Tuesday, December 30, 2014

January Preview

Get ready for another amazing year of belly dance in metro Atlanta and beyond! The year kicks off in January with some great events.

Saturday, January 3

Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta Open House
Photo by Kismet Photography

Free Classes with Ziah

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Dance & Arts Showcase, 2861 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta

Come and sample free classes with Ziah, founder of Awalim Dance Company, at the Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta. New students who register at the event will receive $10 off a full class session. All ages welcome!

10:00 - Beginner Bellydance
11:00 - American Tribal Style (ATS)®
12:00 - Tribal Fusion

Each class will include about 10 minutes of introduction, 40 minutes of movement, and 10 minutes of Q&A. Refreshments will also be served.

New Year's Glow Show

8:00 p.m. (doors at 7:00), Smith's Olde Bar (Atlanta Room)
$20 in advance; $25 at the door

Sabeeya and Glow Dance bring their own talents and some special guests to Smith's Older Bar. Click here to buy tickets. Visit the Facebook event for the latest updates.

Friday, January 9

"Takin' It Back to the 80s" with Jendayi Bellydance and World Bellydance Alliance

8:00 p.m., Steve's Live Music, 234 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs

Performers from throughout the metro Atlanta raqs community get together to celebrate the music and dance (including belly dance, of course) of the awesome Eighties. Plus live music and dancing with an Eighties cover band! RSVP to the Facebook event. Click here to get your tickets in advance.

Sunday, January 11

Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance "New Year New Look" Open House

4:00 - 6:00 p.m., 1015 Collier Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Come and visit the good people of AFBD in their new home (formerly Pera Dance)! Enjoy class demos, performances, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres, plus shopping and giveaways. Click here for more info about the move and the event.

January 16-19

Annual Intensive with Suhaila Salimpour
Suhaila Salimpour
Photo by Pixie Vision Photography

Featuring Issam Houshan and Aziza Nawal

The legendary Suhaila returns to Atlanta for a series of workshops and shows. Joining Suhaila will be drummer Issam Houshan and Atlanta's own Aziza Nawal. Click here to order advance passes.

January 16-19:  Workshops
Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, 1015 Collier Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Classes with Suhaila, Issam, and Aziza Nawal. Click here for passes.

Saturday, January 17:  Belly Dance Raqs Showcase
8:30 p.m., Fabrefaction Theater, 999 Brady Street, Atlanta
A tribute to the original works of the Salimpour family, plus special performances by Aziza Nawal, Issam Houshan, and friends! Click here for advance tickets.

Saturday, January 17

Absolutely Fabulous Abs Workshop

1:00 - 4:00 p.m., Nazeem Allayl Studio at Peachtree Corners
5770 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Suite 100, Norcross GA
$18.99 Early Bird; $24.99 at the door

Learn tips for toning your abdominal muscles and perfecting your belly rolls, pops, and flutters in this popular workshop. Click here to learn more and get your advance ticket.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Have a Raq'in New Year's Eve!

Aziza Nawal
Photo by Kismet Photography
What better way to celebrate the new year than with great music, dancing, and sequins?! Join in the fun and welcome 2015 with some of metro Atlanta's finest performers (and tastiest food) at these local venues:

Taverna Plaka

Party Greek-style with Aziza Nawal and Inara at Plaka! Music by DJ Amix. Two seatings: Early Birds (6:30 PM) can enjoy an a la carte menu and dancing; Night Owls (9:30 PM) get a three-course dinner, a glass of Champagne, and entertainment for $40 per person. Make your reservation online, or call 404-636-2284. Visit the Facebook event for more details.

Cafe Istanbul

Party Turkish-style at all three Cafe Istanbul locations! Fixed-price menu for $25. RSVP to the Facebook event to see if there are any seats left -- or call Cafe Istanbul Decatur at 404-320-0054, Cafe Istanbul Kenessaw at 770-424-4856, Cafe Istanbul Alpharetta (sold out, per their Facebook page) at 770-640-0501.

Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant

Celebrate with Nicola, Samora, and lots of fun people at Nicola's! Just $40 per person for a family-style all-you can-eat dinner, champagne toast, party favors, belly dance show, and dance party. Belly dancing starts around 8:30, with performances throughout the night. Call the restaurant for reservations at 404-325-2524.

Imperial Fez

Ring in 2015 at Imperial Fez! Make your reservations online or at 404-351-0870. Visit Imperial Fez on Facebook for updates.

Haven Hookah Lounge

Join a Bollywood-style celebration at Haven! Tickets are $65 in advance or $75 at the door, and include heavy appetizers, champagne, party favors, and breakfast at 2:00 a.m.  Click here for tickets.

Cafe Bombay

Cafe Bombay relocates the party to the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North for a Bollywood bash. Premium open bar, champagne, multi-course dinner, and of course lots of belly dancing for $99. Visit Cafe Bombay's Facebook page for more info.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

December Preview

Happy holidays from Yalla Y'all! Come out and share that warm holiday spirit with your friends in our amazing local community.

Saturday, December 6

Choreography Workshop with Aziza Nawal

10:00 - 1:00, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance 
$25 in advance, $35 at the door 

Join Aziza Nawal for this special workshop "crammer" to learn a brand new choreography featuring the music of Issam Houshan! Doors open at 9:30. Workshop starts promptly at 10:00. Once you complete the workshop, you could be asked to perform in the Belly Dance Raks Gala on Saturday, January 17. Learn more and get your pass here.

