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

Week-long Intensive with Shahrzad

Shahrzad

Roots of Belly Dance Intensive

Delve into dance from a new perspective and gain a deeper understanding of the art you love.

Shahrzad will offer a unique five-day workshop intensive designed to connect belly dance movements to the rich cultures and traditions from which they come.

Students will work within several dance traditions and styles from North Africa and the Middle East which influence modern belly dance. In addition to dance technique / movement, we delve into the music, costuming, and customs that influence the dance with live music, costuming demonstrations, and video presentations.

This intensive is structured to enrich dancers at all levels; some previous belly dance experience is recommended.

Roots of Belly Dance
Date: April 27-May 1 (5-day)
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Teacher: Shahrzad
Cost: $55 single day / $175 week-long (5-day)
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Single Day
Monday, April 27 $55
Tuesday, April 28 $55
Wednesday, April 29 $55
Thursday, April 30 $55
Friday, May 1 $55

 

Week-long package, April 27-May 1 (5 day):


Live Music Intensive

Take your dancing to the next level in this unique five-day intensive.

Shahrzad teams up with two of DC’s best Arabic style musicians, Hicham El Anmari and Marshall Bodiker, to offer dancers the unique opportunity to learn about choreographing and improvising to Arabic music.

The intensive starts with rhythm training and progresses into a sampling of musical styles used in Raqs Sharqi, including Taqsim, Beledi progression, Shaabi, drum solo, and more!

The intensive will culminate in a supportive, in-class opportunity to perform with live music (performance is optional).

Enrollment in the Live Music Intensive is limited to a small number of dancers to ensure that everyone receives the space and personal attention they need to learn and grow.

This intensive is open to intermediate, advanced, and professional level dancers.

Live Music Intensive
Date: April 27-May 1 (5-day)
Time: 8:00-9:00 pm
Teacher: Shahrzad
Cost: $150
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

 

Package registration: Roots of Belly Dance Intensive and Live Music Intensive
Cost: $300
Location: Sahara Dance Central*
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Cancellation policy: Week-long intensive 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.

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

Elegant Arms

Shahrzad Movements of the arms add emotion, drama, and accentuation to any dancers performance.

Learn elegant poses, gestures, and movements of the arms and how to add them into combinations to create a beautifully well rounded dance.

Date(s): Saturday, May 2

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

Teacher(s): Shahrzad

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Advanced Belly Technique

Shahrzad Whip your abdominals into tip top shape with this challenging workshop!

Shahrzad will teach many of her signature belly moves including some of her most advanced technique for flutters, rolls, and locks. Then, layer your new belly moves!

Date(s): Saturday, May 2

Time(s): 3:45-5:45 pm

Teacher(s): Shahrzad

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Introduction to Belly Dance

Introduction to Belly Dance

Voted the Best Dance Class in DC!

Discover the timeless beauty and joy of 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. Belly dance is a timeless art form is practiced by people of all ages from all walks of life. At Sahara Dance, we dance to share in the transformative power of an ancient art form embracing femininity.

In this introductory workshop, students will learn basic technique including lifted stance and posture, shimmies, isolations, undulations and traveling steps. Class will also include a brief introduction to the history, context and philosophy of belly dance.

Celebrate femininity through an ancient, life-embracing art and find out why Sahara Dance has been voted Best Dance Class in DC for 7 years!

All levels are welcome. No prior experience necessary. This workshop is designed for students new to belly dance or new to Sahara Dance. Current students are welcome to bring a friend new to belly dance and join as well!

Date: Sunday, May 3
Time: 1:00-2:00 pm (new time!)
Teacher: Rachel
Location: Sahara Dance Central
Cost: $20*
*Free for 13th annual “Under a Desert Moon” gala ticket holders!
See details and RSVP here.

Moulid Sampler: Egyptian Folkloric Styles

Omoladun

A moulid is a celebration of a saint’s birth, and Egypt is well-known for it’s lively and festive moulids!

Of course, every festival requires music and dancing. Egypt is rich with musical and dance traditions that have contributed to what we know and love as belly dance today.

This class will provide an overview of several different folk dances from Egypt that have shaped many moves we use in our dance, including Saiidi, Nubian, Melaya Leff, Fallahi, Hagallah, Gawazee, Tanoura, and Bambutaya.

Learn the roots of the dance and discover new movements to add to your repertoire!

Open to all levels; at least 4 months of belly dance recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, May 9

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

Teacher(s): Omoladun

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Mother’s Day! Mother/Daughter Dance

Mother's Day Alyssum Pohl, 34, and her mother, Brooke Pohl, 61, will be co-teaching this special Mother’s Day workshop.

