Belly Dance


BAY 2024


Miriam Peretz

Miriam Peretz

10:00am - 12:00pm
Nava Dance & The Art of Turning
Isabella Salimpour

Isabella Salimpour

12:30pm - 2:30pm
Drum Solo Choreography!
Shahrzad Khorsandi

Shahrzad Khorsandi

3:00pm - 5:00pm
Persian Dance Improvisation
Faisal Zedan

Faisal Zedan

5:30pm - 7:30pm
Beginner drum workshop

12:00pm - 6:00pm

Festival shopping/dancing

8pm - midnight (door open at 7pm).

Live Extravaganza Dance Party


Live Music and Dance


Isabella Salimpour Comedy


DJ by Amy Sigil & Amar

Festival Dancer Registration

12:30 – 5:30 – Festival Dancing

Submit an application to perform.

VIP all access ticket holders dibs on performance spots if available.


Day Festival Entrance

Access to the Festival
$ 20 00

VIP all access ticket

includes all workshops, festival & Live Extravaganza Dance party.
$ 175 00

Live Extravaganza and Dance Party ticket

$ 30 00

Ala Cart Workshops

Price per Workshop
$ 50 00

All 4 workshops

(must be for all 4, no discount for 3 or less)
$ 160 00

Participants taking a workshop or signed up to perform in the Day Festival have an entrance fee to the festival for free.

Miriam Peretz

Miriam Peretz is a life-long dancer who weaves movement and ritual together to create safe, communal spaces for healing and empowered embodiment. Her signature style draws heavily on Central Asian dance, devotional whirling practices, contemporary dance, martial arts and sacred dance rituals from around the world. Regarded as a weekly ritual by her students, Miriam’s classes offer a fully integrated experience and healing journey through the terrain of the body, heart, mind and spirit. Miriam sees dance as a uniquely powerful means of expressing deep emotion and spiritual yearning, and therefore the perfect embodiment of prayer.  Miriam is the creator of Nava Dance, and Integral Dance, both modalities for holistic dance practice that weave traditional dance forms with somatic inquiry, embodied intention, and breath awareness.  Miriam offers workshops and retreats worldwide.

Miriam holds an MFA from Mills College and is also a certified Pilates instructor. She currently teaches throughout the Bay Area and offers immersions throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Nava Dance & The Art of Turning

Nava Dance is a contemporary and holistic dance practice developed by Miriam Peretz. Nava Dance draws deep inspiration from Silk Road (Persian & Central Asian) dance themes and movement aesthetics, as well as from the devotional practice of whirling.  Each Nava Dance class incorporates Miriam’s signature ritualized warm ups, sequences in the Nava style, as well as a study of the art of turning. In this workshop we will practice many kinds of turning techniques and be inspired by themes in mystical Sufi poetry. On the dance floor we move, sweat, sway, breath, love, pray and embrace our personal empowerment as well as our deep sense of humility.

Isabella Salimpour

Isabella Salimpour, a second-generation Arab-American multidisciplinary artist, brings together the worlds of dance, music, theater, and comedy with her dynamic talent.

Raised in a family deeply rooted in Middle Eastern dance, Isabella’s journey into the arts began on stage at the tender age of two, under the guidance of her mother, the esteemed instructor and performer, Suhaila Salimpour, and her grandmother, Jamila Salimpour. As a third-generation belly dancer, Isabella was assisting her mother’s workshops at just eight years old becoming a featured performer in her own right.

Beyond her expertise in Middle Eastern dance, Isabella has delved into a diverse array of movement and performance styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, and musical theater. Her musical talents extend to composition and vocal studies, which she honed during her studies at the prestigious New School in New York and through attaining her BPA from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Isabella’s performances have graced stages worldwide, from soloist roles in her mother’s acclaimed productions like “Enta Omri” to captivating audiences at renowned Middle Eastern dance festivals worldwide.

Currently based in Los Angeles, Isabella channels her passion for the arts into her work as a vocal coach, comedian, writer, and producer, with her unique blend of talent and humor.

Drum Solo Choreography

The drum solo is one of the highlights of the belly dance show. Traditionally placed towards the end of the set with a live Arabic band, the dancer and drummer improvise with a series of rhythms influenced from the SWANA regions and South America. With percussive isolations and graceful lyricism the dancer and drummer become an extension of each other. 

In this workshop Isabella will break down and teach a choreographed drum solo that will  focus on learning the structure of the drum solo. Through specific movement choices that highlight the solo, students will have fun exploring the dynamic energy that the drum solo brings to the belly dance show. Using the comprehensive and consistent language of the Salimpour methodology, Isabella clearly breaks down each move and choreography phrase. 

