Friday, March 30, 2012

Joana Saahirah of Cairo on!

More infos soon...
Teaching Oriental Dance to the beautiful Egyptian Women! Why?

The 2nd CAIRO ORIENTAL DANCE WORKSHOP is arriving (on the 6th April, Friday, at Dansation school)...with this EVENT comes the question: Why would I teach Egyptian Oriental Dance to Egyptian Women?

The answer arrives in different forms. Firstly, I follow my instinct, always. If I feel a new challenge is calling my Soul, I jump on it, even if it´s new and out of my comfort zone (specially***if it´s NEW and OUT of my COMFORT ZONE. Ah!).
I am mostly, a performer who enjoys dancing on stage with my egyptian orchestra. In or outside of Egypt. I also love teaching in special Festivals where most of the students are already advanced dancers or professionals. It never occured to me to offer courses of Egyptian Dance to Egyptian Women who, according to local mentality, know how to do it by heart.
Then there was the 1st Oriental Ladies Night which I organized by suggestion and a REALLY strong push of some wonderful male friends. I was Surprised at the end of the night. Never imagined Egyptian Women would be so sweet, creative, thirsty of RE-DISCOVERING their own DANCE not as a low seductive dance most use to please their husbands (or whatever;) but as an ANCIENT ART FORM THAT SERVES ONE´S SOUL.

The requests for classes started to flow and scared me at first. "I am not cut out for this," I thought at first. But then I listened to my heart and remembered how SPECIAL it was to share my Dance and way of FEELING it with these incredible ladies.

The main reason to start this new ADVENTURE (aside from my live shows) came from the clear KNOWLEDGE that EGYPTIAN DANCE MUST be reborn in the world, from its roots (Egypt) to its leaves, flowers and fruits (the rest of the World). If Egyptian Dance, as an ART FORM with DIVINE origins, dies in its birthplace, the source from which all Oriental Dancers drink will die with it.
It is my deepest belief that Oriental Dance must be taught to Egyptian Women as it REALLY is (and was, once...): a SACRED DANCE that will EMPOWER them, give them back their own CREATIVITY, SENSIBILITY, COURAGE, STRENGHT, IDENTITY, SELF-LOVE and FREEDOM. It is no coincidence that Oriental Dance is trated - in Egypt - as a cheap way of prostitution. The main reason for that lays on this Dance ´s potential for WOMEN´S TRANSFORMATION and GROWTH.

Once you remind EGYPTIAN WOMEN about their DANCE (as a creative ART, not as a streap-tease flick for men), they LEARN about who they are and what it means to be WHOLE, demanding RESPECT for themselves. This is nothing short of REVOLUTIONARY...
In times of multiple darkness, I am passionately willing to light more and more candles.
Join us, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN of this EGYPT (the TRUE Egypt) we all live in and LOVE so much!
On the 6th April (Friday), from 6pm till 9pm
3 hours of soulful ORIENTAL DANCE....

More infos at:
& Dansation (6, El Gazaer Str., behind "Atlas hotel", Mohandessin)
02 330 48247
0100 0850153
I am so happy to announce my upcoming workshops and performance in Buenos Aires, Argentina this month of May.
It will be a JOY to perform for the AMAZING audiences I found in Buenos Aires, when I was there two years ago. It was also an immense pleasure to meet and work with the professional, tender, lovely ARTIST that is Mario Kirlis. To perform with his orchestra, once more, for one of the most AMAZING audiences in the world is another dream come true. One more, thanks God!

Argentina, here I comeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.................................................

More details: Ireland´s greatest Oriental Dance Festival this May!

Here Ye Here Ye!

Shakefest 2012, Saturday, May 26th at Charleville Castle's new lineup of amazing arts and culture workshops and performances!

There is something for everyone - dancers, kids, family activities and guys - 12-6pm we have our World Cultures Fair and then we bring on the evening arts and entertainment from 8pm, ending with campfire drumming, camping and endless revelry!

This year Shakefest is proud to announce

International Guest Instructor

JOANA SAAHIRAH from Cairo, Egypt!

- Joana will be teaching us students the different styles of Egyptian Oriental Dance on Sunday, May 27th, and will also lead a conference on Egyptian History and Folklore.

All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund - to help build a protective roof on the gorgeous Neo-Gothic Chapel and towards the castle's sustainability as an Independent Culture Centre of the Midlands.

Website of the Festival:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Snapshots of my PUREST***Happiness.

I am the best version of myself when I am in love or on stage (one and the same thing, as far as I know...)....................................................................

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Oriental Dance declaration to all the beautiful Women of Cairo!

Time has more than arrived for egyptian Dance rebirth by the hands of Egyptian WOMEN.

I am more than glad to be a tool for that renaissance...

Welcome to my next Workshop in Cairo.

Promise to teach as much as I learn from all of you, gorgeous, creative Ladies of my beloved Egypt............................................................................................

