Katia's Middle Eastern Dance Retreats





nubian comedyshow

What's Next? See Events page for The Dance Advance in July!

The 10th Retreat
July 25-29, 2012!

Twenty-five participants and four staff members attended the 10th and final Retreat with five days of classes and special programs featuring a classic Oriental dance (Andah Aleik) and a group folkloric dance (Ghawazee) and lots of technique classes! Wednesday night featured our welcome Pizza Party followed by a fabulous comedy show organized by Amy Smith. On Thursday night we had our recorded music hafla followed by a full Retrospective Show of all the dances taught at the past nine Retreats. It was an amazing program to see all of these choreographies brought to life by the artistry of the dancers. There was a special surprise program on Friday night in the conference room at the hotel where participants were treated to a concert of classical Arabic music on accoustic oud by Mitchell Kaltsunas and Saturday night featured our live music hafla with six musicians and singer George Chamoun and the dancing of 16 participants who presented their solo improvisational style. At the beginning of the evening, Ma'isah, winner of "Katia's Choreography Challenge" presented her winning Choreography to "Fakkarouni" and received her awards. Congratulations to Ma'isah on her beautiful dance! We welcomed a large contingent from Vermont and from Texas as well as many of the Retreat "Regulars"

The staff Captain, Amera and her staff, Polina, Ma'isah, and Qamar, did a wonderful job in helping participants with everything other than dance during the five days which allowed me to totally focus on the dance classes

Gabriele Wagner (Fariba)from Vermont was chosen "Miss Congeniality" of the 10th Middle Eastern Dance Retreat by her peers on the last day of the Retreat.

The final Retreat was truly "A time to learn, a time to laugh, a time to share!"

What's Next? See "Events" page for next year's July event "THE DANCE ADVANCE!"


The 2012 - 10th Retreat Participants

    Comments from 2012 Retreat Participants:

    "Katia, as your staff captain for the Dance Retreats, I have been a participant and an observer. This tenth retreat was spectacular from the always wonderful choreographies to all the special events. I think everyone was ready for a five day event. I have seen your "Retreat Regulars" grow into beautiful and knowledgeable dancers and the new girls wishing they had come to the last nine retreats. As the retreat was coming to the end, there were some sad and nostalgic moments for all of us but you were firm in your conviction that you had accomplished what you set out to do - "Growing Dancers" being top of the list. Personally, I feel that I have grown also in the dance because of the retreats. Even though I couldn't always be in the studio, I was always wrapped in the atmosphere of the dance and the excitement everyone exuded. I never felt left out. I and all your students look forward to your new venture-The Dance Advance-July, 2013.......Amera (Arizona)


Retreat Staff:Amera, Ma'isah, Katia, Polina, Qamar and "Miss Elizabear"

    I want to say THANK YOU! 5 days with you was the most amazing experience. I learned so much in those 5 days, and to just relax and enjoy dancing to the best of my ability. Meeting you was a joy and I look forward to seeing and working with you again in the future. Thank you again and Joyous Dancing!"......Alora(TX)

    "The Retreat was wonderful as were all the nice people I met there. The classes, the show and YOU. I loved every minute of the five days and evenings. I am glad I made it this time, even if it was the last Retreat. But I will see you again and learn more from you. I love bellydance and you are a great teacher and a wonderfull dancer. ...........Fariba (VT)

    "What a fantastic 5 days of dance heaven, congratulations on the 10th and final Retreat. Thank you for being my teacher and inspiration!" ......Sabah (VT)


The 2011 - 9th Retreat Participants

    Comments from 2011 Retreat Participants:

    " Dear Katia, What a wonderful 4 days, I think each retreat has been better and more fantastic. I'm so happy you're having a 5 day one next year" ....Sabah (VT)

    "Katia's 9th retreat which I attended last July was just FABULOUS! As a relative beginner in the dance I had my reservations, but they were all readily dispelled by the encouragement and support of all the wonderful women sharing the weekend. Katia teaches with the utmost professionalism and passion for the dance. Through her dance, her being and her teaching, she exudes the qualities of a true diva in the classical sense. The retreat she has created is a thoroughly enriching experience. My only regret is the next retreat will be the last of it's kind. I wouldn't miss it for anything." .....Melanie Leppla (VT)

    "So why do I keep coming back to Katia's retreats? The glorious choreographies that keep getting better and better; the camaraderie of the community of caring women; the opportunity to dance to an incredible live Arabic Band; the enriching knowledge of the cultural aspect of the dance; and Katia's warm and keen ability to transfer her talent and knowledge to her students. In other words, the total immersion into my passion of Middle Eastern Dance for 4 days. I couldn't ask for more.......except a 5 day retreat!" ......Irit, a 6-time retreat attendee (VT)

