Bellydance History with Zahira


After the incredible response to this course in 2015, and

for all those who missed it, we're offering it again!  

Zahira is THRILLED to combine her extensive academic  

background, deep historical and cultural knowledge, and

her bellydance experience with YOU in this one-of-a-kind

10 week specialty course.

In a Seminar format (lecture and discussion), the course

is open to bellydance students (beginners to professionals),

bellydance enthusiasts, history and cultural studies

scholars and general public who are interested in exploring

the history, roots and cultural background of bellydance as

well as its current standing in the world. It is a MUST for

any bellydance student who aspires to become professional

in the art form.

We will cover the following topics:

WEEK 1 ~ Ancient roots 1: The Mediterranean (Phoenicia, Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia)

WEEK 2 ~ Ancient roots 2: The Romani connection: following the trail from India

WEEK 3 ~ Middle Eastern Music and Dance in the Middle Ages: from Mecca, Medina &

                 Damascus to Spain

WEEK 4 ~ The Ottoman Empire

WEEK 5 ~ The Orientalist period: 'the mystique of the East', from Napoleon to Gerome to

                 Oscar Wilde

WEEK 6 ~ The image of Salome past and present (from Medieval representations to

                 Orientalist ones)

WEEK 7 ~ The Chicago World Fair, (1893) and the late 1890's

WEEK 8 ~ The 20th Century 1: Golden Era (1920's - 1960's)

WEEK 9 ~ The 20th Century 2: immigration and the birth of modern styles outside the Middle


WEEK 10~ The Globalized world

Summary notes, bibliography and readings will be facilitated for each class.

We approach the Seminar with the knowledge that each and every single one of the topics covered could have it's own 10-week session, and this means to be an introduction and discussion of some of the main issues regarding each historical period/topic.

No drop ins and no make ups from other classes as the course builds upon the knowledge acquired in each session. However if you miss one of the seminar sessions you will be given the reading materials and you can attend any bellydance class as a make up.

Registration coming soon!

                                   "SPRING   WORKSHOPS"  with Zahira


1:10 - 3:10 pm  "Drum Solo How To's"

Drum solo secrets, technique and creation!  

We will cover:

~  drum solo technique:  clear isolations, mind-blowing layers,  pop and lock

                                    patterns and mesmerizing shimmies.

~  rhythms commonly used in drum solos

~  drum solo structure for choreography and improvisation

~  power moves, surprises, show stoppers

~  musicality, expression and joy!

3:30 - 5:30 pm  

"Weaving Poetry:  Beautiful Arms and Graceful Hands"

As frames or as the main focus of a piece, arms and hands  are AS important

as all bellydance steps, moves and technique.

They can be deliciously expressive and they can make or break a piece.


In this workshop we will cover:

* how to create energy, strength, intention and expressiveness: dancing with

your arms and hands in a way that looks effortless, natural and interesting.

* create smooth transitions between arm moves, arm frames and arm paths in a way that makes transitions an expressive and fun part of the dance that has all the potential of bringing up your own dancer –personality.

* use your breath and energy to bring fluidity, radiating beauty within and without and create beautiful lines with your body using the expressiveness and strength of your arms, finger tips, legs and toes.

Be inspired and amazed!  Weave poetry with your arms and create an eloquent, moving painting with your whole body!


Each workshop $40 in advance (no hst until April 7)

$50 at the door.

Take both workshops for $70 in advance ($85 at the door)

Take ALL 4 workshops April 15 & 29 for $130



1:10 - 3:10 pm  "Musicality and Improvisation"

This workshop will provide insights on how the dance works, so you can create it yourself!  

Touching upon musicality and structure, as well as expression and feeling this workshop will give you tools to organize your dance:

~  make your movement vocab accessible while you're improvising, opening up to a free flow of ideas and identifying your safety moves and ultimately your own personal style

~  work with continuity for smooth and fluid transitions between ideas and moves

~  work with structure, theme(s), alternation, variation and timing

~  work with space and time: how to use your floor space and pace yourself

~  create useful compositional skeletons for fantastic "improvographies"/structured improvisations

~  use texture, variety, intension and expression

Improvisation requires a set of skills that are also useful and transferable to choreography creation.  Yes, they seem like 2 ends of the spectrum, yet they can inform and aid each other!  (So even if you don't feel ready to improvise you can use these skills to create beautiful choreography too)



3:30 - 5:30 pm  

"Become an enchantress: powerful stage presence to engage, captivate and mesmerize"

"The greatest artists capture your attention through their sheer power as performers."

Transform your shyness, stage-panic and performer's anxiety into a strong and captivating stage presence!

Learn how to tap into that hypnotic, enchanting quality that great performers have and make you not be able to look away!

Develop your strength as a performer, discover your own mesmerizing dancing persona and create a magical connection with the audience!

Using theatre, drama and movement techniques, sharing advice, tips, and her secrets as an enchanting performer, Zahira will guide you through a variety of exercises that will help you:

* release the tension of being the centre of attention, being comfortable in your own skin

* create a magical connection with your audience, with intention and intensity

* take possession of the stage,  filling the stage, making it yours!

* be truly 'present', and thereby powerful, captivating and effective on-stage

* exude confidence, command attention and engage your audience fully into your performance


~  Each workshop $40 in advance, $50 at the door  (no HST until April 15)

~  Take both workshops for $70 in advance,  $85 at the door.

~  Take ALL 4 workshops (April 15 & 29) for $130 (in advance only)