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

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, February 28

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 was voted Best Dance Class in DC for the 5th year in a row!

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, February 28
Time: 3:45-4:45 pm
Teacher: Rachel
Location: Sahara Dance Central
Cost: $20

Master Classes with Yasmina Ramzy

Yasmina Ramzy

Yasmina Ramzy is a visionary and a highly acclaimed choreographer committed to the presentation of belly dance as high art. Since 1981, she has performed over 10,000 times often for royalty and heads of state and throughout the Middle East. Yasmina has had the unique privilege of performing for several years in Syria with the famous master musicians of Allepo.

Yasmina received her key training from leading masters in Egypt and Syria including Aida Nour of the Reda Troupe and Mohammed Khalil, director of the National Folklore Troupe of Egypt. Her unique and highly creative choreographies have won numerous awards and commissioned by many dance ensembles internationally including the Bellydance Superstars. As a mentor to many, she is well known for revealing the authentic, organic structure of Middle Eastern dance and its relationship to Arabian music.


Friday, March 6
6:30-7:30 pm: Lecture: Belly Dance and Feminism, Sexuality,
Self Esteem and Spirituality

Discover the essence of belly dance and give meaning and purpose to the movement in this lecture that focuses on spirituality, feminism, sexuality, and self-esteem.

8:00-9:30 pm: Workshop X

The development of this unique workshop was sponsored by Ontario Arts Council, designed to unleash the inner ancient life force of belly dance and the creative joy it embodies. It is an experience that one gets the most benefit from if one has no preconceptions.

Taking place behind locked doors, the participants are sworn to secrecy after the workshop. All do so willingly as they do not want to ruin the experience for anyone else.

Any level can participate as it has nothing to do with technique. All levels.

Lecture: Belly Dance and Feminism, Sexuality, Self Esteem and Spirituality

Date: March 6

Time: 6:30-7:30 pm

Cost: $20

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Workshop X

Date: March 6

Time: 8:00-9:30 pm

Cost: $50

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday, March 7
1:30-3:30 pm: Heavy Hitting Hips Technique & Transitions

The synthesis and core of Yasmina’s approach is a new way of teaching technique at all levels. Producing more power with less effort, this workshop directly addresses how to achieve the Arab nuance in belly dance movement.

Heavy Hitting Hips addresses the common ground for all levels of technique that differentiates Middle Eastern movement from Western movement.

3:30-5:30 pm: Nuance, Style and Emotionality

Yasmina will draw attention to what movement qualities and emotionality is associated with different music types. Learn how one common step or combination can become several different steps and several different interpretations depending upon the music it is accompanying.

7:30-9:30 pm: Sahara Dance Hafla, featuring Yasmina Ramzy!

Heavy Hitting Hips: Technique & Transitions

Date: March 7

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Nuance, Style and Emotionality

Date: March 7

Time: 3:30-5:30 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Sunday, March 8
10:00 am-12:00 pm: Folklore Realms

Yasmina teaches the well-known steps, history, musical genre and costuming for many styles of dance from different regions of the Middle East. Folkloric styles include saiidi, khaleegy, assaya, tahtiib, milaya, hagallah, Port Said, dabki, Mohamed Ali St., shaabi, falahi, zaar, tannoura (Whirling Dervish), and Nubian.

She puts a heavy emphasis on cultural context, nuance and character development. Many belly dance steps have their origin in the folklore styles!

1:00-3:00 pm: Choreography

Learn a choreography to Habaytak Bisayf by Feirouz in Yasmina’s personal interpretive contemporary style, strongly rooted in classical Egyptian dance and musicality. The music has a French flavour, and just like the song, the choreography is emotional and dreamy.

Folklore Realms

Date: March 8

Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Choreography

Date: March 8

Time: 1:00-3:00 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Friday, Saturday & Sunday: $300

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

Authenticity

Alyssum





























“Art, at its best, is not a competition to outdo others or even ourselves. The focus is more appropriately channeled to reveal our hearts and to hint at the illumination of life that is mysterious and larger in spirit than in any single work of art.” - Gregory Packard

Do you agree? Disagree?
Are you dancing to deepen or broaden the art form?
How does your presentation reverberate with the audience?
What does your dance say about yourself?

Alyssum will explore these questions and more in this in-depth lecture about authenticity. Bring a notebook and pen to participate in exercises.

Check out Alyssum’s TEDx Talk:

Date(s): Saturday, March 14

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

Teacher(s): Alyssum Pohl

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Bambout

The Ruby Lady Get in touch with your inner sailor lass in this cute and challenging Egyptian folklore style from Port Saiid. The steps, style, combinations and of course, everyone’s favorite, callacette!


The Ruby Lady, based in New Zealand, is an award winning, international performer specializing in Raqs Sharki, or Oriental style belly dance.

