If there is something going on and we don't know about it, please let us know so we can add it to our calendar.


Special Events:

Spring Belly Ball

Saturday March 27th  8 - 12 pm

Bath Dance Works     Front Street Bath, Maine

~ On going ~

Middle Eastern Night at Holly's Own Restaurant & Deli

84 Court Street   Auburn, Maine

Live music and dancers one Saturday a month.

May 22nd 


* Okbari, Jamileh & Friends at Blue *

650A Congress Street, Portland, ME
Live middle eastern music & belly dance performances every First Friday!
  10:00 PM - Midnight   $5 suggested donation.
FMI    www.mainebellydance.com

* Eric LaPerna’s Middle Eastern Drumming classes*
FMI       okbari.org

*Middle Eastern Oud classes with Amos Libby*

 Private and small group classes offered. The focus is on maqam modal theory along with compositional forms and rhythmic modes of Middle Eastern music.





 2/20 Fri - Raqs Borealis - Belly dance at the North Star Music Cafe
8:00-11:00 PM, $7 Admission - North Star Music Cafe, 225 Congress
Street, Portland, ME
- Aonochi of Paradigm Fusion (see her bio below!), Ayperi & Okbari
Live music, belly dance performances, henna by Remarkable Blackbird,
open dancing & a mini lesson.  Don't miss Raqs Borealis!
FMI: http://www.raqsayperi.com/
Scroll down for info on Aonochi's workshop (register at
www.emmaholder.com/ao ) on 2/21
AND Ramzi's workshops hosted by Josie Conte on 2/21 & 2/22 - super duper
belly dance weekend in Portland!!

2/21 Sat. - Workshop with Aonochi: FOUND in Translation
10:00 AM - Noon at West End Yoga and Dance Studio - 155 Brackett St, 3rd
floor. Portland ME
$25 preregistered ($30 to drop in day of class, if space allows)
Aonochi of Paradigm Fusion will teach a few 4-5 movement phrases that
will then be translated into many different belly dance dialects. Notes
will be provided. All levels and styles welcome.
Registration & FMI: Emma Holder - eholder@maine.rr.com - (207) 415-7204

2/21-2/22 Sat-Sun - Ramzi el Edlibi in Portland - Workshops!
West End Yoga and Dance Studio - 155 Brackett St, 3rd floor. Portland ME
Registration/FMI: Josie Conte - 47 Tyng St., Portland, Maine 04102 -
Space is limited! $100 for all four workshops  or $30 each
2/21 Sat: 1:30-3:30 Al-Dabkeh
this workshop will introduce the steps and rhythm of Al-Dabkeh, the most
well known of Arabic folk dances from the eastern part of the
Mediterranean referred to as the Levant.
(Josie Comments: These steps can be integrated into your raks Sharqi or
group pieces)
2/21 Sat: 3:30-5:30 Percussion and rhythm for dancers and Musicians
Drumming for dancers and musicians, bring your zils or any mid eastern
hand drum and learn the popular rhythm of the middle east. We will
surely jam together and have fun.

2/21 Salon hosted by Josie $7 (low stress performance opportunity)

2/22 Sun: 10:00 AM - 12:00 Belly dance oldies (classical)
Learn a short dance to the beautiful Arabic music from the1950's. The
music of that era was with a full big band sound- with no digital or
synthesized sound; the music is fully organic.
2/22 Sun: 12:00-2:00 Belly dance: the new generation: this dance is a
totally vibrant with a up beat that you cannot help but dance.

2/24 Mardi Gras Party
 > Don't miss the party of the winter Tuesday Feb 24th, 9-midnight!
 > Empire Dine and Dance 575 Congress st. only $5!!!!

 > Complementing the Whisky-driven Cajun Aces at the WMPG Mardi Gras
Party at the Empire will be:
 > Tempestuous Tribal Fusion (Jaiyana and Sidrah)
 > Tantalizing Tango (Matthew Duveneck and Emma Holder)
 > Spicy Salsa (Rickey Hines and Kelly Newell)
 > Capricious and Captivating Cabaret Bellydance (Ayperi)
 > Jubilant and Seductive Samba (Nyiesha and Co.)
 > Mouthwatering WhistleBait Burlesque (Miss Vivian Vice)

Don't even think about it, just come on down and dance!

