Michelle Pender

This year, the 'Middle Eastern Dance and Drumming' workshops will collaborate daily using a different theme each day. Both the Drumming & Dancing workshops will be accompanied by live music provided by MAZAJ - Chas Whitaker ( Arabic Drums ) Russell Harris ( Oud, Rebab & Percussion ) Maren Lueg ( Arabic & Turkish Saxophone and Ney ) Bland Mahdi ( Kamancha, Duduk & Percussion ) All workshops will be “Open To All “ levels so no previous experience necessary and experienced students will be catered for. Students are welcome to attend both workshops to see the connection between the rhythms and dance and there will be opportunities for students to play or dance in the other’s workshop. MAZAJ will be performing on Thursday night ( 9pm ) a perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the team who will be presenting many of the rhythms, music and dances which will be taught in the workshops.

FRIDAY - EGYPTIAN DANCE - This workshop will cover traditional Egyptian “Hagalla" and “Fallahi" group dances. Traditional Egyptian music will be provided by Mazaj. Suitable for all levels.

SATURDAY - TURKISH DANCE - Turkish Gypsy Romany style. Focusing on specific arm and hand gestures combined with steps and styling to give you a feel for this lively, raw and wild dance. Traditional Turkish music will be provided by Mazaj. Suitable for all levels. Medium Energy.

SUNDAY - DRUM SOLO - This workshop will teach a choreography to a purely percussive traditional drum composition. The “Drum Solo” is popular feature in a Raqs Sharki ( Belly Dance ) dance routine where the dancer interprets the sounds of the drum only. This example uses a traditional presentation of the Saaidi rhythm ( From Southern Egypt ) with many of the traditional rhythmic variations and solo phrasing of the drum. Drum solos often lead to or include sections, which reflect traditional trance dances and we will explore some traditional examples. Traditional Egyptian Drumming and pipes will be provided by Mazaj.


Michelle Pender is a popular teacher and performer with over 20 years experience under her belt in Egyptian/ North African Roots Belly Dance and Tribal Fusion.

She has a wealth of teaching experience including Raks Britannia, Tribal London, MAJMA, Tribe of Doris, JOY, Fantasia, The Tribal Gathering and many others. Alongside Chas Whitaker and Maren Lueg she is also co-ordinator of the MidEastFest where Middle Eastern & North African song, music, rhythm and dance are taught holistically. She has years of experience travelling around and trading in Egypt and Turkey and has hosted cultural holidays in these countries as well. Her eclectic style reflects her taste in world music and her workshops are aimed at improving technique and having fun.

Year Contributions

Middle Eastern dance workshops and performance