Schedule for DID 2018

Abhinaya Expression -Erin Roark: One of the main characteristics that sets classical Indian dance apart from other dance forms is the importance given to the ability to express a range of emotions, which in turn elicit a range of emotions from audience members who witness the dance. In this workshop, students will learn body movements, hand gestures, and facial expressions that work in tandem to tell well-known stories from Hindu cosmology; one piece that will be taught will be from the Odissi tradition and the other will be from the Kathak tradition.

Lesgi "Folk Dance" Choreography for Performance in Show- Ziah's Choreography to Turku's Lesgi has become a folk dance for the East Coast Tribal Bellydance Community. Learn this simple circle dance to perform in the show!

Spa time: Christine Andrews- Bring a throw, your favorite massage oil, henna, pedicure set, whatever you would like to offer the other participants. This is a symbiotic situation. We all do for each other. Offer a spa service to a friend and get one in return. Take some time to unwind, hang out, and get to know each other better.

Sephardic Songs for Everyone: Dragonsong-
A fun workshop where we will play and sing a few traditional Sephardic folk songs. Bring your voice, melody instrument, drum, favorite dance prop, or drum if you have one. Some drums and percussion will be provided. All ages and skill levels welcome.
-A La Una -La Rosa Enflorense -Fa La La Laun era
-Si Verias -Hija Mia

Rajasthani Folk Dancing

Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska - Balkan Rhythms

Billy Woods - Qi Gung

Using Your Feet! by Darbuka Dave- A class about adding pedals and bells to your playing to enhance the groove.

Turkish Spoon Dance! With Dzhenn Anya.
Lean a fun folkloric fusion Turkish spoon dance. Dances with spoons are played in the Middle Anatolia and in the south parts of the country. This is a animated, active, rhythmic, lively and flowing dance. We will go over the dance movements, muscle isolations and blend in the musicality and rhythm of the Turkish spoons. All levels welcome.

Riqqs Cafe: by Mark Cheater- Learn the basics of holding and playing the Middle Eastern tambourine, and drum along to some common rhythms.

BALANCE! with Mavi- Join us to brush up on your balancing skills. Bring your own pot, book, or other (non sword) item or try your hand at Mavi's signature balancing skulls! We will practice combos, traveling, and levels to improve your balancing skills for performance and fun.

Slacker Bog Yoga (Not Yoga) #OutofTheBog #FestivalLife with Na'la
Festival Life usually means taking or teaching classes all day while squeezing in rehearsals, meals, life-altering conversations, performances and halfas to enjoy the flow that live music provides. We festival-goers demand so much from our bodies, and Slacker Bog Yoga is a way to give back. Together, we will set up the space to give your body something it is probably asking for; your time, your attention, your breath, and some tried and true body maintenance. Slacker Bog Yoga (not yoga) is based on the OIOC Physical Therapy program (open sourced) out of NYU. Their PT program concentrates on the breath filled stabilization of the pelvis, spine and shoulders, while mindfully stretching the legs, hips and torso. Slacker Bog Yoga has been tested on *many* different types of bodies; all genders, a wide range of ages, bodies with different injuries and disabilities, bodies that dance, play instruments, set up stages, run marathons, or sit all day at the office. This program was designed to restore us so we can live our best lives at DID and go do all the things!

The Red Choreography (in 2 parts on different days)(performance opportunity with Dragonsong & friends) A two part workshop- Join Maria with an original choreography inspired from Jamila Salimpour, Jill Parker & Mahmoud Reda movement. A sultry & powerful dance for all levels!
Feel free to contact Maria prior to DID to get notes & video footage to practice ahead of time. BRING ALL RED COSTUMING, open to all variations! Mummaria (at)

Building and playing the big drum, with Darbuka Dave. We will discuss procuring and playing tupan/davul and work on techniques for practice and improvement.
(2 sessions)

Fire Safety & Choreography, with Mavi - learn to add the element of fire to your belly dance (or non belly dance). Open to all levels, even super beginners! We will cover the basics of fire safety, fire tools (1st 45 minutes), safer costuming and professional fire performance considerations. In the 2nd half of the workshop, we will pull together a group fire choreography tailored for beginner to advanced dancers. Dancers who pass (very) basic fire safety and performance skills tests will be invited to perform the choreography on Saturday night, weather permitting!

Frame Drumming 101, with Mark Cheater: Explore different methods for holding and playing frame drums, and learn (or review) typical bellydance rhythms.