FMI http://wmpg.org



8, 3/15, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12 Sun - Bellyrobics
Sun 1PM-2PM $10/drop-in class
West End Yoga and Dance studio, 155 Brackett Street, Portland, ME
No experience necessary - all you need for this class is a body and your
sense of fun and humor. Bellyrobics is appropriate for any level of
fitness and stage of life. Bring a mat and water.
FMI: Emma - 415-7204 - eholder@maine.rr.com - www.bellyrobics.net

3/8 Sun - Make-Up for Dancers Workshop with Ayperi - Portland
10:00 AM - Noon, $25/person
Learn to apply dramatic, stage-friendly make-up for belly dance!  Basic
application techniques will be taught--so don't worry if you've never
touched an eye pencil before.  After getting comfortable with the
basics, we will explore various exciting, belly dancer-ly embellishments.
Pre-registration required. FMI & Registration:

3/19 Jessica of Nayas Trance - student showcase

Jessica hosts a student showcase every session with
Portland Adult Ed. This showcase is a way for students to celebrate
their learning experience with family & friends in a very low-key,
friendly environment.  The student showcase is even LESS formal than the
Naya's Trance Belly Dance parties. The showcase is a week night
*recital* and potluck with some open dancing at the end.  Admission for
guests is 1 non-perishable food-item
to be donated to Preble St food pantry. Students should all be asked to
contribute a potluck dish to share. Participating teachers or student
groups will be asked to help facilitate the event in some way. So join me!
This winter my showcase will be held on Thursday March 19 from 7-9 p.m
at the Lincoln Middle School Cafeteria in Portland. To teachers:
If you are interested in showing a group piece, or if you have
intermediate/advanced students who are ready to show solo & small group
pieces, please email me with your intent to participate. Every teacher
may request 2 slots for class or student solo/groups & 1 for yourselves.
RSVP by Feb 19.

3/22 Sun - Karim Nagi in Portland - Dance/Drum Workshops
Deering Grange Hall, 1408 Washington Ave, Portland, ME
$35/wksp or $60/both wksps
FMI & Registration: Jamileh - www.mainebellydance.com

3/21 Sat - Spring Belly Ball!
Bath Dance Works, 72 Front Street, Bath, ME
8PM til Midnight, featuring DJ Karin Nagi at 8PM and Okbari (Eric
LaPerna & Amos Libby with Michael Gallant joining them on violin) at 9:30PM.
$15 per couple, $10 per person, $5 for kids, 12 & Under free.
FMI: Josephina - josephina@suscom-maine.net or 442-8880 -

3/27 Fri - Okbari Middle Eastern Ensemble with Jamileh
West End Yoga & Dance Studio, 155 Brackett Street, Portland, ME
8 PM, $7/suggested
Unique and authentic program of Sufi Mystical music from 16th century
Turkey and will be joined by Jamileh for an authentic Raqs Sharqi
FMI: www.okbari.org - www.maineweddingbellydance.com

3/28 Bangor Apri Fools Hafla - I'll be going to this one and anyone who
wants to car pool with me is welcome. Another opportunity to perform.

 March 28 (see, even the date fooled you!) will be the first annual APRIL FOOL'S HAFLI at St. John's Episcopal Undercroft in Bangor. An afternoon hafli, potluck, and get together.

This is your chance to do all the fun, goofy things that have occurred to you: improbable fusion (tap and veil?), strange music (Addams' Family theme, perhaps), pet peeves (pornorama), costuming mishaps (the twisted veil fandango) and whatever twisted parody/satire moves your fun-loving soul. All dished out with straight face and with love and respect.