Learn connection exercises, partner stretches and fun and simple belly dance combinations.

This workshop is a wonderful introduction to dance for those who have never danced before, and we will provide easy and fun modifications to engage more advanced dancers.

Alyssum is a faculty member at Sahara Dance. Brooke has been dancing all her life and belly dancing for 15 years. Brooke currently dances with Rakadu in Lexington KY and says, “It has been an honor to dance with my daughter and to share the community and friendships within the belly dance community with her.”

They both look forward to sharing mother-daughter fun in this workshop with you!

Note: while this is workshop is held on Mother’s Day, and is called “Mother/Daughter Dance” we are gender-inclusive, and support our sons, transitional family members, and friends too! Bring whomever you would like to share dance with and celebrate a special connection.

All levels welcome, ages 8-108!

Date(s): Sunday, May 10

Time(s): 12:00-2:00 pm

Teacher(s): Alyssum and Brooke Pohl

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $70 (registration is for 2 people @ $35 each)

Tribal Roulette: Gatsby Edition

Gabrielle

Learn a fun 1920’s-inspired choreography that draws from the playful expressiveness of Oriental style, the challenging isolations and sharpness of fusion and the romantic decadence of the Jazz Age and Roaring Twenties. We’ll blend pops and locks with arabesques and maybe even a Charleston or two.

Catch the choreography debut on stage at the 13th annual Under a Desert Moon gala, then join the workshop to break it down and add to your own repertoire!

Sneak peek!

Date(s): Saturday, May 16

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

Teacher(s): Gabrielle

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Improvisation

Laura K Experiment with fun tips and tools for improvising to Arab music. Learn musical understanding, phrasing, and techniques for overcoming improvisational stage-fright. Develop greater skill and comfort in spontaneously creating pieces on the spot and in the moment.

All levels are welcome; however, some previous belly dance experience is recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, May 23

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

Teacher(s): Laura

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Killer Khaleegi

Shahrzad Khaleegi is a style of dance and music originating from the Saudi Arabian peninsula characterized by pulsating footwork with layers of upper body, hips, and head work to express the intricate polyrhythmic music.

You will be bobbing your head all day with this infectiously joyful music and dance!

Date(s): Saturday, May 30

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

Teacher(s): Shahrzad

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Hairography!

ShahrzadMovements of the head and hair have long had their presence in both folkloric and oriental dance. They add a sexy and striking element to the dance and are essential skills for dancers looking to develop and perfect their dance stylization and technique.

Shahrzad will teach a number of hair and head movements and show you how to seamlessly incorporate head and hair into dance drills and combinations.

Date(s): Saturday, May 30

Time(s): 3:45-5:45 pm

Teacher(s): Shahrzad

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Intro to Turkish Rom

Eugenia

The nomadic Romany or Roma people (sometimes referred to by the slur “gypsy”) dance a vibrant style filled with gestures, pelvic movements, and complicated footwork.

While punctuated by lots of hops, hand gestures, and belly work, Turkish Rom is a relaxed social dance without the isolations seen in most belly dance.

This style is danced mostly to unusual rhythms in 9/8 time signature, known as Karsilama and Agir Roman.

The Roma are one of the most oppressed ethnic groups in Europe, and their dance often tells their story.

Learn the movements, gestures, and context of this exciting dance form to music that is sure to move you!

Open to all levels.

Date(s): Saturday, June 6

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

Teacher(s): Eugenia

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Dance Your Heart: Finding Your Own Artistic Style

Omoladun

“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”
- Martha Graham

Like snowflakes and people, no two dancers are alike
- and that is a beautiful thing.

This workshop will highlight some signature moves of world-famous dancers and offer tools to discover you own.

Be prepared to reflect, experiment, and sweat! Discover and refine your own stylization and embrace what makes you unique.

Open to all levels; at least 4 months of belly dance recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, June 13

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

Teacher(s): Omoladun

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Master Class with Sahra Saeeda

Sahra Saeeda

Friday, 6:30-8:30 pm: Belly Dance History

Explore how Egyptian folkloric dances shaped and influence the essence of oriental dance.

Belly Dance History
Date: June 26
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm
Cost: $55 through May 31, $65 after May 31
Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW



Saturday, 1:30-3:30 pm: Classic B&W Era

Description coming soon!

Some previous belly dance experience recommended.


Saturday, 3:45-5:45 pm: Essential Reda Combinations

Description coming soon!

Some previous belly dance experience recommended.

Classic B&W Era

Date: June 27

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Cost: $55 through May 31, $65 after May 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Reda Combinations

Date: June 27

Time: 3:45-5:45 pm

Cost: $55 through May 31, $65 after May 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW



Sunday, 12:00-2:00 pm: Transition Era (Fifi & Suhair)

Description coming soon!

