We are so incredibly excited about our stellar lineup of instructors this year! Please see Schedule page for descriptions of workshops. 

Silvia Salamanca is an internationally acclaimed performer, choreographer and instructor from Mallorca, Spain. A life-long dancer, she graduated at the age of nineteen with a major in ballet, and performed professionally at major festivals across Europe as a modern dancer with the University of Barcelona contemporary dance company.
She began her career as a belly dancer in 2001, when she recognized the enormous benefits that this artform brings in both body and soul. In her own studio, she continues to observe how women can get closer to their self identity through bellydance, to discover themselves on a new level, increasing self-esteem, and getting deeply in touch with the feminine essence in their soul.
As a natural evolution in her journey, Silvia discovered tribal fusion in the USA and combined it with deep research into her own cultural roots: Arabic and Spanish gitana. With her work in the field of Zambra Mora (spanish gitano-oriental dance fusion) Silvia has gained international recognition, teaching workshops and headlining dance events world-wide. Silvia is particularly known for her work dancing with swords, reveling in their symbolism of strength.
Silvia is currently the director of Shunyata Belly Dance, a nationally awarded tribal fusion company, and is a proud member of Urban Hips, Houston’s premiere ITS troupe.  

Ashley Rhianne Ashley Rhianne is an award-winning dancer & instructor trained in Egyptian-style dance based in Vancouver, Canada. She took her first Middle Eastern dance class in 1995 after years of studying ballet and jazz as a child - drawn to this dance form first by the music, and then for the powerful femininity, grace and strength that are the hallmarks of Oriental dance. Ashley Rhianne has continued to further her dance training by studying extensively with Egyptian dancers & teachers both in Egypt & around the world. It is her true love and the main driving force in her life! Known for her expressive and personable performances, elegance, and natural joie de vivre, Ashley Rhianne has long held residency in most of the Greek, Arabic, Persian and Mediterranean restaurants and venues in Vancouver, BC since 2001. Ashley Rhianne has taught, judged and performed at many festivals, intensives and multicultural events around the world. 

By day, Ashley Rhianne is a rehabilitation assistant working in physical therapy, and a research assistant focusing on exercise prescription for chronic lung disease. In addition to teaching dance, she is a Stott Pilates certified instructor, drawing on her rehabilitation training to enrich her classes. She believes movement is therapy and that dance is a constant evolution that requires a lifelong commitment to learning.  

A’ISHA AZAR has loved the Dance since her first class in 1974. She is a renowned instructor of Middle Eastern and North African dance, including Egyptian Belly dance and American Cabaret. She worked as well for 7 years in the Eastern Washington University Theatre Department and teaches theatre skills in correlation with putting dances on stage. A’isha has been sponsored by various individuals and groups all over the United States, in Canada, and has recently through Zoom and Vimeo, become popular as a teacher overseas as well. She is known for her excellence in dance instruction. Her career has spanned nearly 50 years. She has recently been honored to be chosen to teach an Arts & Culture class on Egyptian street dance at Gonzaga University. She is still going strong as a prolific instructor, and though she no longer gives professional performances, she does occasionally grace a hafla stage!

George’s tabla is the thrilling heartbeat of Emerald Sanctuary! Growing up as a drum kit player, George’s musical journey took him through jazz, to music of the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, and the Balkans, and home to his niche and first love, the Egyptian music of his native land. George has performed up and down the west coast since his teens and currently plays with several bands around the NW.
Every year, George hosts a drumming class that is open to ALL participants and campers, and lays down the groove for us at the Thursday night Camp & Jam and weekend Haflas. We are so very fortunate to have George share his love of music and teaching with us. 


“Tarab” is a state of ecstasy and surrender one enters while listening, with body and soul, to music. Whether it’s the dancing strings of the oud, the mystical call of the nay, or the pulsating rhythm of the drums... the “House of Tarab” invites you in.

HOT is an integral and beloved part of Emerald Sanctuary, providing live vintage Arabic music sets for our Friday and Saturday night haflas. For a dancer, performing collaboratively with sensitive, engaged professional musicians is a peak experience; at camp, this opportunity is gifted to all! When not on stage, you're likely find the members of HOT jamming on the lawn, providing the soundtrack to workshops, and enriching the ambiance of camp most hours of the day. 


We would like to take a moment to sing the praises of our fabulous hostess, Emerald Sanctuary founder, dance mom to all of us and all around super cool lady: Indigo! We are so grateful for the opportunity that she provides for us each year to step out of our daily lives and join together in safe and welcoming community in this wild, peaceful, majestic, sage-scented and olive tree-shaded paradise. Come join us! Reconnect with old friends, meet new ones, soak up the sun and swim in the jewel-like lakes, dance your heart out, fill your heart back up again, and don’t forget to take a walk-in fridge selfie!


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