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October 15th, 2023

Today, I landed in Egypt...

Guided by Sahra Kent, an expert on Egyptian dance & folklore, you will not only experience the Egypt that is presented to most people, a land of sand and ancient wonders, but also as a land with real people struggling to preserve their dance heritage.

Visiting multiple Egyptian cities, JtE 3, 4, and 5 strive to present the concepts and tables explored in JtE 1 & 2 whenever possible, putting that knowledge into practice and context.

Explore one of the birthplaces of our dance form through cultural interviews, live music, dancing, historical walks, and cultural experiences.

Please note this trailer, while indicative of our general experience,

does show scenes from  JtE-5

Shannon BishopPennsylvania

Nothing can top dancing to live music in Egypt...It was also a joy to meet Farida Fahmy and to visit Mohammed Ali street. But just being in Egypt with Sahra, who is a wealth of knowledge and experience and generosity, made the trip an experience I'll never forget. I couldn't begin to plan a trip like this on my own and hope to learn as much as I did. 


JtE 3, 4, and 5 are educational explorations of Cairo, Luxor/Aswan, and Ismailia/Port Said respectively. During our time in Egypt we explore the history and culture of the places we visit in the context of Egyptian dance and what they represent & have represented through the years. In keeping with JtE 1 & 2, levels 3, 4, and 5 are highly educational and show a lot of the things learned in levels 1 & 2 in context.

As such it is a requirement that all participants attending any of these levels have completed levels 1 & 2 by the time the tour begins. Exceptions are only made for friends & family that are attending with you.

This is the trip of a lifetime and the one you've been dreaming about since you first became interested in this art form. Drawing on Sahra's 30 years of research in the field, you will directly meet, and interview some of her own contacts in Egypt and benefit from her myriad of connections and insights.

Seeing Egypt through Sahra's eyes will give you a deeper understanding of the dance. The same one that you got a glimpse of in JtE 1 & 2.


The lived experience, knowledge, movements, and unique approach of JTE have made me a better and more discerning dance performer, student, researcher, and teacher. I'm doing a better job at serving the various communities this dance is a part of, and that means the world to me. I'm doing a better job honoring the dances, people, and cultures, this dance is a part of and, inshallah, because of that, dancing more beauty into the world.

Shiraz Riverside, CA

JtE - 5

October 8th - October 14th, 2023

JtE-5 takes us to the Suez Canal, featuring Ismailia and Port Said

Wait! 5 Comes first?


Yep! Due to timing of some of the other events, its easiest to visit the Ismailia and Port Said before we spend time in Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan.


But don't worry, you don't have to take these ones in order, you're more than welcome to join us on JtE-5 first, even if this is the first time you're taking JtE 3 or 4!


JtE-5 was first presented in 2022 as a limited test run and is now ready for you!

Bombuteyya Dancing to semsemeyya music!

Port Said with a JtE Style LEns

In line with our Dance Ethnology viewpoint we will visit Ismailia and Port Said to learn more about the history of the region, while considering the dances. Imagine the relaxing views of the blue sky and cool waters that we will experience used to be dunes of sand with a Bedouin population. As men and newly designed machines cut a giant swath in the dry land, dividing Asia and Africa in 1869 the emergence of Bambouteyya dance and Semsimeya music became a new and unique dance, specific to this area, a product of the fusion of Bedouin, Europe, and Egypt.

Bombuteyya dancing was the dance of the workers of the docks and “bumboats”.

We study this lively, happy, dance from 5 different directions.  Attending an informal outdoor kahwah we watch participants dance in each their own individual way. We also watch stage versions, by local dance groups, a saqafa troupe… also on the agenda is taking classes in both the people’s way of dance, and of the stage.

"El Tanbura" Simsemeyya Band plays for us to dance!

  • Travel to and from Cairo on our own personal bus
  • Tour and learn about the Suez Canal and it's place in Egypt's history
  • Hang out in street cafe's where Semsimeya musicians play and local people dance for fun
  • Take dance classes from local professional and Saqafa performers
  • Meet and interview people on the enduring quest to keep the music and dance of the Suez alive and vibrant
  • Stay in beautiful locations with views of the regions bountiful waters

Mirian

Dandarah Studio, New Zealand

"

          One of the highlights of JtE-5 for me was to watch the live show by the world-renowned El Tanboura group in the outdoors area of a beachfront cafe in Port Said. It was so authentic and heartfelt that I couldn’t hold my tears – I loved experiencing art in a genuine way as the place was flooded with locals who came to enjoy their music and dance in an ordinary evening. 

