Saturday, November 16, 2013


 Sometimes the things that are closer to our eyes are precisely the ones we cannot see (due to their extreme proximity).

 I realized - only today, on my way to London - that my upcoming BOOK
 "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life and Beyond" only exists because of my students/dancers in London. Have I told them so? No, I don´t think I did. Where is my head (most important: where is my heart?).

 THEY WERE the REASON this Book (check link: ) was written and I never had the chance - or lucidity - to thank them.
NOW* is the time.

THANK YOU, my wonderful, bright, lovely, talented WOMEN. It was during our last Workshop ("SECRETS of EGYPTIAN DANCE" in LONDON) that my upcoming BOOK* was born. Was it not for your reactions, connection, appreciation, feed-back, messages and requests and this new born baby would have never come to LIFE*.

 Do you REALLY think I´m that* crazy?! I´d already written and edited "my own" book (to be published after "THE SECRETS of EGYPT") and was exhausted, drained, empty from the whole process. Aside from my Dance (performing, teaching, lecturing, choreographing) and constant work travels to different countries of the world, I had no time or energy to even think about writing another book - particularly one in English which is not my mother language or an idiom I´ve studied in depth.

 No, lovely ones, this baby was NOT planned and yet you pulled my fingers and the tip of their soul to write it. While I watched you working - DISCOVERING - in our London Workshop, I realized I HAD to share more of it with the World. When I received your messages telling me what that workshop had meant to you, I realized I had to share more of it with the world. When some of you read the 20 pages workshop´s guide I gave you and requested that I wrote MORE about those subjects, I realized I had to share more of it with the World.

 It was on my return from London that I started to build the BOOK, still not aware that it would take that shape or be published. Actually, I wasn´t aware of anything - except your enthusiasm, love and understanding.
You were the first stone of this Castle*********************
The only words that make sense right now are THANK YOU FROM MY HEART, BEAUTIFUL WOMEN.

THANK YOU*********************

Joana Saahirah of Cairo performing in Samara, Russia

The light, the filming and general visibility are not ideal but you can get an idea about one of my last performances in Russia.
More and more I admit: I don´t dance for the photo or for the vídeo. I dance for the people who are with me in each show, sharing the kind of DANCE* no machine can ever capture. Technology is cool and has inundated all our lives (making us less Human* and, just apparently, more eficient) but the HUMAN FACTOR  will never - I hope - be erased by the machine dictatorship.

Magic, subtle movements the camera doesn´t capture; a look, a whisper, a moment of deep silence/union: none of those jewels can be seen through this vídeo and yet they´re real and they happened.
You had to be THERE* - in that packed theatre in Russia - to know exactly what I mean.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


It´s with great pleasure and honor that I return to London to present the
WORKSHOP STAR MAKER – 17th November – and a series of weekly MASTER CLASSES for all the dancers who TRULY wish to go the extra mile and get deeply into the ART of Egyptian Oriental Dance.

 The knowledge I´ve gathered in my career in Egypt as well as my travels around the world will be delivered with the usual passion but with a depth that intensive workshops cannot deliver.
 We will develop the Egyptian Dance ABC - my own method, not your regular belly dance classes AT ALL - and move ahead on a Journey that goes beyond steps and choreographies.
The pillars of this Magical Dance, the organic movement work and the creativity awakening will be on the order of the day PLUS combinations we will build from week to week (growing in complexity as we move ahead) and some unusual Wisdom totally out of the box.
 To REALLY learn Egyptian Dance, we must cure our amnesia (reawaken our own bodies, minds, hearts and souls) and that´s what we will do during these Master Classes. Be ready to be SURPRISED. 


Important note: these will not be the “regular bellydance” classes you may have experienced before. These are an overall re-awakening - artistic and personal. From week to week, we will go into a Journey of self-knowledge, Union, Egyptian Dance (totally out of the common superficial commercial circuit) and Magical Transformations (observed in your dance and life).

Welcome to join the Ride*!

Level: Intermediate/Advanced (nonetheless, the level will be adapted to the Group´s abilities and preparation).
Welcome, beautiful Souls*!

