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

Introduction to Qigong & Energy Healing

Qigong

Qigong (chi kung) is an ancient Chinese discipline that integrates physical movement, breathing and focused intention. It is a natural health-maintenance system centered on moving energy and revitalizing the body’s energy system to trigger its innate healing powers.

Energy healing rests on the belief that disease has an emotional basis. Over time, emotional trauma and distress block the natural flow of the body’s energy systems, especially the chakras, leading to sub-optimal health and ultimately disease. Healing the energy bodies helps address these blockages and can trigger emotional release leading to personal and spiritual growth.

This workshop will provide an overview of the basis for qigong and Chinese energy medicine, as well as of approaches to the energy bodies based on the chakras and the human energy field (the aura). A full qi gong practice session, featuring gentle movement, breathing and a brief meditation, will be included. Participants will be offered a personal consultation to set up free individual healing sessions.


Sebastiano Brancoli is certified in The Healer Within, a qigong-based healing modality. He is participating in a healer training program based on the work of Barbara Brennan, author of “Hands of Light,” and has practiced other forms of energy healing, including Reiki. He has also received training on healing with crystals and with Tibetan bowls.

Date(s): Saturday, April 1

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

Teacher(s): Sebastiano Brancoli

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Supple Arms & Rib Isolations

Veil Choreography=

Explore easy, supple movements of the arms and ribs in this awareness through this movement workshop led by Mary Szegda, certified dance therapist and instructor in The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education®. Through gentle movements, you will explore movement patterns that will help you to move gracefully. No experience necessary, dress comfortably!

Date(s): Saturday, April 8

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

Teacher(s): Mary

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Tribal Tendencies

Tribal Tendencies=

Tribal fusion belly dance is an amalgamation of several cultures’ indigenous dances. It draws from various dances, mostly from along the Romany road - where millions of dancers and nomadic people have traveled over thousands of years - from India, through the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa to the Southern coast of Spain. Modern belly dance also includes hip-hop, South Pacific dances, and more.

This class will complement American Tribal Style, maintaining the improvisational dance form, organized around a large vocabulary of cued moves. Additional vocabulary will be included, from the vaults of such notable tribal-fusion dancers as Jill Parker of Ultra Gypsy, Teresa Tomb of Rakadu, Heather Stants of Urban Tribal, and more.

Recommended At least 1 year belly dance experience.

Date(s): Saturday, April 15

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

Teacher(s): Alyssum

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): Saturday, April 22

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

Teacher(s): Lisa Johnson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Master Class with Karim Nagi of Turbo Tabla!

Karim Nagi of Turbo Tabla

Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ, and folk dancer. His workshops and performances boast a dynamic concoction of live drumming and dance.

Because of his proficiency in both music and dance, his workshops deliver students to a new physical understanding of the connection between these two disciplines.


12:00-2:00 pm: Arab Folk Dance Intensive: Dabkeh, Shaabi and Sufi

This class is an intensive introduction to the traditional group dances from the Arab world. These dances are primarily unisex, and emphasize synchronicity and group cohesion. This workshop includes Dabka line dance, Sha’abi (popular, communal) dance, and the group-healing ritual motions found in Zikr and Zar practices. Each dance is taught efficiently as an introduction to the style, and is an initiation into possible future study. These dances are less glamorous than the performance-oriented heroism of the solo dances found in the Arab world. These are the dances done by “The People” in social, celebratory, and spiritual group settings. They can be taught to dancers at any level, as both a cultural and artistic experience. The group movements and concepts can later be extrapolated into performance-caliber skills and themes.

2:00-4:00 pm: Survey of Arab Music for Dancers (lecture)

Although music exists without dance, dance rarely exists without music. Arab culture has a strong dance tradition with specific music that propels it. Students will study the relationship between music and the movement it creates or accompanies. The context, story lines and themes of each song will be explained. Overviews and recording samples will be given in the categories of performance (Stage Dabka and Raqs Sharqi), ritual (Zikr, Zaar, Sama/Whirling), and social dance (Dabka and Raqs Baladi). Karim will also demonstrate the intimate connection between rhythm and movement in the performance category, with live examples.

4:00-5:00 pm: Arab Culture: Overview of the Misunderstood & The Role of Dance in Egyptian Society & its Future (lecture)

The term “Arab” refers to an ethnic and/or language group within a geographical area composed of over 20 countries. There are Christian, Muslim and Jewish roots in this region. How do we define Arab and how can one understand them through their cultural output?

Arab Folk Dance Intensive: Dabkeh, Shaabi and Sufi

Date: April 30

Time: 12:00-2:00 pm

Cost: Early bird: $55 before March 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Survey of Arab Music for Dance (lecture)

Date: April 30

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Cost: Early bird: $55 before March 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Arab Culture: Overview of the Misunderstood & The Role of Dance in Egyptian Society & its Future (lecture)

Date: April 30

Time: 4:00-5:00 pm

Cost: Early bird: $25 before March 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: All 3 workshops (Early Bird pricing): $120 before March 31

Cancellation policy: Master Class registrations are non-refundable. 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

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 - 12:00-2:30 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


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).

July 22 & 23, 2017 - JtE I (22 hours)
July 24 & 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

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

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…