Monday, March 26, 2012

Salamat Masr 2012

Very honoured and Happy to be part of this AMAZING team!
Performing, teaching and FEELING Egyptian Oriental Dance and Folclore in a BRAND NEW way! Join us this July, in Cairo for the Dance experience of your LIFE......................................

For the beautiful WOMEN of CAIRO!
Welcome everyone.............
Full details on previous post and at the Facebook.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Joana Saahirah *

on the 6th of April (Friday), from 6pm till 9pm at Dansation (Mohandessin)!

In this SPECIAL WORKSHOP, we will introduce the technique, feeling and meaning of Oriental Dance - also known as bellydance - as a way to EMPOWER WOMEN and allowing them to rediscover themselves (body, mind, heart and soul) through Art and Movement.

Despite the prejudices and ignorance surrounding Oriental Dance, this is an ancient ART form that used to serve the Goddess and Women as DIVINE creatures.
No better dance than this one to re-awaken the FEMININITY, INTUITON, NATURAL SENSUALITY and SELF-LOVE in Women.

WOMEN of CAIRO, join us in this loving adventure...............................

***What you will find in the workshop:
3 hours of QUALITY class with DANCE, MUSIC, FUN, WISDOM, LAUGHTER and SHARING of FEELINGS and SOUL between the Ladies. That´s what we will get.

No need to be fat or thin, tall or short, old or young or any kind of limitation you choose for yourself. Everybody is welcome and will enjoy the workshop in her own way!

***Price (promotional) for the Workshop (3 hours of PURE Oriental Dance delight): 125 LE

***LIMITED PLACES available so be sure to subscribe to the WORKSHOP until Thursday, the 5th April.
To subscribe, you can send your name and contacts to the email: or through a message to Joana Saahirah of Cairo on the Facebook OR

subscribe directly at DANSATION school:
"DANSATION" school, 6 El Gazaer St. Mohandesseen, Behind Atlas Hotel - Giza
Tel: 02 33048247
Mob: 0100 0850153

Welcome, beautiful ladies!

Did you know that SHAKEFEST will happen in one of the most interesting castles of Ireland?!

Just imagine to dance, learn and have an incredible "Oriental Dance" experience in an ancient castle of Ireland like Charleville Castle in Tullamore!

It is official: I am in LOVE.................

Located in County Offaly, in the Midlands of Ireland, and bordering the town of Tullamore near the Shannon River, Charleville Castle is situated in Ireland's most ancient primordial oak woods, once the haunting grounds of Ireland's druids.

Charleville Castle grew from paper doodles in early 1798 to grandiose plans by the end of that very eventful year in Ireland. It was built by Charles William Bury, Earl of Charleville and was designed by Francis Johnston, one of the leading architects of the day.

Charleville Castle is said to be the finest example of gothic-revival architecture in the country. This is a veritable gothic castle of grand proportions. It owes its "Tin Soldier Fortress" look to the celebration of victory over the third French revolutionary expedition to Ireland - the first decisive victory by Britain over the revolutionary republican movement, which was sweeping across the monarchies and their colonies at that time. It took fourteen years to complete this gothic dream, a monument not only to a now forgotten power, but also to the people who made it possible, the Irish craftsmen and impoverished people.

Charleville Castle is one of the finest gothic-style castle in Ireland, built by the Earl of Charleville, Charles William Bury (1764 -1835) under the inspiration of his artistic partner, Lady Catherine Marie Charleville in 1798.

It was designed by Sir Francis Johnston, one of Ireland’s leading architects, who also built the General Post Office and the Chapel Royal (Dublin). The distinctive feature of the castle is the architecture, especially the spectacular ceilings. The most impressive one (dining room) was designed by William Morris in the 1890's, a well known stencil artist of this time.

The Castle remanined uninhabited from 1912, during the difficult years of the Independence War and the long years of economic severity which followed. By 1968 the roof had been removed. It had become a part of "Vanishing Ireland" until finally work on its restoration was commenced by Michael McMullen in 1971 and later by Constance Heavy-Seaquist and Bonnie Vance.

Nowadays the castle is run by the charity "Charleville Castle Heritage Trust" which was created in 1994. The Charleville Castle Heritage Trust is a voluntary non-for-profit organisation (a company limited by guarantee registered in Ireland and charity - NGO) managed by Dudley Stewart with a team of core volunteers. The day-to-day running is handled by volunteers, who come from different countries including France, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, as well as other parts of Ireland to help out at the castle.

The aims are the restoration and the sustainable conservation of the building. The castle is the direct outcome of grand and magnamous ideas following the brutal suppression of a terrible and bloody insurrection which engulfed Ireland in 1798 and almost caused the collapse of the British Monarchial System. It was built around the concepts of hope, belief in the future and humanity - on the fronteers of civilisation. This is its heritage - these are the values which are preserved within this great edifice.

These are the ideals underwhich the ethos of volunteership have been developed, and are sustained, in modern times - Global sustainability, Peace and Betterment of life on Eart - a vision deep into the far off future.

