Thank you to all the instructors for changing my life in so many amazing ways. -Jade

What is a Raqs Retreat?

Imagine spending an entire week dancing your heart out in a beautiful setting far from work, commitments, and the stresses of daily life.  Saffron Dance's Raqs Retreats are the perfect way to indulge in the joy of belly dance, invest in your dance growth, and gift yourself a vacation of a lifetime.  Retreats bring intimate groups of students to international destinations where they are immersed in intense technique training, individualized feedback, and memorable cultural experiences.  Past destinations have included the picturesque beach paradise of Holbox, Mexico and the exotic oasis of Marrakech, Morocco, and the Grecian isle of Crete!  Read on to learn more about these unique opportunities to combine dance and travel! 

Every Raqs Retreat is structured around a rigorous training schedule of up to 30 hours a week designed to develop student growth via technique, choreography, and supporting topics that include:

  • Daily stretch and conditioning
  • Rhythms breakdown
  • Listening to belly dance music
  • Choreographic approaches
  • Improvisation
  • History of Belly Dance
  • Props 


Why Dancers Love Raqs Retreats 

"Going on a belly dance retreat in Morocco was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I highly recommend it! I had amazing dance instruction from Elena and Saphira that seemed similar to private lessons because our group was so small and so we had direct access to Saffron's top instructors. We learned new choreography, new ways to choreograph, the instruments of Arabic music, and performing with a silk veil." (Morocco 2015)

"Your approach to creating choreography was another eye-opening and rigorous introduction to this aspect of the dance. You have pulled back the curtain and provided the tools and confidence for us to present our own dance."(Mexico 2013)

"I heard many positive comments from students who had been on the Mexico Raqs Retreat; I love taking workshops at the studio, and figured this would be the granddaddy of all workshops.  I wanted to go on this Retreat to advance my dance journey at a bit of an accelerated rate – I took extra workshops prior to going to Morocco, and even added a second technique class to my schedule – I wanted to really challenge myself at home and be ready for more challenge in Morocco.  I was very satisfied with the new material/techniques I learned in Morocco.  I would do it again in a heartbeat!" (Morocco 2015)

"Traveling to Marrakech was nothing short of a lifelong dream, and I feel so fortunate to have shared the experience with a wonderful group of women. The excitement and enthusiasm I feel is essentially indescribable. I am overcome with emotion when I think about the happiness I felt throughout the whole retreat, especially while I was riding a camel on the beach in Essaouira!" (Morocco 2015)

"I loved Elena's lecture on Oriental Dance music. I have never gotten so much clear explanation on this before - thank you! It went perfectly hand-in-hand with her choreography." (Mexico 2013) 

"Learning choreography and improvisation from teachers I really admire pushed me to a level of accountability that really surprised me." (Mexico 2013)

"Through Saphira, Elena and Victoria's guidance, I gained real self-confidence in my dance abilities and a renewed excitement for an art form I have grown to love over the past five years." (Morocco 2015)