Some previous belly dance experience recommended.


Sunday, 2:15-4:15 pm: Modern Egyptian

Description coming soon!

Some previous belly dance experience recommended.

Transition Era

Date: June 28

Time: 12:00-2:00 pm

Cost: $55 through May 31, $65 after May 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Modern Egyptian

Date: June 28

Time: 2:15-4:15 pm

Cost: $55 through May 31, $65 after May 31

Location: Sahara Dance Central
4433 Wisconsin Avenue NW

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Package Pricing: Friday, Saturday & Sunday: $250 through May 31 / $300 after May 31

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

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

Bellywood Grooves

Malina

Embark on a journey further east as you learn a unique fusion of Indian Bollywood dance and belly dance. Bollywood is a blend of classical Indian dance, Indian folk dances such as Bhangra and contemporary western dances.

The workshop will take you through some workout techniques based on both Bollywood and belly dance moves and launch into a fun, short routine.

This class will also focus on range of expressions and emotions that can be expressed through joyful and dramatic Bollywood music.

This workshop is designed for Low Intermediate level dancers and above.


Malina has been training in Middle Eastern dance for over 6 years including traditional Egyptian and Turkish cabaret styles, folkloric styles and tribal fusion. She has also studied Latin dance styles, hip hop, South Asian classical and folk dances.

While she enjoys traditional styles, she also experiments with fusion techniques and enjoys creating innovative choreography.

Date(s): Saturday, July 11

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

Teacher(s): Malina

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Spanish Gypsy Skirt Dance

Nada Khodlova

In this beautiful ancient Gypsy “Gitano” barefoot flamenco dance form, the Spanish Gypsy Skirt dance, we will experience the fanning of the skirt, the closing, opening, flicking, throwing of the skirt as the cascading pulsation of our internal sacred sexual flame as only known and expressed by a living goddess.

The power and sensuality undulates throughout our bodies and emanates out through the skirt waves. This power is rooted in the earth and flows up to the sky. The container of the dance and skirt allow the full glory of goddess to be expressed, knowing, giving, yet nourishing and protecting.

As taught to Nada by Puela Lunaris, founder of Dances of the World Society, internationally acclaimed performing artist, workshop leader and speaker, Puela is on a mission to rescue dances in danger of extinction.

This feminine dance flamenco form will include exploring sensual arms, exotic hand gestures, undulating hips and a proud torso. You will learn braceos, floreos, palmas sordas and palmas claras. Be a part of the lineage of women to carry on this dance which is on the verge of extinction.

Come and learn a dance that has its roots with the gypsy grandmothers of Spain.


Nada Khodlova, MA BC-DMT LCAT, is a Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She has danced/performed with the Duncan Dance Collective, Rina Rinkewich/Return of the Sun, PURE, Lauren Raine in “The Masks of the Goddess”, and the Thais Mazur Dance Company. Nada has facilitated Ritual Dance for wonderful venues such as “Celebrating the Mythic Life” conference, Dance New England Camp and weekend, Deborah Roth’s New Moon Sister Circle and Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors (COSM), The Goddess Festival, and The PURE Bellydance Conference in NYC. Nada has trained with Laura Shannon in a 2-year Women’s Ritual Dance intensive program and received a certification.

Nada is of Czech-Croatian heritage and has experienced many gifts of homecoming through these dances. She hopes to honor the wisdom and potency of these dances and to pass this on to others.

Date(s): Saturday, July 18

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

Teacher(s): Nada Khodlova

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

Women’s Ritual Dance

Women's Ritual Dance

You are invited to dance with the community in traditional Balkan, Greek, Rom, Armenian, Near Eastern and modern sacred circle dances.

Throughout all ages and cultures, traditional circle dances are used to honor the divine, heal, affirm connections to the earth and each other, build community and celebrate rites of passages and life transitions. Many of the dances originated in European cultures embodying a world view which honored the earth, the body and the divine feminine.

The danced patterns illuminate the web of these connections and with conscious practice align us with all from the cellular to the cosmic level. We all have the capacity to transcend ourselves and reconnect with the web, to attune to the cosmic vibration of the divine feminine, and to transmit our embodiment of this sacred energy as healing force into our lives and into our world. This is where personal and universal healing can occur.

We will seek guidance both from the dances and the ancestors who created the dances. The wisdom of the ancient ones are held within the dances. As we attentively dance and plug into this wisdom we reweave ourselves into the time-honored web of life.

The dances are joyful, meditative, mournful, full of beauty, longing, life, and celebration!