Drawing heavily from Egyptian belly dance with a cabaret twist, her signature style is dynamic and emotive, emphasizing musicality and sincerity. She mixes athletic movement with a calm grace, peppered with intricate foot work, internalized muscle locks and lashings of fun, flirty accents.

The Ruby Lady has spent the last six months working international, Latin, Egyptian folklore and, of course, belly dance in hotels and attractions throughout Sharm el Shiekh, Taba and Cairo.

She continues to hone her craft with regular workshops and private tuition with international master teachers, cross-training in ballet, Middle Eastern folk dance and circus arts such as hula hoop, aerials and contortion. Her hard work, dedication and talent has allowed her to perform alongside belly dance heavy weights such as Jillina, Heather Aued and Louchia as she skyrockets her way to greatness.

Date(s): Saturday, March 21

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

Teacher(s): The Ruby Lady

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Modern Egyptian Style

The Ruby Lady Modern Egyptian belly dance is more than just a technical approach; it’s a feeling, a mood, a mindset.

In this workshop we will discuss what makes Modern Egyptian Style so unique and how we can channel it into our own dance.

Then we will put the theory into practice in exercises, technique, combinations and, most importantly, exercises in improvisation.


The Ruby Lady, based in New Zealand, is an award winning, international performer specializing in Raqs Sharki, or Oriental style belly dance.

Drawing heavily from Egyptian belly dance with a cabaret twist, her signature style is dynamic and emotive, emphasizing musicality and sincerity. She mixes athletic movement with a calm grace, peppered with intricate foot work, internalized muscle locks and lashings of fun, flirty accents.

The Ruby Lady has spent the last six months working international, Latin, Egyptian folklore and, of course, belly dance in hotels and attractions throughout Sharm el Shiekh, Taba and Cairo.

She continues to hone her craft with regular workshops and private tuition with international master teachers, cross-training in ballet, Middle Eastern folk dance and circus arts such as hula hoop, aerials and contortion. Her hard work, dedication and talent has allowed her to perform alongside belly dance heavy weights such as Jillina, Heather Aued and Louchia as she skyrockets her way to greatness.

Date(s): Saturday, March 21

Time(s): 3:45-5:45 pm

Teacher(s): The Ruby Lady

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Spins, Turns and Travel: Steps for Every Dancer

Dellaneira

Add effective transitions to help your choreography or improvisational performance look flawless with every step.

Suitable for Beginner to Advanced dancers, this class is a great tool for polishing transitions.

For added challenge, bring a veil! The techniques we will learn combine beautifully with veil. (Veil is optional).

Date(s): Saturday, April 4

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

Teacher(s): Dellaneira

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Raw: A Drum Solo Choreography

Dellaneira

“Let the music become one with your soul and dance like the world is yours.”

Be prepared to sweat and enjoy a fun, dynamic choreography to a song filled with great energy.

This class is great for all levels; adaptions will be made for advanced students.

Date(s): Saturday, April 4

Time(s): 3:45-4:45 pm

Teacher(s): Dellaneira

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Master Classes 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.


Saturday, April 11
1:30-2:30 pm: Dabke (Arabic line dancing)

Literally meaning “stomp” in Arabic, dabke (also spelled dabka, dubki, dabkeh, plural dabkaat) is a group dance found in the eastern Arab countries.

Performed mostly as a unisex line dance, dabke is avidly done at the weddings and parties of Lebanese, Syrian, Jordanian and Palestinian communities. A version can also be found in Iraq, known as chobie. The movements include rhythmic stomping, kicking, sidewards walking, hoping and jumping.

In social settings the dancers hold hands and form long moving lines or wide rotating circles. There are also many stage performances and musical theater shows that feature dabke dances. You may also find dabke used as a form of non-violent social protest during war and conflicts. Primarily, it is a proud and energetic group line dance enjoyed by all ages and both genders.


2:30-5:30 pm: Live Drum Solo for Dancers (movement)

Some dancers fear it! Some overuse it! While melodic songs are lyrical and eloquent, drum songs are percussive and articulate. Everyone adores a solo where rhythmic drums and an accurate body lock together.

Fact: drum solos in Egyptian, Arabic, and cabaret styles are systematic. With predictable themes, each is like a variation on a famous story, retold with new voices and different accents.

Karim is a drummer and a dancer, so he knows what both creatures need in order to work together. He will teach the iconic hagalla sequence, the shimmy-to-roll-relation, dum hips & tak shoulders, signaling, masmudi’s many dums, wahda kabira to fallahi, ayoub’s momentary zaar, and how to ‘finale’ together, benevolently! After this class transforms you, a deaf man will be able to hear the drums by watching your body.

This class uses exclusively LIVE drumming and teaches the dancer how to understand and communicate with the drummer, what to expect, and how to be ready for improvisation.


