April 1 - 8, 2023

Sahara Dance presents: Mohamed Shahin, Ashley Lopez, & Rachel Kay Brookmire

Sahara Dance Heart of Belly Dance Retreat

Heart of Belly Dance Retreat
Joy & Bliss Edition 2023

“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” ~ Vicki Baum

Remove distractions, make time for what you love, and learn practical tools to enhance joy and present moment awareness for any style of belly dance. Held in spectacular retreat centers around the world, classes are taught by Mohamed Shahin, Ashley López, and Rachel Kay Brookmire.

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Heart of Belly Dance

Choose your own adventure! You can attend all the classes or none at all. Spend the days at the beach, in town, receiving a massage, at the pool, on an excursion, or dancing/stretching/sweating it out in Sky Mind Hall.

Heart of Belly Dance retreats are suitable for all levels, with individual attention to modify movements for beginners and/or challenge advanced dancers. We offer a full schedule of training for professional dancers and teachers, however, all students may choose the intensity of their training. Dancers are welcome to partake in all of daily programming, or just participate in portions of class and relax at the beach, enjoy the resort and explore the small town of Nosara at your leisure. Each day you can design your own training and dance journey to best suit your personal inspiration and rejuvenation!

Teacher Bio


Mohamed Shahin is an inspirational instructor, world-renowned performer, and challenging choreographer of Egyptian Oriental Dance (Raqs Sharqi) and Egyptian/ Middle Eastern Folkloric Dance. His powerful technique, magnetic personality, and masterful knowledge of all styles of Middle Eastern Dance has turned Mohamed Shahin into one of the most sought-after dance instructors and performers in the world today.

A native of Cairo and originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Shahin discovered his passion for Egyptian Dance at the young age of fifteen. Throughout Shahin’s childhood, he was fascinated by all forms of dance. At 15, Shahin decided quite suddenly that he would dedicate himself to learning Egyptian Folkloric Dance. After many years of the intense study of various Middle Eastern styles of dance, Modern dance, and Ballet, Shahin developed a complex methodology of instruction that has made him a Master teacher beloved to his students worldwide. Shahin currently lives in New York City and has been touring internationally, full-time since 2004.


Ashley López is a dancer, yogi, fitness instructor, opera singer and contortion enthusiast currently residing in gorgeous North Idaho. She began her journey in music school and graduated with a degree in vocal performance in opera and sang with Opera San José and in the San Francisco Bay Area briefly before moving full-time into dance and fitness. To date, she has toured in over 25 countries worldwide teaching and performing. Ashley is a certified yoga, pilates, and fitness instructor who teaches everything from HIIT to cycling to bellydance to water aerobics. She is also passionate about mental health, meditation, lifestyle design, epigenetics, disease prevention & health longevity, and is continually conducting personal research on these topics. She works with private clients on lifestyle, nutrition, fitness, injury prevention, rehabilitation and mental and emotional well-being. She created a dance instructor training program called Integrated Dance, which has been accredited as a continuing education provider through the American Council on Exercise. She is currently building a sustainable farm and retreat center with her partners in crime: Dave, Max the golden retriever, and an army of angry chickens (aka: tiny dinosaurs).


Rachel Kay Brookmire is the founder and director of Sahara Dance. Since 2000, Rachel has taught belly dance to thousands of students throughout the Washington, DC area. She is also the creator of Sahara Dance Foundations, an intensive program for training belly dance teachers.

Her teaching style emphasizes postural alignment, contextual awareness of Arabic music and culture and a celebration of femininity. Recognized for her detailed, structured teaching approach, Rachel’s classes focus on community, quality movement execution, musicality, playfulness and individual expression.

As a longtime student of meditation and mindfulness practices, she seeks to integrate relaxation, body awareness and the cultivation of joyfulness into her dance offerings. At this retreat, her classes will explore playful, heart-centered themes to develop grace and gentleness in your dance practice and deepen awareness through mindfulness and yin yoga. Rachel has participated in Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Powers and Mindful Schools Teacher Training. She is currently enrolled in Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach’s Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program.

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