Events Photos Join Us Links
Biograpgy Parties Classes Dance Company Articals Travels
Johara and Snake Dance Theater present:

Lifting Winter's Veil

Sunday, April 12th, 2:30 - 5:30 PM

Park Ave Congregational Church
50 Paul Revere Rd.
Arlington, MA.

An afternoon of Belly Dance performances celebrating rebirth and renewal after a long snowy winter with Shopping & Open Dance

Featuring Soloists: Najmat *Nadira *Jaylee *Johara *Alashiya *Royah *Thalia *Samarra *Gina *Nasira *Irit *Jennifer Abbot

Troupe Little Egypt
Tasselations *
Troupe Hazine
Troupe Sarab (Seyyide)
Troupe Axcent

Featuring traditional Middle Eastern and Tribal Fusion Belly Dancers, shopping, and open dancing.
Drumming by Levi and Clarinet by Ron
Line Dance led byZaZa-Beth Zills?MC'd by Jack Robbins
Open Dancing

For tickets, visit our page on EventBrite for Lifting Winter's Veil


A Love Affair with the East

A Belly Dance Benefit , Vintage-Style
For The Bantwana Initiative

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 8-10pm

Cambridge YMCA Family Theater
820 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA


Snake Dance Theater presents a vintage belly dance show inspired by America's fascination with all things Egyptian and Egypt's adaptations of Hollywood style and western music. Sequin-studded performance by some of New England's most acclaimed soloists and companies from the world of Middle Eastern and tribal fusion dance.

Featuring Snake Dance Theater
(Johara, Alashiya, Tamsyn Bindal, Somaya Maghouz,
Aisha Aladeen, Nepenthe Ahlam, Bree, Lene Martinsen)

Snake Dance Theater Co Facebook Page
Facebook Event Page
Johara Boston Facebook Page

Special Guests

Hybrid & her pharonic ensemble
Narraya & Vadalna
Pia Louise Capaldi
Garabed Setrikian
and Johara's Serpentine Dancers

Also featuring musical theater artists Shira Price & Dan Marshall, Josef Gemanos, and swing dancers Joy Jing and Liat

Live music by Club Mediterranean (Michael Mesleh, Anthony Zannino, Johara, Somaya, & guest Ron Sahatjian) and vocalists Lisette Chao and Francesca Vries.

Lavish costuming design by Shadia Tohme Beadwear, Snake Dance Theater Co, and guests.

All profits go to support this year's charity:

The Bantwana Initiative

Bantwana Initiative helps local communities in sub-Saharan Africa support orphaned and vulnerable children and their caregivers.

More about The Bantwana Initiative

More than 25 million children have been orphaned and made vulnerable in sub-Saharan Africa by HIV, AIDS, and poverty. The Bantwana Initiative ('children' in Zulu) builds the abilities, skills, and networks of communities to support these vulnerable children and their families to access a range of support and comprehensive care they need to grow into healthy adults. Bantwana's programs create access to primary health care, nutrition, child protection, psychosocial support, education, and economic strengthening services for children and their families.Today, Bantwana partners with more than 100 local organizations in Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and will offer services to approximately 100,000 vulnerable children in 2014. Bantwana is an initiative of World Education, Inc., a Boston-based nonprofit organization founded in 1951 to meet the needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations through social and economic development programs.


To donate to the silent auction or get involved, contact Johara at:

Please consider donating
to the fundraiser even if
you can't attend.

For Tickets/Info Contact:
Johara and Snake Dance Productions: 617-922-3676

Video Links:


Snake Dance Theater YouTube Channel

Ya Masafer Wahdak Bellydance
by Snake Dance Theater Company

Vampire Bride a gothic bellydance
by Snake Dance Theater

Internationally Acclaimed Instructor
of Egyptian Dance


Sunday, November 2, 2014, 1:30pm -5:00pm

Salsa Y Control Studio
161 Harvard Ave, Suite 13B, Allston, MA

Registration at 1pm

Ranya Renee
Morning Class $90 at the door
Breathwork Master Class $40.00 at the door
* Includes optional observation of others coaching sessions

Contact Johara with any questions. or 617-922-3676

Join the Facebook event for up to date information!

