Middle Eastern Dance:
Events - Workshops

In general, the emphasis is on instruction, with the occasional party/show or two. Most associated shows feature invited dancers only, thus most workshop participants won't perform though there may be a party or section of a party/show with an open dance floor. Check the Calendar of Upcoming Events for specific dates for these events this year.


Amaya's Shake and Bake
P.O. Box 40573
Albuquerque, NM 87196-0573
Weeklong dance workshop/camp - this past year in Albuquerque, NM USA. In addition to middle eastern dance workshops, there are also teachers of other styles, such as Flamenco; plus parties, shopping, tours of attractions in the area, etc. (From medance list) "..the teachers are good and the dance instruction is serious and demanding."

Central Asian Dance Camp
Travis Jarrell
22 Synergia Rd.
Santa Fe, NM 87505 USA
phone: 505-438-2785
fax: 505-471-2573
email: elliot@nets.com
An intensive 4 day workshop with Laurel Victoria Gray and Travis Jarrell, designed for complete immersion into Central Asian dance and culture. Recommended for intermediate, advanced and professional level dancers. Intrepid beginners also welcome! Held annually in summer, usually early August. Typical events (itinerary for 1997 camp) include:
  • Study basic technique as taught at the Tashkent Choreographic Institute
  • Learn two choreographies - Khorezm Uzbek and Classical Persian
  • Study freestyle elements of folkloric Bukharan dance
  • View "on-location" videos of native dancers
  • Enjoy special classes on costuming and Uzbek culture
Synergia Ranch is located on high mesa land just 15 miles SW of historic downtown Santa Fe. Cost for 1997 camp is/was $395, includes room and board from Wednesday evening to Monday morning. Four days of instruction, detailed handouts and music for choreographies. Both instructors - Laurel Gray and Travis Jarrell studied in Uzbekistan with nationally renowned teachers. PLEASE NOTE: Places are very limited. Early booking is advised.

"Last year's Central Asian Dance Camp was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Laurel Gray, assisted by Travis Jarrell, shared her vast knowledge of Central Asian dance. The artist colony at Synergia Ranch, was developed by a couple who have traveled in Central Asia and it is clear that they have been influenced by the culture and architecture of the region. We danced in splendid costumes, under a great arch in the courtyard, just as if we were performing in the ancient city of Bukhara. The camp was promoted as a "total immersion in Central Asian culture." It certainly lived up to this claim. Even when we weren't attending class, which was seldom, Laurel and Travis continued to share their personal experiences of the people and customs of the region. Evenings were spent watching videos, sharing in women's rituals and in costuming presentations. A shopping trip to Santa Fe's annual Indian Market was also included!" --Beatrice Rose

Runs an annual weeklong dance workshop in Chicago (and possibly D.C. soon), in August. (From medance list) "Dahlena is superb on technique...she works with people in a way that is attentive, caring, persistent, but never demeaning of embarrassing."

Suzanna Del Vecchio
P.O. Box 61383
Denver, CO 80206 USA
Runs an annual dance retreat at Shadowcliff Life Center in Grand Lake, Colorado USA; this year's (95's) ran 10-13 Aug. Call for details.

Delilah's 10 Day Visionary Bellydance Retreat
Visionary Dance Productions
PO Box 30797
Seattle Washington 98103 USA
Held annually on the island of Maui, Hawaii in January. (Excerpted her flyer) Retreats offer classes and performance experience plus fun in the sun and surf, and field trips around Maui; dancers of all ages and levels welcome. One of her hallmark events is a ritual bellydance into the sea with live musical accompaniment by Sirocco (wearing sea-faring costumes). Classes include slow, fast, and veil belly dance moves; drums with Armando, body adornment, Hula, African bellydance; as well as parties, performances etc. The cost this year (96) is $1295 which includes lodging, all classes, dance notes, live music, all activity fees, field trips, T-shirt, video documentary of the retreat, ground transportation and all meals (excpet 2 so you can sample local cuisine). Air fares are not included. The current retreat is already 2/3 booked up, so call soon if you're interested. This year (Jan 96) features Delilah, Sirocco, and special guest artist Meleah from San Diego.

Festival on the Nile
Beledi Productions
16416 Myers Ct.
Clermont, FL 34711
phone: 407-656-7524
Website: http://aleena.com/beledi
"Beledi Productions is the sponsor for "Festival on the Nile", held twice annually in Orlando, FL. Festival XII is scheduled for Oct. 11-13, 1996. Fahtiem is the featured instructor. Friday night is the Hafla, and Saturday night is the featured show. Seminars are held Saturday and Sunday.For more information please e-mail/write/phone/check the website."

Mezdulene's Retreat
try the address for her Journal Jareeda (I've no other address at the moment):
PO Box 7832
Bonney Lake, WA 98390-0984 USA
(From medance list) Mezdulene runs an annual retreat in Oregon USA, with an emphasis on community--scheduling potlucks, campfires, and free time for dancers to get to know each other. "Past years have featured 9 workshops by 9 different teachers, ranging in subject matter (body locks and overlays, goddess dance, karsilama, double veil, bedouin wedding dance, drumming and rhythmns....this year she will be having 13 or 14 instructors and will be starting earlier." "Men and older boys (children) are not allowed, but there IS a discount for daughters. This is one of the things my female students have been so impressed with; everyone knows from the outset that there will be no men present, and it seems to make it easier for the less experienced dancers to solo...".