Nicola and Aziza Nawal
Photo: Kismet Photography

Sunday, December 7

A Tribute to Nicola

Door at 5:30; show at 6:30, Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant
$15 in advance (SOLD OUT)

Join Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance and Samora in paying special tribute to Nicola Ayoub, who has been a passionate supporter of belly dance in Atlanta for many years. Enjoy performances by Rafi'ah Dance Company, Samora, and Amoraat... plus some special surprises! Nicola has made an immeasurable contribution to our community... from enthusiastically supporting beginners performing their first solos, to giving professionals a great venue for weekend performances, to hosting troupe showcases, to cheering on any dancer in any style who cares to take the floor at his casual, comfortable restaurant. Not to mention he keeps us all well-fed with delicious Lebanese food! Don't miss this well-deserved tribute. Visit the Facebook event to learn more!

Wednesday, December 10

"Raq the 40 Watt" in Athens

7:00 p.m., The 40 Watt Club
$7 at the door

Enjoy a variety of performers from the thriving Athens belly dance scene, as well as some special guests from around north Georgia. Visit the Facebook event for more details. 

Saturday, December 13

Monthly Salimpour Meet-Up with Yvonne

10:00 - 4:30, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
$25 in advance; $35 at the door

Sabeeya of Glow Dance
Photo: Kismet Photography
Get ready for Suhaila's workshops in January with two sessions with Yvonne!
10:00 - 12:30 -- "Isolations with Intention" (Suhaila format)
2:00 - 4:30 - "Jamila Jam" (Jamila Salimpour format) 
Click here to learn more and get advance passes.

"Santa Baby" Grown-Ass Woman Workshop with Sabeeya

12:00 - 3:00, Glow Dance & Fitness Studios 
$30 in advance (through December 11); $35 at the door (includes wine tasting; add $10 for a Glow Dance wine glass)

Sabeeya and Glow Dance offer another delightful combination of wine and belly dance! Enjoy a wine tasting at noon, then learn a sassy choreography to Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" at 1:00. Open to all experience levels. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest details.

Awalim Holiday Show & Benefit for International Women's House
Featuring Black Sheep Ensemble

6:00 p.m., Steve's Live Music
$10 at the door

Member of Awalim Repertory Company
perform at Awalim's 15th Anniversary Show
Photo: Studio Jaki Photography
As always, full disclosure... this is my troupe and our best brass band buddies, so please come to our show! 

The Awalim Repertory Company will partner with Black Sheep Ensemble to perform for a great cause at Steve’s Live Music. Expect classic, new, and seldom-seen Awalim choreographies, group improv, and some surprises... plus performances accompanied by great brass band music from Black Sheep Ensemble!

A portion of the proceeds from the show will go to support International Women's House, a local organization whose mission is "provide a safe haven and supportive services for immigrant and refugee women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse with a focus on cultural sensitivity and self-sufficiency." Visit the Facebook event for all the latest news.

Photo: Lou Raimondi

Sunday, December 14

Wicked Sweet Drum Solo Technique Workshop with Karmelita

2:30 – 4:30, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
25$ ($20 for AFBD sudents with All-Access pass)

One of metro Atlanta's most accomplished and powerful performers, Karmelita, shares some of her secrets in this workshop, featuring combos and experimental techniques for making crazy awesome drum solos. Visit the Facebook event to learn more. Click here to buy tickets.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

November Preview

So many fun options coming up this month for metro Atlanta raqs enthusiasts! Come on out and support your community at these exciting events.

Saturday, November 1

Dia de los Muertos Hafla

Presented by Jahara Phoenix Dance Company

7:30 p.m., Dancing Goats Theater
$15 in advance, $20 at the door, children under 12 $5

Jahara Phoenix presents their annual spooky show, featuring guest performers Amani Jabril, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, Evadne Medina, Global Dance, Jendayi Bellydance, Jenny Nichols, Lacy Perry, Sulukule & Christy Fricks Bellydance, and Oracle -- plus live music from Alla-Yustur and Tarabiya
World Music! Visit the Facebook event for more information.

Nazeem Allayl Fall Studio Show

7:00 p.m., Cecil B. Day Hall, Mercer University

Join Nazeem Allayl Studios for their biannual show, featuring a variety of student performances, as well as troupe performances from Nazeem Allayl, Nazeem Almassah, & Nazeem Alsabah. Click here for more information and tickets.

Saturday, November 8

SEEDS Fall Garage Sale Fundraiser

8:00 a.m., Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, Georgia 30076

Shop for a great cause at Global Dance as they hold their annual garage sale to raise money for their youth dance program, SEEDs. RSVP to the Facebook event for more info. Donations are also being accepted!

November 8-9

Shahrzad Raqs Georgia

Pera Dance and Event Studio, 1015-B Collier Rd, Atlanta, Georgia 30318

Local performers Kalinka and Maiea are bringing one of the Washington DC area's most accomplished Oriental dancers to metro Atlanta. Shahrzad will offer three workshops on Saturday, followed by a performance in the Belly Dance Time Capsule showcase. The workshops include two multi-level classes, "Shimmies and Isolations" and "Egyptian Spice," and Shahrzad will also teach an intermediate/advanced class devoted to performing to the music of Om Kalthoum. Private lessons are available on Sunday. Visit the Facebook event for all the latest news, and check out the web site for tickets.

If you haven't heard of Shahrzad before now, check out this video...

November 8-9

"Southern Girls Raq" with Moria Chappell and Petite Jamilla

Faaridah and Ziah present a weekend of workshops and performances with two of our own belly
dancing Southern belles!

Moria Chappell
Photo by The Dancer's Eye/Carrie Meyer
Moria Chappell launched her dance career with Atlanta's Awalim Dance Company in 2001. She has gone on to tour with the Belly Dance Superstars and perform and teach all over the world, and now spends time in Thailand and India studying Odissi dance and other classical forms.

Petite Jamilla grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and is the daughter of dancer and instructor Jamilla Rasa. "PJ" has also toured extensively with the Belly Dance Superstars and has become known all over the world for her work with multiple veils.

