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

Reda, Reda, Reda! Series


Spend the semester with Jennifer delving into the signature movements, technique, and stylization of Mahmoud Reda in this 4-part workshop series (8 hours intense study).

An Egyptian pioneer of dance theater and co-founder of the Reda Troupe, Mahmoud Reda and his principal dancers created a genre of dance that embraced many styles throughout the region. As a soloist, choreographer, and director of hundreds of productions from the Golden Era of Belly Dance and Egyptian Cinema, Mahmoud Reda is universally acclaimed for his dance style and appeal. His technique and choreographies have had tremendous artistic, social, and cultural impact on Egypt, and his work has inspired and shaped the art form of Raqs Sharqi as we know it today!

This workshop series will focus on technique, drills, rhythm combinations, and various approaches to combinations that build a choreographic tapestry that can be set to various musical arrangements. Study in this genre is a must for any dancer who is dedicated to the art of Raqs Sharqi and wishes to refine their choreographic movement, footwork, and transitions.

Jennifer brings to the classroom her fun and passionate sensibilities along with her cultural and technical knowledge gained through personal and formal study in the U.S. and abroad in Reda technique.

Prerequisite: Previous completion of Sahara Dance Intermediate Technique class

Title: Reda, Reda, Reda! Workshop Series #1
Date: Saturday, Jan 13
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Price: $35

**Workshop has passed**

Title: Reda, Reda, Reda! Workshop Series #2
Date: Saturday, Feb 24
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Price: $35

Title: Reda, Reda, Reda! Workshop Series #3
Date: Saturday, March 17
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Price: $35

Title: Reda, Reda, Reda! Workshop Series #4
Date: Saturday, April 14
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Price: $35

Title: Reda, Reda, Reda! Workshop Series Package (4 workshops)
Date: Saturday Jan 13, Feb 24, Mar 17, Apr 14
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Price: $120

Egyptian Dance Combinations


Learn fun Egyptian Dance combinations drawn from Mohamed Shahin’s teachings at the 2018 Egyptian Dance Retreat in Costa Rica! Designed to give the full flavor of Egyptian dance, break a sweat with several playful and shimmy-rich phrases. The workshop will challenge advanced dancers, with modifcations offered for beginners. And, those participating will have the opportunity to perform a combo at the hafla that same evening, on March 3rd (and get in free!).

Join Rachel for an deligtful and glistening afternoon of Egyptian Dance :).

We offer this workshop in honor of Mohamed, as he is not able to be with us as planned this weekend due to a family tragedy.

Date(s): Saturday, March 3

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

Teacher(s): Rachel

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Intro to Tribal


Tribal belly dance is a uniquely American art form that emerged out of the Middle Eastern dance community in California and evolved into several distinct styles. In this workshop you will learn a few of the foundational movements that are common to the various forms of tribal belly dance, compare and contrast how they’re different from their cabaret cousins, and have the chance to enjoy connecting with your fellow dancers through group improvisation by learning the techniques of leading and following.

All levels are welcome, this workshop is particularly designed for dancers with no previous tribal experience.

Date(s): Saturday, March 10

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

Teacher(s): Gretchen

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

The Sacred in Sexy

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, a transformational coach, specializes as a mindfulness and guided visualization meditation teacher, therapeutic belly dance instructor and empowerment workshop and retreat facilitator. She is also a spoken word performance artist. Combining spoken word with belly dance, movement improvisation and modern dance to create healing, empowering pieces, kArInA has been a regular performer at the Built on Stilts Dance Festival in Martha’s Vineyard, MA for many years. She has also performed in many venues in Los Angeles, CA.

By allowing herself to be transparent and vulnerable and welcoming all with openness, humor and nonjudgment, kArInA masterfully creates a safe bonding space in her classes. Her extensive experience is evidenced by the numerous workshops, classes and retreats she designs and implements for both adults and children. 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.

kArInA is certified by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. She received a Certificate of Completion in Spiritual Life Maintenance at Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development.