Organically Grown Egyptian Oriental

Salsa Y Control Studio, 161 Harvard Street 13b Allston, MA

Ranya will bring us back into a slightly retro vibe, one that never goes out of style, to mine the gold from a traditional approach to Egyptian rhythms and steps in Oriental dance. We'll start with a juicy old-school baladi-shaabi warmup, to get the body's internal relationships cooking between floor and hips, and work posturally for elegant support all the way up. Then we'll move into organic Oriental in-place and traveling combinations, working with different types of steps that are traditionally applied to specific rhythms, in the context of melodic phrasing... also how to travel without traveling far, and how to travel farther but still get back home in time. Many dancers stick with just the rhythmic cycles and the usual counts of 8, but focusing on the melody line brings out the romantic essence of the dance and allows for greater personal expression. Strong and graceful use of the hands and arms will aid physical phrasing of the melody and direct the audience's attention. Breathing along with the musical phrases will bring out the overarching melody line, helping to avoid a choppy look and smoothing transitions between phrases and sections. We'll address how to count so that it doesn't look "count-y," and also how to stop counting to focus on the feeling and directionality of the music. In terms of music selections, we'll dance to a variety of classy, tasteful a few raunchy numbers to spice things up for ya. J Exercises will include technique drills workout, guided combination and evolution of key steps within and between different rhythms, musicality practice, and improvisation work.

Some history on this topic:
Ranya had a mind-blowing 8-hour-long private-lesson marathon with the legendary Mona el Saeed in Egypt several years ago. As they worked on baladi material, Mona noted several steps that were tied to different rhythms in the music, and this was something of a revelation. For traditionally trained Oriental dancers in Egypt (like Mona), certain steps go well with certain rhythms, while others just don't work as well-and this is a bit different from the typical approach to the dance seen in the US, and even in some cases, in Westernized Egyptian folklore, where movements may be mixed-and-matched. The "organic" approach is typically seen in Egyptian Oriental dancers who don't come from a folklore background. Since many top teachers today did come from folkloric companies, it is harder to find trained teachers that focus strongly on the more (ironically) "native" approach to interpreting Oriental dance music. This is the approach we'll work with today, building confidence on how to choose authentic tried-and-true movements on the spot, and how to make these movement choices look crisp and comfortable even when they are improvised.

Breathwork For Performance - Class and Coaching
5:45pm Sunday

Salsa Y Control Studio, 161 Harvard Street 13b Allston, MA

This will be a focused master class for -all levels- of dancers and other performers, leading into individual short coaching sessions in a supportive group environment. We'll begin with an hourlong practical introduction to Ranya's signature "Breathwork for Performance" method for the group. Then, dancers may stay after to receive coaching (in 15-minute and 30-minute slots) and watch others get coached, for a complete learning experience. In these sessions, Ranya helps dancers identify what is happening in their minds when they lose focus, to try to maintain connection in a flowing way; she offers practical tools for freeing up energy and releasing technical and mental blocks, along with appropriate advice about dance form and musical interpretation. Dancers who'd like to receive personalized coaching should bring a short piece of music (we'll use about 2 minutes of it; bring it on iPod or mp3 player) that they are working with, or be open to improvising; it does not need to be choreography, but it can be. Ranya packs a lot of feedback into the coaching sessions, so bring a pen and paper to take notes! Ranya began developing her breathwork method in 1996 as a way to maintain upper back posture for Egyptian dance, discovered its potential for connection with audiences, and has been performing with it and teaching it to dancers and other artists around the world ever since. Breathwork for Performance draws on energizing and calming uses of the breath from body-mind practices and theater, and applies them to an in-the-moment way of dancing, moving and being present. This method creates a heightened sense of awareness on the part of both the performer and the audience, creating a bridge of energy between them.

If you want to increase your onstage charisma, develop more spontaneity and openness in your dance, or if you have ever struggled with stage fright or nervousness, feeling disconnected with an audience, difficulty relaxing into your dance, or feeling like your energy wasn't filling the room, this workshop is for you. You'll learn tools of how to reach out to an audience while relaxing yourself at the same time, and how to incorporate the physical techniques of breathwork and pelvic floor energy work into your own technique. This work is appropriate for dancers and performers of all genres.