Both will be offering classes all day Saturday and Sunday, as well as performing in Saturday night's Belly Dance Time Capsule showcase and Sunday's Awalim 15th Anniversary show. Visit the Southern Girls Raq web site to learn more and buy advance tickets. Visit the Facebook page for more details.

Saturday, November 8

Belly Dance Time Capsule Showcase
8:00 p.m., Synchronicity Theatre, 1545 Peachtree St NE #102

Petite Jamilla and Shahrzad will be featured performers in a show designed to depict multiple eras and styles of belly dance, produced by Faaridah, Kalinka and Maiea. Performers will include many of your local favorites, representing everything from Pharaonic dance to the Golden Era to contemporary fusion. Visit the Facebook event for more information. Click here to get your tickets.

Awalim Circa 2010
Photo by Derek Jackson

Sunday, November 9

Awalim's 15th Anniversary Show
7:00 p.m., Smith's Olde Bar (upstairs), 1578 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30324
$15 in advance; $20 at the door

Join Atlanta's own Awalim Dance Company as they celebrate their 15th anniversary by reuniting "Awalumni" from over the years, including Moria. RSVP to the Facebook event for the latest news.

Saturday, November 15

Beanbag Bohemia at Global Dance

8:00 a.m., Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, Georgia 30076
Join Global Dance for their fourth casual performance showcase and hafla. Feel free to bring snacks and beverages. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Saturday, November 22

Shimmy. Shop. Swap. Fall Edition

2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance 500 Bishop St. NW, Suite F6

Sabia, Jhavia, and Faaridah present another great opportunity to find great deals on belly dance costumes, props, and other stuff at Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance. Vendor spots are open as well. Visit the Facebook event for more information!

Charity Belly Dance Event with Evadne Medina (Augusta)

7:30 p.m., location TBD
Canned Food Drive

Join "Vany" in her annual event to help the less fortunate with a canned food drive. Bring non-perishable food items and enjoy performances by local and regional talent. RSVP to the Facebook event for the latest details.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Preview

Fall is here, and there are lots of exciting events this October in metro Atlanta and beyond.

Saturday, October 11

"Haunted Oasis"

8:00 p.m., Kavarna, 707 East Lake Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30030
$5.00 cover; kids six and under free

Join Mina at Kavarna for another in her series of fun raqs showcases... this time with a spooky Halloween theme! RSVP to the Facebook event for more information.

Sunday, October 12

Samora Performs with Leyli at Nicola's
Photo by Studio Jaki

Belly Dance by Samora Open Floor Night at Nicola's

6:30 p.m., Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant (doors open 5:45)
$15.00 includes dinner ($18.00 for lamb shank)

Join Belly Dance by Samora for its annual showcase! This "open floor" format will feature Samora's students and a host of local artists. Ticket price includes the show, dinner and after-show hafla with Nicola! Check out the  Facebook event for more details. Click here to buy tickets.

October 17-18

Rajasthani Gypsy Caravan Workshops & Show (Athens)

A unique opportunity to see, hear, and learn authentic Indian dance and music. If you've seen "Latcho Drom," you've most likely marveled at Suva Devi, a master of Indian Kalbeliya and Rajasthani dance. Suva will be joined by the Ustad Arba Music Group (Rajasthani folk musicians) and Bollywood dance instructor Katrina Ji for a weekend of workshops and a performance Saturday evening. Click here to learn about this tour!
Suva Devi

Dance & Music Workshops
DanceFX Studio and
Christy Fricks' Home Studio

Gala Show Saturday 10/18
7:30 p.m., Seney Stovall Chapel, UGA
Adults $15
Students $13 (with ID) 
Under 16 years $10 (Children under 12 free)

Presented by Christy Fricks of Floorspace Sulukele Dance and co-sponsored by the Athens Folk Music and Dance Society. Workshops in Indian percussion, Ghoomar dance, and Kalbeliya dance, accompanied by live music!

Visit the Facebook event for the full schedule and all the latest news. Click here to buy tickets.

Saturday, October 18

Yours Truly in the Halloween Parade

Awalim Dance Company at Little Five Points Halloween Parade

4:00 p.m., Little Five Points

Awalim Dance Company continues the tradition of participating in the Little Five Points Halloween Parade!

Friday, October 31

Halloween Hafla (Augusta)

7:30 p.m., Joanie Lamb Hair Salon

Join Vany for a spooky, shimmylicious belly dance Halloween party in Augusta. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Preview

September kicks off with one of the biggest events of the year in metro Atlanta's raqs community, Essence of Belly Dance... featuring the cast of Bellydance Evolution and two big shows. Later in the month you'll find workshops and haflas all over town! Get out there and support your community.

September 11-14

Essence of Belly Dance 4

Twelve Atlantic Station Hotel, 361 17th Street NW, Atlanta
Jillina in "Alice in Wonderland"
This event, brought to us by Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance and now in its fourth year, brings both Oriental and Tribal Fusion performers and instructors to metro Atlanta. This year's Essence of Belly Dance is centered around the Bellydance Evolution production, starring Jillina, Sharon Kihara, Issam Houshan, and more. Enjoy a variety of workshops with cast members Jillina, Sharon, and Issam, as well as Louchia, Heather Aued, Lauren Boldt, and Danielo Mendes. There will also be two shows, including a performance of "Belly Dance Evolution: Alice in Wonderland" featuring local raqs talent in guest spots!

Friday, September 12
Cabaret Meets Tribal Fusion Gala and Fashion Show
8:30 p.m., Twelve Atlantic Station Hotel 
Performances by some of the hottest local and out-of-town talent, including Rafi’ah Dance Company of Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance. Click here for tickets.

Saturday, September 13
Bellydance Evolution's "Alice in Wonderland"
8:00 p.m., Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St NW, Atlanta
Bellydance Evolution reimagines this magical tale through the lens of world fusion dance, at the historic Rialto Theater. Folks who have traveled to see this production declared it "an incredible mix of belly dance and Broadway." Click here for tickets.