Coming to London (one month and a half in town)*

More than EXCITED: on my way to London (where I will stay until the end of December).
NEW PROJECTS on the horizon and a few (already public) EVENTS no dancer in the UK will want to miss:
*STAR MAKER WORKSHOP - 17th November (see infos bellow);
* WEEKLY MASTER CLASSES in London (see infos bellow);
* Possibility to book your own PRIVATE LESSONS according to my availability and only until the 20th December. This is 100% personalized program of classes that will focus on the dancer´s particular skills, personality and goals.
Bookings via email (
* I will also be available to PERFORM. Requests should be sent to my email (
**********Welcome, London!:) It´s a honor to bring a little piece of Egypt´s Soul to the UK.
For more infos:

Essential Note* (to stick on your fridge)

What it means to PERFORM (Russia reminded me*)

Doing "my magical thing". In LOVE***. Samara, Russia.
Life´s a School and I´m an eager student. The more I know, the less I realize I REALLY know.
Performing - speaking from the Soul and sharing my HEART with my audiences.
Judging in Russia reminded me of what matters when it comes to DANCE and, particularly, PERFORMING. No perfection hunt or eagerness to impress your audience will do the trick. When it comes to PERFORMING (dancing for an audience), only TRUTH, PASSION and HUMAN CONNECTION do the trick. Who cares about the moves you master? Who cares if your abdomen is able to mimic the stomach of a person who swallowed a snake? Who cares how many fancy steps you´ve memorized? None of those mean a thing if you´re not TALKING with your audience from a place of TRUTH and HUMANITY.
Show them 1% of what you know (of technique, choreography and other tools most dancers take as final destination) but BUILD a MOMENT of RECONNECTION that no one will forget. Performers instead of Movement Cathalog Clones - this is what I wish to see more and more.
Not surprisingly, Russian Dancers are starting to grasp this concept and I´m sure they can be even greater than they already are. If only...
An urgent redefinition of the TEACHING PADAGOGY must be done. Dancers should not be trained to be machines and clones of their teachers but FREE, CREATIVE, STRONG INDIVIDUALS who will develop a language of their own from the basis you offer them.
Here´s what I often say: a common teacher will make you depend on him/her, not developing the skills and awareness that can - on the long term - allow you to grow. This kind of teacher will ask you to follow his/her steps, copy his/her movements and accepting whatever he/she says without the right of the doubt. A MASTER TEACHER will do the opposite. He/she will train you in a way that you will be independente and know your tool (body, mind, heart and soul) so well that you comunicate through it according to your own voice. A MASTER TEACHER will offer you the tools to be FREE, to ask WHY and WHY NOT and to Be YOURSELF.
So much exciting WORK********************* to be done.
Yallah! What are you waiting for?!

Messing around with the Competition´s presenter. Samara, Russia.

Oh, yes.

Russia (Samara)* - one more Great Meeting of Souls*********************

By the Volga river - Samara, Russia.
I´m unusually speechless these days. Blame it on a strange mood (that pulls me to do even MORE but speak less); blame it on the focus on the writing and editing of my BOOKS (enough words in those two); blame it on a busy agenda that pulls me in so many different directions - at the same time - that my head spins.
Doing my "crazy thing" on stage. Gala show in Samara, Russia.
Although I´ll be brief, there´s no way I could not comment on my last work trip to Russia. It´s a honor to see how the countries where the level of Oriental Dance is the highest are precisely the ones where my work and VISION* are more deeply understood and loved. That, in itself, makes my day (of course). But there´s something else in Russia - some kind of good karma that I have with the country and its people.
Flying on stage with Om Kolthoum.
Once more, I saw TALENT and SERIOUS WORK on the table. Dancers from all over Russia (and Russia is a BIG country) came to study with me and experience my performance in the Gala Show which closed the event. Expectations on me grow even higher and there´s the weight of responsability that come with them. I knew I had to give my best but recently discovered that MY BEST is always what my heart FEELS at each moment. Life cannot be 100% planned. Neither can Dance*.
Next to one of the many posters (with my photo and name) spread all over town.
I dropped my plans, changed the idea I had for the workshops and show and let myself go. The warmth, love and respect I got from dancers, public and the Festival´s organization were overwhelming. Recognition that comes from honest, passionate work is the sweetest sensation any Artist can aspire to enjoy.
Maturity means, aside from other perks, not having to prove your worth to the world. It means PERFORMING from the SOUL (in order to touch other people´s souls) instead of showing off a series of correct, impressive (?!) movements that will look great on photos and vídeos. 
Teaching, lecturing and performing reveal themselves - clearer than ever - as sacred ways to RECONNECT with other Human Beings (and remind them of their own SOUL).
Me and the other Judges of the Competition in Samara, Russia.
I was exhausted when I arrived to Russia and returned even more exhausted - that´s true. I also returned with a renewed sense of PURPOSE. My career has never been about what MOST PEOPLE presume. The map* of my Dreams is rare and very few can see* it.
No need for words; maybe no need for (exterior) movements. Just breathe and LOOK others in the EYES - they will tell you what DANCE really is*.
Blessed and in BLISS********************* 

Apparently cool judge. :)
Teaching wonderful dancers*.