For more information visit

RANYA RENÉE began her career more than thirty years ago as a theater actress and comedienne, and has been bellydancing since 1990. One of New York City's leading Egyptian- style instructors, Ranya specializes in juicy, holistic technique, theatrical performance skills and coaching centered around her Breathwork for Performance method. She presents live Arabic music and dance events and workshop series in New York, and tours internationally. Ranya's instructional DVDs (The Baladi, Modern Oriental, and Bellydance Taqasim) have earned rave reviews from dancers worldwide. Ranya is also the co-founder and co-director of the Theatrical Bellydance Project and the New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference (next to be held in 2016). Concurrent with her dance life, Ranya is pursuing a master's degree in psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York, focusing on embodied cognition and affect, mulling over the neuroscience of consciousness in between relished moments of booty-shaking.
On Facebook: Ranya Renee

Send all inquiries and your areas of interests to:
Facebook Event Page


Johara organizes theatrical productions, belly dance events and haflis in the Boston area. She has brought international dancers such as Amir Thaleb, Virgina Mendez, and Jehan Kamal to teach and perform in Boston. Joahara’s events also feature the incredible talents of New Entgandd dancers and rising stars of the scene.


"Venus and Mars" presented by Johara and Snake Dance Theater

Sunday, June 16, 2013 6-8pm
Regent Theater 7 Medford St, Arlington, MA
Event Flyer

An evening of Theatrical Bellydance - from Middle Eastern to fantasy and Fusion - to help empower women in Uganda

Featuring Johara & Snake Dance Theater Company
(Sabbi, Alashiya, Lene, Kelly, Lissette, and Katia)


"Into The Fire" presented by Johara and Snake Dance Theater

Sunday, March 11, 2012 7-9pm
YMCA Theater 820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Event Flyer

A Passionate Evening of Middle Eastern and Belly Dance Fusion, Along with Flamenco, Salsa, and Brazilian Capoeira

A Fundraiser for Maiti Nepal and its founder, CNN Hero 2010 Anuradha Koirala, in their fight against Human Trafficking in Nepal and India

Featuring new choreography by Johara & Snake Dance Theater Company (Jenny, Alashiya, Raquel, Sabbi, Lene, Katia and Kelly)

Special Guests: Za-Beth, Nepenthe, Lady Snake, Naraya, Capoeira Brasil Boston Academy, Middle Eastern Drum Ensemble, Salsa y Control Dance Fusion Company, Eve Agush, Axcent Dance Co.


"A Maiti Voice" presented by Johara and Snake Dance Theater

Sunday, March 6, 2011 7-9pm
YMCA 820 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Event Flyer

A dance concert and benefit for Maiti Nepal and founder Anuradha Koirala, CNN Hero 2010, in their fight against human trafficking in Nepal and India

An evening of Middle Eastern and Fusion Belly Dance, traditional Nepali, and Modern dance

Johara and Snake Dance Theater performed: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, Turkish Rom (Gypsy), Andalusian, Lyrical Belly Dance, and Tribal Fusion

Special Guests: Nepali Folk Troupe, Susi and her youth dancers, Za-Beth, The Ahlam Selene Dance Company The Brookline Academy Dancers, Naraya, and Inaya Nour

The event included a silent auction and raffle.

Rites of Spring

May 2nd, 2010
Event Flyer

536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.
Don’t miss this one night only show with its Maypole dance finale!

Featuring some of Boston’s best belly dance artists in traditional and fusion oriental dance styles--Johara and Snake Dance Theater along with Special guests: Susi, Sabrina and Odalisque,  Zabeth, and Mellisa Taylor The Brookline Academy Dancers Aria, Erin J Washington, and  Inaya from Snake Dance Theater

Massachusetts Dance Festival

November 6 - 7th 2009
Boston University Dance Theatre

The inaugural Festival highlights many of Massachusetts’ professional companies. It is a preview of artistic and educational collaboration occurring throughout the state, which will flourish under the umbrella of Massachusetts Dance Festival.  Our goal is to draw current residents – students, teachers, families, artists, businessmen and women – and tourists – to our great state. It is our hope that through our statewide efforts, dance and other arts professions will imbibe communities aesthetically, socially, and culturally, while increasing employment opportunities across industries.


Enjoy the world of Belly Dance: Classic Egptian, Turkish Rom Gypsy, Middle Eastern Techno, and Theatrical story dance like the Gothic 'Vampire Bride' and Hollywood-esq 'Dances of the Sultan' featuring Snake Dance Theater and some of New England's finest belly dance soloists and dance troupes!




"An Evening of Contemporary Middle Eastern Belly Dance and Fusion," was presented Sunday April 27th 2008 at the Julie Ince Thompson Theater in Cambridge, MA. This sold out event featured new work by Johara and Snake Dance Theater Company, local stars of Oriental and fusion Belly Dance, along with traditional Chinese dance -- Chu-Ling Dance Academy. Audience members familiar with Johara’s unique choreography and divers program were not disappointed. Her new work covered a wide range of styles: Contemporary Egyptian (Cane and Oriental Duet), lyrical solo to a Sezen Aksu balad by johara with wings, electrifying (space-age) Turkish techno, Isis Wings trio to Led Zeplin's Kashmere, and Hip Hop and Latin fusions (Beyonce, Shakira).