Join us

Witness a unique jewel of Egypt, a relatively new chapter in Egypt's ancient history. See how that history has helped shape the local dances, all while learning and observing as many tables of dance as we can!

Now, we know, that was confusing. JtE-5 before 3 & 4?? But trust us, it makes sense when you're here!

So if you're joining us for 5, you can stick around and do Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan with us, or just Cairo, it's totally up to you. Make the trip of a lifetime and spend as much time in Egypt with us as you can!

JtE - 3

October 15th - October 22nd, 2023

JtE-3 is an exploration of Cairo. Its history. Its Culture. Its Music.

Live Music Shows

With the bright colors of the Tannoura spinning before your eyes, the beat of the Zar drums mere feet away from you, and the cultural immersion of folkloric dance, you'll be transported and changed. How can you not understand the Zar a little better once you've heard the music, so close and heartfelt? How can you not marvel at the skill of the dancers as they spin endlessly upon the stage? Feel the joy as musicians join together to share their heritage!

Live Tannoura shows dazzle the eyes with flying colors! Always a favorite of JtE-3.

The Makan theater puts on a spectacular Zar entertainment event. One of the highlights of JtE-3

One of Jte-3 attendees is invited up to dance at a special music event held at the Dammah theater.

A Chance to Perform to Live Music

JtE 3 attendees pose for a photo with our wonderful musicians after finishing up our Live Music dancing event!

In addition to the live music events we attend, we will also have several members of Sahra's old band join back together to play live music for us while we dance the afternoon away. Get the experience of dancing to live music in Egypt as you channel your passion for the dance into your movements and get carried away by the sound.

Should any friends and family attend that are doumbek players, they may have a chance to join in the fun and play around a bit with the band. If they can keep up that is!

Historical Exploration

Cairo also holds a special place on our tour as the site of many historical buildings and sites from the history of our dance. During our time in Cairo we'll be spending plenty of time walking, so bring those comfy sneakers! Walks include:

  • Mohammed Ali Street
  • Al-Khyameyya Street (street of the tent makers, pictured here)
  • Portions of the Khan Al-Khalili
  • An exploration of the locations of Naguib Mahfouz's famous Trilogy
  • An exploration of a baladi area well known to our friend & guide, Khaled
  • Early Bellydance sites & locations
  • The palaces and places of celebrations for the opening of the Suez Canal
DelannaDancer/Instructor in Germany

The more we plunged into the streets of Cairo, the more little passages from Naguib Mahfouz books came like tags of memories into my mind. Spots of his stories became alive, suddenly had a form, sounds, colors and odors...

Dance Ethnology

During our time in Cairo we will spend several evenings conducting dance ethnology interviews. Pictured left is an interview in 2015 with Sayid Henkesh as we investigated some of the photos he brought to show us.

On a couple of the afternoons we will visit several of Cairo's museums, including the Agricultural museum, which you may remember from JtE 1 & 2 as the one with the wax figures, a museum of a museum, as it were. We will also visit the museum that is dedicated to the life and career of Egypt's most beloved singer, Om Kulsum.

Join us

JtE-3 is a magical exploration of the capital of Egypt and a place where you can see the meshing of the folkloric and the glitter that is Egypt's Hollywood.

 

We pack all of the above into 8 days of history, music, dancing and learning. Eight amazing, exhausting, exhilarating days that you'll never forget.

Sign up below to be notified if any spots open up for this tour or to be notified about our next tour!

You can stop after JtE-3, head back home and digest all that you've seen and learned on your journey. Or, you could stick around for more, making the most of that plane ticket, and learn more than you could've ever dreamed.

Most of our attendees choose to take at least levels 3 and 4 back to back, but if you're returning home after JtE-3 you'll leave us on the 22nd of October. Those continuing on will take a sleeper train that night to Luxor, where the next journey begins.