More infos about this amazing castle at:

SHAKEFEST in IRELAND, 26-27th May!

Here are some juicy informations to add to the news of the IRISH FESTIVAL "SHAKEFEST" where I will be honoured to perform and teach.

A link about me:

And about the Event´s PROGRAM:

Many many exciting developments for Shakefest 2012!

We are proud to announce our International Guest Instructor - JOANA SAAHIRAH - Oriental Master Teacher and Performer from Cairo, Egypt!...

Joana will be teaching a general level Classical Oriental, Intermediate Saaidi technique and Masterclass Performance Enhancements/Alexandria of Mellaya style, so there is something for all levels of dancers and students with Egyptian Oriental Dance interest!

We are a also honored to have Joana lead a complimentary talk - all invited - on Egyptian History and Folklore, and its effect on Oriental Dance as an art form over the ages.

Check out for her full workshop details and also our great lineup of culture workshops and performances!

Next EVENTS to follow

by Joana Saahirah of Cairo!

***If you´re in Cairo, please feel welcome to join one of my shows, special events (EGYPTIAN NIGHTS arriving soon) or Workshops.

The next WORKSHOP will happen on the 6th April at Dansation school, Mohandessin (full details on the next post and on my "Joana Saahirah of Cairo Fan Page").

I am also available for private classes in Cairo (individual or small groups). Bookings through the email:

*** Performance and Workshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina (11,12,13th May) - Informations through the email:

In Portugal (19,20th May) - Informations through:;

and in Ireland (26,27th May) - More informations through:;

*** My SPECIAL*Show and Workshop at the Cairo World Festival "SALAMAT MASR" this July.

Plan your vacation to Cairo right NOW* and join the most AMAZING event in the world with some of the BEST artists and teachers of the field.

I will be there as well as Mona el Said, Zizi Mustafa and many others!

More infos at:

***Much more to come!

Always flying HIGH in DANCE as in LIFE..........................................

Saturday, March 24, 2012


My next CAIRO ORIENTAL DANCE WORKSHOP will happen at DANSATION on the 6th APRIL (Friday) from 6pm till 9pm.

You will be up for a DANCE/SOUL treat you will never forget.

More infos about the event will follow.

Write it down on your agendas: 6th April will be a MAGICAL ORIENTAL DANCE DAY!

Mission: To empower Women through Oriental Dance...and so much more.***

Messages in a bottle.

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”


“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”


“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”

The good side of the Crisis...

There must be a positive side to every experience, I intend to be stubbornly sure of that fact.

It is not new that the world is going through a MAJOR transitional phase with old ideas, ways of living, mentalities and political systems collapsing. The famous 2012 is forcing us to die and, hopefully, to be reborn.

Who will be able to take this step forward and who will remain in the dead past is something we´re still gonna check soon enough but one thing is clear:

The good side of this necessary and predictable mess resides in the return to the ESSENTIAL. To Nature, to Humans, to Art, to LIFE and not just survival filled with junk in the shape of material things, illusionary power, money and status.

Egypt is on the spotlight since the Revolution - that is yet to REALLY happen - and no other time seemed more challenging than the present one.

The old regime´s head was ripped off the country but what we now need is a Revolution of the MENTALITIES and a serious responsability taking by the egyptian people. With no dictators to tell us what to do, we gain FREEDOM but we also gain RESPONSABILITY with that freedom.

The jump that must happen for Egypt entry in this new era will require much more than just a political change. It will be an INDIVIDUAL change, a personal wake up call for each one of us in Egypt and the world.

As a professional survivor and optimist, I see brand new paths opening up on the exact spots where doors are closed. It takes more than a Revolution. It takes IMAGINATION, that diaphanous quality we possess that SEES*** possibilities where others only see obstacles.

IMAGINATION to SEE a future that is not - yet - materialized but, for sure, it is already here.

Wake up, Egypt (World!) and smell the flowers, a new species of flowers. The minds MUST open to new ways of dealing with a brand new LIFE that has arrived. And THAT is not my imagination. It is HERE for everybody to see.

There are two directions to take: down or UP. You choose which.

Small precious pleasures on the dance floor...

The most delicious pleasures tend to be hidden, unsuspected, unexpected and subtle.

As a detail lover myself, I find the greatest pleasure in apparently small events that fill my heart with so must joy it must overflow.

"My cup runneth over" is a sentence that, thanks God, applies to my Life on a constant basis.

The good side of being a sensitive person resides in this ability to wonder, marvel and feel happiness from many, many events I experience.

The dance floor/stage is one of those places where my cup always overflows with miracles, little and huge reasons to breath and a touch of Eternity that is ever present in Dance.

When my eyes meet someone´s eyes in the audience and, for an instant, we connect on a deep level with no words, movements or any specific intentions.

When, in the space of a show, I can change people´s perception about Dance and Dancers and see that change in their faces. From the state of expecting a streap-teaser to the point of discovering an ARTIST goes a long, disturbed way but I often reach it with my audiences.

