Sahara Dance

Belly Dance Retreat

Egyptian Belly Dance and Yoga Retreat
with Sahra Saeeda, Shahrzad & Rachel Kay Brookmire
A New Year's Retreat
Maya Tulum, Mexico
January 3-10, 2015

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Special Fall Promotion:
Register in October and receive $100 discount!
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Egyptian Retreat
Design/Illustration: Jessica Inouye

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair... ~Susan Polis Shutz

Start the new year with a rejuvenating retreat immersed in dance, yoga, creativity and community!

Enjoy the beauty of Mexico, while studying with leading artists in Egyptian-style belly dance and folkloric dance. Replenish the mind and body with daily yoga, mindfulness and creativity practices. Unwind through long walks on the beach and exploring ancient ruins.

The week-long intensive will include daily dance and yoga instruction, delicious and wholesome food, beautiful accommodations and a stunning beach front setting for reflection and play. Join us for a light, fun week to recharge the body and spirit. As a New Year's retreat, we'll include intention setting, community building and creative play to reinvigorate your dance practice and spirit. Let go through laughter, shimmies and sisterhood!

Outside Magazine named Maya Tulum Resort one of the top "spirit-recharging escapes" for 2013!

Gayot: The Guide to the Good Life named Maya Tulum one of the Top 10 Yoga Retreats Worldwide.

USA Today named Maya Tulum one of the World's Best Wellness Resorts, "among the most highly rated health and wellness leisure destinations on the planet."

The Workshops

This retreat is suitable for all levels, with individual attention to modify movements for beginners and/or challenge advanced dancers. We offer a full schedule of training for professional dancers and teachers, however, all students may choose the intensity of their training. Dancers are welcome to partake in all of daily programming, or just participate in portions of class and relax at the beach, enjoy the resort and explore the small town of Tulum at your leisure. Each day you can design your own training and dance journey to best suit your personal inspiration and rejuvenation!

About Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda has performed and taught Egyptian-style Orientale and Folkloric dance on five continents. Originally from the Los Angeles, California area, Sahra lived, danced, and researched in Egypt from 1989 to 1995. Since then, she has been teaching and performing Egyptian and Folkloric dance around the world.

Sahra has been artistic director of Ya Amar! Dance Company since its conception in 1995, and a contributing choreographer to many European dance companies. She is also president of Layali Yasmine Productions (“Nights of Jasmine”), an independent recording and distribution label for Egyptian music, Middle Eastern dance performance and instructional videos. Sahra has academic degrees in both Dance & Cultural Anthropology along with a MA in Dance Ethnology from UCLA. She has given numerous lecture/demonstrations on Egyptian dance, costumes, customs, ritual and folklore to doctorate-level symposiums, university ethnic dance festivals and dance ethnology forums.

Check out videos of Sahra Saeeda: here and here.

About Rachel Kay Brookmire

Rachel is the founder and director of Sahara Dance. Since 2000, Rachel has taught belly dance to thousands of students throughout the Washington, DC area. She is also the creator of Sahara Dance Foundations, an intensive program for training belly dance teachers.

Her teaching style emphasizes postural alignment, contextual awareness of Arabic music and culture and a celebration of femininity. Recognized for her detailed, structured teaching approach, Rachel’s classes focus on community, quality movement execution, musicality, playfulness and individual expression through a range of stylization.

As a student of mindfulness practices, she seeks to integrate relaxation, body awareness and the cultivation of joyfulness into her dance offerings. At this retreat, her classes will explore playful, heart-centered themes to develop grace and gentleness in your dance practice and deepen awareness through mindfulness and creativity.

See videos of Rachel Kay Brookmire here and here.

About Shahrzad

Shahrzad started her dance training at the age of 11. She quickly discovered her natural talent for the movements and it has been her passion in life ever since. She has trained in many styles of dance including ballet, Indian folk and classical, Samba, Salsa, various folk styles from North Africa and the Middle East, and of course, Egyptian style belly dance.

Now, with over 10 years of experience, Shahrzad is an award winning dancer who travels extensively to teach and perform for all kinds of cultural and dance events. Her goal is to help students and audiences discover and understand the beauty, culture, and art that make this dance so great.

See videos of Shahrzad here and here.