If you are only attending JtE-4, you should time your flight to arrive in Cairo on October 21st. We will have someone pick you up at the airport.

JtE - 4

October 23rd - November 2nd, 2023

JtE-4 takes us to Upper Egypt, away from the hustle and bustle of Cairo and to the shores of the Nile.


Luxor

After the business of Cairo, our hotel in Luxor, Geizeira Gardens, will provide some peace and quiet. This is Sahra's favorite place to stay while doing her research, soothing the mind and soul and providing a recharge as we ramp up into the next phase of the journey.

With an amazing open space, and connections to many of the local musicians, it's a place to rest, to learn, and to dance!

 

 

Dance Lessons

In Luxor, we have the good fortune of learning from practitioners from many of the different tables. The last performing Mazin sister, Khyriya will teach us the steps traditional to her family of Ghawazee. A member of the local governate group will teach us the art of the Assaya, and a local professional will teach us the traditional Sa'idi Khafafa dance.

Historical Sites

It wouldn't be a trip to Luxor without visiting some of the most famous tombs and temples to be found in Egypt. Here we will visit the infamous Valley of the Kings & the Temple of Hatshepsut (pictured below).  We will also explore for the hieroglyphs depicting the tahtib and dancing, showing the true age of aspects of our dance.

Explore the Valley of the Kings & Hatshepsut temple.

Explore the beauty of Luxor

Other Activities

We will also spend our time in Luxor dancing away at a local live music events. Featuring local professionals, some of which you may recognize from our dance lessons, you'll feel what it's like to party Egyptian style.


We'll also visit the  home of a local Nubian Artist, to experience local traditional art and stories. During this visit you may have the opportunity to purchase a traditional jar-jar dress. 

Aswan

Once we've had all the fun we can in Luxor, it's time to head to Aswan. We'll be traveling by bus, but don't worry! The journey is broken up by two stops at famous temples along the way with our favorite tour guide!

Exploring the Nile

While we are near the Nile in Luxor, in Aswan we use it to travel. Our boatman Karim will take us down the Nile to various events, in moments that you will never forget. Watch the sand dunes give way to the lush grasses of the Nile, visit the Botanical Gardens during one of your free periods, and feel the wind whip through your hair as you travel down one of the world's most famous rivers.


You'll spot the Nubian village straightaway, indicated by its uniquely shaped buildings rising amidst the green that lines the Nile.

Historic Sights

Visit Philae Temple, one of the temples moved due to the flooding that would occur when the Aswan High Dam was completed. Now an island in the middle of the reservoir it is beautiful and has quite the interesting story.

Look out over Lake Nassar as you stand on the damn that buried the farmland of the Nubians. Heartbreaking it may be, but the resilience of the Nubian people is amazing.

ShirazRiverside, CA

I never felt so alive; enjoying cardamon coffee and Nubian dancing on the hilltop overlooking the Nile in Aswan.. sweating and dancing w/ Khariya Mazin and getting to savor her sweet smile and tea.... those rare moments when you just follow your passion and live fully. You could never regret making that plunge.

Nubian Culture

 While we are in Aswan we immerse ourselves in all things Nubian. We will visit Nubian villages & famillies, attend celebrations with local professionals, and learn a dance choreographed just for us by one of the members of the local governate group.

The Nubian people love to dance, and the events we attend are always a blast. Rarely will you find anyone sitting out the festivities!

We will also visit a museum dedicated to the Nubian people, their crafts, and their story.

If you wish to have a Nubian dress made for our graduation dance, we will have time to order it during JtE-3 in Cairo.

Graduation

Our time in Egypt comes to an end with one of the most joyful experiences. We've spent the past several days immersed in Nubian culture and learning our graduation dance. For our graduation we perform our dance against the backdrop of the Nile. Stomping and clapping and joyfully reliving each moment of our journey.

Join us

JtE-4 spans 11 days in Luxor and Aswan where there is so much to learn about the Sa'idi and Nubian peoples. Completely different than JtE-3, Upper Egypt has a charm all its own that's sure to have you wishing you could stay longer.

 

As we celebrate the end of this journey, many of us find that it's only the beginning. Having experienced Egypt in this way many students are inspired to begin researching topics that came to mind while in Egypt.

