Orientale Bellydance - Folkloric - Persian - Dabke - Tribal Fusion


Below are all the dance workshops for the 2018 program. The 2020 program is currently being prepared. Stay tuned for updates – or join our Facebook group and mailing list (links are at bottom of page) to stay informed! 


A wide variety of specialised music and dance workshops is on offer throughout each day. The only problem is figuring out which ones to do! Some of the workshops occur once during the camp and others are progressive. Once you are at the camp you can go to any of the workshops on offer. Schedules are given out upon arrival and can also be downloaded (above). Beginners are welcome and all levels of skill are catered for.

Vintage Egyptian Orientale Dance - Nikki Irwin - 4 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
Nikki will be taking us on a journey through the Golden Era of Egyptian Oriental Dance and in particular focussing on the period from early to late 50’s – the history, era specific movement repertoire, styling, and some of the key elements of her own Vintage Bellydance (c) style; all of which will culminate in a sassy 50’s style oriental choreography you can either dance in full or use some of the luscious and intricate combinations for your own work.
Egyptian Shaabi - Xaeda Raqasa - 4 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
From its folkloric roots to the nightclubs of Cairo, Shaabi has remained the dance of the people. This playful style sings of traditions, politics, struggles, love or nothing at all! From improvised music played by street musicians and café singers to the modern DJ mixes, shaabi’s cheeky movements and boldness is as dazzling as it is diverse. Xaeda’s workshops will cover (1) shaabi in its traditional form, (2) the energetic street style and invite you to join us in (3/4) learning an upbeat choreography to popular song Bos Ala El Halawa.
Feel It! - Paivi Mielikainen - 2 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
Find and express the soul of your dance! Going slow, focusing on feeling and how to project it, without gimmics, tricks or big choreographies, just with pure dance and presence. The emphasis of the workshop is centered movement with the focus on the core, how to work it, activate it, strengthen and use it to bring out the nuances you want in your dance story, when and how you want them. And let the movement bring in the feeling and joy!
There is no choreography involved, and we will not prepare for a performance, these two workshops are all about concepts, exploring and experimenting. Please bring a yoga mat if you can!
Discover Real Tahtib - Rachel Bond - 2 sessions - OPEN LEVEL (men and women welcome)
Tahtib is the name of an Egyptian martial art that dates back thousands of years, and is still practised in Upper Egypt today. In its true form it is a spectacular display of reaction time and control. The duel with sticks can be a competition, a social event, a celebration of culture, and potentially also a way of training for self-defence. Importantly, it is not a dance; but the classic parries and poses from tahtib are a rich source of inspiration for Saidi style dance.
In these workshops you’ll learn about historical and cultural aspects of Tahtib. Understand the structure of a game as we start with the typical opening sequences or ‘taheya’, be introduced to some fundamental concepts of attacking and defensive moves, and explore more movements both with a partner and solo. As well as learning more about tahtib for its own sake, folklore and oriental dancers will become more adept at handling a stick and uncover ways to give their stick dancing a more authentic Saidi look and feel. Eventually, we aim to re-enact a tournament – in slow motion of course!
While traditional Tahtib is only practised by men, women are of course also welcomed at these workshops. If possible, bring a strong, straight stick (approx 100-120cm). Limited sticks will be available for loan.
Nubian Joy - Rachel Bond - 3 sessions - OPEN LEVEL (men and women welcome)
Nubia – an area of southern Egypt and northern Sudan – has a culture all its own. The tribes of this region historically have had their own unique languages, music, dance, social customs and traditions. If you’ve ever heard the music, you’ll know you are in for a fun time.
Learn the most popular rhythms and social dance steps from the Kenzi and Fajiki tribes of Lower Nubia, making you ready to party! Explore how the moves can be adapted and extended for group choreographies on stage, while retaining their authentic flavour; potentially including props (head veils, baskets and flag fans) as well as elements of story-telling. Formation work is a big part of Nubian stage choreographies too, so be ready to play with lines, circles, partnering and more. Ultimately, we’ll create a choreography to be performed at the Saturday night concert.
Nubian dance is done by everyone, regardless of age or gender. It’s not physically or technically demanding, so the workshops are open to all levels of fitness and dance experience. If you plan to perform, please bring a galabeya. Dancers taking the female role should also bring a head veil (or heavy veil plus handband).
Arosak-e Sang-e Saboor (The Doll of Stone Patience) Persian Dramatic Narrative Performance - Directed by Cindy Schwenn in collaboration with the Persian Ensemble class and all Persian dance classes - 3 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
In this unique three part devising workshop, participants of Persian dance and Persian music workshops will be invited to collaborate on a dramatic narrative to be performed at the Sunday night concert.  Leading actors will be preselected and rehearsed prior to the camp but those wishing to take on an auxiliary role are also very welcome to attend.  Workshop participants will not only engage in a collaborative theatrical experience but will also engage in activities to enhance expression, theatricality and stage presence.

The ancient Persian tradition of dramatic narrative dates back at least 2500 years.  This Pre-Islamic theatrical tradition conveys story and ritual through a combination of art forms such as storytelling, music, dance, puppetry and mime, performed in both courts and villages without class distinction.  Contemporary Iranian theatre carries elements of this tradition through to audiences today.  This performance shall be a reimagined form of the ancient tradition.