Nada Khodlova Nada Khodlova, MA BC-DMT LCAT, is a Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. She has danced/performed with the Duncan Dance Collective, Rina Rinkewich/Return of the Sun, PURE, Lauren Raine in “The Masks of the Goddess”, and the Thais Mazur Dance Company. Nada has facilitated Ritual Dance for wonderful venues such as “Celebrating the Mythic Life” conference, Dance New England Camp and weekend, Deborah Roth’s New Moon Sister Circle and Chapel of the Sacred Mirrors (COSM), The Goddess Festival, and The PURE Bellydance Conference in NYC. Nada has trained with Laura Shannon in a 2-year Women’s Ritual Dance intensive program and received a certification.

Nada is of Czech-Croatian heritage and has experienced many gifts of homecoming through these dances. She hopes to honor the wisdom and potency of these dances and to pass this on to others.

Date(s): Saturday, July 18

Time(s): 3:45-5:45 pm

Teacher(s): Nada Khodlova

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $35

I Got Rhythms! (Live Music)

Omoladun

Drums are the heart beat of belly dance and the soul of Arabic music.

With this introduction to rhythms you will learn all about the most common drum patterns found in belly dance music, as well as movements, footwork, and combinations that compliment each one.

Dancing with a live drummer will help you learn earthy saidi, sensual chiftiteli, playful karlisma, and more.

This workshop will focus on understanding the regional feeling, context and corresponding movement quality that best fit each rhythm. Students will learn a short drum solo and a handout of rhythm descriptions will be provided to take home.

Start moving to the beat and hitting accents with attitude!

This workshop is great for students who are new to rhythms or need a refresher. Open to all levels; at least 4 months of belly dance recommended.

Date(s): Saturday, August 1

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

Teacher(s): Omoladun and Randy

Location: Sahara Dance Central

Cost: $45

Master Class with Mardi Love

Mardi Love

Save the Date: August 14-16
Stay tuned. Details coming soon!

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Bali 2015

Bali Retreat with Rachel Brice:
The HeART of Belly Dance
Desa Seni, Bali
August 22-29, 2015

Rachel Brice


































Immerse yourself in an intensive yoga and dance retreat designed to rejuvenate your love for belly dance and re-connect with your heart.

Don’t miss this unique tropical all-inclusive belly dance retreat, complete with:

  • All-inclusive week-long retreat (room, meals, workshops, yoga)
  • 30+ hours of daily technique, combination, choreography and yoga classes
  • Balinese Opening Cleansing ceremony
  • Cultural night with traditional Indonesian dinner and Balinese dance performances
  • Q & A with Rachel Brice
  • Wi-fi throughout the resort
  • Optional excursions including surfing, white water rafting, cultural Balinese dance performances, sight-seeing tours

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.

**SOLD OUT**
Click here to join the waiting list
Master Class with Virginia

Virginia of Miami

Save the Date: September 11-13

Stay tuned! Details coming soon.


Virginia has captivated a worldwide public with breathtaking performances, a dynamic presence, and a soulful interpretation of Oriental Dance.

Considered to be one of the most influential and sought-after performers, a gifted choreographer, and one of the most profound master instructors of this ancient art form, Virginia has been presented in the most prominent theaters and festivals across 5 continents and over 60 countries.

Incorporating innovative musicality and ingenious choreographic prowess, Virginia is known for constantly reinventing the dance.

She dares to elevate the dance to all new levels while staying true to its indigenous roots.

She has created 7 teaching DVDs, 2 theatrical productions on DVD, and 2 Oriental Dance Music CDs.

Master Class with Zoe Jakes

Zoe Jakes Save the Date: November 19-22
Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

Master Class with Donna Mejia

Donna Mejia, Photo by Emmanuel Adero

Save the Date: December 4-6, 2015

Stay tuned! Details coming soon.

As a transnational fusion dance artist, Donna Mejia’s distinctive aesthetic explores the secular dances of North Africa and the Arab World with American hip hop and sub-genres of electronic dance.

Donna also teaches the Brazilian Silvestre Dance Technique and is a primary representative after twenty years of practice.

Donna has been guest artist in residence for twelve colleges, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Smith College on full fellowship. She joined the University of Colorado at Boulder’s dance department in 2012 as the first Assistant Professor of tribal fusion dance globally.

She balances her time teaching and touring internationally to teach, lecture, and perform for private sponsors, festivals and community organizations.

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Costa Rica 2016

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat with Rachel Brice
Blue Spirit, Costa Rica
February 13-20, 2016

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
* Movie night with popcorn
* 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.

**SOLD OUT**
Click here to join the waiting list

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…