Saturday, September 20

Yoga & ATS Workshops and Hafla with DeAnna of Devyani
DeAnna of Devyani
Photo: Floating World Images Photography

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, GA

Most ATS enthusiasts in the Southeast are familiar with Birmingham's Devyani dance company, who work very closely with Carolena and FatChance on ATS vocabulary, instruction, and performance. DeAnna is a very familiar face to any follower of the troupe... and she's also an accomplished yoga instructor. She brings both skill sets to a day of workshops at Global Dance:
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. -- Intro to Yoga for Dancers (limited to 10 students)
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. -- Discover YOUR ATS® Discover how you can improve technique by having a better understanding of your own unique anatomy. Suitable for all levels.
6:30 p.m. -- Casual Hafla at Global Dance

Click here to learn more and get advance tickets! Visit the Facebook event for all the latest news.

Friday, September 26

World Belly Dance Alliance Presents Open Dance Night at Steve's Live Music

8:00 p.m.
Steve's Live Music, Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs
Come on our for another informal, fun night of performances at Steve's Live Music, presented by World Belly Dance Alliance. This event will feature live music from Black Sheep Ensemble. Visit the Facebook event for details!

September 27-28

Haflanta at Nazeem Allayl

Nazeem Allayl Little 5 Points, Peachtree Corners, Brookhaven Studios, and Allure Studios in Vinings
Saturday night hafla, 7:00 p.m. at Peachtree Corners studio
A weekend of workshops at all three Nazeem Allayl locations. Learn troupe choreographies, finger tutting, prop technique, abdominal isolations, stage presence, and much more with the studio's instructors. Visit the web site for more details and tickets.

Saturday, September 27

"Dancing Through the Skirt" Workshop with Evadne Medina 

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, Georgia 30076
Add flair to any style of belly dance with a beautiful skirt. Vany will be coming from August to share her techniques for moving your skirt with true Spanish flair. Bring a 25-yard skirt. RSVP to the Facebook event for more information.

Your Community Calendar

Whether you're planning an event or planning for the shows and workshops you want to attend, keep an eye on the calendar! And if you see something missing or incorrect, please let us know.

Monday, July 28, 2014

August Preview

August is the hottest month here in metro Atlanta, and things are definitely heating up in the belly dance world too! Check out some of these events as we close out an exciting summer.

Saturday, August 3

Photo credit TBD

Scheherezade Choreography Workshop with Faaridah & Hadil

10:00 - 12:30 (doors open at 9:30), Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
$20 in advance, $30 at the door (Essence performers must pre-register)

Learn the opening number for the Essence of Belly Dance show, a modern Egyptian choreography. Participants who want to perform in the show (Friday, September 12) must pre-register; they're already ordering costumes! Click here for more information.

Friday, August 8

Reading and Book Signing with Princess Farhana (aka Pleasant Gehman)

7:30 p.m., Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
$7.00 (includes wine!)

Have a glass of wine and a cupcake, and spend some quality time with one of the coolest chicks in the raqs world, Princess Farhana. She'll sign and read from her [fabulous; buy it and read it] memoir, Showgirl Confidential: My Life Onstage, Backstage & On the Road, as well as The Belly Dance Handbook: A Companion for the Serious Dancer. Hosted by Amani Jabril. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details!

August 9-10

Princess Farhana
Photo by Evi Numen

Princess Farhana's Summer Explosion Workshops

Atlanta School of Burlesque
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 - 5:30
Private lessons available Friday and Saturday

Mina of Dalloua Dance and Ursula Undress of the Atlanta School of Burlesque present a weekend with Princess Farhana. She'll share her extensive knowledge of both raqs sharki and burlesque, as well as tips for dancers seeking to advance their careers. Click here for more information and to buy passes in advance. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the details.

Sunday, August 10

Princess Farhana's Summer Explosion Showcase
Belly Dance & Burlesque Performances

8:00 p.m. (doors at 7:30), 7 Stages 
$25 (VIP front row tickets $35)

Hosted by Mina of Dalloua Dance and Ursula Undress of the Atlanta School of Burlesque, this showcase will feature belly dance, burlesque, flow arts, and more -- including, of course, performances by Princess Farhana. Visit the Facebook event for all the latest news. Click here to get your tickets in advance!

Henna by Jaki of Henna Lotus
Photo by Studio Jaki

Saturday, August 16

Henna Workshop & Hafla with Jaki of Henna Lotus (Augusta)

Workshop 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., 
929 Hunting Horn Way, Evans, GA; $35
Hafla 7:30 p.m., Joanie Lamb Dance Studio

Learn the basics of henna adornment with Jaki in this workshop, sponsored by Vany. Participants are invited to a hafla in the evening, featuring performances by local and regional dancers. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details!

Saturday, August 23

"Beanbag Bohemia" at Global Dance

7:30 p.m., Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Roswell, GA
$10 (children under eight free)

Bring your own snacks and drinks and enjoy performances in a casual atmosphere, brought to us by Zaia Hadiyyah and Global Dance. Click here to buy advance tickets; check out the Facebook event for the latest updates.

Photo by Kismet Photography

Sunday, August 24

"Grown Ass Woman" Workshop at Glow Dance Studios

12:00 - 3:00 p.m., Glow Dance & Fitness Studios
$25 early bird through August 15th 
$30 pre-registration through 11:30 p.m. on August 23rd 

$35 at the door

Enjoy a wine tasting, followed by an all-levels choreography workshop with Sabeeya. Sound like fun? Visit the Facebook event for more info. Click here to get your advance ticket.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

July Preview

Mira Betz
July is heating up in the metro Atlanta raqs community! Get out and support some of these workshops and shows, including a rare opportunity to dance to a great live band!