When my musicians are, particularly, inspired and in the mood for work. In those occasions, I feel the music pulling me up towards the sky and we become ONE single unit, talking with each other through music and dance, appreciating each other´s talent.

When an egyptian lady comes to me after a show and hugs me with tears in her eyes. Enough said.

When children get caught up with my dance in such a transe that they stop playing around, laughing and become bewitched by what they are experiencing. More wonderful even is when one of these children insists on kissing me after the show and whisper in my ear:

"I want to be a dancer too."

When my body is exhausted and, perhaps, most vulnerable than ever and STILL I find my inner strenght to go on, search for new ways of expressing myself and feel the audience´s feed-back while I am searching.

When I pause in the middle of a song and all I can listen to is the SILENCE within me. Eyes closed, heart jumping in a very private party and the audience right there, in front of me, loving my SILENCE.

When I exchange private jokes and silly laughs with my musicians. Only we know what´s going on in our own private mafia club.

When my musicians jump in a second to protect me every time my safety is at risk.

When I realize this is not only DANCING I am doing on that stage. It is my Dream, my Life, my Love, my most precious addiction, the Passion that was born within me and that, by force of fate and will power, I turned into a Career of which I am deeply proud of.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thanks, Sara Esteves Cardoso *for your marvellous and inspiring presence.

“… Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly

cries out when she finds the book she wants.

You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes."

(Blog which, immediately, became one of my TOP 5 favourite things to read on a daily basis).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What moves you?

I have often said that my duty as a Dancer is to MOVE my audiences on many levels.

I have also asked myself and other professional dancers I am honoured to teach:

What moves YOU when you dance.

What moves you, as a dancer, will define on a big scale the result of your work, of that I have no doubt. This is part of what I call the "invisible technique" of Oriental Dance or, in another words, those things you work on an invisible level, very hard to be identified by your audiences but essential on the final result of each dance.

Some dancers, consciously or not, are moved by their ego.

Others just want to be heard, understood, be the center of attention as a compensation for some kind of default in their lives.

Many others will dance for the show off, the applauses, the joy they imagine fame will bring them.

Some make it for money. Period.

Others for power.

I am often talked about in very strange ways that are not connected with me in any way. I take great pride and fun on listening to critics, professional haters who don«t know more than just "speak about others" and such. I laugh at all the comments and learn from them too.

What no stranger comments will tell you is what I know, deep inside.

What moves me in DANCE is PASSION and strange URGENCY to MOVE every time I listen to a music that MOVES me inside. It is a very basic, primary, instinct based on my very wild nature.

The animal I am DEMANDS to move and fly with the music. No other goals intended. That is IT. Hard to understand, I is ME and I never quite got it, until today. But, hey, Dance is Life and LIFE goes beyond our own understanding skills.

I leave you with the same question I have to ask myself on a constant basis:

WHY do you DANCE...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Joana Saahirah of Cairo Teaching, Performing and Lecturing in IRELAND, for the first time!

I will be honoured to share my Art in Ireland at the "SHAKEFEST" Festival on the 26th,27th May

at Charleville Castle Tullamore!!!

Here´s a little of what you may find in this GREAT EVENT:

11:30-6:30pm - World Cultures and Dance Workshops
5-6:30pm Joana Saahira Oriental Dance Masterclass - Performance Enhancements and Alexandria with Mellaya style

12-6pm World Cultures and Family Activities fair
8pm-12am World Cultures and Art performances

12-2pm - Joana Saahira General Level Oriental Dance workshop - Classical Oriental
3-5pm - Joana Saahira Intermediate Oriental Dance workshop - Saiidi

More infos and subscriptions at:

What REALLY happens when I dance.

What do you feel when you´re dancing is a frequent question delivered to me by other dancers and students.

The answer is as lovely as the mysteries that turn daily times into EXTRAORDINARY instants of Eternity.

I believe each person is specially sensitive to specific things, feelings, stimulation. For me, it has always been MUSIC. My mum tells what a devil I was in my childhood. She also tells how I never crawled like normal babies. I would bounce on my legs and clean the floors with it until one day, with no previous announcement, I started to wallk by myself and dance to any music.

My first memories of childhood are enriched with sounds I registered: television adds, my mum and grandmum´s voices, church bells at our family´s Alentejo village and so on...

As I started moving, all my body would react to sounds as if pushed by an invisible force that just could not let me go.

I was possessed by MUSIC. I still am, God bless all Souls...

When I listen to music, I drink it first. Get drunk with it until I see nothing and no one, not even myself and the ego that goes with it.

Then I feel each note, beat, silence as if my favourite LOVER was touching my body. Sometimes, the strokes are harsh and passionate, some times they are soft and delicate. But they are always passionate and full of LOVE.

This is how I feel music and react to it: on a total physical & spiritual way and, at the same time, with a SENSUAL base to it.

