April 15th & 16th, 2017

Various locations in White River Junction, VT (walking distance)

Performance Saturday 7 P.M. Show Tickets $18 in advance, $20 at the door 


Workshop Costs:$185 for the entire weekend (including show ticket), $25 per individual workshop. As of 2/27/17, only 3 full weekend spots are left!



Dancers who register the entire weekend by February 1st will receive a Raq-On Swag!

First 8 registered workshop attendees receive a performance slot in the Shimmyathon Showcase.


Raq-On Dance Studio opens Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 A.M. for registration, shopping, and stretching.

Click here for a downloadable flyer & information packet


SATURDAY, APRIL 15th, 2017

Shaabi w/Shamilar

Track 1: Saturday 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Track 2: Saturday 12:15-1:30 PM

Fun Egyptian style street dance choreography.

BIO:Shalimar (Robin Kelsey) has been involved in Middle Eastern dance since 1974 as an accomplished performer, choreographer, and teacher. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to study with many notable instructors and has performed for many nightclubs, restaurants, and private parties.


Shalimar has taught the art of Middle Eastern dance since 1978.  She had mastered many styles of both cabaret and ethnic styles of dance, but her particular specialty is the traditional style of dance incorporating the extensive use of finger cymbals, strong abdominal work, isolations, and combinations.  She still bases her teaching on the strong fundamental element of the so-called traditional style, but she also enjoys incorporating a variety of current trends in Middle Eastern dance, such as fusion and the usage of props.For more information visit


Graceful Arms a la Samia Gamal, Nagwa Fouad, and Soheir Zaki w/Sausan

Track 1: Saturday 12:15-1:30 PM

Track 2: Saturday 10:45-12:15 PM

Learn the effective tool to using shoulders, arms, and wrists, the way the Egyptian Greats used them.  This class will show the students the correct way to use arms, so that they will move them like Samia Gamal, Nagwa Fouad, and Soheir Zaki. Suitable for all levels.

BIO: Sausan began dancing in the restaurants and nightclubs in the Sacramento area in 1975.  In 1977 she moved to San Francisco and worked for Eastern Onion Singing Telegram Service.  In 1979, she began dancing in nightclubs to live music and in local restaurants.

A belly dancer since 1974 with prior study in Flamenco, Sevillanas, Thai Classical Dance, English Highland, and Scottish Dance (including Scottish Sword Dance), Sausan now focuses her dance studies on the dance of Egypt (Raqs Sharqi), its culture, cuisine, arts, and history.  As a result, since 1999, she has worked closely with notable institutions participating, producing, choreographing, and/or directing many events.

Sausan is the Master Dance Teacher of the Sausan Academy of Egyptian Dance (SAED) since 2004, and Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Sausan Ensemble Egyptian Dance Company (SEEDC) since 2009.  She is also the Owner and Executive Chef of Al-Masri Egyptian Restaurant since 1999, and Baker, Distributor, and Owner of Bitchin' Baklava.  All are located at 4031 Balboa Street in San Francisco, California. A veteran of the United States Navy Reserves of 22 years, Sausan has danced in locations all over the world.  For more information visit

Middle Eastern Line Dances w/Riena

Track 1: Saturday 2:30-3:45 PM

Track 2: Saturday 4:00-5:15 PM

"Back in the day," when not performing in costume, Oriental dance performers were expected to get patrons up to dance and often taught line dances.  You will learn 9 line dances: 3 Debkee styles, 3 Armenian styles including the Armenian Shuffle, Laz Bar, and Michigan Hop, and 3 Greek styles including Never on Sunday, Kalamatianos, and Tsamikos.

BIO: Riena performed Oriental dance (Americans call it "bellydance") steadily from the late 1980s to the early millennium years in restaurants, clubs, haflas, and weddings throughout New England. She worked with Mike and Buddy Sarkissian in Massachusetts as well as Las Vegas, and performed at long lost supper clubs including The Averof in Cambridge, Bishops in Lawrence, and The El Morocco in Worcester, MA. Being the daughter of Azziza (Cissy DeSilva),Riena grew up with the dance and the music. She attended Armenian Picnics and some of her mother’s shows as a child, and grew up to perform with many of the same musicians and venues.After taking a break to have a family, Riena returned to performing and teaching Oriental dance in 2011. "Oriental music and dance bring me joy!"





