October 15th, 2023
Today, I landed in Egypt...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
October 15th - October 22nd
Last Chance: $2,750 USD
After Sept 8th: $3,200 USD
$400.00 USD Deposit
October 23rd - November 2nd
Luxor & Aswan
LAST CHANCE: $3,000 USD
AFTER SEPT 8th: $3,400 USD
$400.00 USD Deposit
October 8th - October 14th
Ismailia & Port Said
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
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
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
LAST CHANCE: $6,500 USD
AFTER SEPT 8th: $7,750 USD
$800.00 USD Deposit
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.
- 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.
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!
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 sogladI 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!
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a Visa to Travel to Egypt?
If you are a US citizen you will get your visa upon arrival in Cairo. Instructions on how to do so will be sent out before your departure date.
If you are joining us from a country other than the United States you will have to check your country's policies. This site can help to determine where to start.
I'm really interested in taking classes from ______ dancer while I'm in Egypt, when can I schedule those?
There are a couple of free periods worked into the schedule, but those times cannot be guaranteed until the tour has begun due to the way things tend to work in Egypt.
We suggest if you have your heart set on taking classes from a particular dancer, or seeing a particular show, to arrive a day or two early to Cairo to explore and fit in some extra sightseeing.
Can My Friend/Family member come with me?
We are happy to allow accompanying friends and family to attend without the pre-requites of JTE 1 & 2 as long as they are not dancers.
Bellydance friends must have completed the course to attend.
You will be responsible for keeping them up to speed on some of the finer details they may have missed from the courses if you haven't already talked their ear off about them!
They will be required to attend the pre-tour webinars to get an idea of the course basics to aid in their understanding and learning during the tour.
Are JtE 1 & 2 Required?
JtE 1 & 2 are non-negotiable requirements for attendance of JTE 3 & 4.
JtE 3 is a requirement for attendance of JtE -4.
Each level builds on the previous ones and creates a more cohesive learning experience
Not interested in October 2023? Join our waitlist to hear about our next tour!