Making love with the music should be the term to use here. So I just did.

I make love with music while I am dancing. Not mechanical, soul empty, cold love making but the kind that makes your heart explode, your soul stirr and purr in pleasures no words can ever describe.

So now you know what I feel when I am dancing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Isadora Duncan 54'

Education for Dancers.  A MUST.
Oriental Dance is not less demanding than any other style of Dance. Therefore, I strongest belief that DANCERS should educate themselves about ALL other Art forms is stronger every day.
Isadora Duncan, the so called Mother of Modern Dance defended a lot of principles that directly apply to Oriental Dance.
"I have danced nothing but my own life" is one of her famous quotes and it curiously meets what I ve been practicing in my work as a performer and teacher. Empty movements performed just for the eye´s pleasure are better suited for Circus acrobats. As far as I know, Dancers should be able to SPEAK with their movements, filling them with meaning, juice, REAL FEELINGS and SENSATIONS, the use of emotional memory so common to Actors and so forth. A DANCER ´s movements should never be empty but FULL of LIFE. The DANCER´S LIFE.

Never stop learning, never stop locating yourself in the wise position of the student. Never stop getting a little shy when others call you Master because we´re nothing but eternal beginners in this Art of DANCE/LIFE!!!

Personal discoveries...

I discovered that Music is the voice of God and

Dance is Its messenger.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Very honoured to promote "SALAMAT MASR", the Cairo Oriental Dance Festival you will not want to miss.

I will be teaching and performing at this event, as well as many others of the BEST Oriental Dance & Folcloric teachers/dancers in the world.

Join us in Cairo, this July!

Or the link:

I wonder...

Why the more a person achieves the bigger amount of crows - AKA frustrated people - gather to bad mouth, criticize and attack for no reason other than their envy?!

Paulo Coelho, the brazilian writer and world best seller, has a book whose title illustrates my question. It is called "The winner stands alone". It really does.

The more someone does, dares, enjoys well deserved success the more enemies it gathers around her/him, with no apparent reason.

This is weird phenomenon for me as I always felt inspired and happy for other people´s achievements and never missed an opportunity to inspire others to reach for their full potential.

The loser mentality just doesn´t make sense to me, though it is ever more present in my life.

My challenges, dream achievements and paths are of my own authorship. Never compare myself to someone else or wish to do things the way others do. My peregrination, in Dance/Art as in Life, has been towards MYSELF. So it is hard, if not impossible, to understand the envy, destructive instinct and the madness that flow from it.

Dear haters, PLEASE GET a LIFE and use other people´s SUCESS as incentives for your own, unique, special path. That´s the only way to move on with your lives and be a little, at least, of what you wish to be.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


favorite Dancing moments.

Never underestimating the immense pleasure, victory and privilege on performing in Cairo with my own orchestra. That has been a WONDERFUL dream come true and a source of constant learning, inspiration and willingness to grow further and further.Yet, my favourite DANCING moments are nothing less than private, unexpected and not directly connected with the Sucess others associate with me.

Here are some of them:

*The private dances all the men I loved offered me. Curious to observe that only two of them were, actually, Dancers like me. The rest was not but they managed to enchant me - and make me laugh so hard, in some cases - by dancing for me. Ever more curious than that is the fact that I, the Dancer, never danced for any one of them.

*A tribal african dance class I took in New York, some years ago. I was taken by the hand of an afro-american friend of mine, Brooklyn girl, and all I can say is: it kicked my ass so damn fine...

Wow! Africans have a stamina, physical strenght and vigour most caucasians - like me - do not possess. I had the confirmation of this fact during the class.

This was an undergroud studio for tribal dances - God bless New York and its incredible cultural diversity -and I give myself some credit. It took a lot of guts - and no sense of ridiculous - to introduce myself into a class of african dances that defied the law of gravity to a never seen extent. I almost got killed during that class, if it wasnt´t for my sense of humour and the coolness of the participants, all african and black as the beautiful night.

I jumped, I twirled in the air, I was the clumsy monkey of the room, I sweat and went close to fainting many times but the excitement kept me going. No doubt I did nothing but BIG TIME bullshit on that class but, by all Gods and Goddesses, did I have fun!

***My first Tango dance happened in Madrid (Spain), where I lived for an year studying in the Acting Conservatoire. I was heading for an Oriental Dance workshop as I passed through a studio where an argentinian dancer was practicing. Without further questions or "why", he pulled me into the room, told me to close my eyes and let him lead me. Adventurous and curious as I am, I did what he requested from me. What a treat! The whole dance was performed with my eyes closed and no step was on the wrong place, no heart beat on the wrong note, no mistake, no rocks on the path. When the song reached an end, I was ready to fly to Mars with this man. Never saw him again and, yet, never forgot him.

