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



Widely regarded as an expressive dancer, Claudia has devoted over 20 years to this passionate, musical and technical living art form that is Belly Dance! Claudia is a beloved dancer in the Portland area but has brought her unique style to many dance events nationally and internationally. She has taught and performed in places as far as Turkey, Japan and Egypt! In addition to her achievements as a performer, instructor and choreographer, Claudia hopes to expand her contribution to dancers and non-dancers alike, inspiring understanding and appreciation on this beautiful dance.

Lara Victoria's devotion to the dance, love of her audiences, and exquisite artistry make her a beloved performer, entertainer, choreographer and teacher. She began her studies at the age of 3 with tap and ballet; in her teens, she discovered belly dance, and fell in love with its ability to fully embody, transmit and elevate the feminine divine. Belly dance was just the gateway, though, which opened the door to broader studies of other contemporary and folkloric dances of the Arabic world. She is dedicated to continued cultural studies, enhancing her abilities to dance, teach and choreograph. In recent years, she has been swept up with a new passion for unraveling the mysteries of Iraqi dance in an effort to understand and recreate Iraqi Kawleeya/fusion.


Elisa Gamal took her first belly dance class in 1987, hit the night club stages of Seattle in 1994, and performed professionally for over 25 years. An intuitive, supportive and effective instructor, Elisa has watched several of her students gain national recognition and win trophies and titles in nearly every major US belly dance competition. These days you'll find her behind the scenes and in the tech booth, providing support at numerous dance events throughout the region.

She treasures this art form for the emotional expressiveness of the music and movement; for the many adventures and wild gig opportunities over the decades; and for the camaraderie, community, and wonderful lifelong friendships she’s made.

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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