Date(s): Saturday, March 24

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

Teacher(s): kArInA

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Tools for Taqsim


Tools for Taqsim

In these solo improvised sections in classical Arabic music, the dancer uses slow, fluid transitions to swell into the movements of a single instrument like the accordion, oud, or qanoon, or vocal improvisations known as mawal. Leilah’s strong abdominal techniques, attention to pauses and breath, and knowledge of dance aesthetic will assist you in creating luscious, emotional movement that accentuates the music. Suggestions and exercises for how and when to approach taqsim in the context of the music will also be explored. Is the dancer making the music play or is the music making the dancer move? Make your movement so fluid that your audience can’t tell the difference with these tools and tricks!

At least one year of belly dance experience recommended.

Leilah Moon is a professional belly dancer in the DC Metro area. Leilah’s nuanced style, luscious abdominal movements, and engaging smile are what audiences find most mesmerizing about her as a performer. Leilah Moon started her dance career at the age of 17 with Susquehanna University Bellydance Circle, studying further under various teachers in the Baltimore and DC area, including private instruction under Shahrzad Raqs. Leilah taught classes for several years at Rendezvous studio in Rockville, and is a graduate of the Teacher Training Program here at Sahara Dance. You can catch her performing regularly at venues throughout the DMV.

Date(s): Saturday, March 31

Teacher(s): Leilah Moon

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

World Touring Guest Artist: Chudney Raks


Oriental Technique & Combinations Á la Chudney

Technique and combinations go hand and hand. How can you dance a combination if you can’t execute the individual moves? Chudney will break down fresh and challenging moves, drill them, and then strategically place them into dynamic combinations to pull it all together for a polished look. Get ready to rak out as we drill and combo up a sweat!

Chudney is a professional belly dance artist and instructor who has competed and danced around the world. Known for her grace, fluid Egyptian technique and beautiful interpretations, she continues to perform and teach in Hampton Roads, Virginia, as director of her own troupe Raks Royale, and as a member of the prestigious dance collective Saleema Habiba. Chudney has also been selected and can be seen touring with world-renown Virginia of Miami in her theater production “Reflections.” Chudney’s passion, amazing talent and relentless drive for knowledge and growth in this art form has made her a favorite around the world.

Date(s): Saturday, April 7

Time(s): 2:00-5:00 pm

Teacher(s): Chudney Raks

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Street Shaabi


Street Shaabi

Shaabi Street dance is a new dance in Egypt called Mahrganat Sha’abi. It emerged from post revolution youth culture and is characterized by a blend of indigenous folklore movements and modern hip hop styling. It is a high energy dance with powerful movements that are heavily based in rhythms, and take their gestural cues from the lyrics of the cutting edge Egyptian electro sha’abi music.

This dance became more widespread in Egypt especially in popular areas and began to spread around the world. Many dancers became interested in learning the moves and steps; come learn them for yourself!

Experience is not necessary but it is helpful. Students can expect to have fun and learn about another culture!

Friday: Street Shaabi

Date: Friday April 13

Time: 7:00-9:00 pm

Cost: $35

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Show Day Preparation Workshops


Costuming for Stage

Skirt too short? Bra too small? Beads falling off? Fasteners won’t stay closed? Come and learn some simple tips and tricks to fix common costume complaints and get the best fit so you feel fabulous on stage. No sewing experience is needed. We’ll have plenty of time for questions so feel free to bring along any costume pieces that you’d like to get advice on adjusting or repairing.

Title: Costuming for Stage

Teacher: Gretchen

Date: Saturday April 21

Time: 2:00-3:30pm

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Perfect Stage Makeup

makeup You have your sweet dance moves, choreography, costume, but what about the makeup?! Proper makeup puts the finishing touch on all of your hard work and enables you to shine on stage as the fabulous dancer you are.

Jessica will be sharing her personal makeup techniques for applying stage ready makeup all by yourself. Learn foundation do’s and don’ts, basic contouring and highlighting techniques, brow sculpting, eyeshadow 101, and finishing touches (including false lashes!)

Please bring your own make up and fake eyelashes.

