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Sara performing at the Steiner Theatre, London in July 2000

I have since done my own research on the dance and have been influenced by many different exponents; particularly the dancers of Egyptian cinema in the 1950’s.

It is not only a beautiful and dynamic dance form, but I have noticed in myself and in my students that Raqs Sharqi has a transformative effect. It seems to reconnect people with some lost awareness that brings a feeling of being more alive and whole.


I loved dancing as a child and went to ballet classes and Dance Drama classes from the age of five, but gave up in my early teens and didn’t dance again until I discovered Suraya Hilal’s Raqs Sharqi classes several years later.

When I saw Hilal’s interpretation of the dance, there was a recognition; as if this was something I had once known intimately but had somehow forgotten.

Once I found Raqs Sharqi I became obsessed with it, attending classes three times a week, practising every day and spending too much hard earned cash on costumes. Raqs Sharqi is now something I could never imagine not doing.


Sara performing a drum solo with Ibrahim Al Miniawi



Why I Dance