Sunday, July 6

Awalim Workshop with Mira Betz

Mini One-Day Crossroads & Origins Event co-sponsored by Miss Bellydance
10:00 - 5:00, Pera Dance & Event Studio; $100

This special one-day workshop with Mira Betz will capture the spirit of Crossroads & Origins, focusing on dance technique and some of the deeper, more spiritual aspects of our art form... as well as an "anything goes" open discussion during lunch (available for advance purchase from Flying Biscuit). The day will include:
10:00 - 12:00  Movement Through Intention
12:00 - 2:00  Lunch Discussion
2:15 - 5:00  Layering of Consciousness
Click here to pre-register.

Saturday, July 12

Belly Dance Shimmy. Swap. Shop -- Summer Edition

11:00 - 1:00, Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance; Free

Looking for some new costume pieces... or looking to sell some old one? Join Faaridah, Jhavia and Sabia at AFBD for a belly dance swap meet. Several vendors will be offering their wares as well. E-mail Faaridah if you'd like to reserve a table ($5.00). RSVP to the Facebook event for more details.

The HEAT is ON: Passionate and Theatrical Elements in Dance with Evadne Medina (Athens)

11:00 - 1:00, Dancefx Athens, 396 Foundry St, Athens, Georgia 30601; $40

A workshop focused on incorporating theatricality and drama into your performances. Not limited to bellydancers, Vany's tips on performing with passion promises to benefit performers in many genres. Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Hafla at Hi-Lo (Athens)
Benefit for Project Safe

6:00 - 9:00, Hi-Lo Lounge, 1354 Prince Ave, Athens, Georgia 30606; free, but $5 donation requested

The fun continues in Athens with a casual hafla. Enjoy performances by a variety of local talent while supporting Project Safe in their work to end domestic violence. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details and information on how to perform.

Lacy Perry
Photo by Studio Jaki Photography

"Bellies for Babies" Show with Northside Tribe and Sherar
Benefit for March of Dimes

7:00 p.m., Dancing Goat Theater, 10700 State Bridge Rd., Johns Creek, GA
$15 online, $18 at the door; heavy hors d'oeuvres & beverages available for a $5 donation

Come out and support March of Dimes, an organization founded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt committed to stronger, healthier babies. This event will feature student troupes Northside Tribe and Sherar, along with guest appearances by Jahara Phoenix Dance Company, Tarabiya, and Lacy Perry. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest details.

Sunday, July 13

Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta Open House & Hammam

1:00 - 3:00 p.m., 2861 Henderson Mill Rd, Chamblee, Georgia 30341

Dance & Arts Showcase, Join Ziah and Awalim students as they celebrate the grand opening of their studio space, conveniently located near Northlake Mall and Mercer University. Enjoy complimentary refreshments and traditional spa treatments in the tradition of the hammam. Natakiya will be on hand for beautiful mehndi (henna), and Ziah will be offering specials on class cards for upcoming sessions! Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Photo by Studio Jaki Photography

"Arms, Hands, and Feet, Oh My" Workshop with Samora

2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
$35 in advance; $43 at the door

As we all know, great belly dancers use every body part to bring the music to life, but the arms, hands, and feet are the elements that make a dancer look truly polished. In this workshop, Samora will share techniques for incorporating beautiful and fluid hands, arms and feet into your dance.

Friday, July 18

Ya Leil Ya Leil Live Music Hafla with Alla-Yustur

7:30 p.m.Steve's Live Music, 234 Hilderbrand Dr., Sandy Springs, GA 30328; $10

Christy & Majda of Alla-Yustur
Photo by PixieVision
There is really nothing to compare with the opportunity to dance to traditional music performed by a strong group of musicians and singers. To paraphrase Jill Parker, this experience is the best possible place to find the joy you express in your performances. Led by Majda Anwar, Alla-Yustur is one of metro Atlanta's only ensembles dedicated to the music of the Middle East, North Africa, and the other cultures that have created the music we love! Come out to Steve's Live Music and support what we hope will be the first of many haflas with Alla-Yustur. Check out the Facebook event for more information, or click here to get your tickets!

Saturday, July 19

Introduction to Sword Dancing Workshop

1:00 - 4:00 p.m., Nazeem Allayl Peachtree Corners Studio
$25 in advance; $35 at the door

Learn the basics of Raqs al Saif with Schadia in this workshop, designed for sword beginners or more experience dancers who want to sharpen their technique (ha, see what I did there?). Several types of sword will be available for purchase at the studio; workshop participants get a 10% discount on swords. Click here to learn more and pre-register.

Saturday, July 26

"A Night in the Oasis -- Summer Crazy!"

8:00 p.m., Kavarna, 707 E Lake Dr, Decatur, Georgia 30030
$5 (cash only); kids 12 and under free

Mina presents the next in her series of "Night in the Oasis" shows at Kavarna in Oakhurst, featuring established as well as up-and-coming talent from throughout the metro area. RSVP to the Facebook event for the performer line-up and other details.

Check the Calendar page anytime for all the events coming up! And if you have a show or workshop to list, please contact us.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

June Preview

June is going to be an extra-busy, extra-exciting month in the metro Atlanta raqs community! A number of guest superstars not seen before in metro Atlanta (as far as I know) will be rolling through town, including Ebony, Virginia, Mohamed Shahin, and Deb Rubin. Plus, local favorites Awalim, Aziza Nawal, World Belly Dance Alliance, Karma Karmelita, Jendayi Bellydance will be performing and teaching. Get out and support your sisters (and brothers) at some of these shows and workshops!