Shahrzad Khorsandi

Shahrzad Khorsandi is an Iranian-born dancer and choreographer residing in California. She studied Modern Dance and Performance Art at CalArts, and holds a BA in Dance, and an MA in Creative Arts from SFSU. Shahrzad has been faculty at several colleges in the Bay Area and teaches and performs Iranian dance globally. She has drawn upon her experience in Iranian culture, and her formal dance training, to create a dance vocabulary and pedagogy for Iranian dance as a means of emotional expression. She is the artistic director of Shahrzad Dance Company, co-founder of the online teaching platform, Iranian Dance Academy, and a Teaching Artist for Youth in Arts and East Bay Center for the Performing Arts. Shahrzad is the author of the book, The Art of Persian Dance, and a member of an international research team, studying the effects of dance on the brain.

Improvisation to strengthen arm and hand movement.

Improvisation has always been the foundation for Iranian urban dance (AKA Persian Classical Dance). It is an organic way to strengthen self-expression and musicality. Iranian dancers and dance students naturally integrate newly learned movement vocabulary into their movement language through improvisation to various pieces of music.

This workshop will introduce dancers to Persian movement vocabulary, and guide them through improvisational exercises to ultimately find their self-expression within the cultural context of Persian dance.

With special attention to the expression in the hands and arms, dancers will learn a poetic and graceful movement combination, exploring:

-the elegant bodyline which reflects the rich and refined aesthetics of Persian culture,

-smooth, organic transitions within movement patterns, and other integral elements of Persian dance

-the embodiment of dynamic nuances in Persian music

This workshop is ideal for dancers who wish to strengthen the expression in their hands and arms while improving musicality and dynamic expression within the parameters of Persian dance technique.

Faisal Zedan

Born in Lebanon and raised in Syria, Faisal is an accomplished Arabic percussionist dedicated to preserving and teaching the rich traditions of Arabic music and drumming. With over two decades of experience, he has been actively involved in teaching and performing Arabic and Middle Eastern music since 1996.

Faisal’s repertoire spans various Arabic music genres, including classical, regional Arabic, and belly dance music. Additionally, he is skilled in performing Greek, Balkan, and Eastern European music genres, showcasing his versatility as a percussionist.

In his role as an educator, Faisal offers private lessons, workshops, seminars, and teaches at music camps both in the United States and abroad. His commitment to sharing his knowledge and passion for Arabic music has inspired countless students to delve deeper into this vibrant musical tradition.

Faisal has had the privilege of collaborating with numerous local and international artists, enriching his musical journey and contributing to the global exchange of cultural expressions. Whether performing on stage or teaching aspiring musicians, Faisal continues to be a dedicated ambassador for Arabic music, leaving a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. 

Beginner drum workshop

In this dynamic workshop, we’ll delve into the world of Belly Dance music, exploring the rhythmic dynamics and beats that drive this art form. Discover the connection between Arabic drumming and Belly Dancing as we discuss the rhythmic patterns and melodies that form the backbone of traditional and contemporary Belly Dance music.

Throughout the class, we’ll dissect the most popular beats used in Belly Dance, understanding their origins and significance in shaping the dance’s expressive movements. We’ll also explore the art of drum solos, contrasting Belly Dance drum solos with artistic drum solos to understand their unique qualities and stylistic differences.

A key focus of the class will be on mechanics and technique, emphasizing the importance of proper hand positioning and movement in achieving precision playing and comfort. Through hands-on exercises and demonstrations, you’ll learn how to harness the power of your hands to produce crisp, clear rhythms that enhance your performance and musicality.

Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or a newcomer to the world of Belly Dance drumming, this class offers a valuable opportunity to deepen your understanding and skill of the Arabic drum that fuels this beautiful art form. Join us as we embark on a rhythmic journey through the world of Belly Dance music & drumming!

Djs Amy Sigil and Amar

DJ Sigil is new on the scene! Sigil is a dancer, choreographer, music lover, and community builder known around the world for bringing the house down! DJ’ing for the first time out … ever, come and watch her pour her heart out for the crowd in a completely new way. This is going to be epic!

DJ Amar was born in Jodhpur, India, and raised in the heart of San Francisco’s world music scene in Fairfax, California, Amar is a world music DJ, Sound Engineer, Event Producer & Coordinator. He is known for his Electric Vardo shows which brought a multi-cultural experience to San Francisco’s dance clubs featuring music, dance, culinary and visual art from the Middle East, South Asia, the Balkans, Latin America and beyond. He has hosted and collaborated with World Electronica music producers and DJs Cheb i Sabbah, Karsh Kale, Azam Ali, Delhi 2 Dublin, David Starfire, DJ Dragonfly, Beats Antique and many others.

Vendors Application

 This annual event includes a day of dance workshops, shopping bazaar in the main hall, festival style dancing on the main stage during the day and an evening Gala show.

A percentage of the festival’s proceeds will go to the Middle East Children’s Alliance