Sahara Dance

Special Topic Workshops

We offer special workshops along with our regular instructional and performance classes to help students and experienced dancers alike expand their knowledge and skills.

Special Topic Workshops

Alf Leyla Wi Leyla Veil Choreography ↑ Top

With Rachel Kay Brookmire

This workshop will review the essentials of veil dancing technique. Students will learn a choreography to the Egyptian classic, Alf Leyla Wi Leyla (A Thousand and One Nights).

Prerequisite: Completion of Low Intermediate and above

Developing Choreography for Middle Eastern Dance ↑ Top

Learn the essentials for developing a solo choreography to Middle Eastern music. Explore song selection, musical interpretation, transitions, diagramming music and other keys to creating a dance that dynamically reflects and highlights the music.

This intensive two-part workshop will include homework, guiding each participant’s choreographic process through revision.

Prerequisite: Low Intermediate Belly Dance & above

Egyptian Cane Combinations ↑ Top

In Raqs Al Assaya, a cheerful dance from the Sa’id (Upper Egypt), the dancer twirls a cane in playful imitation of the men’s regional martial art. (The men’s version, Tahtihb, is performed with heavy staffs.)

Cane Combinations with Rachel Kay Brookmire

Raqs Al Assaya may be presented as folkloric dance, or elements of this dance may be adapted for cabaret-style Oriental dance.

In this workshop, students will learn basic cane vocabulary.

Students need to provide canes for class.

Prerequisite: Low Intermediate and above

Introduction to American Tribal Belly Dance ↑ Top

Learn authentic Middle Eastern folkloric dances, innovative American Tribal Style belly dance, Dabkeh line-dancing, Drumming and more.

DancersThis workshop will introduce the fundamentals of Sahara Style Tribal, characterized by rhythm-based combinations, structured improvisation and folkloric fusions. Ideal for those curious about tribal belly dance and/or interested in joining Raqs Caravan West. Tribal dancers share basic movement vocabulary, standard dance formations, improvisational cues and transitions to create pieces improvisationally as a tribe. Tribal dance often fosters friendships; a strong sense of community can evolve from improvising as a group.

Prerequisite: Beginner II Belly Dance and above

Introduction to Veil ↑ Top

VeilLearn introductory veil dancing technique, including placement, turns and wafting. Drawing from modern Egyptian style entrances, dance traveling combinations and practice entrance moves. Learn to recognize Middle Eastern rhythms common to entrances. A brief overview of the history of veil dance will also be discussed.

Veils will be available for purchase in class or students may provide their own (approximately 3 yards of chiffon, silk, or other soft, flowing, hemmed fabric).

Prerequisite: None

Live Drumming Belly Dance Jam ↑ Top

With Rachel Kay Brookmire & Brad Sidwell

Come out for an evening of raqs sharqi with live percussion! Learn modern Egyptian style, rhythm-based combinations and practice dancing with live musical accompaniment. Middle Eastern rhythm handouts will be provided. There will be an improvisational belly dance jam at the end of the workshop.

Prerequisite: Beginning II Belly Dance and above

Middle Eastern Dance Posture & Alignment ↑ Top

With Rachel Kay Brookmire

Proper posture and lifted carriage are essential for beautiful Middle Eastern dance technique. Postural alignment is also necessary for efficient body mechanics. This class will focus on how to analyze postural imbalances and develop better posture.

Drawing on techniques from Pilates, yoga and physical therapy, learn exercises and stretches to strengthen core muscles, lengthen the spine and open the chest. We will also review workout practices that complement and balance Middle Eastern dance training.

Prerequisite: None

Shimmies… ↑ Top
An Evening of Coin Jingling, Fringe Flying Fun!

Can you count them all? Come and review what you already know or learn a new way to jiggle. Guaranteed to be a great workout!

Workshop instructor: Rachel Kay Brookmire

Prerequisite: None

Taqsim ↑ Top

Taqsim refers to a solo, instrumental piece or section of music, often improvised. Hypnotic and introspective, some believe the soul or essence of a dancer is revealed while performing to a taqsim.

Learn to recognize the instruments most often used in a taqsim, and how to reflect the music in your dance. The class will focus on musical interpretation, transitions, improvisation and emotional expression.

Prerequisite: Beginning II Belly Dance and above

Urban Tribal Belly Dance ↑ Top

With Ebony

Urban Tribal Belly Dance with Ebony

Join Ebony in exploring fun and unique spins on contemporary tribal belly dance. Students will drill isolations, locks and learn belly dance hip-hop combinations.

This workshop will be high energy-prepare to sweat and have a good time! Ebony cannot be held responsible for any student’s uncontrollable urge to three-quarter-shimmy the next time he/she goes out dancing.

Zills Intensive Workshops ↑ Top
Introduction to Zills

Learn introductory finger cymbal technique, patterns and movement combinations. Designed and highly recommended to prepare students for the Low Intermediate II Sahara Dance technique class, this workshop is a great way to begin developing technical proficiency with finger cymbals. No previous finger cymbal experience is required.

Intermediate Zills

Refine finger cymbal technique by accompanying faster rhythms and using more intricate patterns, as well as pairing cymbals with complex movement combinations. Designed to help students become comfortable and proficient using finger cymbals.

Prerequisite: Completion of Sahara Dance Low Intermediate technique or permission of teacher