By the Volga river.

Thank you, Russia (I love you)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Food for the Soul*

Why did this piece of news (and photos) brought tears to my eyes - leaving me suspended from the clouds between heaven and upper heaven?! I cannot pinpoint. There´s something about TALENT, GENIUS and COMPULSIVE CREATIVITY that seems to fascinate me beyond words.
Follow the link and marvel at LIFE`s magnificence:

Thursday, November 7, 2013

On my way to Russia*

I fight not to allow boredom get the best of me. Here I am confessing: I´m an adrenaline freak; I´m a challenge addicted who instantly loses interest in something when comfort takes it; I´m the eternal Apprentice in Love and Awe for the blissful process of LEARNING. Once I stop surprising myself and learning; once challenges disappear and everything seems too easy; once others put me on a throne (well deserved when it comes to my profession), I tend to get bored and start to look for other interests that make me feel ALIVE.
I try not to forget - and it´s a permanent enterprise - how much work, talent, skills and courage took to get me where I am and I TRY* not to take my success for granted (because it´s not).
After sleeping what it seemed like an Eternity on the airplane, here I am at the airport in Moscow. No one seems to speak any language except Russian so I rely on my "Me Jane, You Tarzan" universal dialect and, somehow, make myself understood.
 Although I don´t like to confess it, I´m tired - maybe EMPTY is the best word to apply now. Non stop work, travels, two books written and edited (one in Portuguese and the other in English), new projects and DESIRES* and a sense of recovery from my Egyptian Journey. Yes, ladies and gentlemen: I now realize how exhausted and traumatized I was after deciding to leave Egypt (as a home and base for my work). Although I made things MY WAY and with all the dignity I dreamt for me and my career, the truth is that there is always a price to pay for your dreams. THAT* is now clearer than ever. And doesn´t stop just because you need to recover from War. Get a grip, put yourself together and rebalance yourself as you move ahead - these seem to be the most compassionate messages I get from my inner Voice. Following it and trying not to complain about SUCCESS*. :) It´s strange how we can be - despite appearances - more afraid of Success than of failure. Gosh, Humans are complicated!

A Naguib Mahfouz book on my hands and large - uncomfortable - airport chairs to try* to get some sleep until my next flight. Meanwhile, the Universe sends off its messages to make me SEE* how fortunate I am. I mean: REALLY.

The Roads have not been easy at all but, somehow, I´ve achieved everything I ever dreamt of and more. Above that, there is this often underestimated privilege of doing what I LOVE. Having the health, energy, opportunities (and faith from others, may them be Festival sponsors, students, fellow dancers I respect, audiences all over the world) and FIRE to make exactly what I was born to do. How can I even DARE to feel bored and exhausted?! How can I?!
Cure (lucidity) on the way.

Uff! What a relief. :/

Monday, November 4, 2013

Joana Saahirah´s NEW BABY ARRIVING...:)))))))))))))))))))))

No, it´s not normal (normal seems like a stupid word to me)for a Dancer to sit hours without end at a desk and write. The mobility, above all, kills me (but, hey, who said dying cannot be great?!).The time it robs from my dance work is also heavy on, leaving me split between excitement and stress.
To make things clear, let me tell you something: this BOOK - "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond" - was never planned. I have written (and edited) another book which was supposed to be published in these last few months. Then came LIFE and I followed it. I wrote another book in about three months and NOT in my mother language. Crazy, I know! No explanations offered. It is what it is*.
Here´s my unexpected baby, arriving without a warning and taking my world by storm.
Kicking my ass, making the sweat in ways I never thought were possible, pulling me (then again) out of my Comfort zone.
Almost out of my womb...proudly presented to the Globe*:)
Out of the Womb VERY SOON*- From Egypt to the World*********************
"The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond"-

 A Journey of Death and Rebirth in the country of the Pyramids.

  Once upon a time, I had a dream so I chased it – in Egypt. This Magical Book tells about this Adventure, the Price we pay for our Passions and the Wisdom we can gather on the Journey up the Mountain.
Almost killed, chased, shocked and amazed with an Egyptian (fascinating) underworld very few foreigners ever get to know...


" The Vision* of a Dance that answers to the question: what´s the Law?
I can hear the eternal echo (lonely singing in the mountains): The Law is LOVE. Here´s my discovery, my creed and reason to live – my own treasure island found at the present (full circle) moment.
Leaving everything I knew behind, heading to the mysterious Egypt (with a bag full of ignorance, guts and big dreams) was more than an ambitious impulse; it was a Sacred Initiation. Little did I know that it would be through hell that I would reach (my own private) Heaven."