*Me and my dearest friend and teacher Mahmoud Reda (founder of the "Reda Troupe" and fairly called the "Father of Egyptian Folclore") dancing under the rain in Brighton. After my performance, me and Mahmoud were supposed to return to our hotel but decided not to wait for the car ride. We just went into the streets of Brighton - deserted by that time of the night - and danced oour way to the hotel, hands joined, laughing our hearts out and...yes...under the rain. It was an instant classic directly competing with Gene Kelly scene on "Dancing in the rain."

*Performing for peasant - "fellahin" - women and children in a village by the Nile close to Luxor, Upper Egypt. It was one of my studying trips to Egypt that lead me to this place, thanks to the kindness and risky sense of fun of a tour guide who wanted to present me to his family.

The village women gathered at his home to watch me dance for them, not before they fed me and covered me in hugs and kisses. I usually do not do Oriental Dance outside of my work. This was an exception. A room was closed to this effect. Men were out of the equation.

A tape recorder from the time of ex- president Nasser was on with Om Kolthoum and I did my own private show. It all ended with old ladies crying and hugging me and a gorgeous, emotional procession of women who didn´t want to let me go.

***Sure there were many other Dance experiences I cherish. I have been blessed with more of them than I can count but, for some reason I don´t need to understand, these are the ones which my emotional memory retains.

More will come...

Of Books and other delights/struggles.

Since I started working on my own book, my reading habits have been changed, slowed down and limited to subjects that may complement some research I do to complement what I am writing.

My own BOOK is not about theory or History of Oriental Dance, although it has a bit of that - and many other things - in it. I said to myself, eight years ago, that I would leave my homeland, make an Oriental Dance career in Egypt and, from that experience, write a BOOK about what it entails to be a DANCER and a WOMAN in this Middle Eastern world the wider space of the rare FREE people´s existence.

No one believed I would do it. That is, no one except me. The end of a cycle comes with the writing of this BOOK that brought me, in the first place, to Egypt. Nothing went like I imagined, except the LOVING receptivity of egyptian audiences. It is with great pride, responsability and passion that I have been working - on and off, due to other professional duties and constant traveling - on this TREASURE of mine for almost an year and there is still a LONG way to go but I am making sure that the final result makes me proud and makes justice to the TRUTH and the WAY ORIENTAL DANCE really is, according to my own personal and professional experience.

It has been such a difficult, ghost polluted ride...

Meanwhile, only "Oprah Magazine" and "Vanity Fair" reach my eyes on a constant base, as well as the Notes of Isadora Duncan - the so called "Mother of Modern Dance" - and the Notes of the greatest Classical Ballet dancer of all times : Nijinsky.

Both inspiring me, connecting with me, making me fall in love with DANCE and ART more than ever.

I am a person of many LOVES and interests. An eager, child like curious mind, an energetic and passionate body which craves for LIFE and a heart that cannot beat without constant emotions that stir its fireplace righ there in the middle of my chest. Yet DANCE seems to confirm itself as my first and MAJOR LOVE. Again and again, it confirms itself as the motor of my legs and the reason to feel excited about LIFE.

This love is here to stay.:)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

2nd Cairo Oriental Ladies Night arriving...

Ladies of Cairo, be prepared for the MOST AMAZING dance experience of your lives...

After the success of the 1st CAIRO ORIENTAL LADIES NIGHT, I am taking my time to organize the 2nd edition of the event. Bigger and better because QUALITY is something I do not live without.

ORIENTAL DANCE MASTER CLASS, PRATICA, PRIVATE SHOW only*** for the ladies with a VERY SPECIAL orchestra and many other surprises that will make you remember what´s SPECIAL*** about being a WOMAN and WHICH treasures are hidden under the oh so forgotten ART of EGYPTIAN ORIENTAL DANCE.

Details will follow soon...

Welcome, everyone!


I envy people who can be cool and cold in Life. They seem to have no blood running in their veins, God bless them!

Due to survival skills one must develop while living in a fantastic jungle like Egypt, I understand how the majority of us tend to forget how to FELL true friendship, LOVE, passion and all the HOT-HOT-HOT feelings, uncontrolable and amazing feelings that make this Life worth living.

Yes, I envy everyone who is not in a hurry to FEEL ALIVE, to DO GOOD THINGS, to MAKE LOVE, to FALL in LOVE, to WORK HARD and PLAY HARD.

Damn, this latin blood running inside of always makes me FEEL too much, laugh too much, cry too much, wanting and letting go too much and, certainly, LOVE and DANCE like there is no tomorrow.

Being faithful to my latin blood and true character, I am driven by my URGENCY to do whatever I FEEL like doing. Therefore, there is an URGENCY yelling inside my chest, not allowing to me sit still on what I´ve already achieved and move FORWARD, way out of my comfort zones and right into the clif that leads me to unknown oceans of brand new discoveries.

It is URGENT, right now to:

1. Save Oriental Dance from disappearing in Egypt. I´ve been performing here for the past 5 years (going to 6, time flies...) and observed how the native Dance of egyptians is being neglected, deteriorated and increasingly banished from the country´s daily life.