The narrative to be performed is based upon an Iranian folk story, ‘Arosak-e Sang-e Saboor’ (The Doll of Stone Patience), a male sleeping beauty tale of love and deception.  The story will be poetically narrated and enacted physically (mime).  A Persian folk dance will be paired with daf rhythms, expressing the ancient female fertility origins of the daf.  Persian classical dances shall express female beauty, grace and love.  Persian classical singing will covey the story’s deep emotional journey and ensemble and choir express the passion of falling in love… and shopping at the bazaar.  These art forms poetically combined will touch and delight Sunday night audience.

Persian Minature Dance - Michelle Ridsdale - 1 session - OPEN LEVEL
Michelle This dance is inspired by the miniature paintings from ancient Persian courts. The workshop will focus on the delicate and refined wrist, hand and arm movements which are the essence of Persian dance. We will explore the expressiveness, the subtle flirtation and the relationship between the face, eyes and hands. This workshop will be performed in the production “Arosak-e Sang-e Saboor” on Sunday night.
Iranian Folk Dance with live percussion - Michelle Ridsdale - 1 session - OPEN LEVEL
Michelle Iran has many different folk dance traditions used in regional celebrations. Folk songs and dance are less complex than classical Persian, as the focus is on community and participation. We will learn a repetitive folk dance and experience the vibe and power of dancing to a live daf ensemble. All welcome!! This workshop will be performed in the production “Arosak-e Sang-e Saboor” on Sunday night.
Classical Persian Dance - Michelle Ridsdale - 1 session - OPEN LEVEL
In this workshop we bring together lively footwork, dynamic turns, graceful arms and elegant poses. This is a joyful dance focused on celebrating love! It will be performed in the production “Arosak-e Sang-e Saboor” on Sunday night.
Datura Style - Alice Knox - 4 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
‘Datura Style belly dance refers to both a dance vocabulary and an approach to technique that can be used for choreography and improvisation.’ Rachel Brice – Innovator, creator, dancer

Datura Style is modern belly dance created by American dancer Rachel Brice. It fuses Oriental dance with Western and World dance styles. Find out more about Rachel Brice, her approach and inspiration.

Alice is the first dancer in Australia to complete Rachel Brice’s Eight Elements training program and gain certification as a Datura Style teacher. For camp Alice will be offering four workshops that explore the distinctive qualities of Datura Style. In these workshops we will play with combinations and choreographic devices. We’ll drill dance technique with the option to incorporate complex zill patterns.

This workshop series offers an exciting possibility to explore Datura Style in an immersive environment. These workshops will progressively build however it is possible to dip your toe in for a single workshop and come away with a range of new content and ideas. Alice is thrilled to welcome and guide dancers on a modern belly dance adventure through an unusual, challenging but beautiful style of dance.

Turkish Romany 9/8 Dance - Margaret Cunningham - 3 sessions - OPEN LEVEL
Marg_Rom We’re going to start from the ground up and stomp all over our fear of this intricate, crazy rhythm, dispell the mystery, unlock its secrets and have us wondering what we were worried about! Then, when we are LOVING it, we will learn some Turkish Romany Gypsy grooves and sequences to bring the rhythm ALIVE!!
This year the focus will be on getting the feel and pulse of the music into our blood. I will be teaching two traditional Roman steps per session and all their variations. Whether you attend one or all sessions, you can join the performance at the camp concert on Sunday night with just the moves you have learned. Sound tricky? ‘Tricky’ has never stopped us before!!!
Spectacular Veils and Swords - BellaDonna - 2 sessions - OPEN LEVEL (kids are welcome too!)
Known for her mesmerizing double veil and sword performances, BellaDonna will inspire you with her spectacular double veil and sword techniques. And while this workshop series will focus on the wonderful world of double veil, the workshops will include the addition of sword for that extra wow factor. Belladonna will share her technique for managing these two breathtaking props with ease. For those that have both swords and veils, BellaDonna will teach you how to use your double veils and swords together to create spectacular show stopping performances.….It’s much easier than you might think! The workshops will mainly be technique focused but will also include a small choreography to demonstrate how to apply your new skills. The workshops are aimed at intermediate/advanced dancers but everyone is welcome to come along… too!

BYO props – BellaDonna will have some spare veils and a couple of child sizes to borrow and may also have some to sell. Parents, if your kids would like to learn double veil it will help if you can make some for them. Measurements for veils (if pre-making your own) are:
Width: across the full arm span plus 20cm each side (Adults plus 30cm each side).
Length: from shoulder to the back of the knee.
If you would like to preorder veils you can contact BellaDonna before camp.

Palestinian Dabke - Sameer Ellagta - 1 session - OPEN LEVEL
AL_ZaytonDabke is a dynamic folk dance for weddings and gatherings in Palestine. Join Sameer to learn the basic moves to experience energetic stomping patterns and synchronise dancing in line all together. Also you will learn a variety of advanced moves to express your next level of liberation when the Dabke line takes off in a full joy of life.

With dabke you will learn the traditional ways of celebration of the land and people deep within the Palestinian villages, the formation and the calls that accompany the invigorating and reviving music of Dabke.