Sahira was practically born on stage, having studied music, drama, and dance since the age of two. The musicality instilled within her as a classically trained flautist and singer infuse her dance with a sophisticated quality that is admired by dancers around the globe. Her extensive training in Middle Eastern as well as Tribal, Modern, and West African dance gives her performances an intense and earth energy that has captivated audiences’ hearts and minds.
In 2005, Sahira released her first instructional DVD, ”Arabian Spices“ and has since then been invited to teach and perform across the USA as well as Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Canada, and Taiwan. In 2006 she had the honor of being the first tribal instructor ever invited to teach at the largest belly dance festival in the world: Ahlan We Sahlan, in Cairo, Egypt. In 2007 Sahira released two more instructional DVDs: ”Ali“ and ”Bella Donna Ya Helwa.” In 2011 she teamed up with Silvia Salamanca to release the DVD “Spanish Gypsy Passion.“ Her latest DVD “Urban Gypsy Folkloric Combinations” was released in the Summer of 2013.
When in Houston, Sahira performs four nights a week with Bella Donna, voted Houston ’s Best Belly Dancers by the Houston Press. She is founder and director of Houston’s premiere Tribal Style troupe, Urban Gypsy. www.sahira.cc
Saturday 2:30-4:30 pm - Sassy Saidi Technique & Choreography
The Saidi Folklore dance from Upper Egypt is known for its earthy and powerful nature. In performance it can range the gamut from masculine and intimidating to feminine and flirty. Come and explore the many faces of this folklore favorite with a new choreography that will get your canes swinging and your heart pumping! Bring a cane if you have one. Extras will be available in class.
Sunday 10:30 am - 12:30 pm - The Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya (Drum & Dance) with Lauren Checchio
Both drummers and dancers will experience rhythm and movement in this two-hour workshop with Lauren Checchio and Sahira. Together the class will learn to count, recognize, and move to feel the flow of several common belly dance rhythms including Malfuf, Saidi, Maqsum, Karsilimah and more. Dancers and drummers will learn to play the rhythm (bring something you can make noise with!) and then Sahira will teach the dancers (and drummers if they’d like) movement combinations that perfectly accentuate each. The class will end with a big live music and dance throwdown! Drummers, bring a drum or two. Dancers, bring your zills or other percussion instrument!