    "Katia's annual retreats are a rite of summer for me. While I love the companionship of returnees, the fun, the laughter and the parties, what keeps me coming back is that I always leave a stronger dancer than when I arrived. Focusing on dance for four days with a group of many of the same students and the same teacher creates a really unique environment that magnifies my ability to learn, almost like "dance college". I learn so much, from special educational programs, from watching other students and from Katia's individualized feedback, and I can't conceive of another environment where I could learn as much and grow as much as a dancer, as I can here - in just four short days." ....Ma'isah (MA)

    "Dear Katia, I wish to express my gratitude and thanks for having the opportunity to study dance at your 9th annual Retreat. Your expertise alone would be a draw to attend, but this is overshadowed by your generosity and real concern for your students. Thank you for everything."....Sekhmet (VT)


    The 2010 - 8th Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2010 Retreat Participants:

      "The Retreat was excellent! I enjoyed the comraderie & learned so much! Thank you, Katia!! The staff made the days and nights run seamlessly...excellent job. I look forward to dancing with you in the future" ....Namid (MA)

      "Thank you for another incredible retreat! The two choreographies were a treat to learn. The oriental - challenging and the Siwan -fun! The various performances showed how much every dancer has blossomed and grown from where they were last year. Thank you for all the time, energy, and creativity that you put into the preparation and teaching of the retreat. I'm looking forward to next year."......Mahira (MA)

      Thanks for another wonderful Retreat. I could hardly walk (the next day) but I've been smiling all day!" ....Polina (MA)

      "It was really great to meet you and everyone was just wonderful at the Retreat! The whole Retreat was fabulous and Patrice and I will be back next year for sure!" ....Barbara/Nakshedil (NH)

      "It was a wonderful retreat! I truly enjoyed dancing again. Thank you. You always have a way of making everyone feel special at your retreats." ....Liz (MA)


    The 2009 - 7th Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2009 Retreat Participants:

      "Your gift of dance, and your ability to share that gift and not just "teach dance" but truly create dancers is something so priceless, so unique, words cannot describe it. .... Qamar (MA)

      "Thank you again SO much for inspirng me to return to my roots and fall in love once again with Middle Eastern dance. You are such a wonderful teacher and my only regret is that I did not find you sooner!" ....Phoenix Avathar (MA)

      "I cannot thank you enough for this year's Retreat. I found the Oriental choreography enchanting, elegant, and challenging and I really felt it like no other. This opened a whole new world for me which I am anxious to explore.....You also made me realize that sometimes a breath is worth a thousand hip drops!" ....Rianna (MA)

      "I want to thank you, Katia, for a wonderful and educational week with you and all my dancing friends. Thank you always for your support. Your vision is always inside me even without your presence."...... Mona Lisa (MA)

      "I look forward to my dose of "Vitamin K" every year and wouldn't miss the Retreat!...... Alizah Afet(MA)

      "Katia, the beautiful Oriental dance this year is the best ever!....you worked us to the max and I loved it....capturing all the nuances of the dance, the clean-up made the difference between movement and true art. I will continue to work on this dance because it fills my heart... the music, the meaning, the movements, and the memories. Thank you!"...... Irit (VT)

      "Katia, This weekend was magical and everything ran so smoothly! I loved the Nubian dance and LOVED your Oriental choreography....the music was beautiful, and the steps flowed together seamlessly. The shows were a high caliber of talent and performance. The band on Saturday played better than I've ever heard them. Each member paid attention to your requests for the shows, and paid close attention to each dancer at a level of intensity I don't often see. Having George Chamoun sing for the Saturday hafla was a blessing! Staff Amera, Polina and Ma'isah did a fantastic job too.".....Mahira (MA)


    The 2008 - 6th Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2008 Retreat Participants:

      "I just got home and miss everybody already. What a wonderful 4 days! Thank you so much for all you have given, of the dance and of yourself. I realize now that is why it is so special to learn from you....because you really care! It is an incredible community of special women at the Retreat!".... Irit (VT)

      "I'm sitting at my desk at work humming "Raks Mimi". Needless to say, I would rather be dancing! The Retreat was fantastic! I love the choreographies and the opportunity to focus four days on dancing! It's always great to see everyone!" ....Talilah (MA)

      "Thank you so much for the wonderful Retreat. I feel like I learned so much and had a great time. The staff and other participants were all very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was one of cooperation and respect rather than fierce competition."...... Jami (TX)


    The 2007 - 5th Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2007 Retreat Participants:

      "I always leave the retreats with a tear in my eye...happiness at the wonder that is dance and sharing it with others...sadness to put it away for a bit and excitement at when I can see everyone again. You are an inspiration and the staff really makes it special too.".... Marianna (MA)