From my BOOK "The Secrets of Egypt - Dance, Life & Beyond"

By Joana Saahirah of Cairo - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED*

Joana Saahirah: the Luso-Egyptian Mummy!

It´s strange how so many people are resistant to CHANGE and so eager to remain in their Comfort zone (wishing others would do the same). Lately I´ve been receiving comments and messages of dancers and "regular people" who ask: "why did you have to change? Why more, why different, why you don´t stay as you were? I saw you perform in Cairo and you were like that; I took a class with you in Cairo and you were like you´re different. What happened?!"
I mean: really? Not even Pharaoh Tutankhamon stays the same and he´s a Mummy (ruled ca. 1332 BC – 1323 BC in the conventional chronology, according to Wikipedia).
Well: first of all, I don´t think I am THAT* different. The essence of what I do remains the same - if not sharper than it ever was. Sure it´s not the same to perform without my Egyptian orchestra; it´s also not the same to dance in big theatres (instead of the smaller venues or open space stages I mostly had in Egypt); sure it´s not exactly* the same to perform for foreigners or for Egyptian/Arab audiences. Sure. But the ESSENCE is there, the CORE of Egyptian Dance is more present in me (and in my work: one and the same thing) than in the past. Two years of travelling the world to teach and perform have filtered, distilled, polished and sharpened my Dance and THAT, darling readers, is the kind of CHANGE I dream of.
Second point: LIFE happens and people, hopefully, learn and GROW with it. My character is not the same it was two years ago; my hips have been shaped by divine hand into a rounder version of a caravel that sails ALL the Oceans with no fear; I´ve been teaching and performing in diferent countries and learning from each one of them, being influenced, taking their taste and keeping it on my skin; I´ve been loving other men, friends, strangers.
LIFE HAPPENS and I cannot separate who I am, as a person, from who I am as a dancer.
The day I stop being affected by LIFE is the day I claim myself  DEAD. Doubt the talent of a dancer who is always the same - she´s most probably NOT an Artist.
The day I stop GROWING and CHANGING into a more complete and bright version of who I already am, I will do something else. I´ll not be a dancer, a teacher, a choreographer or a show woman. Maybe a potato expert (yep: that sounds nice enough...).

Third point: I am a CHANGE-EVOLUTION freak. Restless, curious, addicted to challenges and out of my Comfort zone (jumping in the darkness marathons). It´s the CONQUEST that interest me, not sitting on my throne and feeling "DA BOSS" of the parade. Once I achieve something I dreamt of, I move on to a new challenge that allows me to EXPAND. No lying on the couch, sitting on my ass. Sorry!
Last but not the least: get a grip, will you? Only rocks remain the same.
Live and let live - one of my beloved "mottos".

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Killing me softly...

Call it "Tarab"; call it my own private nostalgia (missing my Egyptian musicians - more than words could EVER say); call it Soul.
My (talented) friend Khaled Roushdy sent me this music clip, the one which is killing me softly (and so deliciously)...
Enjoy and fly*:

London weekly MASTER CLASSES (Nov. & Dec.)

London weekly MASTER CLASSES ONLY from the 22nd November until the 20th December:

It´s with great pleasure that I return to London to present the workshop STAR MAKER – 17th November – and a series of weekly MASTER CLASSES for all the dancers who TRULY wish to go the extra mile and get deeply into the ART of Egyptian Oriental Dance.

It´s an honor to share my Vision of Oriental Dance with the talented community of London Dancers. The knowledge I´ve gathered in my career in Egypt as well as my travels around the world will be delivered with the usual passion but with a depth that intensive workshops cannot deliver. Welcome, beautiful Souls*!

Important note: these will not be the “regular bellydance” classes you may have experienced before. These are an overall re-awakening - artistic and personal. From week to week, we will go into a Journey of self-knowledge, Union, Egyptian Dance (totally out of the common superficial commercial circuit) and Magical Transformations (observed in your dance and life).

Welcome to join the Ride*!

Level: Intermediate/Advanced (I am open to teach a beginner´s class, if demand requires it, but THESE MASTER CLASSES are NOT suitable for this level).

Material required: to start, just your FULL PRESENCE (body, mind, heart and soul).

Schedule: *Joana Saahirah´s MASTER CLASSES ONLY in the following dates:

Friday- 22nd November from 18.30h till 20.30h

Friday - 29th November from 18.30h till 20.30h

Friday - 6th December from 18.30h till 20.30h

Friday - 13th December from 18.30h till 20.30h

Friday - 20th December from 18.30h till 20.30h 


162 Westferry Studios, Corner of Milligan / Salter Street, London, E14 8AS

Tel:  (020) 7987 0480 / Mob:  07780 440630