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

Belly-Indian Fusion

Lasha Nazira_Belly-Indian

Known for its sensual beauty and graceful, flowy movement, Odissi (a form of classical Indian dance from the state of Orissa) is often described as the representation of water in the body.

Drawing from the rich languages of traditional Indian dance styles including Odissi and Rajasthani folk, as well as more contemporary Bollywood-inspired aesthetics, this class combines the traditional with the modern to explore fusion of Indian dance with Egyptian-style cabaret belly dance.

Beginning with light yoga and stretching, practice formation of the hands, arms, and back as well as basic footwork. Learn short choreographies exploring pure dance as well as the mudras (symbolic gestures or poses used in Hindustani classical dance) and the meaning behind them.

Previous dance experience recommended.


Inspired by the passionate drama and intricate story lines of classical Indian dance, Lasha draws from this ancient vocabulary of traditional Indian dance forms to tell new stories. She is very passionate about learning new dance forms and finding new and innovative ways to celebrate and fuse different styles. A citizen of the world, Lasha’s dance training includes Odissi, Rajasthani folk, Egyptian cabaret, salsa, swing, and an introduction to flamenco and Nepali classical dance.

With a degree in Mathematical Economics from Brown University, Lasha combines her passion for dance with business know-how to serve as both a performer and Executive Director of The Kandake, a socially-minded dance company that tells modern stories and explores contemporary issues through the medium of traditional and folkloric dance styles. When not dancing, Lasha works on international development, social enterprise, and women’s issues.

Date(s): Saturday, October 1

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

Teacher(s): Lasha Nazira

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Sahara Dance Costume & Souk Swap Sale!

Open House

Browse gently used costumes, props and hip scarves looking for a new home!

Shop for professional costumes, previous company costumes, props, scarves and other bits, bobs, odds & ends. And, Shahrzad will be bringing new costumes to sell, fresh from Egypt!

Date: Friday, October 7
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm (just before the Master Class with Shahrzad!)
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tenleytown-AU Metro (red line)

Master Class with Shahrzad

Shahrzad

Friday, 6:30-8:30 pm: Oriental Choreography

Delve into a detailed choreography to a classic Egyptian song and explore the layers of technique, musicality, and emotion that come together to express the music.

Friday: Oriental Choreography

Date: October 7

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Saturday, 1:30-3:30 pm: Modern Egyptian Technique

Learn the movements and stylizations that give modern Egyptian dance its signature look and explore how the technique is adjusted to fit different musical styles.


Saturday, 3:45-5:45 pm: Egyptian Pop Choreography

Learn an upbeat routine to a new hit song straight out of Cairo! This choreography will be lightly structured so each dancer can focus on loosening up and having fun with the music.

Saturday: Modern Egyptian Technique

Date: October 8

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday: Egyptian Pop Choreography

Date: October 8

Time: 3:45-5:45 pm

Cost: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


 

Package Pricing: Friday & Saturday: $180

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

1001 Shimmies!

ShimmiesAn afternoon of coin-jingling, fringe-flying fun!

Add a hip shake to your step by learning a great new move for the dance floor, or just review this distinctive belly dance technique. Guaranteed to be a great workout.

All levels are welcome. Class is structured to be accessible to beginning dancers, offering modifications to challenge intermediate students.

Date(s): Saturday, October 15

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

Teacher(s): Randa

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

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, October 21

Time(s): 7:30-9:30 pm

Teacher(s): dIvInAkArInA (Karin KARINA Wilkinson)

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Curso de Compás (Flamenco Rhythm)

Magdalena











































BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

Magdalena’s Curso de Compás helps all levels of Flamenco artists internalize the basic rhythms.

From finger snapping to foot stomping, the compás is the glue that holds Flamenco music, song & dance together.

In this lesson students will explore the various sounds that can be created organically without thinking too hard or counting… or even counting! We will review the different flamenco “palos” (styles) as well as rhythmical variations, remates, and the ever-mysterious contratiempo.

  • This workshop is accompanied by live guitar
  • Students are provided with handouts illustrating various rhythmic structures and their accents
  • lasses taught in both English and Spanish
  • Musicians and Aficionados welcome!
  • Audio recording of class is encouraged for home practice

Date(s): Saturday, October 22

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

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Muscle Technique: Belly Rolls and Laybacks

Alyssum

Learn how to access the snake in your belly, how to isolate like a pro, improve your abdominal strength and back flexibility for general well-being, and gain a deeper understanding about how your body works.

This class is appropriate for all levels. Beginners will lay a strong foundation for excellent technique; advanced dancers will be challenged to perfect your skills.

*Wear comfortable clothing, and please bring a yoga mat if you have one.*

Alyssum shares her extensive background in anatomy and physiology, her understanding of dance, and experience as a contortionist to help you improve flexibility, gain strength, and safely build muscle memory for belly dance.

Check out Alyssum’s TEDx Talk:

Date(s): Saturday, October 29

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

Teacher(s): Alyssum Pohl

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

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, November 5

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

Teacher(s): Sebastiano Brancoli

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

El Arte del Abaníco
~The Art of the Fan in Flamenco~

Magdalena

The fan is arguably the most dramatic and eye-catching of all flamenco props in modern day repertoire. It is used to punctuate movements or pauses… and to convey pride and power.

This class will introduce the basic technique of the Abaníco including: methods of opening the fan, correct grasp and maneuvering, proper and safe use of wrist… and last but not least, what to do with the other hand!

Students will learn basic choreography incorporating complimentary upper body movement.

Beginner and Intermediate levels are welcome, but there is no previous experience necessary! More advanced students can expect to learn new material and will have the chance to practice in class.