June 4-8

Christine of Banat Almeh
Photo by Kismet Photography

Awalim Dance Company/Banat Almeh at Atlanta Fringe Festival 

Horizons School Gymnasium, 1900 DeKalb Avenue
$10 at the door, or weekend passes available 

Ziah and Banat Almeh will participate for the first time in the third annual Atlanta Fringe Festival, featuring dance, spoken word, and theatrical performances throughout the weekend in several venues. "Hours" will depict the hours in a woman's day through the art of tribal belly dance. Click here for a full description of all the Fringe Festival offerings, and come out and support belly dance taking its rightful place in the performing arts scene! Click here to read an interview with Ziah about her objectives for this performance. Visit the Facebook event for more details!

Wednesday, June 4, free opening party at 7 Stages Theater
Thursday, June 5, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, June 6, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 7, 5:00 & 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.

June 6-8

Rak the Casbah: Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance 5th Anniversary Weekend

Photo by Stereo Vision
Congratulations to Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance on five successful years of bringing top-notch performances and instruction to metro Atlanta! I'm always amazed that this group of talented women -- whom I've known for 11 years, since I was a baby dancer -- continue to collaborate so effectively and bring us so much raqs goodness. This weekend is no exception, as they host two talented performers -- Virginia of Miami and Ebony Qualls from Washington, DC. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest news.

Workshops with Ebony and Virginia
Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, 500 Bishop Street NW, Suite F-6 
Beginning Friday evening with Ebony's Urban Fusion workshop, AFBD has classes scheduled all weekend. Click here for descriptions and times. Click here to pre-register.

Gala Show Featuring Ebony and Virginia
Sunday, June 8, 5:00 p.m.
Woodruff Arts Center Rich Theater, 1280 Peachtree Street
VIP seating $25; general admission $20
AFBD presents their fifth annual Rak the Casbah show, featuring top local and regional talent as well as peformances from Ebony and Virginia. Click here to buy advance tickets, and be sure to check out the package deal, with a ticket for this show as well as the following week's show with Mohamed Shahin for workshop attendees. VIP as well as regular seating tickets are available.

June 13-15

Global Dance Folkloric & Modern Egyptian Style Dance Festival with Mohamed Shahin

Unfortunately, this event has been canceled.

Saturday, June 14

Atlanta Belly Dance at Red Light Cafe

8:00 p.m. (doors at 7:30), Red Light Cafe, 553 Amsterdam Avenue, Atlanta, GA
$12 in advance (two tickets for $20), $15 at the door

Join troupe members and students for a diverse presentation at Red Light Cafe! Click here for more info and to order tickets.

Sunday, June 15

"Skirting the Dance" with Evadne Medina

3:00 - 5:00 p.m., Joanie Lamb Dance Studio, 720 Broad Street, Augusta, GA
$10 at the door
Many dancers have discovered how much fun it is to work with a full skirt; it's essentially a wearable prop. Learn techniques and combinations for using your skirt to enhance your performances with "Vany" at this workshop in Augusta. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details.

Friday, June 20

World Belly Dance Alliance Presents Open Dance Night at Steve's Live Music

8:00 p.m., Steve's Live Music, 234 Hildebrand Drive, Sandy Springs
$10 at the door

Join World Belly Dance alliance and special guests Jendayi Bellydance as they present another opportunity for dancers throughout the community to perform in a casual, welcoming environment. If you're interesting n performing, spots may still be available for dancers and musicians. See the Facebook event for more details.

Saturday, June 21

"All About Abs & Cardio Belly Dance" Workshop with She'nez at Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance

1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance
Advance tickets: $20; $15 with AFBD All Access Pass
At the door: $35, $30 with AFBD All Access Pass
Many metro Atlanta dancers have studied with She'nez at some point (she was my second teacher ever, back in 2002), and she is loved and respected throughout the community. Join She'nez in her first AFBD workshop for a fun two-hour belly dance workout!

"Revenge of the Disney Villains" Show by Jendayi Bellydance

Basma of Zivah Saphira, appearing as Ursula
Photo by Photovisi, Courtesy Jendayi Bellydance
7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30)
The Art Place-Mt. View, 3330 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, Georgia 30066

Jendayi Bellydance collaborates with a number of top local and regional dancers interpreting notorious Disney villains and other beloved Disney characters. At "press" time, performers (in addition to Jendayi's company) include Jenny Nichols, both Sabeeya and Sabia, Na'ilah, Birmingham's Ziva Saphira troupe as the cast of "The Little Mermaid," and many more. Sounds like fun, right? Click here to learn more. Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Sunday, June 22

Photo by Workman Reflections Photography

Intro to Turkish Cabaret with Karmelita

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, 500 Bishop Street NW, Suite F-6
$20 in advance; $35 at the door

Discover the joy of Turkish style belly dance with Atlanta's own Karmelita. If you've experienced one of her performances, you know that Karmelita embodies the energy, passion, and sensuality of Turkish belly dance... something we have not seen much of in metro Atlanta recently. This performer has been a great addition to our community, and she is beginning to share her skills in private lessons and workshops.

This workshop is certain to be vigorous and challenging, and will incorporate some of the latest Turkish moves from Karmelita's recent trip to Turkey. If you've been wanting to add some zesty Turkish flavor to your repertoire, this is the workshop for you!

Deb Rubin
Photo Credit TBD

June 27-29

Beledi Boutique Weekend with Deb Rubin

Atlanta Fusion Belly Dance, 500 Bishop Street NW, Suite F-6

Lacy Perry and Beledi Boutique Productions bring the "queen of slink," Deb Rubin, to metro Atlanta for a weekend of tribal fusion technique and dance therapeutics. Deb is a star of the West Coast tribal fusion scene, and exemplifies the strong connection to yoga seen in much of that region's tribal fusion performers.

Classes begin Friday evening at 7:00 with "Dance Therapeutics: Saving Your Belly Dance Body." Sessions continue Saturday and Sunday and include a wide variety of tribal fusion technique topics. Online registration ends Monday, May 26! Click here to buy workshop passes.