Egyptian Music and Dance are not something you easily find nowadays in Cairo. Actually, it is becoming more and more restricted, rare, forbidden.

Clients who used to hire me with my orchestra, are getting used to request my show on the sound of a cd when the best musicians are at a phone call distance right under my wings. The interaction between a GOOD PROFESSIONAL DANCER and her ORCHESTRA cannot, EVER, be replaced by the cool, cold, dead sound of a cd player.

2. Rescue Oriental Dance in the world from this EXTREME COMMERCIALISM and MAFIA connections that rule the dance business world wide. There are exceptions, of course.They are honourable and VERY few.

The sponsors who invite me to perform and teach at their events world wide are, usually, professionals who know my performing work in Cairo and wish for SOMETHING DIFFERENT and REAL but, most of the times, clones are prone to produce more clones for profit.

Dancers turning themselves into puppets who copy other puppets and the ORIENTAL ART transforming itself into a cheap acrobatic, show off, soul empty activity which survives out of most people s ignorance about the subject.

Oriental Dance needs, URGENTLY, of ARTISTS. And the SOUL*** of this ART must be, once and for all, rescued.

3. It is URGENT to bring back Oriental Dance to EGYPTIAN WOMEN.

When I organized the first CAIRO ORIENTAL LADIES NIGHT and WORKSHOP for the women of this city, many voices ran high asking me if I was going with the flow of the religious extremism and, therefore, reducing Oriental Dance into an exclusively feminine matter.

It never occured to me that someone would consider me as going with the flow of religious extremism as I am a very loud voice against it and have always criticized it, as well as other things I live here in Egypt.

My goal -then again, URGENT - is to make these incredibly gifted WOMEN of EGYPT REMEMBER their true dance, away from the prejudices, ignorance and decadence they got used to associate with it.

Performing in Cairo with my own orchestra and receiving a blessed SUCCESS (thanks God***) from it is something I LOVE and never take for granted, no matter how many times I´ve experienced it. Yet there is a SPECIAL work to be done with EGYPTIAN WOMEN and this is one of my newest URGENT dreams, growing with the same FIRE and WILLINGNESS to explore that I apply to everything else I do.

4. URGENCY to LOVE more, to lose the fear of being vulnerable, of making mistakes and not being appreciated by everyone. URGENCY to always be a little bit more of myself, no matter what.

....Oh, how I envy the cold, dead people I so often see around me...wish I could be cool and unattached like them but then I would not be me and my DANCE would not be what it is*** and I would not fall in love like a mad woman like I always do and, and, and...

Blessed latin blood.;)

Orientalism as a Tool of Colonialism 1/4

Essential documentary for all Oriental Dancers and lovers of the Middle East and North Africa TRUE history. There is a responsability inherent to every ARTIST who represents cultures so rich and controversial as the Oriental ones.
Educating yourself about the difference between stereotypes, prejudices and REALITY is part of our job.
Enjoy the LEARNING...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oh my gosh- Usher Feat Will i am (Official Music Video HQ HD)

Inspirations are everywhere!
LOVE this Usher song - with the silly boobies and bootie talk and all...- and the COOL quality that comes with it.
For the ones who know me, there is a fact that defines me in such a large scale: I am not just an Oriental Dancer. I am a DANCER who studied and loves many styles of dance (starting from Classical Ballet at the age of 5 and going all the way through jazz, modern, flamenco, afro, latin american dances, tap dancing, you name it!), an ACTRESS and, above all, an ARTIST.

This means I get excited like a child, learn and feel inspired by many ways of ARTISTIC expression.
Just yesterday, I could not sit still on my chair at the OPERA of CAIRO while watching an AMAZING performance of a HIP HOP  group directed and choreographed by Rennie Harris ("Puremovement") .

This american company kicked ass yesterday night @ the Opera of Cairo! I tell you that place was on FIRE, damn fine, baby...

Hip-hop, funk, jazz, street dance mix WITH an ARTISTIC VIEW and loads of PASSION.
Egyptian hip- hop dancers gathered the party and were SIMPLY AMAZING.

All I did was smile and dance on my sit the whole time. Just wanted to screammmmmmmm: WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW.........................
Incredible how DANCE, when done as an ART FORM and WITH FUL PASSION, can be the most UPLIFTING of remedies.

God bless my sponge quality that gets raw material from everywhere and turns it into my own...Dance/LIFE.
So cool. So damn cool.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Straight to the POINT.

Performing in Egypt does not assure you TALENT or a PERSONALITY. It can, certainly, teach you a lot and show you of which material you are made of but it cannot make you a DANCER if you were not born a DANCER.

The Learning curves do not stop. When you presume you got IT, something comes off to push you back down, assuring you how little you know. The only CONSTANT conviction I carry while performing in Cairo with my orchestra is the SOUL factor of Oriental Dance.