JtE-4 is officially over and we return to Cairo via sleeper train, arriving on the morning/afternoon of the 16th. We will check into the Novotel near the airport for our final goodbyes. You may have all been strangers 3 weeks ago, but now you'll be sad to see your travel companions go.

You'll make lifelong friends and contacts with dancers all over the world. We've had attendees from the USA, Canada, Samoa, Germany, The Czech Republic, Russia, and many more.

Expand your knowledge, your understanding, and your cultural appreciation and join us in 2023 for the journey of a lifetime.

Leela Corman  Gainesville, FL


It is the gold standard if you are interested in the dance and culture of Egypt. I would say that if you take only one workshop or course of study in your dance career, make it this one. You will learn incomparable things about Egyptian dance and people, past and present.

The DATES

JTE-5 – OCTOBER 8th – OCTOBER 14TH

JTE-3 – October 15th – OCTOBER 22nd

JTE-4 – October 23rd – Nov 2nd


You may choose to attend one or all of the events.

The PRICING

All LEvels Include

  • 1 Pre - Tour Webinar
  • Room (Double Occupancy)
  • 2 Meals per day
  • All JtE Dance Events/Classes/Tours
  • Transportation to/from all JtE Events
  • All Credit Card Processing Fees

Not Included

  • Airfare & Visa Costs
  • Snacks & Water
  • Additonal Hotel Nights for early/late arrivals
  • Nubian Dress for Graduation if desired
  • Free time activities & transportation to/from
  • Travel Insurance (though it is required)

Jte-3

October 15th - October 22nd

Cairo

8 days

Last Chance: $2,750 USD

After Sept 8th: $3,200 USD

$400.00 USD Deposit

JtE-4

October 23rd - November 2nd

Luxor & Aswan

11 days

LAST CHANCE: $3,000 USD

AFTER SEPT 8th: $3,400 USD

$400.00 USD Deposit

JTE-5

October 8th - October 14th

Ismailia & Port Said

7 days

LAST CHANCE: $2,650 USD

AFTER SEPT 8th: $3,200 USD

$600.00 USD Deposit

JtE-3 & 4

October 15th - November 2nd

Cairo, Luxor, & Aswan

19 days

LAST CHANCE: $4,999 USD

AFTER SEPT 8th: $5,899 USD

$600.00 USD Deposit

JtE-3 & 5

October 8th - October 22nd

Cairo, Ismailia, & Port Said

15 days

LAST CHANCE: $4,850 USD

AFTER SEPT 8th: $5,700 USD

$800.00 USD Deposit

jte 3, 4, & 5

October 8th - November 2nd

Cairo, Ismailia, Port Said, Cairo, Luxor, & Aswan

26 days

LAST CHANCE: $6,500 USD

AFTER SEPT 8th: $7,750 USD

$800.00 USD Deposit

PAYMENT OPTIONS

We understand that money can be a barrier. To that effect, there is a very open payment plan policy. You can pay it all up front, all at the end, or at any time in between. The only stipulations are

  • You have to pay the entire amount by September 20th, 2023.
  • You have to notify us of what your payment schedule is going to be.
  • You may pay the remainder of the balance by check or Paypal. If you are not located in the United States, we can provide the information for a wire transfer as well.

Cancellation Policy

  • Plans change, we get it, if you have to cancel your participation in the tour you will receive a refund minus your deposit. 
  • Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Deposits can be transferred to other attendees up until September 20, 2023. After which they are non-transferable.

Even the camels dress up for some things in Egypt!

Covid- 19

We are closely monitoring the situation around Covid-19 and are taking all precautions to create a safe trip environment for you as much as possible. However, Covid is an easily transmissible virus and you will be in a foreign country

You do not need to be vaccinated to participate in any of these levels of JtE, however you ARE REQUIRED to have travel insurance to cover you in the instance that you do contract Covid on this trip.

Please note that if you do get sick you will be unable to attend events with the rest of the tour, as we will attempt to stop the spread to the rest of the participants. We will do our best to arrange entertainment for you, but cannot guarantee anything. There will be no refunds given for time missed due to sickness.

