JULY 20 - 22, 2018



Workshop and lecture topic details are listed below.  Topics include technique, combinations, folklore, tribal style, and much much more.

All workshops, lectures and the panel discussion will be held at the Monroe Convention Center


First Steps:  Understanding the Hidden Privileges in our Practices: When trying to understand cultural appropriation, there are some very elegant and profound questions that serve as insightful first steps.  Learning to situate ourselves within our dance practice inevitably requires we dialog with the attached history of Orientalist projections, caricature, gender norms, and standards of attractiveness.  Or perhaps these issues have been thrust upon you by others?  In this facilitated discussion Donna invites participants to investigate and share thoughts about what hidden values and messages are perpetuated by our dance industry. Hidden biases my surprise you, as we are all afflicted with them.  In addition to learning about the agency we have in art-making, we will also investigate strategies to interrupt questionable practices and construct new possibilities for ourselves.  Tough questions will lead us to courageous conversations... please come share your thoughts!


Topic: Belly Dance - Past, Present, and Future
Panelists: Eva Cernik, Donna Mejia, Jill Parker, and Sahra Saeeda
Panel Moderator: Raksanna


14 Rhythms Every Dancer Should Know (Workshop)
American Style Cabaret: Bring veil, zils, and a circle-cut skirt (Workshop)
The Art of Taksim (with Dena El Saffar from Salaam)
Theatricalized Skirt Dancing 
Turkish Oriental Dance: Bring a circle-cut skirt (Workshop & Lecture)


Le Fonk Arabi: Each year, artists in Near Eastern and North African countries remix our own American hip hop traditions to new heights and possibilities. Arabic Hip Hop is arguably a counter-manifestation to the West's Tribal Fusion. In this workshop Donna Mejia highlights the emerging movement aesthetics of this dynamic dialog. After a vigorous warm up and substantial stretching, dancers will receive a variety of stationary and moving progressions that punctuate the percussiveness in music driven by beats. Dance/athletic shoes, a long sleeve shirt and knee pads may be helpful on occasion. Donna's musical playlist includes some of the best Arabic / International Funk, Hip Hop, Hard Core, House, Liquid, Phaze, Elemental, Mashup, and Electronica in the universe!

Devil in the Details:  Correcting weak performance habits by infusing intention and feeling into the standard presentation style we take for granted as professional dancers. In this workshop we will experiment with changing our habits and scrambling things up -to see what's on the other side. We aim to eliminate unintentional movements, lack of facial expression, being glued to one spot of the floor, etc. Through facilitated exercises Jill will take you on a journey of exploration designed to bring your dancing and stage presentation to a much more intentional and embodied place!

Jill's Drills & Combos That Kill (Part 1 & Part 2):  In this workshop Jill demystifies challenging bellydance techniques with concise explanations, building blocks, visualizations and most importantly drills to tighten your bellydance technique. This class will be sweaty, focused, encouraging and fun! (Part 1 & Part 2 can be taken separately)

Signature Slippery Serpentine Choreo Workshop:  Learn a gorgeous Jill Parker original choreography! As time allows this workshop will cover drills, philosophy, and stage concepts. Over the course of hours spent together in the classroom under the watchful eye of Miss Parker you will assimilate many of Jill's signature sensuous moves, slinky combinations and preferences around stage presentation. Woven together and delivered in a masterful way moves and combos seamlessly become a dramatic serpentine choreography. You're in for the complete behind the scenes Jill Parker experience!

Spiral to the Core Stacking Bones in Your Favor:  Jill will introduce concepts and visualizations to better understand techniques for creating length, depth of movement, connection to the floor, safe posture, dependable balance, and controlled releve. This workshop will be filled with practical movement in which to drill these invaluable concepts that  ultimately make your belly dance moves more powerful and embodied.

The Shimmy Inspector's Shimmy Overhaul:  Percussive loose shimmies are a trademark of tribal bellydance. In this workshop we will drill varieties of shimmies until our bodies have no choice but to understand the mechanics we're after! Think loose and gooey, fluid-earthy, in the pocket, sure fire shimmies. Jill will deliver detailed instruction, visualizations and drills for wiggling more excellence into your shimmy!


Baladi Awad & Tet Baladi (Workshop)

Delta / Fellahin & Western Desert / Hagallah (Workshop & Lecture): Costumes! Costumes! Costumes! Actual clothing and stage costumes from Egypt's Delta Fellahin, the Western Desert's Hagallah, the Sinai's Daheya, and the Southern Nubian. Lecture portion will be about the stage costumes and the actual clothing on which they are based.

Sa'idi for Oriental Dancers (Workshop)

Classic B&W Era / Transition Era Fifi & Suhair (Workshop)

Entrances & Traveling Steps (Workshop)

Dance Styles in Egypt (Lecture): This lecture will discuss the various dance styles in Egypt, their region of origin, and their place in their culture.