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Summer Series: Bellydance Workshops

Learn from top international and local teachers
January school holidays in Chatswood (North Shore)

Summer Series Workshops

Our regular dance classes close down over the summer school holidays. So you don't lose your shimmy, here's a fantastic opportunity to dance into the new year and try out some new styles, as well as being introduced to new teachers from around Sydney and further afield.

4 workshops - 4 teachers - 4 nights!

Please see the next page for registration and bookings.


All workshops are to be held at a large, mirrored, wooden floored studio in Chatswood:

Chatswood Seventh Day Adventist Church Hall
19 Devonshire St, Chatswood (on the corner of Johnson St, just down the road from Westfields)

Free on-site or street parking, easy walk from Chatswood train station

Timetable and Descriptions

Workshops are OPEN LEVEL. Basic bellydance experience is assumed.

Each workshop consists of 2 hours of dancing, with a 15 minute break in the middle that will be dedicated to discussion of relevant cultural factors.

Topic Teacher Date
Fabulous Fan Veils Johara Monday 16 Jan, 6.45-9pm
Shaabi Mahragan Kirsty Wednesday 18 Jan, 6.45-9pm
Indian Fusion Meher Thursday 19 Jan, 6.45-9pm
Moroccan Chaabi Virginia Monday 23 Jan, 6.45-9pm

Johara (Sydney) - Romantic Fan Veils

JoharaMonday 16th January, 6.45-9pm

Fan veils are one of the most expressive props in our Oriental dance repertoire, able to convey a range of emotions with just a flick of the wrist. In this workshop we will explore how to use fan veils to accentuate your dancing and make the most of the silky smooth spins, wraps, flutters and frames.
This workshop will give participants the technique and skills to not just use fans as a prop but to actually dance with them. You will also benefit from increased awareness of core muscles and balance, technique tips for spinning and turning (without getting dizzy!) as well as adding expression to their dance.
Suitable for novice fan dancers (at a beyond beginners dance level) to experienced dancers looking to consolidate and enhance their current knowledge.
Please bring a set of silk fans to this workshop (please advise if you wish to loan, limited sets available. First come first served!)

Johara's style draws from her extensive knowledge of Egyptian folkloric, classical and modern dance. She integrates fluid footwork, graceful turns and spins with dynamic hip and belly movements. Her classes are informative and full of detail, including insights into the relevant anatomy and muscle work to achieve clarity and precision in your movements.

Here is Johara performing her fan veil choreography in Brisbane last year.

Kirsty (Canberra) - Sha'abi Mahragan

KirstyWednesday 18th January, 6.45-9pm

A jarring and crazy beat is overtaking the streets of Egypt. Infused with a sinister base, speedy 'chig-chigga-chig' cymbals, aggressive lyrics and heavily auto tuned beats this is a sound not for the faint hearted. Take a walk down the back streets of Cairo and enter the world of mahragan and find out what crazy dance goes to this crazy beat.

Kirsty is a dance artist who specialises in the performing arts of the Near East: from Turkey, through Egypt and Persia, and as far as Azerbaijan. She has lived in Turkey, written a thesis on bellydance in Egypt, and developed strong connections with the communities whose dance she performs. She is one of Canberra's leading dancers, and teaches regularly with Bedazzled Bellydance. She says:

"I first came across mahragan maybe about 5 years ago when a friend from Egypt came back and gave me a CD with 'new music' and most of it was mahragan. Wanting to learn more, she studied with Sabrina from the USA (who learnt mahragan and performed mahragan in Egypt) and immersed myself in the cultural / political aspects of it." 

Check out Kirsty's Shaabi Mahragan performance at the Newcastle Bellydance Festival last year.

Meher Malik (India) - Indian Fusion

MeherThursday 19th January, 6.45-9pm

Over the years, belly dance has evolved and has been affected by the cultural matter surrounding it in various countries around the world. In India the phenomenon of belly dance is relatively new. But the impact of the Indian culture on belly dance has been existent for a while now. The link between various gypsy dances draws the thread between Indian dances and belly dance. In this workshop we will discover the difference between various folk and classical Indian dances, the study of hand gestures (mudras), posture, footwork and isolation patterns, a short choreography and most importantly the tools to create sensible and aesthetic Indian belly dance fusion. Carry a notebook and pen.

Meher Malik is the foremost exponent of Egyptian dance in India having spent more than 15 years learning, training, mastering and now teaching and evolving the dance through her Banjara School of Dance in Delhi.

Known for her strong performances, Meher mixes Egyptian belly dancing with moves and music from the traditional Odissi tradition as well as Bollywood, creating spellbinding choreographies. She has carved a niche for herself as a fusion artist, receiving huge recognition after her appearances on India’s Got Talent.

Take a look at some of Meher's performances.

Virginia (Wollongong) - Moroccan Chaabi

Monday 23rd January, 6.45-9pmVirginia

Moroccan popular music is used to express feelings, and can be intensely political. "Chaabi" is the dance of the people and incorporates elements of traditional Moroccan movement: the dance features shimmies, hair sways, and bold hip accents. It is earthy and joyous in nature, and a whole lot of fun! In this workshop we explore the rhythm, technique, and movements that are typical of Moroccan style, set to upbeat modern Moroccan Chaabi music.

Virginia Keft is founding director and principal of Cinnamon Twist Belly Dance, the Illawarra’s largest Middle Eastern dance centre; as well as the Wollongong Belly Dance Festival. An experienced and dynamic performer, Virginia is known for her charismatic stage presence and down-to-earth teaching style. Virginia has dedicated the last 20 years to the study, performance, and teaching of belly dance both nationally and abroad. She has written a thesis on the history of belly dance in literature and culture, and presented and published numerous papers and seminars, alongside teaching and performing.

Here's Virginia in action (performing in Oriental style)

Thanks to everyone who joined in, including our wonderful teachers! The next special event is pop-up workshops with Alia Thabit.

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