A NOTE ON SAFETY

You, or your loved ones, may have some reservations about visiting Egypt at this time. Sahra has been dancing, researching, and making friends in Egypt for the past 30 years. While we’re on the tour she is always calling ahead and talking to the locals. If anything is going on, She’ll know about it, and avoid any potential situations before they happen. Safety is #1 always on the tour, as it should be!

Our contacts on the ground in Egypt are locals, and very aware of what is going on at any given time because they live & work in the neighborhoods we’ll be in. They’re great people to talk to and can provide a ton of insight into the people and culture of Egypt!

NisaaSt. Louis, Missouri

Before JtE-3 & 4, I was a little worried about the security situation in Egypt. However, I trusted in the judgement of Sahra as well as of my significant other, who is Arab, and I went for it. I was soglad

I did, because both times (both post-revolution), I felt perfectly safe and secure. Sahra has SO many reliable contacts in Egypt and has a good understanding of the situation "on the ground," and I knew she and her contacts would not knowingly lead any of us into a dangerous sitation.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to write and we’ll personally address them. We want you to feel as safe as Sahra does when traveling in Egypt, and sometimes knowing how things actually are instead of the media’s portrayal will help with that confidence. Remember, Sahra been traveling to Egypt twice a year for 30 years, and lived there for almost a decade. If it wasn’t safe, she wouldn’t keep going!

OUR SCHEDULE

As you’ll find is the way in Egypt, a lot of things cannot be confirmed until we are on the ground. Sahra arrives in Egypt at least 1 week prior to the start of JtE, and until that time the schedule cannot be guaranteed.

There will be limited free time on the tour where you are more than welcome to schedule private lessons with local dancers, shop for costumes, or see sites that we will not be seeing as part of the events. However, this is an educational tour and you are expected to attend all events.

We recommend if you're looking to do a lot of any of the above to arrive in Cairo a day or two early to do so. You are responsible for any extended stay reservations. You will receive the contact information of our hotels during booking so that you make make any extra arrangements with them directly. Please contact us for special arrangements from the airport if you are arriving any day other than the first day listed for the first tour you're attending.

Below are some lists that include all the events we will be attending during each event. Dates will be solidified closer to the event, perhaps even as late as the week before when Sahra arrives in Egypt due to the nature of planning a tour of this kind in Egypt.

JtE-3 Events

  • Arrivals & Welcome Party
  • Visits to Khan al Khalili
  • Naguib Mahfouz Walk in the Khan al Khalili
  • Live Music & Dance Event
  • Makan Theatre Show
  • Agricultural Museum Visit
  • Om Kulsum Museum Visit
  • Al Dammah Theater Show
  • Early Bellydance Tour
  • Dance Ethnology Interviews
  • Baladi Walk, Mohamed Ali Street, Al-Khayamiya Street, Bab Zuweila and Sultan Al-Ghuri Area
  • Tannoura Show
  • Sleeper train to Luxor

JtE-4 Events

  • Lesson with Khyriya Mazin
  • Visit to local Nubian Artist
  • Kafafa Lesson
  • Sound and Light tour of Karnak
  • Valley of the Kings Tour
  • Sa'idi Dance Class
  • Tahtib Class
  • Tours on the way to Aswan
  •  Nubian Village Visit
  • Philea Island & High Dam Tours
  • Nubian Musuem
  • Nubian Dance Classes
  • Graduation Dance
  • Sleeper train back to Cairo

JtE-5 Events

  • Depart from Cairo on our own bus
  • Enjoy and dance to Semsimeya music
  • Visit Suez Canal Museum
  • Tour of Ismailia
  • Bambouteyya Dance Show
  • Sunset boat ride
  • Visit Suez Canal
  • Dance Class in stage Bambouteyya Dance
  • Tour of Port Said
  • Visit street cafes with informal music
  • Meet leaders of the revival movement of music and dance of the Suez
  • Ferry across the Suez Canal
  • Visit Saqafa Theater and training studio
  • Return to Cairo for other levels of JtE!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Visa to Travel to Egypt?

I'm really interested in taking classes from ______ dancer while I'm in Egypt, when can I schedule those?

Can My Friend/Family member come with me?

Are JtE 1 & 2 Required?

Not interested in October 2023? Join our waitlist to hear about our next tour!

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