Old School Tribal w/Diana

Track 1: Saturday 4:00-5:15 PM

Track 2: Saturday 2:30-3:45 PM

American Tribal Style belly dance (ATS®) is a modern fusion, but at almost 30 years old, it has been around long enough to have evolved visibly. This workshop focuses on the aesthetics, music, and movements that comprise classic ATS®.

After a brief history of tribal belly dance and the evolution of the ATS® aesthetic, we will break down a sampling of classic tribal style movements and practice them in fun combos. By the end of class you'll be dancing in groups to an ATS® staple and experiencing the old school tribal feeling firsthand.

BIO: Diana found her home in American Tribal Style® in 2009 and has been a certified FatChanceBellyDance® Sister Studio since 2012. She loves to teach the language of ATS® and to encourage collaboration and artistic expression within its framework. Diana teaches and performs in New Haven, CT as Elm City Shimmy, and is a member of Trade Route Tribal Dance, the first regional ATS® troupe in New England. She is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor and a member of the ATS® Homecoming production team. For more information visit





A. C. T. (Anatomy, Core, and Technique) w/Tava

Track 1: Sunday 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Track 2: Sunday 12:15-1:30 PM

Go back to the fundamentals by learning which muscles propel the common movements of belly dance. Learn about the deep core muscles and postural stabilizers while you dust off your technique with increased body awareness and a postural tune-up. Students will breathe new life into their movements with a richer understanding about how the body works to create soft flowy movement chains as well as strong, percussive and precise movements. 

BIO:Tava is a lifelong dancer and student who stumbled into her first belly dance class in 2000. Her style is Vintage Oriental with Turkish flair.  She maintains a busy performance schedule in New York City and the tri-state area, performing at numerous restaurants, nightclubs, theaters and cultural events on a regular basis. Tava has also taught weekly Middle Eastern dance classes since 2004. She appears on 3 DVDs, and has performed with Elena Lentini’s Caravanserai Dance Theater and Dalia Carella Dance Collective. A trained counselor and former LMT, Tava seeks to offer classes that improve body image and confidence as well as anatomical training and strategies for injury prevention. For more information visit

Russian Gypsy w/Zobeida

Track 1: Sunday 12:15-1:30 PM

Track 2: Sunday 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

In this workshop, we will be learning traditional Russian Gypsy stage dancing.  We will learn steps and combinations that will later transform into a fun choreography.  Bring a big Spanish style shawl and a big gypsy skirt and get ready to dance to the strumming of the Balalaika!

BIO:Zobeida is a NYC belly dancer of Russian and Arabic descent.  She started taking classes with Anahid Sofian, Morocco and Serena at the age of seven and began to perform professionally at the age of 15.  She is trained in classical ballet, modern dance and folk dance and teaches various styles of dance throughout NYC and the East Coast.  Zobeida also runs the costume jewelry boutique, Esme's Closet. For more information visit

Sensing Songs w/Farha

Track 1: Sunday 4:00-5:15 P.M

Track 2: Sunday 2:30-3:45 PM

Description: Translating the music to motion starts in the ear. But much like the phenomenon of not recognizing colors that we see but don’t have a name for, awareness of the components of your music will help you to hear all the subtle cues it has to offer. We will practice the basics of rhythm, explore some call and response phrases, expand our movement vocabulary with variations, and get an introduction to music mapping. New dancers will receive an orientation to what to listen for, intermediate dancers will be guided into the next steps, and experienced dancers have a chance to practice balancing each of the parts of the music.

BIO:William Butler Yeats asked "How can we know the dancer from the dance?"  Farha means "Joy" in Arabic and She teaches and performs in the New York Area in order to share the joy of this dance with anyone who needs a little more sparkle in their lives (and don't we all?). Farha is also inspired by her students as they learn to control their bodies and gain new voices in her classes. She is always seeking ways to expand her knowledge and skill with a focus on the Egyptian styles, she travels whenever possible for workshops with some of the best teachers available. For more information visit


Baladi Progressions for the Beledi Girl Next Door w/Amity

Track 1: Sunday 2:30-3:45 PM

Track 2: Sunday 4:00-5:15 PM

A balance between strength, shyness, playfulness, and a fire in the soul is needed to create a strong Baladi Progression. In this class, we will play with various progressions, Egyptian Beledi characters, and techniques to make your progressions pop!

BIO: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. 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 has 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. For more information visit



Interested in teaching at future Shimmyathons?

Instructor applications are accepted via electronic submission (click here) only from July 1, 2017-August 1, 2017. Instructors are notified in September.