Sunday, June 29

Awalim Dance Co. & Aziza Nawal Present a Summer Showcase

Aziza & Ziah Performing Together at Smith's Olde Bar
Photo by Kismet Photography
7:30 p.m., Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta
$15 in advance, $20 at the show

Don't miss this show, featuring Ziah, Aziza, and their respective student troups and performance groups, with live music by Black Sheep Ensemble. You'll see a wide variety of styles, from ATS to modern Egyptian, and some great collaborations between the dancers and the band. Black Sheep Ensemble is a brass and percussion street band with a broad repertoire but focus on Balkan music. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest details!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May Preview

Sabeeya at TribalCon 2014
Photo by Kismet Photography
May is going to be a busy month in the metro Atlanta raqs community! Get out there and support your sisters (and brothers) at some of these exciting dance and music events.

Saturday, May 3

GLOW Dance Grand Opening Open House & Hafla

1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
GLOW Dance & Fitness Studio
1800 Water Place, Suite 150, Atlanta GA 3033

GLOW's Sabeeya Sun has set up shop near Windy Hill Road and I-75, just outside I-285. Visit metro Atlanta's newest belly dance studio and enjoy refreshments as well family-friendly performances by Sabeeya, the GLOW Troupe, and other local talent throughout the afternoon. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

"Inter-Continental Cultivation": Global Dance Annual SEEDS Fundraiser

6:00 p.m. cocktail reception; show starts at 7:00
Bridge to Grace Church, 2385 Holcomb Bridge Rd, Roswell, Georgia 30076


Performers from the SEEDS Program
Photo by Studio Jaki
Come out and support the SEEDS program at Global Dance. This unique local youth mentoring initiative's mission is to create healthy and strong young women who are socially and fiscally responsible to themselves and their community. Global Dance accomplishes this through not just dance, but also talking circles, journal writing, and presentations. The event will feature performances by lots of local talent, as well as the SEEDS themselves. Check out the Facebook event for more details, or click here to buy your tickets.

Sunday, May 4

Mother-Daughter Day at Nazeem Allayl 

1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Nazeem Allayl Peachtree Corners Studio,
5770 Peachtree Industrial Blvd #100 Norcross, GA 30071 

Adults $5, kids free (females only)

Spend the afternoon celebrating motherhood at Nazeem Allayl. Bring your daughter for a fun workshop, followed by refreshments, henna tattoos, and shopping. Click here to learn more.

May Day 2014 with Inara

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Elm Street Cultural Arts Village 8534 Main St, Woodstock, Georgia 30188

Adults $12, kids $5

Don't miss Inara's annual May Day belly dance show, featuring performances by Sandtrance, Northside Tribe with Lacy Perry, Aziza Nawal with Troupe Mumtaz, and much more. Click here to buy tickets and check out the Facebook event for all the latest news.

(photo by Studio Jaki)

Belly Dance by Samora 6th Anniversary Showcase

6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant, 1602 LaVista Road NE
Adults $22; seniors and current students $18; kids 4-12 $15 (all include dinner)

Samora will be celebrating six years of teaching and leadership with a showcase at Nicola's featuring lots of special guests. In addition to Samora, scheduled perfomers include members of Amoraat Dance Ensemble; Samora's students; Diana and her dance company Zeina Dance; Dahne; Adrina; Amirah Bey; Maiea; Na'ilah; Sabia and Basimah of Nayeli Dance Troupe; Ashley; and Justin! Click here to get your tickets. Visit the Facebook event for all the latest news.

Thursday, May 8

Beats Antique and Zoe Jakes

9:00 p.m.
Buckhead Theater, 3110 Roswell Road 
$19 ($25.05 total with fees)

Zoe's back in town! Don't miss yet another unforgettable performance by Atlanta favorite Zoe Jakes and her band, Beats Antique in support of their latest album, "A Thousand Faces," released in two separate "acts." Beats Antique always puts on a great show, with mesmerizing visuals and -- of course -- Zoe's amazing dancing. Click here for a video preview. Click here to get your tickets! Opening act will be Sean Hayes.

There will also be an afterparty at Vinyl, featuring Dirtwire. Click here for more info and to buy tickets.
Zoe Jakes
(wish I could credit the photographer)

Friday, May 9

Workshop with Zoe Jakes (note updated date and time!)

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Pera Dance & Event Studio
1015 Collier Road, Atlanta, GA

While she's in town for Thursday night's show, Zoe will be teaching a workshop Friday morning, brought to us by Ziah and the Tribal Bellydance Center of Atlanta. (Note: the workshop has been rescheduled from Thursday due to Zoe's travel schedule, and she has offered her sincere apologies.) Those who have studied with Zoe at TribalCon know how valuable he instruction can be! Check out the Facebook event for more details. Click here to buy tickets for this workshop and other upcoming Tribal Bellydance Center events.

Saturday, May 10

It's almost time for World Bellydance Day, and that means another year of Shimmy Mob! This worldwide project, launched in 2011, supports women's and children's shelters in local communities. In North Georgia, a variety of Shimmy Mob events will be happening.
Atlanta Shimmy Mob Dancers, 2013

Shimmy Mob (Atlanta)

12:00 p.m. Buckhead Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, Chastain Park

In Atlanta, the Shimmy Mob gang will stage a flash mob performance at the Buckhead Spring Arts & Crafts Festival. RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest news.

Shimmy Mob (Roswell)

2:00 p.m.
Global Dance, 1475 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30076

In Roswell, Zaia Haddiyah of Global Dance will lead a flash mob at the Global Dance studio to benefit the Drake House. Check out the Facebook event for more details.
Athens Shimmy Mob Dancers, 2013

Shimmy Mob (Athens)

In Athens, Rajni of Qamar is organizing events throughout the day and evening, including at least three flash mobs:
  • Athens Farmer's Market at 10:00 a.m.
  • Iris Place at 11:00 a.m.
  • UGA Arch - specific time TBD, but most likely around noon
RSVP to the Facebook event for all the latest news about Shimmy Mob in Athens.