It doesn´t matter how much technique or smart tricks you carry up your sleeve. If you don´t deliver a SOULFUL dance that can MOVE your audiences from the inside-out, then you will fail on the long term.

Finding the LANGUAGE of the SOUL that unites all Human Beings seems to be the answer for me. It goes beyond all the goodies my wonderful teachers (official and unofficial) taught me. It goes higher and wider than the spectrum of commercial clones I see today in the Oriental Dance business world wide.

MOVE ME, seems to be what audiences want from you. Even when they don´t know it yet, just expecting a cute girl ondulating her body. On that journey to a DANCE with no name or nationality I take GREAT PLEASURE...

That´s why Egypt needs...

A newly found habit of USING the brain we were born with.

If a dogma - religious, political, personal - cannot be QUESTIONED, TESTED and TARGET of FREE, OPEN, INTELLIGENT discussion then it is not worth keeping.

Doubting does not mean DISRESPECTING. Only from doubts and questions can come true CONVICTION.

In this post-revolutionary Egypt (still waiting to see the REAL REVOLUTION to which a first step was taken), I hope something so simple as "PUTTING BRAINS TO WORK" can, finally, happen. If God gave us a head with brains to think and ask, then why most people around here still insist on not using it?

P.S. There is an ON button on the back of your neck. Press that button, please. Some LIGHT will come out of it, thank you very much.

What´s with the beard, dude?!

Latest fashion between the men of Cairo: growing a fluffly and bizarre beard as a sign of religious fervour.

Appearances always seemed to matter so damn much in Egypt. This is one of the things I never got around to accept. Most people will thrive on APPEARING to be "something" rather than BEING whatever they are. External signs of finantial power and status have always been over rated, turning assholes with money into kings and decent people into slaves, but now the matter is reaching newer, scarier hights:

Appearing to be a "RELIGIOUS" person is in the order of the day. And, by "religious", I mean someone who shows external traits that other identify as pious, morally clean and respectable.

Once again, what each person REALLY is does not seem to matter, as long as he/she appears to be a direct son/daughter of the Prophet Mohamed.

The callus on the forehead - from the praying prostration position - and the beard seem to me like props of a character acting in a huge theatre play called Egypt.

Consciousness and responsability for our own acts seem to me like the REAL RELIGION. Not stealing, lying, cheating, harming others, etc. My catholic side (from which I can run but I cannot hide as it defines me on a considerable scale) finds itself reavaluating the delights of SHAME and GUILT. Although Christian Catholic Church has played like a criminal with these two feelings, instilling them in their followers as a way to control them, I start to find some great value in them.

It is not that bad to feel shame or guilt when you do something ugly to yourself or others. Why not? Nothing scarier than a person who is not ashamed of anything. Poker face while lying, cool as it can be while cheating, sleeping peacefully at night after stealing or playing with other people and so on...I´ve met quite a few characters who did not possess the quality of FEELING SHAME on their faces and the view is not pretty. The ones who still do, rarer and rarer as the world goes crazier than ever, do not need any exterior signs of religiosity. Simply because being RELIGIOUS is a private matter, a decision from inside of yourself to try to be the BEST HUMAN BEING you can be.

Wonder if all those beards and marks on the forehead are equivalent to REAL VIRTUE.

Egypt, oh my beloved Egypt...crazy you are, no doubt about it. Yet, never boring!

Teaching and performing in Ireland at a beautiful castle!

If you´re in Ireland or near during this month of May, don´t miss this opportunity.
Shake an annual holistic and international dance fair at Charleville Castle, home of Quest Campus, has blossomed into a full week-end long festival of art, culture, dance and life - fun enjoyment for all ages all cultures - it is an international and local Tullamore Festival - a special camping week...

For further informations, go to:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Joana Saahirah of Cairo in Argentina, for the second time!

Buenos Aires querido, here I come again...

The first time I performed and taught in Buenos Aires -2010 - I fell into the spell of this city and its wonderful, passionate people.

Only in Egypt did I receive such an extent of enthusiastic, openly emotional feed-back with hundreds of messages congratulating me for my work, lots of happiness tears and a sense of appreciation so warm that it made my heart melt.

Don´t get me wrong: thanks God, I always receive a loving feed-back from my work, no matter where I travel to perform and teach but NOTHING like the reactions I get in Egypt and Argentina. These two places are, for some reason, SPECIAL.***

It is with deep JOY and ENTHUSIASM I announce my participation in the next "BellyDance Weekend" organized by the fantastic magazine "InfoArabe".

It will happen this month of May and, I assure you, it will be better and higher than anyone can remember. If my first participation was, literally, on fire one can see what it s coming, except me***!

Not only did I find the warmest reception of my Art as the highest level of dancing so this means double pleasure: I can perform and teach challenging material that I know the audience and students will be able to catch.

Very happy to announce this emotional return to what became one of my favourite cities in the world: Buenos Aires.

My hug follows, in advance, to all argentinian dancers who will share this*** experience with me.

More infos will follow soon!