Darbukastan National Orchestra (2 sessions) with Karadeniz: If you play and instrument or sing, please join us as we learn a few songs to perform! We'll try to learn the songs by ear, but some sheet music will be provided.

It's a Fan! It's a Veil! It's Both! Not just another prop workshop, Ziah will show you how to express your own ideas with Fan Veils. These combinations of silk and wood are fascinating extensions of your own body because of their soft and hard aspects. The workshop will go into detail about how to hold the fan veils for quick opens, effortless flutters, and glorious swirls.

Double sword workshop for advanced students with Shahrazad Shiraz

North African folk dance sampler with Cindy Connelly Ryan

Classes for Kids...

Defending the Citizens of Darbukastan with Bottlecap Jake: Come learn the basics of sword play and defend the land of Spirit of Haven! We have mostly lessons on the first day, but on the following days we are doing all kinds of different scenarios and skirmishes.

Fun with Grama Hamer

Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska - Drum Jam with Kids All levels (performance opportunity Kids' Expo)

Mina Andrews - Greek Line Dancing

Dzhenn Anya - Meditation

Christine - Kids Henna Party

Cindy Connelly Ryan - Kid Class: Drum a Line, Dance a Line

Clapping Rhythms and Stepping Rhythms with Erin Roark: In this class kids will first learn to say and clap out basic rhythms from Odissi and Kathak and then learn the basic stepping that goes with each rhythm.

Lesgi for Kids! with Ziah- After a fun, world music warm up, students will learn a fun circle dance to do at parties! Ziah's daughter will co-teach this class.

Fantasy Kids Bellydance! with Maria
Learn a fun basic bellydance class for children roughly ages 5- 8. We will have a small warm up & learn isolation’s as well as some creative improvisation & a little choreography within the dance! After our basic foundation in steps are made we play with characters & emotions to bring our imaginations alive through bellydance! Wear comfortable leggings or yoga pants, hip scarf recommended.

Dzhenn Anya - Yoga

Recreating the World around you with Classical Indian Hand Gestures - Erin Roark: In this workshop kids will form animals, plants, and other elements from nature using their hands. Using a series of prompts, kids will then put the hand gestures together to create and act out stories to music.

North African trance ritual led by Jadi and Carla.
Short lecture followed by brief instruction and Guedra. All participants must do the chant (unless not physically capable), dancing is optional. No dance experience is necessary. Bring a bottle of drinking water, and bring a veil if you intend to dance.

List of Teachers and Performers for 2018...

Music of the Silk Road

The Hamer Sisters (of Zafira Dance Company) –

The Hamer sisters, Christine Andrews, Jennifer Imashev & Maria Hamer, have been dancing together literally since birth. Christine & Jennifer started middle eastern dance in 1988. Maria joined them in 1992 and in 1995, they co-founded, along with some friends,  Ghawazee Middle Eastern Music & Dance Ensemble, one of the first tribal Bellydance troupes on the East Coast. Together they performed, sang, danced  & played music with Ghawazee until 2000. Soon after Christine & Maria started Zafira Dance Co with Olivia Kissel then added Tamara Juel & Jennifer Imashev. They had 11+ successful years touring the world with their unique style. Presently, the Hamer sisters enjoy covering folk classics & dancing with each other as sisters in blood & in dance.

Christine Andrews began her study of ethnic dance in 1988 with Turkish style bellydance. She was a founding member in both Zafira Dance Company and Ghawazee Middle Eastern Dance Ensemble. In 1999 she travelled to India and enjoyed the opportunity to delve into Kalbelia, a folkloric dance from Rajasthan. The dance of the snake charmers, known for its high energy spins, has added to her dance repertoire. She had the great pleasure of performing in India alongside her dance guru, Gulabi Sapera, widely known and respected as the primary innovator/“mother” of this dance form.

Darbuka Dave
Darbuka Dave plays big party drums and is happy to return to DID once again to reunite with his country-folk!


Ziah, Director of Awalim Dance Company, is an internationally recognized Tribal belly dance performer, coach, community builder, and event producer, who has studied this dance form since 1991. Her dynamic style is technically complex, historically informed, musically sensitive, and keeps the pure joy of bellydance front and center in every performance. She has watched the Tribal Bellydance Community unfold throughout the world, starting with the Urban Primitive and Feminist cultures in the US and seeping into all aspects of bellydance throughout the world.

