Outside of regular ongoing classes, Raq-On Dance hosts over a dozen public events and performances on an annual basis. Below is an overview of upcoming events!

2017 Events



August 20th:History of Belly Dance Intensive Begins


August 27th:Folkloric Intensive Begins


September 9th:Amity Alize performs in the Ogzen Showcase, Norwalk, CT


September 17th:Weekend workshop Elegant Arms, Transitions, and Body Lines with Amity Alize, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.


October 1st:Deadline to register for performance intensive and dedicated dancer weekend intensive programs


October 1st:Amity Alize Performs at Alwan Benefit @ Byblos Restaurant, Norwood, MA




Musicality for Middle Eastern Dancers with Ann Lucas & Amity Alize

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Classes: Raq-On Dance Studio 58 Bridge Street, White River Junction Vermont

Evening Discussion with Musicians: Main Street Museum, 58 Bridge Street, White River Junction, VT


Classes: $65 advanced registration only, limited to 12 spots

Evening Discussion with Musicians: $20 in advance or at the door, open to the general public.

 Click here to register & to securely pay online

11:00- 4:00 P.M-Beauty and the Beat: Making your dance shine by aligning travelling steps, floor patterns, body lines, and arms to the various rhythms of the Middle East with Amity Alize, Raq-On Dance Studio

As dancers, we must let the music come in our ears, and out our bodies. We are most happy when we are connected to the music. It is common for dancers to find themselves dancing over the music in response of their personal fear of being boring or feeling like they are not “doing enough”. They end up overloading performances with technique to compensate and in the end, may not feel fulfilled or happy with their piece. 

Dancers must learn to balance technique, musicality, and soul for a well-rounded performance. In this class, we’ll simplify and ground your dancing to common Egyptian/North African and Middle Eastern Rhythms Belly Dancers often dance to. Amity Alize has spent most of her career listening, learning, and dancing to live music at weddings, haflas, and restaurants. She will share tips to help you switch your energy from focusing on what’s coming next and instead, make space for you to enjoy dancing and focus on emoting the music.

11:00 A.M.-1:00 P.M.: Introduction to Middle Eastern Rhythms, floor patterns & techniques to keep your dancing on the beat

2:00-4:00 P.M.: Body lines, arm paths, and hand exercises, and putting it all together (even while breathing and smiling too!)


6:00 P.M: Introduction to Middle Eastern Music and In-Depth Discussion on Mergences for Dancers with Ann Lucas, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Boston College

Live belly dance performances in Egypt do not use very much music that is unique for the professional dance stage. One belly dance performance by a single performer encompasses several different genres that highlight different styles of dance, yet these genres can usually be heard in other settings, performed for either casual dancing audiences or for listening audiences with no professional dancer. One key exception to this situation is the Mergence, a musical form developed for live professional belly dance in the twentieth century. The Mergence is now a standard opening piece of music for the professional belly dance show, and its style has been standardized around a few key musical features that are meant to create a certain visual presentation for all dancers. Conversely, dancers can have their own personal Mergence composed for them, which can also give them some musical features that allow them to showcase their own personal style. This talk will break down and demonstrate the key musical features of the mergence and look at how these standard features determine how the dancer open’s her show. This form applies the basic building blocks of Arabic music in some standard ways to make it an identifiable form, which in turn determine the parameters of the dance. Beyond the basic musical and dance features of the mergence, this talk will also examine how composers add unique musical features to different mergence to make each one unique, whether composing for a specific dancer or writing a mergence for general use.




Ann Lucas:

Ann E. Lucas is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Boston College, where she also teaches in the program for Islamic Civilizations and Societies. Prof. Lucas specializes in music and culture in the Middle East. both historiography of music in the Persian-speaking world and the relationship between music and dance in Egypt. Her short works include contributions to Journal of Asian Music (University of Texas Press, 2012) Global Muslims in the Age of Steam and Print (University of California Press, 2013) and Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology (Lexington Books, 2014). Her first book, Music of A Thousand Years, is due to be published with the University of California Press next year. Prof. Lucas was the recipient of the New Faculty Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and received a postdoctoral appointment at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She is the founder of the Historical Ethnomusicology Section within the Society for Ethnomusicology in the United States and currently an associate editor for the journal Review of Middle East Studies. In addition to being a scholar of music in the Middle East, Prof. Lucas is also an avid performer. She plays the Middle Eastern reed flute (nai) and has performed with such groups as Layali Zaman in Los Angeles and the National Arabic Orchestra in Michigan. She currently runs Ustaza!, the Boston College Middle Eastern music project. This project teaches music traditions of the region to students and provides them with opportunities to perform with and for Middle Eastern communities of New England.

 Amity Alize

Amity means "friend" in Latin, "truth" in Hebrew, and "peace" in most Middle Eastern and European languages. Alize means joyful. Amity Alize has studied Middle Eastern and Oriental Dances since 2001. Focusing on tying the folkloric and modern styles together through her own research, she travels internationally studying dance on an ongoing basis. Her mission is to empower others through performances, workshops, and classes to step out of their boxes, increase their self-esteem and positive self-image, live through the music, and most of all, just have fun and be authentically themselves.

As the founder and director of Raq-On Dance, Amity has taught over a thousand people to learn Belly Dance. Raq-On Dance Studio has won multiple arts and educational awards for programming in the Northeast. Preferred to be called a mentor, she encourages her students to study with various teachers and various styles in order to find their "own dance." In 2015 she was invited to teach and perform in Cairo, Egypt, as part of the Camp Negum Dance Festival.

She is the Director of the annual Shimmyathon Dance Festival and have hosted over fifty events including national and international dancers. She has written three ebooks on the business, teaching, and event management side of performing arts for dancers. 

Amity Alize performs at weddings, celebrations, theatre shows, fundraisers, and venues with Middle Eastern Bands. Her style can be best described as Classical Golden Era Egyptian fused with Vintage American Oriental. She manages Raq-On Dance’s student Troupe, the Raq-ettes, which perform folkloric and modern Middle Eastern Dance styles throughout the Northeast. FMI Visit raq-on.net


October 14th: Performing at Byblos Restaurant, Norwood, MA

October 15th: Weekend Workshop Just Winging It (ISIS wings) with Amity Alize

October 21st: La Danse Orientale Hafla and Discussion with Soumaya Rose, Alia Thabit & Amity Alize, Cambridge, MA

October 28th: Raq-ettes Hoots and Owls Performance, VINS, Quechee, VT

November 5th: Weekend Workshop Belly Dance Drills and Combinations-Amity Alize Style