Greetings, Friends of Jawaahir,

Cassandra Shore retired as Artistic Director of Jawaahir Dance Company, effective October 31, 2021. The gifts of Middle Eastern dance she has given to the Twin Cities and Minnesota are innumerable. As a dancer, her artistry is incomparable. As an educator, her vast, multi-layered knowledge of dance, music, and culture has provided so many of us with the opportunity to learn and practice this art. As Jawaahir’s founding Artistic Director, she gave us the perfect way to experience her presence as a dancer, choreographer, producer, and artistic leader. For this, we will be forever grateful.

Jawaahir’s Board of Directors is working to find a new Artistic Director in consultation with Cassandra. We are thankful to have Lauren Olson Fraga as Acting Artistic Director, and she will serve until the role is filled permanently. We are also thankful that Cassandra will continue to teach and organize events for The Cassandra School.

We appreciate our community and know that this change may be stressful. Please know that as the Board of Directors, we are helping to lay the groundwork for the next stage in Jawaahir’s evolution. Our goal is to celebrate 32 years of incredible dance and to find a new director with the vision to chart Jawaahir’s future.

In appreciation of your continued support,
Jawaahir Dance Company Board of Directors

Artistic Director

Lauren Olson Fraga started studying Middle Eastern dance in 2006 at The Cassandra School of Middle Eastern Dance and immediately fell in love with the dance form. She studied at the school for a number of years and performed with local dance troupes before joining Jawaahir in 2010. In 2011 she moved to Brazil and continued her dance studies there. She attended workshops with a number of Brazilian dancers, performed locally, and frequently took classes with Monah Souad. In 2015 she returned to the US and rejoined Jawaahir. Since then, she has studied with a number of national and international artists, and has continued to study regularly with Cassandra. She performs at local restaurants, weddings and other special events in addition to her performances with Jawaahir Dance company. We are thrilled to have her as our Acting Artistic Director!