DragonSong is a collaborative world music ensemble performing a synthesis of contemporary and traditional music. With a shared love of stretching musical boundaries, this tribe of artists bands together to experiment freely with an open mind, challenge one another, and explore artistic diversity. Their organic nature and addiction to exotic percussion births a kaleidoscope of compositions with a unique, international flavor. Through the integration of both ethnic and progressive tools, members combine their talents and put their egos aside in order to create an entity greater than themselves to share with the rest of the collective. They strive to enlighten and inspire one another by recycling energy and encouraging expression on a conscious and subconscious level. Vocal harmonies blend with a variety of instrumentation, weaving an intricate tapestry of sound. Through the fusion of music with visual performing arts, DragonSong creates a multi-sensory experience for all to enjoy.

DJ Milos' spinning the best of Bucharest, and the Balkan Planet. You are gonna dance your ass off with a glass of Slivo and a plate of Ajvar in each hand... makes everything beautiful. Healing the planet one Balkan dance party at a time.

Billy Woods
Teaching QI Gung- Eight Sections of Brocade: from china, taught since
 ancient  times,used to prolong health and life and as
 an aid to spiritual development;

Performance: "Peace is Possible Suite"

Om Brew


Shahrazad Shiraz is a professional belly dancer and instructor for over a decade. She is based in the DC area her passion for her art is one of love and dedication. Her specialty is double sword, wings and drum solos.

Cindy Ryan
Folkloric music and dance specialist Cindy Ryan brings years of experience as a performer and teacher. She was a Principle Dancer of Central Asian and North African dances for over 16 years with the world-travelling Silk Road Dance Company, as well as Assistant Director. Currently focusing on percussion, she plays dumbek, riq, davul and frame drum for Armenian dance band The Hye Tones and the all-female Arabic ensemble Roumana, and plays All Sorts of Nifty Stuff with the world music collective DragonSong. This July she'll be providing percussion and soundscape for a dance-drama of Iranian legends, "Tales from the Shanameh", at Wolf Trap Center for the Arts. She's also played with the Saltanah Ensemble, Carmine & Friends, Kerdelen Dancers, and Slaveya women's vocal ensemble.

Mark Cheater
is a recovering stick drummer from the D.C. area who discovered Middle Eastern music and percussion about a decade ago. He performs regularly with the Fez Tones and DragonSong, among other bands.


Na’la’s choreography and personal style grew from a fusion of all her past experiences. She has studied with many teachers across the US and in Europe, and has completed the Sahara Dance’s teacher training in 2010. She is also completed the SEED’s (Self-Esteem, Empowerment, and Education through Dance) teacher training course in 2016, and the Paraprofessional Counseling Course in 2017. She is honored to be a teacher in such a vibrant and inspiring dance community, and has a special interest in Sacred Movement and participating in Council Shares. (Ask her for more info!) Na'la's not so secret hope is that her students will incorporate what they learn into their own artistic dance expression, and feel more connected to their bodies through movement. She looks forward to being a student for the rest of her life and sharing her joy of learning with her students.

Kazuki Kozuru-Salifoska

Erin Roark

Erin Roark began studying and performing classical Indian dance in 1993. She trained in Odissi with Jyoti Rout starting in 1994 and then continued her training in this dance form under Manoranjan Pradhan and Sharon Lowen. Erin currently learns Kathak with Aparna Sharma. In addition to classical styles, she has studied Kalbelia dance with Gulabi Sapera and Rajasthani folk dance with Tara Sharma. Erin has performed throughout the United States, as well as in India and Mexico.

Karadeniz aka Denys Proteau

Karadeniz is a long time dancer and musician of many ethnic styles, and long time facilitator of the Darbukastan National Orchestra.

Carla Monnich of Turku
Carla has been leading Guedra trance rituals for over 20 years.
Short instruction in dance and chant of North Africa,
followed by performance of Guedra.
Men are welcome during the lecture at the beginning.

Kids Activities with...
Bottlecap Jake
Bottle Cap Jake been teaching his sword play class for about 5 years and has been going to spirit haven for around 11 years. His persona Bottle Cap Jake was created at D.I.D. through the wise minds of the Darbukastani Wizards.
Grama Hamer
Mina Hamer
Dzhenn Anya
Cindy Connelly Ryan
Maria Hamer
Ziah and Ava
Christine Hamer