Sahara Dance


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



“Pa rrrr i a pi ta!”

Castanets are a percussive instrument used in both the Flamenco and Spanish Dance repertoire whose origins date back to the Phoenicians (c. 1,000 BC). The Spanish name for Castanets (castañuelas) is derived from the diminutive form of castaña, the Spanish word for chestnut, which they resemble. In Andalucía, they are known as “palillos” and are used in dances that are not entirely flamenco, such as Sevillanas and Fandangos.

In this class students learn the basic skills to gradually create a roll sound. Beginners will learn to coordinate flamenco movement with simple rhythmic patterns, while those more advanced can practice their pasos de Sevillanas.

Castanets available upon request!

Please note: flamenco shoes are not allowed.

Date(s): Saturday, May 28

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

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Yoga for Dancers: Reclaim Your Body & Spirit

Lisa Johnson

Invoke your feminine essence through subtle energy-balancing practices, breathing techniques and expressive dance.

Yoga for Dancers is a unique blend of ritual and rhythmic movement that draws on the practices and principles of sacred tantric yoga. Learn to unwind through the elements and chakras, then release and rejoice in freedom and empowerment.

Both uplifting and healing, this workshop provides an encouraging space for you to explore your creativity and celebrate self-expression.

You will experience:

  • Vital breathing
  • Visualization and vocalization exercises
  • Fluid, fun, and juicy ways to move
  • Release of long- held tensions from the body and mind
  • Joyful connection with kindred spirits

Discover that you are a dancer… whether or not you have any dance experience.

This is a perfect way celebrate your uniqueness, honor your body and connect with community!

Beginners, teachers, lovers of dance and yoga, therapists, music enthusiasts—everyone is welcome!

Please bring a yoga mat.

Date(s): Sunday, May 29

Time(s): 12:30-2:30 pm

Teacher(s): Lisa Johnson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

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: June 4

Time: 1:30-5:00 pm

Cost: $115

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saidi Technique & Combos

Date: June 5

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

The Sacred in Sexy

dIvInA kArInA A Sensual Sexual Healing of Self Experience

Through a variety of exercises, meditations, sister bonding group shares, movement, belly dance and more, we will both explore and release guilt, shame, judgments and beliefs around sensuality, sexuality and sex in a loving safe environment.

Goddesses will embrace the sacred within them and lovingly allow their sensual sexy to come forth fully.

Unleash your raw organic sexy self bE free, bE YoU BE

Karina is a transformational coach who specializes as a meditation teacher, therapeutic belly dance instructor and empowerment workshop and retreat facilitator. She is also a spoken word performance artist. Karina’s creative healing gifts combined with her theatrical background are instrumental in her teaching. Her extensive experience is evidenced by the numerous classes, workshops and retreats she designs and implements for both adults and children.

Karina began her study of spirituality, life coaching and meditation under the tutelage of Dr. Iyanla Vanzant at Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development in Silver Spring, MD where she received a Certificate of Completion in Spiritual Life Maintenance in June 2003. Karina is currently enrolled in the Training in Mindfulness Facilitation (TMF) program at the Mindful Awareness Research Center, Semel Institute of Neuroscience, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. Karina also practices with Insight Meditation Community of Washington and other enlightened instructors.

Captivated by the effects of healing through movement and dance, Karina has explored and studied movement improvisation, modern, salsa, journey, contact, trance and belly dance.

Date(s): Friday, June 10

Time(s): 7:00-9:00 pm

Teacher(s): dIvInAkArInA (Karin KARINA Wilkinson)

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Cante Chico


Literally meaning “little song,” cante chico is fun-loving playful, and often just downright silly.

In this workshop students will explore the most festive forms such as alegrías, bulerías, tangos, and jaleos (flamenco’s version of a rap). Each song style is distinguished by a characteristic rhythm accentuation and emotional quality.

Using simple steps we will apply what we know to each different palo, getting a feel for improvisation which is the very essence of Flamenco!

This workshop partners perfectly with the Tangos por Fiesta workshop on August 6.

Please note: flamenco shoes are not allowed.

Date(s): Saturday, June 11

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

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

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.

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


Saturday, June 11 - 1:30-4:30 pm
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

Cost: $290

Master Class with Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda

Classic Advanced Reda Combinations

Mahmoud Reda is the pioneer in Egyptian Folkloric Theatrical dance, crafting his own repertoire of movement and steps from a variety of international media styles to be compatible with Egyptian indigenous dance.

His style has become a genre in itself, an interesting base for Folkloric movement. Very stylized, often a mental challenge, not based on Orientale Dance but beautifully applied to it, Reda Technique needs to be addressed in today’s Egyptian Dance.

In this Advanced Reda Combinations workshop, we will go farther with Reda combinations than ever before! Final videotaping of each combo allowed.
Workshop is recommended for advanced dancers.

Historic Highlights in Belly Dance:
100 years of dancing down memory lane

Travel back in time and dance the pivotal moments in belly dance history!

Learn the key movements and music that shaped Egyptian dance in the past 100 years. With special focus on the turning points in dance styles and their accompanying cultural influences, we’ll explore the historical figures who shaped the dance as we know it today.

Prepare to dance! This workshop will be an embodied learning of dance history. We’ll integrate each concept and historical moment through dance and music.

Enrich your dance repertoire and understanding by moving through history with a different lens.

All levels welcome, some belly dance experience recommended.

Classic Advanced Reda Combinations

Date:Friday, June 17

Time: 2:00-5:00 pm

Cost: $115

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Historic Highlights in Belly Dance

Date:Friday, June 17

Time: 6:30-9:30 pm

Cost: $115

Location:Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Package Pricing: $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.

“Like” the Master Class with Sahra Saeeda on Facebook

*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 20-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 20-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 20 hours of each course (40 hours total).

June 18 & 19, 2016 - JtE I (20 hours)
June 20 & 21, 2016 - JtE II (20 hours)

Journey through Egypt I

Dates: June 18 & 19

Times: June 18: 1:00-10:00 pm (light dinner provided)
June 19: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm (light lunch and dinner provided)

Cost: $475

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Journey through Egypt II

Dates: June 20 & 21

Times: June 20: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm (light lunch provided)
June 21: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm (light lunch provided)

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

Sahara Tribal Performance Project:
An Experimental Summer Intensive (8 weeks)

Sahara Tribal Performance Project

Learn a challenging, fast-paced choreography inspired by the delightful Mardi Love incorporating intricate footwork, traveling and turning atop multi-layering undulations and accents. Be part of a fun summer project designed as a supplemental performance challenge for advanced company members.

We’ll dance to Stepping on the Gas, a jaunty 1920’s New Orleans jazz song that combines flirty and fun.

Costumes will draw upon existing costume components as well as character shoes and fringe skirts. Costuming costs will be kept under $100 and some hand sewing might be necessary.

1) Open to current Raqs Caravan West, Raqs Caravan East, Raquettes Nadia and Raquettes Naima members; and
2) Simultaneous enrollment in any Sahara Dance Intermediate / Advanced Technique class.

Tuesdays, 8:15-9:30 pm (75 min):
June 21
June 28
July 5
July 12
July 19
July 26
August 2
August 9
(8 weeks)

Date(s): See schedule above

Time(s): Varies (see schedule above)

Teacher(s): Ami

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $195

Tahitian Dance


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

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

Clowning Around: the Art of Authentic Performance


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

** ** on-site registration available ** **
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


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

Save the Date: August 20-21

Help us set the workshop topics!
Post your workshop request to the Master Class with Virginia Facebook Event

Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with 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.

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…