The Schedule

A typical day would include:

7:30 am Meditation and Yoga
8:45 am Breakfast
10:00 am Dance technique, rhythms-based drills and combinations
11:30 am Dance choreography and/or Folkoric dance training
1:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Free time: beach, swim, explore, nap, read...
4:00 pm Yoga
5:15 pm Special dance topic and/or choreography: requests welcome!
(Entrances, Drum Solo, Tarab, Baladi, Improvision, Shaabi, Folklore, Soft Slow & Stretchy...)
7:15 pm Dinner with roundtable discussions and presentations

Please note: Saturdays are travel days, with no scheduled programming
Wednesday will be a free day for relaxing on the beach or enjoying an excursion/adventure!

About Maya Tulum

Maya Tulum, Mexico
Maya Tulum Resort
is located on the Riviera Maya, between the pristine blue ocean and the emerald green tropical forests. Think of paradise in these terms: lying in a hammock under the shade of a palm tree, facing beautiful white beaches, sipping a cool drink and enjoying the ocean breeze. The Riviera Maya offers endless possibilities to choose from: tranquil sea coves and bays to open ocean; transparent lagoons and mysterious water springs with landmarks and vestiges of a thousand-year-old culture; or the world's second longest reef which stretches from Quintana Roo to Honduras. It’s always a good time to come to Maya Tulum!

Visit the Maya Tulum Spa Resort Facebook Page.

The Food

Delicious, wholesome and nutritious cuisine is included! Meals are served in a round cabana built with marble floors and white limestone walls, with exquisite views overlooking the white sand beach and turquoise Caribbean Sea. The restaurant serves vegetarian and fresh seafood fare. Refreshing drinks and smoothies are available from the bar all day. We are very happy to accommodate dietary preferences with advance notice.

Accommodations and Fees

Maya Tulum offers accommodations for a range of tastes and budgets, with views of our tropical gardens or the beach.

All accommodations can be arranged with either two single beds or one king-size bed (some triple-occupancy rooms are available). The electrical system in Mexico is identical to that in the U.S. So, anything you bring (laptops, electric razors, hair dryers,etc.) can be used without the need of an adapter. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and body wash is provided in all the rooms; however, you should bring all other toiletries.

The rates below include: all dance workshops, yoga classes, lodging, three meals per day, and use of the resort facilities. Airfare, ground transportation to and from the Cancun (CUN) airport, gratuity, bar and spa services are not included in the rates listed below.

Note: If you have a spouse or friend who would like to accompany you, but won't be taking the workshops, their cost is $600 less than the respective room rate below. This non-participant fee includes all meals, the shared double-occupancy room, and use of the Maya Tulum facilities. If you would like to register a non-participant, please send us an email and we'll send you registration details.

If you register at the double occupancy rate and are attending the retreat by yourself, you will be assigned a roommate.


A non-refundable deposit of $500/person by credit card will reserve your room and your spot in the workshops.

Your remaining balance payments will be charged to your credit card starting 30 days after the deposit is received. Your payment schedule depends on room level and deposit date. Please call us at +1 (202) 362-4400 to set up a payment plan and guarantee your space.

All payment plans must be completed by December 15, 2014.

Note:Special Fall Promotion $100 discount applies to payment plan registrations if the deposit is received in October. The discount will be applied to balance payment(s).

Triple Occupancy
Garden View $1,630/person $1,530/person
Double Occupancy
Ocean View Deluxe $2,060/person $1,960/person
Ocean View Super Deluxe $2,185/person $2,085/person
Beach Front Deluxe $2,325/person $2,225/person
Beach Front Super Deluxe $2,375/person $2,275/person
Single Occupancy
Ocean View Deluxe $2,855/person $2,755/person
Ocean View Super Deluxe $3,100/person $3,000/person
Beach Front Deluxe $3,380/person $3,280/person
Beach Front Super Deluxe $3,485/person $3,385/person

Notes: Some rooms share a common bathroom. All rooms are offered on a first come, first served basis.

Cancellation policy: You may sell or transfer your registration to another person. If you do, please send us notice of your registration transfer.
If you decide to cancel your trip, we require written notification of your cancellation. In addition, the following cancellation fees apply:

Getting to Maya Tulum

Please book your flight to arrive on January 3, 2015 and depart on January 10, 2015. There will be no scheduled programming on these travel days.
Please fly into the Cancun International Airport (CUN).

Shuttle Service to/from Maya Tulum

Group shuttles between the Cancun International Airport and Maya Tulum are not included in your registration.

Once you register for the retreat, we will send shuttle information and a form for you to book your shuttle transportation.

Treat yourself to a wonderful vacation of bonding and inspiration, with the best in belly dance training, spa options and healthy meals.

We hope to see you at this tropical New Year's belly dance party!