Title: Perfect Stage Makeup

Teacher: Jessica

Date: Saturday April 21

Time: 3:30-5:00pm

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Package Pricing, both workshops: $50

Title: Show Day Preparation Workshops (both workshops)

Date: Saturday April 21

Time: 2:00-5:00pm

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Choreography with Fallahi Flavor


Choreography with Fallahi Flavor

Learn an upbeat choreography that includes typical Fallahi style steps, and of course, the interpretation that characterizes it. This choreography is perfect to incorporate into your repertoire as a “happy piece with Fallahi flavor”, or a folkloric piece; It will all depend on how folkloric you want your interpretation to be!

Date: Saturday May 5

Time: 2:00-4:00pm

Cost: $35

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

About Paula : Multi-award winning Oriental Dance Artist. Instructor and Dancer certified by Zahra Zuhair, and choreographer of Oriental Dance and Fusion. She founded “Tabla Dance Studio, The New School of Bellydance”, “Tabla Dance Company by Paula”, and produced the yearly shows “Stand up & Bellydance!”, “Yo Bailo en Tabla”, “Dominicana Goes Tribal” and “Rising Stars Gala” in the Dominican Republic, her country of origin. Paula has performed and studied in different cities of the Dominican Republic, the United States, Puerto Rico and Guatemala. She was a guest judge at Miami Bellydance Convention Competition 2013, the Vanessa Angulo Bellydance Contest 2011, and others.
Paula won the titles “Bellydancer of the Universe 2011: Champion of Champions”, “Miami Bellydance Convention Competition 2012 Winner”, among others. She’s a former member of the dance companies “Sahlala Dancers” by Jillina and “Ghazella Dance Company” by Zahra Zuhair of Los Angeles; also, she has performed with Bellydance Evolution several times. Paula is featured in the book “The Belly Dance Reader 2” by the Gilded Serpent to represent the Dominican Republic, and in the DVDs “Ya Amar” and “Melodies of Cairo” by Dr. Samy Farag, “Bellydance Evolution: Inmortal Desires” by Jillina, “Drum Raks” by Karim Nagi, and others.

World Touring Guest Artist: Rachel Brice

Rachel Brice, Photo by Clint MarienPhoto by Clint Marien


Friday 6:30-9:30pm

Contrasting fluid technique with quick isolations + musicality = WHOA.

In this workshop we’ll learn how to develop the contrasting qualities of fluid and percussive. We’ll experience two different types of practice: One to build both flexibility and control for slow movements, and one for speed for clean hip-work and locks.

This 3 hour workshop has two segments of 90 minutes each:

Part One: We’ll learn learn how to gain speed and clarity for locks, hip-work, and several shimmies through a carefully constructed practice sequence.

Part Two: We’ll learn phrases that integrate both slow and fast movements, and serves up a heavy dose of musical interpretation. You can use these combos for practice or performance.

Please be warmed up for this class. Bring water.

** FULL **

Title: Twitch

Date: Friday May 11

Time: 6:30-9:30pm

Cost: $110

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Tricky-Gooey-Shimmy: Guiding Principles of Datura Style

Saturday 2:00-6:00pm

Combine American Cabaret and Fusion styles of belly dance with a heady dose of rhythmic trickery, contrast, and dramatic quality changes. Chill. Lay these on a bed of rib cage circles, seemingly boneless arm work, and huge, relaxed hips for a double-layered-triple-threat. Serve hot.

You learn them, they’re yours. Use these combinations in your next choreography or integrate these Datura Style combos into your improvisational vocabulary.

Experience with belly dance recommended, these will be complex. Brush up on your spins and isolations for this one, bring a towel and water bottle.

** FULL **

Title: Tricky-Gooey-Shimmy: Guiding Principles of Datura Style

Date: Saturday May 12

Time: 2:00-6:00pm

Cost: $140

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Past, Present, Future: Arabic Rhythms in Electronic Music

Sunday 12:00-4:00pm

Western popular music is catching on to the power of Arabic Rhythms in a big way. In this class you’ll learn versatile combos that would work as well with a classic belly dance set or a festival stage to electronic music.

