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

Otea (Tahitian Dance)


Aloha everyone! Satarra is here to teach you the art of Otea!

Otea is a fast hip-shaking dance usually performed by Tahitian dancers. Otea is only performed using drums as instruments and no singing.

Please come out and find your inner vahine, and explore Otea with Satarra! Mahalo and I hope to see you soon! This workshop is a perfect compliment to belly dance hip-work. Open to all levels.

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!

Date(s): Saturday, February 25

Time(s): 2:00-4:00 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. And, as part of the workshop, learn a gliding, playful combination for performance (optional) at the hafla that evening!

All levels welcome!

Date(s): Saturday, March 4

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

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Ori Tahiti Advanced Workshop with Satarra

Veil Choreography=

Aloha! Satarra is back to teach Ori Tahiti for Advanced students who have done Tahitian classes before. In this workshop we will learn Otea, as well as other forms of Tahitian dance. Please join us for Ori Tahiti as Satarra shares her lifelong love of Tahitian dance with us! Mahalo!

Date(s): Saturday, March 11

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

Teacher(s): Satarra

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Hula Hoop Dance - Spin Your Way into Joyful Transformation!

Hula Hoop

Not just for kids anymore! Hula Hoop Dance is the renovated return of Hula Hooping. 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!

In this class you will learn foot work, level changes, angles and cool tricks!

This workshop complements the February 18 introductory workshop. Take one or both workshops. Bring friends and be prepared to smile a lot! All levels 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, March 18

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

Teacher(s): Debora Jackson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Veil Choreography

Veil Choreography=

Ready for an energetic veil piece? This high-energy choreography is filled with angel wings, butterflies, and barrel turns. Specific attention will be given to posture, juicy movement, and smooth veil transitions.

This workshop is recommended for Low Intermediate and higher.

Date(s): Saturday, March 25

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

Teacher(s): Omoladun

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

The Sacred in Sexy Sunday Series

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 a UCLA trained Mindfulness Facilitator, having completed the TMF program at the Mindful Awareness Research Center, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA in November 2016. 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): Sacred in Sexy Sunday Series, Sunday March 5

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

Teacher(s): Karin

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $40

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

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: $55 before March 1/ $65 after March 1

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: $55 before March 1/ $65 after March 1

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: $25 before March 1/ $35 after March 1

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Package Pricing: All 3 workshops (Early Bird pricing): $120 before March 1/ $150 after March 1

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

Introduction to Qigong & Energy Healing


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, May 6

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

Teacher(s): Sebastiano Brancoli

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

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

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 here: Registration opens February 22, 11:00 am EST*

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…