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Festival of Oriental Dance text.
General Information | Schedule | Workshops | Free Events | Bios | Performances | Registration
    $60 each. Register at the door. (Times and days subject to change.)
Image of Amel Tafsout.

Photo by Denise Marino

Nuba: A Dance Journey Through the Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco)

Thursday 1:30–3:30
Amel introduces dance movements that are specific to each country, such as the Tunisian hip twists, Moroccan-style hips and belly drops, and Algerian hip figures of eight, in addition to other steps. She teaches the similarities and differences of each dance, talks about costuming, gives some background for each dance, and teaches sequences in each style.

Sufi Workshop: Sound Healing and Trance
Friday 3:45–5:45
(in Egypt, Sudan, and the Middle East) and Hadra (in North Africa) are two of the few still-existing ancient healing ceremonies performed by women for women originating in Africa. In Algeria, as in many Arabic countries, it is still common that women get together in order to release sadness, pain, frustration, and diseases through music and dance. Amel grew up with this dance form, and studied healing and trance mediumship at the College of Psychic Studies in London. This is not a traditional dance workshop—it is a Healing Dance workshop. (Much more...)

Andalusian Dance: Andalusian Style to Ya Raya
Sunday 11:15–1:15
Andalusian dances originate from Arabo-Andalusian dance traditions and are performed exclusively by women from cities such as Algiers, Constantine, Fes, Meknes, Tetouan, Tunis, and Sousse. They are seen at festivities such as weddings, or at the end of a classical Andalusian concert. The dancers wore elaborate costumes and started the dance with small steps, gently moving hips, and making beautiful arabesques with their hands or with scarves. This dance is very soft and gracious!

During the workshop Amel teaches some hand and scarf technique, followed by choreography to Ya Raya. Please bring two “chiffon” scarves, or two silk fan-veils.


Image of Ava Fleming.

Drum Solo with Cymbals
Thursday 9:00–11:00
A fun funky drum solo choreographed to Move, where the cymbals are used to accent the music and your movement! Master both, and you can choose to dance this to the music, the cymbals, or both!

Jazz-Infused Combinations
Friday 11:15–1:15
Like a good spice, a little bit of fusion goes a long way. Taking some jazz concepts, these combinations focus on lengthening your lines and creating stage dynamics without overpowering the essential Oriental movement, emotion, or interpretation. Give your dance the boost you've been looking for while keeping the integrity of your individual style the star of the show.

Belly Dance Technique and Combinations
Saturday 3:45–5:45
Ava developed these combinations specifically to keep your musicality and technical skills fresh, using each aspect to enhance and emphasize the other. We range from classics such as Enta Omri, to pop songs like Toul Omry to inspire and energize you!



Combinations and Traveling Steps
Thursday 3:45–5:45
Using the dance space, keeping your audience visually interested, requires dancers to move about in the dance venue space, whether it’s a small nightclub/restaurant stage or a larger theatrical venue. Dahlena offers steps and combinations of steps to accomplish this goal in a graceful, interesting, and exciting manner.

Stylings for an Oriental Dance Entrance
Saturday 9:00–11:00
What does your entrance style say about you? What do you want it to accomplish? Dahlena addresses the idea and concept behind the Oriental dancers’ entrance, with information and dance examples about how to make the most from your Entrance. She offers valuable insights about how to use your music, the best way to dance in the available space, and your choice of movements to use during your entrance. Bring your veil!

Short Modern Choreography Using Classic Egyptian Dance Moves
Sunday 1:30–3:30
Using movements gleaned from the Golden Age of dancers in the Egyptian cinema, Dahlena teaches a short choreography to a modern Arabic pop song. She shows how to tailor the Golden Age movements to a new sound.


Image of Ruby Beh.

Swifty Chifte: Fast Turkish Chiftetelli

Thursday 11:15–1:15

Get your Turkish style on with some fun, upbeat Chiftetelli combos and rhythm breakdown. We're breaking down the chiftetelli rhythm then exploring how to dance to it upbeat style with different props and a little bit of structured improvisation. Bring zills (optional for more advanced dancers) and circular chiffon veil.

All About Arms: Frames and Flourishes for Better Bellydance
Friday 1:30–3:30
This workshop reveals how to polish your performance with strong and innovative arm pathways and concepts. Ruby covers a full range of arm stylizations, combos, and creative exercises to get your body and arms in sync with style.

Explorations in Improvisation
Sunday 9:00–11:00
Improvisation is at the heart of bellydance. This exploratory class gives you the tools to perform flawless improvisation on stage or in restaurant/clubs. Through staging technique, creative exercises, and movement recall practices, you'll be improvising in no time.

  Sandi Ball

Image of Sandi.


Friday 9:00–11:00
Create a cohesive performance with the base of your dance language. From the basics, the understanding of all other movements opens up. Break down and drill: Taxeem, Hand Floreo, Arm Undulations, Bodywave, Torso Rotation, Circle Step, Egyptian, Arabic, Pivot Bump/Choo Choo, and Shimmy. Then, use them with simple formations for leading and following. Add in some specialty movements and we’ve got a dynamic presentation!

Fun-da-mentals Review and Shimmy + Variations
Saturday 11:15–1:15
½-time Shimmy, Shoulder Shimmy, Ghawazee Shimmy Combo, Reverse Shimmy, Sunanda, Alternating Shimmy w/Levels, Wet Dog.

Fun-da-mentals Review and Forming Formations
Sunday 3:45–5:45
Transform your performance with smooth transitions into interesting formations like Dueling Duets, Diagonals, Café Style, and using Fades to create depth and texture. Must have good technique in all moves covered in the “Fun-da-mentals” workshop: Taxeem, Hand Floreo, Arm Undulations, Bodywave, Torso Rotation, Circle Step, Egyptian, Arabic, Pivot Bump/Choo Choo, and Shimmy.


Photo of Cassandra.
Spicing Up Your Troupe Choreography
Saturday 1:30–3:30
Need some novel ways to get your troupe/group dances out of a rut? Cassandra gives you some new choreographic ideas to give your work new interest and spice! Class is a mixture of lecture and movement; notes provided!

Jawaahir Dance Company & The Cassandra School - 1940 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403    612-872-6050    | Contact Us |