More details later-but get ready! This is your chance to let your inner fun diva shine.
Kahaz and Shadiyah (kind of an April Fool's act all by themselves)



Saturday Evening, April 4th, More Details TBA



4/4 Sat - Alhan Arabic Music Ensemble, Jamileh & Friends in Concert
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, 425 Congress Street, Portland,
8 PM, $12/at the door.
Jamileh is delighted to be joined by Erin, Josephina, Kamileh, Virginia,
Susan, Kendra, Kimberly Clark, MaraNajla & Dorothea for this wonderful
concert of Middle Eastern music and dance with the amazing Alhan Arabic
Music Ensemble.

4/5 Sun - Belly Dance Bazaar & Festival
Brunswick Elks Lodge, 179 Park Row, Brunswick, ME
3-7 PM, featuring Okbari, Jamileh, Adira, Naya's Trance, Bowdoin Belly
Dancers, Zeina, and raffles, vendors & food!
$10 Adults / $8 Students / Kids free
FMI: Holly - hspicer@suscom-maine.net

4/18 - Najmat of Boston - Workshop - Oriental Technique & Stage Presence
Lotus Rising Studio, Rollingsford, NH
1 - 4 PM, $45 paid by 4/10 or $60 after
All levels. Najmat is known for her strong stage presence and
performances. To see her perform live is the ultimate treat. Come and
learn some of the basic techniques that can help bring your
interpretation to the next level. Note: Please bring your own veil for
this workshop
FMI & Registration: http://lotusrisingstudio.com/

* Belly Dance Bazaar & Festival *

April 5, 2009   Brunswick, Maine

 5/30 Sat - Embracing Beauty - Workshops & Performance hosted by Naya's

Deering Grange Hall, 1408 Washington Ave, Portland, ME
$Low-cost or no-cost. ETA 10am-4pm
A day of workshops for girls and young women focusing on body-image &
self awareness through belly dance, theater, and music.
Evening Spectacular Showcase: An evening of professional and
semi-professional performances. Light refreshments & vendors. ETA
FMI: www.nayastrance.com

6/13 - Tamalyn Dallal in Vermont - Worskhop, Show & Book Tour
St. Johnsbury, VT, $75/paid before 3/31
This is a very, very, special and rare event. Meet the mom to Amar
Gamal, Bozenka, and many other amazing dancers!
FMI: Amity - http://www.raq-on.net/workshops.htm

6/20 Sat - Autumn Ward of NYC in Portland - Variety Performance at One
Longfellow Square!
8:00 PM, Featuring Autumn Ward, Ayperi, Samuel James & more!
Details are coming soon....

6/21 Sun - Autumn Ward of NYC in Portland - Two workshops - Advanced &
All Levels
"Clean Lines and Elegant Artistry: Belly Dance for Theatrical Performance"
More info coming soon... FMI: http://www.raqsayperi.com/
Check her out at http://www.autumnward.com or

8/1 - Dunya in Maine - Spiritual Bellydance Workshop Intensive
Unitarian Universalist Church, Auburn,
1:00 PM - 7:00 PM, $TBA
FMI: Chontel - inthecompanyofwomen06@yahoo.com - www.dancemeditation.org


August 22, 2009




*Greek Sunday Brunch w/Naya's Trance Belly Dance & Okbari*
Every Sunday 11:00-12:30 at Jimmy the Greeks
215 Saco Ave  Old Orchard Beach
$15/per person includes all you can eat brunch, omelet station, Greek specialties & more!

* House of Hunan Hafli *

Every third Sunday of the month, at House of Hunan in Brewer.
Wilson street across from Mardens. (big yellow restaurant)
Come eat, dance and be merry. Bring music you want to hear!
FMI  e-mail   aonochia@adelphia.net



*** Halloween Belly Ball ***
Saturday October 25
Bath Dance Works, 72 Front Street Bath
8pm - Midnight
Join us for a great night of dancing and connecting!
$10.00/per person, $15.00/couple

Remember, OKBARI plays live @ 9:30
FMI contact Josephina
442-8880 or josephina@suscom-maine.net 

* Tribal Bellydance Tassel Belt Workshop *
Sunday Oct 26, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm (10 people max)
 KnitWit Yarn Shop 247 Congress Street, Portland
$50 fee covers materials. Your choice of triangular (or other shape) base and sash, shells, beads and trinkets. You provide the wool (also available for purchase at Knitwit) and any other tidbits you'd like.