Photo and design (left) by Jerry Bezdekian

Fools for the Dance

April 1st, 2007 at the Regent Theater in Arlington, MA. Featuring some of New Engalnds top belly dancers, new work by Johara for Snake Dance Theater Company, workshop in Bharata Natyam Indian Dance with Mary Koperski.
Click to Enlarge

A Gypsy in Cairo

Click here to see a video clip of  "A Gypsy in Cairo".

Johara and Snake Dance Theater's third production "A Gypsy in Cairo' is a magical tale told through dance. It premiered April 15, 2005 at the Regent Theater in Arlington, Massachusetts before an audience of 400. The presentation featured Johara and a cast of over thirty Middle Eastern-style dancers, actors, and narration by Jennifer Bliss. Johara's theatrical production was inspired by the classic Egyptian musicals of the 1950s and 60s and includes all facets of Middle-Eastern dance and music: Turkish, Egyptian, Oriental, folkloric and fusion.

"A Gypsy in Cairo" brings together colorful choreography, humor, and sensuality in a unique blend of tradition and innovation reminiscent of what "Lord of the Dance" created with Irish Step. Even the newcomers to this dance style were swept away by the strong story line-complete with romance, intrigue, and comic relief-- in addition to incredible performances.

The story transports you to a world beyond where magic bracelets and serpentine dancers invoke the power of the Indian goddess to bring together two lost souls and where the golden Phoenix illuminates the path towards their destiny. Follow our lovers on their stormy journey through gypsy camps, crowded Egyptian market-places, and seedy cafes with Arabesque dancing girls. You will rejoice as fate reunites our lovers in Cairo during this Hollywood-style grand finale.

Click to EnlargeEast Meets West: Arabia American Style

Johara's second show, East East Meets West Arabia American Style in 2003, was a Retro Bellydance Show full of fun, colorful costumes, and fabulous performances by over twenty Middle Eastern "belly" dancers. From 20th century orientalist visions to present-day techno-Arabic fusion, the show looked back at the western world's interpretation of the East and Eastern adaptations of the West. The choreographies by Johara and guest artist such as Melina of Daughters of Rhea, Zari of San Francisco, Goddess Dancing, and Sabrina, combined elements of Middle Eastern Bellydance and American popular culture over the last decade through the use of music, dance movements, and costuming. More humorous and extraverted than her first work, this production nevertheless carried a message. It endeavored to reveal how Eastern and Western cultures-experiencing intense conflict and mutual mistrust have a long history of cultural exchange. The show appeared before a sold-out audience of 275 at the McCormick Theater of the University of Massachussetts, Boston campus. A second show was added with a new 1970s medley the following month at the Karoun restaurant in Newton, Massachusetts.

Celestial Bodies: 2001 Bellydance Odyssey

In January 2001 (the Chinese year of the snake) Johara founded Snakedance Theater Company. Johara's first production, Celestial Bodies:2001 Bellydance Odyssey, was an exploration of the five elemental forces-water, ail, earth, fire, and ether-which underlie every aspect of our lives from our movemnts to our ideas. This introspective, yet celebratory work incorporated Middle Eastern, modern, and African dance styles. The show featured original choreography and poetry by Johara and involved 11 professional and students dancers from Boston, New York, and LA including: Anita Cristina of The Goddess DancingI, Sabrina, Najmat, Jennifer Sears, and drumming by Micheal Gregian and Abes. They enchanted two sold-out audiences in Cambridge with its new approach to an ancient dance form.

Back to top



Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge

The First Annual Belly Dance Awards was held in September of 2004. The Second and Third Annual Belly Dance Awards were held at Baladi (Greek American Club) on Green Street in Cambridge on Novemer 5th of 2005 and 2006. The ceremonies are also available for purchase on DVD through MDH Productions.

Click to EnlargeClick to EnlargeClick to EnlargeClick to EnlargeClick to EnlargeClick to Enlarge
Back to top


Amir Thaleb (center) & Virginia Mendez (left) Workshops and Gala Shows 2005 at The Brookline Community Center for the Arts. Amira Gamal (right) at 3rd Annual Belly Dance Awards.


Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Back to top

Home Travels Join Us