Fans available upon request, first come first served. Audio recording is encouraged; video taping not permitted.

Date(s): Saturday, November 12

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

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Master Class with Zoe Jakes

Zoe Jakes

Friday, 6:30-9:30 pm: Fire in the Belly:
A choreography wrapped in undulations, spirals and diagonal extension

A choreography to wake up the spine!

Undulations, flutters and diagonal extension all with the purpose of making transitions disappear. Fluid and sleek lines mix with the circular and infinite shapes of belly dance, with dynamic splashes along the way.

Using breath and the negative space around us, we will be chasing movement through the entire body and back again. The technique behind Zoe’s style of undulations and interior circles will be broken down for this workshop, as well a vigorous warm up to prepare for full body expansive movement.

Friday: Fire in the Belly (3 hours)

Date: November 18

Time: 6:30-9:30 pm

Cost: $95 through October 1 / $105 after October 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Saturday, 1:30-4:30 pm: Divine Muse

The root of Eastern dance stylization lies in the transition, the inspiration before thought, and the effortless fluidity that is inspired by the breath.

This workshop focuses on the honey and molasses that is present in Indian, Balinese, and Thai dance forms. We begin with a short lecture about what ties these forms together, and the inherent differences that set them apart, and how to fuse them effectively with Tribal Fusion.

Peek into a completely different world of dance aesthetic, learning short dance phrases to explore the mysterious and timeless elegance of these stylizations.


Saturday, 4:45-6:45 pm: Fleet Foxes - strange layers and sleek extension

Layer with style…take that technique and make it work for you!

For these two hours, we will work on executing layers elegantly and smoothly. We’ll cover plenty of flow drills, and break down concepts to be accessible to all levels.

Saturday: Divine Muse (3 hours)

Date: November 19

Time: 1:30-4:30 pm

Cost: $95 through October 1 / $105 after October 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday: Fleet Foxes (2 hours)

Date: November 19

Time: 4:45-6:45 pm

Cost: $55 through October 1 / $65 after October 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Sunday, 11:00-2:00 pm: Femme Fatale

Drawing upon the female characters found in the 20’s through the 70’s, we will use the inspiration their decade evokes to create dance phrases oozing with personality.

In this single class we will embody Showgirls, Flappers, Golden Era movie stars and Fossey dancers. This class includes several combos and we will be using group exercises to get theatrical!


Sunday, 2:15-4:15 pm: Zoe’s Book Of Shimmies

Non-Stop Shimmies!!!

Let’s work on huge hips and loose shimmies. We are going to explore lots of different styles of shimmies, and new ways of doing them. So whether you are new to belly dance, or looking for something to add to your repertoire, this is the workshop for you.

It’s all here: 3/4 shimmies, 4/4 shimmies, sharp and smooth shimmies, travelling shimmies, layered shimmies, timed shimmies and non-timed shimmies…WHEW! So..lets dance!

Sunday: Femme Fatale (3 hours)

Date: November 20

Time: 11:00-2:00 pm

Cost: $95 through October 1 / $105 after October 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Sunday: Book Of Shimmies (2 hours)

Date: November 20

Time: 2:15-4:15 pm

Cost: $55 through October 1 / $65 after October 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
$370 through October 1 / $420 after October 1

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 Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia

Saturday, 1:30-3:30 pm: Savory

The flavors of vigorous, athletic, percussive and robust movement with Donna Mejia


Saturday, 3:45-5:45 pm: Sweet

The light and soft palette of blushed, nuanced, fluid and lyrical movement with Donna Mejia

Saturday: Savory

Date: December 3

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Cost: $55 through November 1 / $65 after November 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday: Sweet

Date: December 3

Time: 3:45-5:45 pm

Cost: $55 through November 1 / $65 after November 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Donna Mejia

Sunday, 10:00-1:00 pm: Palette Cleanser

Three hours of somatic science practice for core strength, joint health, alignment optimization, and sustainable range of motion in the dancing body.

Sunday: Palette Cleanser

Date: December 4

Time: 10:00-1:00 pm

Cost: $95 through November 1 / $105 after November 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: Saturday & Sunday:
$190 through November 1 / $220 after November 1

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


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.

Castanets

Castanets con Magdalena
“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, December 10

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

Teacher(s): La Magdalena

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Mystery in Movement

Rin Ajna

Learn a new and unusual choreography by Rin Ajna!

Participants will be guided through a few exercises in interpreting musical cues to form a greater understanding of how sound can translate into movement of the body, then contextualize these concepts by applying them to choreography.

Whether you’re looking for new dance moves, or just looking for a way to step into the moment, this workshop provides an excellent opportunity expand your personal dance practice and explore different concepts of movement. Bring an open mind, and expect a good fun challenge!

All levels are welcome. At least 6 months of consistent belly dance training strongly recommended.


Rooted in twenty years of diverse dance training, Rin Ajna has experimented with jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, and several fusion dances, creating a dynamic movement style that is most often described as captivating and otherworldly.

Rin has toured internationally as a soloist, and as a performer and contributing choreographer for Jillina’s theatrical production, Bellydance Evolution.

She is happy to call Sahara Dance her long-time belly dance home!

Date(s): Saturday, December 17

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

Teacher(s): Rin Ajna

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: January 28, 2017

Time: 1:30-5:00 pm

Cost: $115

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saidi Technique & Combos

Date: January 29, 2017

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

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 *
Master Class with Karim Nagi of Turbo Tabla!

Karim Nagi of Turbo Tabla

Save the Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017

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.

Taking requests! What topics would you like to study with Karim Nagi?
Let us know on the Master Class with Karim Nagi Facebook Event and stay tuned!

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…