Please bring a yoga mat, water, and a way to record after class if you want to film yourself.

Title: Past, Present, Future: Arabic Rhythms in Electronic Music

Date: Sunday May 13

Time: 12:00-4:00pm

Cost: $140

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

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.

Waiting list: If you didn’t get a spot, please post your interest in the Master Class with Rachel Brice Facebook Event. If someone is no longer able to attend, they will post/sell the available spot(s) there.

*Out-of-town workshop participants may be interested in these nearby hotels: Days Inn or Marriott Courtyard

Datura Style Combinations


Datura Style belly dance refers both to a dance vocabulary and approach to technique that can be used for choreography and improvisation. Datura Style combinations can be used improvisationally with a group alongside ATS® vocabulary. These are fun, complex phrases that feature finger cymbals, vintage stylization, turns and level changes.

Intermediate/ Advanced dance level is recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, June 2

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

Teacher(s): Flissy

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Hula Hoop Dance & Grove!

Hula Hoop

Not just for kids anymore! Learn to use the Hula Hoop as a dance partner to open up new avenues of movement. We will hoop on and off the body, incorporate foot work & turns, levels changes, angles and cool tricks. If you don’t know how to hoop this is the perfect opportunity to learn! If you already have some skills we will build on that. Come prepare to laugh & sweat, bring friends! 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, June 9

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

Teacher(s): Debora Jackson

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Thailand 2018

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Samahita Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand
September 15-22, 2018

Rachel Brice

Experience the island beauty of Koh Samui, while studying with a founder of tribal fusion belly dance, the one and only Rachel Brice.

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 here!
Save the Date! World Touring Guest Artist: Shahrzad


Shahrzad will be returning to the studio Sept. 28-30, 2018. Topics to be announced soon!

World Touring Guest Artist: Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda

Tarab and Sultana Technique

Taqsim, Tarab and Sultana Technique
Date: Tuesday Nov. 6
Time: 3:00-6:00pm
Cost: Early bird pricing: $85 before March 31, $95 after March 31
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Baladi Awad and Tet Baladi Technique

“Baladi” is one of those words that mean so many things; it literally means “my country” but to Egyptian-style dancers it can refer to a specific progression of musical sections. In Cairo “Baladi” is particularly used for dancing and associated with Awalim (the professional dancers) from the famous “Mohamed Ali Street” in Old Cairo. Sahra will first present the cultural history of the Awalem, Mohamed Ali street and of the possible roots of “Baladi” progression. Then we will learn the classic structure of the musical/rhythmic sections in the two basic types Baladi; “Awadi Baladi” and “Tet Baladi” - and learn steps and movement for each section.

Baladi Awad and Tet Baladi Technique
Date: Wednesday Nov. 7
Time: 3:00-6:00pm
Cost: Early bird pricing: $85 before March 31, $95 after March 31
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

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 22-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 22-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 22 hours of each course (44 hours total).

Friday Nov. 2, Saturday Nov. 3, Sunday Nov. 4, 2018 - JtE I (22 hours)
Friday Nov. 9, Saturday Nov. 10, Sunday Nov. 11, 2018 - JtE II (22 hours)

Journey through Egypt I

Dates: Nov. 2-4, 2018

Times: Friday Nov. 2: 6:00-10:00pm
Saturday Nov. 3: 12:00-10:00pm (1 hour dinner break)
Sunday Nov. 4: 9:00am-5:00pm (1 hour dinner break)

Cost: Early Bird pricing: $450 before March 31, $475 after March 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Journey through Egypt II

Dates: Nov. 9-11, 2018

Times: Friday Nov. 9: 6:00-10:00pm
Saturday Nov. 10: 12:00-10:00pm (1 hour dinner break)
Sunday Nov. 11: 9:00am-5:00pm (1 hour dinner break)

Cost: Early Bird pricing: $450 before March 31, $475 after March 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW


Early Bird Package Pricing: Journey through Egypt I & II: $925 before March 31, $950 after March 31

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

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…