Sunday, April 12
12:00-4:00 pm: Music Literacy for Dancers

This complete 4-hour course will train dancers and musicians to understand and teach Arabic music topics without needing an instrument nor any previous training.

Learn how to identify and sing 7 major Arabic maqam scales, along with famous song examples. Clap and voice 10 major Arabic iqaat rhythms with famous step examples. Discover the major Arabic and English music terms and cultural and linguistic references that are relevant to melodies, rhythms, and dance.

Incorporating movements and traditional combination steps to help communicate each musical topic, you will also develop melodic and rhythmic understanding through basic sheet music skills. Finally, you will receive a document of all rhythms, scales, terms, and famous Arabic words to take home for your reference.

Dabke (Arabic line dancing)

Date: April 11

Time: 1:30-2:30 pm

Cost: $20 through March 26 / $30 after March 26

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Live Drum Solo for Dancers

Date: April 11

Time: 2:30-5:30 pm

Cost: $75 through March 26 / $90 after March 26

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Music Literacy for Dancers

Date: April 12

Time: 12:00-4:00 pm

Cost: $110 through March 26 / $130 after March 26

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Saturday and Sunday: $190 through March 26 / $240 after March 26

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

Women’s Creativity Circle

Creativity Circle Bring your creative new year’s intentions to life! The circle is designed to cultivate dreams, creativity and supportive friendships.

All are welcome and the format will allow for each participant to choose their own adventure.

Deepen your creative expression through belly dance, costuming, writing and/or discover other outlets for your artistic spirit.

Through reflection, creative play, journal writing and structured sharing, we’ll explore The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

Each circle will include a short mindfulness practice and light movement/dance for centering (no dance experience necessary). Delve into a collective experience to nurture your inner artist.


Schedule:

Sundays, 6:00-7:30 pm
January 25
February 8
February 22
March 15
March 29
April 12

Registration is for the 6-class workshop intensive.

Try out the first day (January 25) on a one-day workshop pass ($30).

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $150

Bellywood Grooves

Malina

Embark on a journey further east as you learn a unique fusion of Indian Bollywood dance and belly dance. Bollywood is a blend of classical Indian dance, Indian folk dances such as Bhangra and contemporary western dances.

The workshop will take you through some workout techniques based on both Bollywood and belly dance moves and launch into a fun, short routine.

This class will also focus on range of expressions and emotions that can be expressed through joyful and dramatic Bollywood music.

This workshop is designed for Low Intermediate level dancers and above.


Malina has been training in Middle Eastern dance for over 6 years including traditional Egyptian and Turkish cabaret styles, folkloric styles and tribal fusion. She has also studied Latin dance styles, hip hop, South Asian classical and folk dances.

While she enjoys traditional styles, she also experiments with fusion techniques and enjoys creating innovative choreography.

Date(s): Saturday, April 18

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

Teacher(s): Malina

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Live Music Intensive

Shahrzad

Save the Date: Monday, April 27 - Saturday, May 2 (Week-long!)


Stay tuned. Details coming soon!

Master Class with Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda

Save the Date: June 19-21
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Mardi Love

Mardi Love

Save the Date: August 14-16
Stay tuned. Details coming soon!

Tribal Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice in Bali

Bali Retreat with Rachel Brice:
The HeART of Belly Dance
Desa Seni, Bali
August 22-29, 2015

Rachel Brice

Immerse yourself in an intensive yoga and dance retreat designed to rejuvenate your love for belly dance and re-connect with your heart.

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

  • All-inclusive week-long retreat (room, meals, workshops, yoga)
  • 30+ hours of daily technique, combination, choreography and yoga classes
  • Balinese Opening Cleansing ceremony
  • Cultural night with traditional Indonesian dinner and Balinese dance performances
  • Q & A with Rachel Brice
  • Wi-fi throughout the resort
  • Optional excursions including surfing, white water rafting, cultural Balinese dance performances, sight-seeing tours

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.

**SOLD OUT**
Click here to join the waiting list
Master Class with Virginia

Virginia of Miami

Save the Date: September 11-13

Stay tuned! Details coming soon.


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.

Master Class with Zoe Jakes

Zoe Jakes Save the Date: November 19-22
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia, Photo by Emmanuel Adero

Save the Date: December 4-6, 2015

Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

As a transnational fusion dance artist, Donna Mejia’s distinctive aesthetic explores the secular dances of North Africa and the Arab World with American hip hop and sub-genres of electronic dance.

Donna also teaches the Brazilian Silvestre Dance Technique and is a primary representative after twenty years of practice.

Donna has been guest artist in residence for twelve colleges, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Smith College on full fellowship. She joined the University of Colorado at Boulder’s dance department in 2012 as the first Assistant Professor of tribal fusion dance globally.

She balances her time teaching and touring internationally to teach, lecture, and perform for private sponsors, festivals and community organizations.

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…