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

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: $65

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Saturday: Sweet

Date: December 3

Time: 3:45-5:45 pm

Cost: $65

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: $105

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


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

Egyptian Stars of the Golden Era

Introduction to Belly Dance Egyptian Golden Era dancer, Samia Gamal

Spend the afternoon learning about some of the most famous belly dancers who danced during the Golden Era of Egyptian Cinema, and who helped to inspire and shape the cabaret art form of belly dance as we know it today!

Golden Era Stars covered in this workshop include: Badia Masabni, Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Kitty Fotsaty, Naima Akef, and Nadia Gamal. Students will learn about each star featured and the signature belly dance movements that made them famous. This class includes video viewing and class discussion of historical background and movement execution, as well as practicing Golden Era dance movement.

Dancers will come away from this workshop with a greater knowledge of the stars that inspire us, and different iconic dance combinations set to the music made famous by Golden Era composers and musicians.

This workshop is held in a fun and relaxed atmosphere and is open to all levels. However to fully enjoy the movement portion of the workshop, Beginner II and above belly dance experience is recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, January 7

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

Teacher(s): Jennifer

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

“January Jump-start” Brush Up Workshop Series

Revitalize your belly dance practice! These fun and informative workshops are a great way to “jump start” your training in the new year.

Workshops include student consultation, advice, and placement suggestions for the upcoming class semester. Each workshop provides a condensed overview of the movement vocabulary taught at the course level and has been designed as a refresher for students who have taken Sahara Dance technique classes or as an introduction to Sahara Dance style technique to prospective students.

Experienced students are welcome to revisit and sharpen foundation movements. Light and fun combinations will be taught at the end of of each workshop, drawing from the movement vocabulary within each level.

These workshops are ideal for students seeking placement recommendations for advancing their studies.


Introduction to 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. This timeless art form is practiced by people of all ages from all walks of life.

Prerequisite: All are welcome, no belly dance experience required.

Date: Saturday, January 7

Time: 10:00 am-11:00 am

Teacher: Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $25


Beginner I Brush-Up
A condensed overview of the movement vocabulary taught in Sahara Dance Beginner I course. Designed as a refresher for students who have taken Sahara Dance Beginner I technique class, this class also introduces Sahara Dance style technique to prospective students who have studied with other teachers. More advanced students are welcome to join the class as well, to revisit and sharpen their skills in foundation movements.

Prerequisite: Previous completion of Sahara Dance Beginner I Technique class, or 3 - 12 months study in belly dance

Date: Saturday, January 7

Time: 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Teacher: Allyson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $25


Beginner II Brush-Up
A condensed overview of the movement vocabulary taught in Sahara Dance Beginner II course. This workshop is a continuation of the Beginner I Brush-Up taught in the previous hour - students are encouraged to enroll in both courses.

Designed as a refresher for students who have taken Sahara Dance Beginner II technique class, this class also introduces Sahara Dance style technique to prospective students who have studied with other teachers. More advanced students are welcome to join the class as well, to revisit and sharpen their skills in foundation movements.

Prerequisite: Previous completion of Sahara Dance Beginner II Technique class, or 12 - 18 months study in belly dance.

Date: Saturday, January 7

Time: 10:00-11:00 am

Teacher: Chiaki

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $25


Low Intermediate Brush-Up
A condensed overview of the movement vocabulary taught in Sahara Dance Low Intermediate courses.

Designed as a refresher for students who have taken Sahara Dance Low Intermediate technique class, this class also introduces Sahara Dance style technique to prospective students who have completed 2 years of study with other teachers. More advanced students are welcome to join the class as well, to revisit and sharpen their skills in foundation movements.

Prerequisite: Previous completion of Sahara Dance Low Intermediate Technique class, or 2 or more years study in belly dance.

Date: Saturday, January 7

Time: 11:00-12:00 pm

Teacher: Chiaki

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $25


Fun Fosse Fusion Combos
Step back in time to prohibition-era Chicago and learn fun combos from Bob Fosse’s musical Chicago. Get a taste of the crowd-pleasing, high energy and sassy choreography that will debut on the Under a Desert Moon stage!

This performance class is open to Low Intermediate dancers and above; choreography should challenge all levels.


Prerequisite: Previous completion of Sahara Dance Low Intermediate Technique class, or equivalent.

Date: Saturday, January 7

Time: 2:45-3:45 pm

Teacher: Monica

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $25

Master Class with Sabriye

Sabriye

Zay al Asal Choreography

Originally sung by the Lebanese singer Sabah and composed by Baligh Hamdi, the title of this song (Zay al Asal) means “like honey”.

The choreography, like the song, is about sweet love and passion. The dynamic rhythmic changes make it a versatile piece that can be used for many different occasions. Along with the choreography, Sabriye will offer insight into the emotions of the piece and cultural relevance from her own personal experiences dancing to this song across the Middle East.


Khaleeji Combinations

This workshop offers an introduction into Khaleeji Dance, a folkloric genre from the Arabian Gulf countries.

Sabriye’s knowledge of khaleeji is based on over 10 years experience living and dancing in Gulf countries. We will cover khaleeji movements as well as history and anecdotal information.

Note: Please bring a thobe (khaleeji square shaped dress) if you have one (not required).


