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  • New Location!
Brand New Home! Brand New Program! -

I’m so excited to announce we have a brand new location! The new home for Raksanna and the Near East Dance Ensemble is Center Stage, 1665 Quincy Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.

It’s a fabulous facility with three performing venues including a professional theater that seats 165, a newly renovated dance training room and a vibrant, creative energy that captures the imagination and stirs the spirit!

I’ve also done an overhaul of the program to bring you fresh innovation and even more exciting learning opportunities! You’ll still get first-class training in Egyptian style belly dance – but now, you get 90 [...]

Now Open: Auditions for Detroit, Confessions of a Belly Dancer - Now Open: Auditions for Detroit, Motor City

Now is your chance to to be part of the cast of Confessions of a Belly Dancer (C) in our Detroit stop! 

PLUS you can be featured in the fourth book in the series:
Confessions of a Belly Dancer (C).

Auditions are open until midnight, tomorrow, February 27. Join our amazing international cast that boasts of a standing room only show in Chicago, a full house Off Broadway NYC and a full house in Kansas City. 

Act Now. Send us your confession, plus a clip of how you bring your confession to life [...]

Student Spotlight: Sue B Takes the Veil -

Raksanna’s note: I’m so blessed to meet amazing, inspirational women through belly dance. One such lady is Sue B. She’s a corporate professional, has a great sense of humor, is beautiful, is a widow and loves belly dance. She’s an inspiration to me and I’m honored to receive her permission to print her newest work, I Have Taken the Veil.  Please enjoy.

I Have Taken the Veil – By Sue B

I have taken the veil

Not the black surge that conceals

Rather the gossamer silk that reveals

Not the call to worship of the fragrant censor

Rather the zill’s call [...]

How to Create and Lead an Amazing, Drama-Free Belly Dance Troupe -

Chicago is filled with buzz these days. The Black Hawks, our hockey team, just won the prized Stanley Cup – the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner at the end of the Stanley Cup Finals.

As I shared the excitement and pride with my fellow Chicagoans, I thought about the Hawks and what made them successful. Then, I thought about my team, Raksanna’s Near East Dance Ensemble, and what makes us successful – and found startling similarities. Here’s what I discovered:

Rules: A Must Have – Certainly, belly dancers are very creative, free-thinking individuals. But the reality [...]

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