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Spring 2016 Khoreography Class Descriptions

Karavan Studio | GBDAC 2016 | Come Dance With Us
Karavan Spring Semester 2016
Music Sample Mix

Click here for a sample of the music that will be used in the choreography classes at Karavan Studio (San Antonio, Texas) beginning January 2016.
  0:00 Qarat Al Feenjan (Coffee Cup) - Monday 7:15pm
  0:44 Raks Mijwiz (Mizmar) - Monday 8:30pm
  1:23 Amayaguena (starting Section 5) - Tues 6:00pm
  1:52 Allah Alaik Ya Sidi (AAYS) - Wed noon
  2:22 Nour Al Ain (Habibi) - Wed 6:00pm
  2:52 Virtue (Molasses Dance) Wed 7:15pm
  3:24 Mahlana Sawah Sawah (Assi) Thurs 7:15pm

Coffee Cup 2016 (Qarat Al Feenjan)

Mondays with Karen at 7:15pm

We call this music “Coffee Cup” because it’s real name is “Qarat Al Feenjan” which means “The Coffee Cup Reader” in Arabic.  (Arabic coffee is very strong and yummy. It leaves a pretty thick residue in the bottom of the cup.  It is believed that your future can be told by the shapes left in your cup.)

We call this dance “Coffee Cup 2016” because we did a dance to this music in 2002/2003 – and this is not the same musical arrangement nor will it be the same dance.  (We will be using the live recording of the Byblos Band playing at last year’s show!)

THIS dance will be the opening dance for the entire GBDAC2016 weekend.  It has 3 distinct sections:  Sections 1 and 3 are each approximately 3 minutes long.  Section 2 is a little over 1 minute.  Students will have the choice of taking one, two, or all three sections.  Everyone in the Friday show for GBDAC2016 will be on stage at some point during this music – if not doing a part of the dance, being present on stage in a pose or clapping frenzy.  

Sections 1 and 3 will be Intermediate/Advanced.  Section 2 will be Beginner/Intermediate.

This class will be filmed for Karavan Online.


Mondays with Karen at 8:30pm

Here it is!  Voted “favorite Karavan choreography” by Karavan alumni, this dance fuses Debke, belly dance, and modern dance to challenge your timing and your strength.  

The music is “Raks Mijwiz” from Nourhan Sharif’s Raqs Sharqi Vol. 1.  It was originally choreographed in 2000 and hasn’t been performed in over a decade. I’m SO ready to bring her back.  Definitely an advanced choreography – and likely to be morphed (i.e. adjusted for staging) for the show.

This class will be filmed for Karavan Online and is a level 4-5.


Tuesdays with Karen at 6:00pm
Fridays with Karen at 12:00PM


This is the grand musical genius of Ibrahim El Samahy setting Malaguena to Middle Eastern rhythms for Amaya!  

Karavan first performed to this “almost-15-minute” piece in 1999.  And I am INTENTIONALLY bringing it back so that it will be on Karavan bodies for our 20th recital in 2016!  This piece is tidily divided into 7 sections:
1)    Amayaguena Introduction 2:58
2)    Samai (10-count) 1:30
3)    Rhythmless Transition 1:17
4)    Khaleegy Intro and Khaleegy  2:00
5)    Masmoudi  1:05
6)    Drum Solo  3:20
7)    Finale 2:58

Music is available in 3 pieces: 1) Amayaguena Introduction, 2) Samai thru Drum Solo, and 3) Finale on itunes and Amazon.

Amaya is graciously allowing this to be filmed for inclusion on Karavan Online and is a level 2-3.

Allah Alaik Ya Sidi (AAYS)

Wednesdays with Karen at 12:00pm

This fun, up-tempo song was first used at Karavan in 2004.  It was a hit by Egyptian singer Ehab Tawfik and is still a favorite in the nightclubs today!  

Completing this dance will ensure that you had much practice:
  1. layering shimmies over various other movements (for each of the verses),
  2. coordinating a unique arm gesture with hip drops (for the chorus), and
  3. perfecting the peppy steps that are done to the instrumental section of the dance (which starts with a pose we call “Superman!”)
This class will be filmed for Karavan Online and is a level 3.

Habibi Ya Nour Al Ain

Wednesdays with Karen at 6:00pm

Back by popular demand!!  This is the hit song that all of you have probably heard whether you realize it or not.  

Amr Diab (Egyptian singing sensation for 2 decades) won the World Music Award for this song in 1998 as one of the first Middle Eastern artists to incorporate Flamenco guitars into his contemporary music.  

Even my husband sings along to this one!!  The dance was first choreographed in 1998 for a San Antonio Dance Umbrella event at the Carver.  Still in its original form, the dance has been taught several times since then.  It MUST be a part of the 20th anniversary show.   

This class will be filmed for Karavan Online and is a level 3.


Wednesdays with Karen at 7:15pm

This dance is the result of conducting the “Molasses Moments” class for the previous semester.  

The slow, deliberate, focused movements that we worked on in that class will be set to this beautiful piece of music by Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook.  It will serve – at least – as a tool for remembering and practicing some of the steps that have been created in this slower, larger, more dramatic format.  It will also be performed in the upcoming show and likely with some very special effects!

This class will be filmed for Karavan Online and is a level 2-3.

Mahlana Sawah (Assi)

Thursdays with Karen at 7:15pm

This song is by Lebanese superstar Assi El Hellani (who also sings ‘Daggit Galbi’).  

This dance was first learned and performed in 1996!  The piece is almost 8 minutes in length and, while the steps are not complicated, the folkloric (repetitious) style of the song makes the choreography a bit more challenging.
The music is high energy, festive, originally recorded live (complete with a cheering crowd clapping to the beat); and while it begins with a beautiful mawal (vocal improvisation) over the rhythm, once it takes off it doesn’t quit!  This was one of my first attempts at a group debke fusion choreography. : )

This class will be filmed for Karavan Online and is a level 3.

“Karen is truly dedicated to this art form. For many years she has committed to the growth of herself as well as her students. Her talent and loyalty to working as an artist shows through.”
— Suhaila Salimpour

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