intensive workshops, providing an in-depth look at the various dance zones of Egypt. Each “Intensive” views Egypt’s Folkloric dance from a different perspective.

JtE-1 and JtE-2 are held in studios, classrooms and reception halls worldwide.

JtE-1 (Intensive/Certification 22-hr Workshop)

Draws upon films, lecture, study materials, map, and dance instruction. JtE-1 introduces the students to the wide variety of dance styles in Egypt with an overview of movement, costume, historical diffusion, and geographical location.

JtE-2 (Intensive/Certification 22-hr Workshop)

Provides an advanced overview, including the basis for future research, student specialization, dance ethnology concepts. Students investigate the dance differences between “home-style,” local professional dance, regional government troupes, Cairo-based Reda and Kowmeyya national troupes, and folkloric representation in night club shows.

Learn about the Dance of Egypt from a deeper perspective.
If you are not just a tourist, if you are hungry to understand,
if you don’t want to simply learn another choreography,
this may be the start of your journey.

Using dance ethnology concepts and a multi-media/experiential approach, Sahra C. Kent presents each region’s story of culture and dance, historical diffusion, costume and dress, posture and movement.

All intensives include a certificate upon completion. Certification is awarded to only those who complete all 22 hours of each course (44 hours total).

Saturday July 22 & Sunday July 23, 2017 - JtE I (22 hours)
Monday July 24 & Tuesday July 25, 2017 - JtE II (22 hours)

Journey through Egypt I

Dates: July 22& 23

Times: July 22: 12:00pm-10:00 pm
July 23: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm

Cost: $475

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Journey through Egypt II

Dates: July 24 & 25

Times: July 24: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
July 25: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Cost: $475

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Journey through Egypt I & II: $900

Cancellation policy: Journey through Egypt Certification 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

90s Summer-fun Belly Dance Fusion!

Brianne
Join Brianne for an afternoon of belly dance combos set to music from the 90s.
Play with moves from technique classes in fun practice combos! Meet fellow dancers, try out belly dance to 90s music and have some fun!
All levels are welcome! Adjustments or challenging layers will be added to accomodate all dancers.

Date(s): Saturday, August 12

Time(s): 2:30 - 4:30 pm

Teacher(s): Brianne

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Save the Date: Master Classes with Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder (transnational fusion, and dances of the African/Arabian traditions). She is also affiliate faculty for Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies.

Donna has served as residence artist for 18 universities, headlined over 100 festivals since 2012, and received the Fulbright Association’s 2011 S.J.C. honor for international dance research. Her choreography has shown at the La MaMa Theatre, the Apollo Theatre, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She recently joined the creative team for the documentary film Bella Gaia.

She balances her time teaching, lecturing and performing domestically and abroad.

Save the date! Donna will be joining us for Master Classes September 16-17. More information to be released soon, stay tuned for details!


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

Save the Date: Master Class with Amy Sigil & Ashley Lopez!

Amy Sigil and UNMATA

Save the date! Ashley Lopez and Amy Sigil from UNMATA are back for Master Classes on October 13-15. Check back for more information, to be released soon! The Sahara Dance Fall Hafla will be on October 14, featuring Amy and Ashley!

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

Egyptian Belly Dance and Yoga Retreat with Mohamed Shahin

Egyptian Belly Dance and Yoga Retreat with Mohamed Shahin
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica
February 3-10, 2018

Mohamed Shahin

Sunshine, salty waves and daily dance classes with Mohamed Shahin ~ join us in Costa Rica for yoga & belly dance bliss!

* All-inclusive week-long retreat (room, meals, dance classes, yoga)
* Daily advanced Egyptian classes with Mohamed Shahin (3 hours each day)!
* Foundations/ Beginner technique classes with Rachel Kay Brookmire
* Daily yoga for alignment
* 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)
* Mindfulness for dancers
* Journal practice for creativity
* Closing hafla/ dance party
* Available excursions including horseback riding on the beach, zip-lining, jungle adventures, surfing, Howler Monkey sanctuary
* Summertime in February!>

See details and register here!
Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Costa Rica 2018

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica
February 10-17, 2018

Rachel Brice

Put the world on pause to immerse yourself in an intensive yoga and dance retreat designed to rejuvenate your love for belly dance.

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 here!

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…