Mendecino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp
Middle Eastern Music and Dance Productions
3244 Overland Ave. Unit 1
Los Angeles CA 90034, USA
The Mendecino Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp is an annual summer event held in the Mendocino Woodlands about 3 hours N of San Francisco. (From medance list) "It attracts teachers of highest caliber in a number of instruments--including drum, ney, saz, riqq, oud, violin, etc., and voice too. The drum teachers include Souhael Kaspar (Arabic), Salaheddin Takesh, and Polly Ferber (Greek and Turkish)...as for ney, the teachers are Scott Marcus and Faruk Tekbilek... They also have several dance teachers, this year (95) including Aisha Ali and Morocco. Plus folk dancing (Turkish, Armenian, and Greek.) ...beginners are welcome." For 1995, the camp ran 20-27 August; price was $405 for the whole week-long thing which included room (4 person cabins), classes, concerts, parties and meals. Part-time registration ($75 per day) was also possible. Highly recommended by some on the medance list. Tips on attending the camp and other comments.

320 W. 15th St.
New York, NY 10011 USA
phone: 212-727-8326
Well known instructor, performer, workshop teacher. She also runs tours to Turkey, the last one occuring July 8-12 1995 for $2495, and a week long summer workshop, the last one on Aug 6-12 1995--5 hours daily for $295. There was a 25 person max limit on her week-long dance workshop last time. (From the medance list) "...her tremendous knowledge of ethnic dance, ability to translate songs, etc..." "I took a seminar with her and immediately loved the way she broke things down, the way she got the class to relax, her "you can do" attitude, and the positive and egalitarian way she treated everyone, in general. No playing favorites, no haughtiness, just good hard work. This was a woman who *wanted* everyone to do well, and believed they could! WHAT a refreshing change!!!! Years later, she is still this way." "Rocky sees and appreciates talent--WHETHER YOU ARE *HER* STUDENT OR NOT, which I admire and find all too lacking in many instructors--encourages it, is excited by it, loves it--is anything but threatened."

Oasis Dance Camp
Contact Vashti
PO Box 585
Washon Island, WA 98070
phone: 206-463-3627
Website: www.gate.net/~joani
Oasis Dance Camps:
  • Oasis North - held in Northern Michigan, USA, September
  • Oasis West - held near Seattle, Washington, USA, October
  • Oasis South - held on Jekyll Island, GA, USA, November
  • Oasis Dance Camp - New Zealand.

The Oasis Dance Camps are proud to offer their unique and exciting dance immersion to dancers across the country. Class sessions are arranged to provide the best instruction for everyone. Some classes are broken down into small groups by skill level to allow progress at a pace comfortable for you. Camp includes 4 nights lodging, meals, snacks, technique and choreography classes, "manual" and audio tape, and special activities (Specialty and Costuming Classes, Costume Fashion Show, Hafla, Dance Library, Performance Party, Video Show, Flea Market, Henna Party, etc.)

Cassandra (of MN, USA) is the mainstay of Oasis; her technique classes are the reason the camps were started 12 years ago. Additionally, each year Oasis Dance Camp offers an in-depth look at a non-Oriental dance form which is related to the Arab world. Previous such offerings have included Zahra Zuhair teaching Morrocan Guedra and Schikkatt (1996) and Artemis Mourat teaching the dance and culture of the Turkish Gypsies (1997). Check website for current pricing information.

To request a flyer and registration information (registration flyers will be ready to mail March/April), contact Vashti at the address, or phone # above, or see the Website. Note:"...book early for the Michigan camp; [Camp North books] up to maximum each year by July, if not earlier..."

Shimmy By the Sea
Sponsor: Shireem
Corpus Christi, TX
contact Shireem at phone: 512-853-6810
Held annually, usually in the spring/summer. 1997 event was May 16-17.


Suraya Hilal
Hilal School of Raqs Sharqi
520 Chiswick High Rd.
London W4 5RG
phone: 0171 987 9676
Dance Theatre of Egypt
Flat 2, 76 Priory Rd.
London NW6 3NT, UK
The first address is the latest change of address for the school, from Suraya Hilal's Events Diary for Jan-March 1996 (courtesy of Philip Walker); the second address was mentioned on the medance list but I'm not sure if it still applies (submitted by a London resident). "The class sizes are no more than 30 and usually they try to limit them to 25 people. During the summer school they put 2 classes together for the live music section of the workshop which occured 3 times. Once during the weekend workshop and twice during the 5 day workshop. We had the privilage of working with improvisation with Moustafa Samie (accordian), Takht Emile Bassili (violin) Samir Khalil (Riq) Ibrahim El Minyawi (Tablah), Haggag Metqal (Tablah) Essam El Matrawi (Doff). There are four groups at the summer school from A to D. D are the advanced students.

"There were also lectures on the following: Suraya Hilal 'Ashra Baladi and the Mawwal', Karen Van Nieuwerk author of 'Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt', Ibrahim El Minyawi - Lecture on Rhythm, Judy Hammond Bodywork, Dance and the Alexander Technique, Juliana Brustik, Relaxation and stretch leading into dance based on Feldencrais technique." --Jeroen Lapre

Last Modified: 29 Mar 1998
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