Understanding Middle Eastern Music

Knowing your music and knowing about your music is essential for all belly dancers, whether hobbyists or professionals.

Now more than ever we have so much information at our fingertips that it’s hard to know what we need to know. This entertaining workshop, through lecture and multimedia, will introduce you to some basic concepts and history of Middle Eastern music.

We will explore the differences between regions ranging from Morocco all the way to the Persian Gulf. From there, we will go further in depth into Egyptian music, sub-genres and terms that are essential for belly dancers. Bring a notebook!


Sabriye Tekbilek is an international performer and instructor of Middle Eastern dance whose stage presence and technique have been shaped by a lifetime of international performance and study. She is the daughter of renowned Turkish musician, “Haci” Ahmet Tekbilek, and Lisa Djeylan, once an international belly dancer herself. Sabriye grew up in an environment of Middle Eastern Music and dance.

It was while studying with both Suhaila and Jamila Salimpour that Sabriye was encouraged to begin teaching, awakening a passion for instruction. She is currently one of few the authorized instructors of the Suhaila Salimpour Format and holds the highest level of certification available in both Jamila and Suhaila Salimpour formats.

In 2005 Sabriye based herself in the Middle East where she has spent seven years working with Lebanese agent Toros Siranossian through out the Gulf and North Africa. She also spent one year in Cairo working at the prestigious night club Haroun Al Rashid in the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel along side the legendary Dina.

Sabriye has performed across the U.S., in Sweden, Norway, England, Turkey, Spain, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India. She has performed at exclusive venues including the Nobel Prize Party, Warner Bros. Studios, the Miss India Competition; and she has shared the stage with popular Arabic stars such as Ragheb Alama, Wadi Al Safy, Sbohi Tawfik, Marwan Khoury, Wael Kfoury, Abdel Basset Hamouda, Saad, Mahmuod el Husseini, Houba. She regularly performs globally for dignitaries.

During her travels, Sabriye continues to explore the depths of Middle Eastern dance and music through studying and teaching workshops along the way.

Zay al Asal


Date: January 8

Time: 12:00-2:00 pm

Cost: $55 through December 15 / $65 after December 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Khaleeji Combinations

Date: January 8

Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Cost: $55 through December 15 / $65 after December 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Understanding Middle Eastern Music

Date: January 8

Time: 4:00-6:00 pm

Cost: $55 through December 15 / $65 after December 15

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package Pricing: All three workshops (12:00-6:00 pm): $150 through December 15 / $180 after December 15

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

Elegant Turns and Traveling Steps

Randa

Add dynamism to your dance with spins, turns and floor patterns. Learn combinations of traveling steps and turns most frequently used in belly dance. Specific attention will be given to spotting, turn technique and oriental belly dance stylization.

This workshop is recommended for students transitioning from Beginner II to Low Intermediate.

Date(s): Saturday, January 14

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

Teacher(s): Randa

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Dances of Morocco

Zayna

Get a taste of Morocco’s hundreds of dances with this class, focusing on reggada dance, sikhat, and guedra. Shimmy and stomp to the reggada’s powerful music, shake your hips and learn the tantalizing movements of the sikhat dance, and feel the spiritual guedra from your soul to your fingertips.

In this class, Zayna will take you on a journey through Morocco, from the warm dunes of the Sahara desert to the cool air of the Rif Mountains of the North.

Join Zayna, from Marrakech, Morocco, to learn the core movements of these folk dances, while engaging with their cultural and historical significance. Come prepared to shimmy and shake, flip your hair, and get on your knees for this high energy class!


Growing up in Morocco, Zayna began dancing when she was just five years old. From early exposure to the dances of Morocco through celebrations and performances, she quickly fell in love with the rhythms and rich historical and cultural significance of these dances. She began practicing Moroccan folk dancing in classes and informal dance circles, quickly becoming proficient.

After moving to the United States as a young adult and expanding her range from ballet to hip hop, Zayna found that her true passion was belly dance. She began exploring the world of belly dance fusion, playing with movements from modern dance, jazz, and burlesque to create choreography with a melting pot of cultural influences.

Today, Zayna specializes in Moroccan folk dancing and belly dance fusion. Since discovering her passion for teaching, Zayna has been leading freelance classes and workshops, including raqs sharqi, chaabi, belly dance fusion, and Moroccan folk dancing, along the East Coast for over five years.

Date(s): Saturday, January 21

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

Teacher(s): Zayna

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!)
The first half of the workshop will focus on Saidi; in the the second half, we’ll add in cane/assaya.

Workshop includes a 30-minute break.
Please bring a cane/stick.

Modern Egyptian Oriental

Date: January 28, 2017

Time: 2:00-5:30 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 *
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 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): Saturday, February 11

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

Teacher(s): dIvInAkArInA (Karin KARINA Wilkinson)

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 how to hula hoop on and off the body, walk, level changes. You’ll also learn how to use the hoop as a tool to stretch & strengthen the body and calm the mind.

This workshop complements the March 18 workshop in which we will add some foot work, level changes, angles and cool tricks!

Take one or both workshops. Bring friends and be prepared to smile a lot! All levels welcome, progressions offered to intermediate hoopers. Ages 12 and older. 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, February 18

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

Teacher(s): Debora Jackson

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

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!

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, May 6

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

Teacher(s): Sebastiano Brancoli

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

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…