      What a wonderful experience the Retreat was for me and I am already looking forward to next year." ....Saahira (MA)

      "I went to Katia's Retreat for the first time and it was such a blast. I had a fantastic time!I was a bit intimidated at first being around so many wonderful dancers but had an open mind and got so much out of this. I would highly encourage anyone to attend, learn and have fun." ...... Illianna (MA)

      "Thank you for the warm memories you create...I think of the feeling of happiness when I woke up to the music of 'Zeina' in my head on Monday morning after the Retreat. The vision of endless time, space and beauty that I saw when Concetta Rose demonstrated a section of the dance and Polina danced for us at the end.........Helen (CT)


    The 2006- 4th Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2006 Retreat Participants:

      "To all my dancing friends: I experienced a memorable and special weekend with lovely and talented people. I'm happy to have met all of you especially Katia who made this dance inspiring to one's soul. I'm sure you all agree that dancing is a sweet life to a dolce vita.".... Concetta Rose (MA)

      "I felt that this Retreat was a big turning point for me. I came home really remembering names of dancers (both new and on film) and musicians and connecting more with the music types and parts of Egypt. I admit that when I woke up in the middle of the night, it was because my mind just couldn't stop dancing!....Mehira(MA)

      "I did my first solo performance at the retreat, only because of Katia's warm encouragement and the atmostphere of acceptance that was ever present in all the beautiful women surrounding me.".....Irit (VT)

      "No words can explain the grace, style and stage presence as well as the wisdom and knowledge you bring to the Art of Middle Eastern Dance. Thank you.".....Memie (MA)


    The 2005 - 3rd Retreat Participants

      Comments from 2005 Retreat Participants:

      "Katia of Boston's workshop material and layout was fabulous. Besides a positive and supportive learning environment, the workshop material itself was challenging for the advanced dancer yet gentle enough for a beginner to swallow. The variety of styles, Egyptian Oriental and Tunisian, offered an exiting and stimulating change of spectrum! Both technique, music, and respective choreographies were wonderful!"...... Nadirah Johara (TX)

      "I was really impressed with the professionalism displayed at the retreat.... And you kept us moving and remained cheerful and motivating even on day 3, when people were clearly starting to get tired! Everyone received attention from you to help them in the ways they needed most and you kept them focused. Thanks again for a great experience....I have to say I LOVED the Tunisian dancing!".....Ma'isah (MA)

      "The Retreat had such a wonderful and positive atmosphere. I felt safe, comfortable and happy to have been surrounded by women who have the love and passion for this beautiful art form called Oriental dance."..... Maria (NJ)


    The 2004 - 2nd Retreat Participants (Liz Taylor Missing from photo)

      Comments from 2004 Retreat Participants:

      "Katia is the kind of artist that every dancer can learn from. She understands the nuances and fundamentals of oriental dance, and communicates them lovingly to students. Her teaching is not just about technique, but about creating a vision for the audience. At the start of the retreat, she urged everyone not to compare herself with anyone else in the room, but rather to focus on simply moving forward from where she is --and absolutely everyone did. This year I learned from her how to slow down, to create drama, to keep breathe in my movements, to keep lifting and to create an interesting, changing stage persona.... If they gave out PHDs in this art form, Katia would certainly have one"..... Elaina el Amoora (MA)

      "Thank you for an exhilarating Retreat! I had an absolute blast, and am sure that will guarantee my annual return"..... Nadia (MA)

      "From the Karkday break and sweets from Tunisia, to the amazing choreographies, to the Aboudi Badawi Band at the Saturday night hafla, no detail was ignored at Katia's second annual dance retreat. Katia's energy, enthusiasm, talent and knowledge of the dance are not to be missed!" .....Talilah (MA)

      Comments from 2003 Retreat Participants:


    The 2003 - 1st Retreat Participants (Liz Taylor Missing from photo)
      "I liked having the presentation of the middle eastern culture: costumes, your stories, the folk dances, even cookies and drink.(from Egypt) You provided a wonderful picture on a much wider world and I could feel the bits and pieces of your lifetime of experience. The community of women/dancers was another terrific part of the retreat!".... Badiya (MA)

      "I learned a lot. Thanks so much for your inspiration. I am so grateful I saw your slides and costume collection - My eyes have been opened to more of this amazing dance world I am discovering!"..... Barbara Donohue -The Dancing Spirit (RI)

      "A wonderful inspiring workshop. Loved your choreography selections. You are an inspiration for your love of dance and your ability to teach and nuture us."..... Zahra (MA)

      "The veil class was my favorite part of the weekend.I know that "lift and breathe"will be my mantra from now on."..... Thalia(MA)

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