Shimmy Mob Hafla to Benefit Project SAFE (Athens)

7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens
780 Timothy Road, Athens, Georgia 30606
$5 in advance; $8 at the door; kids under five free

The Shimmy Mob celebrations continue in Athens with a hafla to benefit Project Safe. Confirmed dancers and musicians include JA Firebelly, Jezibell Anat, Whitney Barfield, Evadne Medina, Clara Mongoose, Shimmy Mob Athens dancers, Annette Hynes, Qamar, Susie Saint Charles, Sonya Elaine Finlay, and Omega. Light refreshments will be served. Check out the Facebook event for more details!

Wednesday, May 14

Balkan Beat Box 

9:00 p.m. (doors 8:00)
Terminal West, 887 West Marietta St. Studio C, Atlanta, GA
$17 (18 and over)

Liezel Lane of Global Dance
(photo by Studio Jaki)
Another favorite among belly dancers, the Israeli band Balkan Beat Box will perform at Terminal West. Opening act will be Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band. Does this sound like a fun weeknight show or what?! Click here for tickets.

Saturday, May 17

Global Dance "Beanbag Bohemia"

(Check with organizer for time)
Global Dance1475 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, Georgia 30076

Local dancers perform in a casual setting at the Global Dance studio.Check out the Facebook event for more details and if you would like to perform

May 23-25

The Third Dancers' Intensive

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Pera Dance & Event Studio
1015 Collier Road, Atlanta, GA
Click here for workshop schedule and descriptions

Live Music Show
Friday at Steve's Live Music,234 Hilderbrand Drive Sandy Springs, GA 30328
7:00 p.m.
Amani Jabril
(photo by Studio Jaki)
$15 (included in full weekend pass)
Rosa Noreen
(photo by Jon Reece)
May goes out with a bang as Amani Jabril presents a weekend of workshops and performances featuring live music and top-shelf instructors, including dancers Amani and Rosa Noreen and musician Jonatan Gomes Derbaq. This is a great opportunity to study with local star Amani as well as Rosa Noreen, an accomplished dancer based in Portland, Maine. Visit the Facebook event for more information about the workshops.

Friday night, come out to Steve's Live Music for performances by Amani and Rosa, as well as lots of local and regional talent, along with live music by Jonatan and Mazaag, plus open dancing for everyone.

Amani says, "Over this weekend-long event, we will explore our artistic connections with our bodies, the rhythms of the Dance and our interconnected and interdependent expressions of art through a series of intermediate/advanced level workshops, forums and shows designed to help Middle Eastern dance-artists refine their craft in a unique and conscientious way."

Friday, March 21, 2014

April Preview

Ranya Renee
Photo by Lina Jang
Several fun events coming up during the month of April! Get out and support your local raqs community by attending a workshop or show.

Tuesday, April 1

Mahmoud Reda Technique & Combinations Workshop with Ranya Renee

Sponsored by Belly Dance by Samora and World Belly Dance Alliance

6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Pera Dance Studio
1015 Collier Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

$60 Early Bird (March 26); $75 after March 26

Intermediate and advanced-level dancers, don't miss your chance to learn from one of the most popular and respected teachers of Oriental dance. Ranya Renee will lead a two-hour session covering new Reda technique and combinations.

Ranya will also be available for private coaching sessions before and after the workshop. Check out the Facebook event for more details.

Saturday, April 5

"Serious Improvization": Turkish Zils with Carla Monnich of TURKU & African Dance with Wendellyn Ladapo (Athens)

Carla Monnich

12:30-3:30 p.m.
DanceFX Athens, 396 Foundry Street, Athens, Georgia 30601

$60 for both classes

Rajni and Qamar present an opportunity to study with a finger cymbal master, Carla Monnich of TURKU. In this multi-level session, Carla will bring a musician's perspective on this instrument (not a prop, remember?), designed to enhance the skills of anyone who plays zills as part of their performances. Later, Athens' own Wendellyn Ladapo will teach a class on her signature West African group improv vocabulary.

The day ends with a Dance & Music Jam and pot luck dinner at 5:30 p.m., at the home of Jackie Pierson. Donations will be accepted for local dancer Lucinda Bless and her family. Check out the Facebook event for details.

Jenny Nichols
Photo by Studio Jaki

Saturday, April 12

"Juice Box" with World Belly Dance Alliance & Amani Jabril

8:00 p.m.
The Art Place Black Box Theater
3330 Sandy Plains Rd., Marietta, GA 30066


"Juice Box" is a collaboration between a diverse group of metro Atlanta performers, led by Amani Jabril and Jenny Nichols of World Belly Dance Alliance. The producers promise a blend of traditional belly dance, fusion, and theatrical performances. Click here to buy tickets.

Schadia of Nazeem Allayl

Nazeem Allayl Spring Studio Show

7:00 p.m.
Cecil B. Day Hall at Mercer University

Schadia and Nazeem Allayl present their semi-annual studio show, featuring group and solo performances byClick here for more info and to buy advance tickets.
Schadia, Nazeem Alsabah, and a variety of students.

Aziza Nawal
Photo by Kismet Photography

Sunday, April 13

Aziza Nawal Special Showcase

7:00 p.m.
Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant
$20 includes Lebanese dinner

Enjoy performances by Atlanta's own Aziza Nawal, as well as solos and group performances by her intermediate and advanced students -- as well as Nicola himself!

Your $20 ticket includes a Lebanese dinner with (as many of us know well) your choice of chicken, beef, or vegetarian entree. RSVP to the Facebook event for more details. Click here to buy advance tickets.