You'll leave with a completed tassel belt with at least 1 tassel affixed
and the ability to make more.
FMI or to register; Adira.com, eholder@maine.rr.com. 207 415 7204

* Karim Nagi presents The ARAB DANCE SEMINAR *
A weekend of workshops and classes on the dances of the Arab World,
 Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, Dabkaat, Khaligi, North African & Bedouin. Focal Topic: Marriage & Movement : How Dance & Music Are Central To weddings in the Arab World. Teachers include Karim Nagi, Cassandra (MN), Amel Tafsout & Kay Hardy Campbell.

Friday 4pm till Sunday 4pm. October 24th-26, 2004,
Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Complete info available at


OKBARI at the Stareast Cafe

October 31st  6:30 pm 

646 Forest Ave.    Portland, Maine





* From KEF to CLASSICAL II – CD Release Party and Benefit * Featuring the music and repertoire of ALAN SHAVARSH BARDEZBANIAN
An evening of Al’s amazing music played by his students and proteges
members of Okbari, Zhok Therapy and more as well as a dance performance by Jamileh

Frontier Café, Fort Andross,
14 Main Street, Brunswick.
 Friday, November 7th, 8:00pm 
Frontier Cafe


 "Gypsy Caravan: Where the Road Bends"

Ayperi, Adira & Manjula will be hosting a screening of this fantastic film

11/14 Friday 7:00 PM
30 Eastern Promenade, Unit 127, Portland, ME

It's the big high-rise on the corner of Walnut St.
(CALL when you arrive - 409-9540 - no doorbell)

    Visit the website to learn about the documentary http://www.gypsycaravanmovie.com/

Desert Sin workshop in Boston
11/16 Sunday - 12:00-4:00 PM -
The Julie Ince Theater @ the Dance Complex, Cambridge, MA
"Creating and Destroying the Rules of Dance" with Djahari - Director of Desert Sin
$65 before Nov 9, $75 after
Pre-register: http://www.aeprilschaile.com/descentworkshops.htm

*Naya's Trance Fall Belly Dance Party & Student Showcase *
Performances, Open Dancing, Vendors!
North Deering Grange, Washington Avenue, Portland
Sunday Nov.16 from 3-5 pm
$5 general admission, $3 seniors, $1 children under 12.
FMI    Naya's Trance

* Raqs Borealis Belly Dance*

at North Star Music Cafe
North Star Music Cafe, 225 Congress Street, Portland. 
featuring Helena Melone, Ayperi, Okbari, and henna by Remarkable Blackbird   
Friday, November 21, 2008, 7:30 - 11:00 PM  $7


Brazeo Workshop w/ Helena

Saturday Nov 22nd

$25 before the 22nd, $30 day of




• Monday, December 1st, 8:00 pm at Studzinski Recital Hall

Join the talented students of these two wonderful ensembles for their annual winter concert. The Music Ensemble is directed by Eric LaPerna & Amos Libby of Okbari and the Dance Ensemble by Jamileh.

Free & Open to the Public.  


Saturday, January 17th from 10 pm-12 pm

 MJ’s Grille and Tavern        94 Maine St., Brunswick, Maine

    Okbari and the lovely dancing of Jamileh (Jeanne Handy)

Jan. 24th at 8 pm

West End Yoga and Dance Studio

(155 Brackett St., Portland, ME.)
the debut of the Okbari Middle Eastern Music Ensemble!

$7 suggested donation.
The ensemble consists of Eric LaPerna (percussion), Amos Libby (ud and vocals), Mike Gallant (violin, formerly of the Alan Shavarsh Bardezbanian Middle East Ensemble) and Carl Dimow (flutes, a member of The Casco Bay Tummelers and the music faculty at Colby College). We have the privilege of being joined by the equally (if not more!) beautiful Middle Eastern dancing of Katy McCann.