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Ishtar's Dance Workshops

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                                Workshops Ishtar Deliver

Middle Eastern Trance dance

The trance  dance ceremony uses music and dance from  the Middle East but in particular Healing and repetitive movements from  Egypt and Morocco.'The Zaar' is regularly practised in Egypt and is best described as a "healing cult" which uses drumming and dancing in its is shamanic in nature, as it focuses on removing negative entities/blockages to promote healing.

Despite the fact that the Zaar, (which is the trance ceremony of North Africa and the Middle East) is technically prohibited by Islam, it continues to be a part of the culture in this part of the world... Interestingly Islam itself has always believed in the existence of "spirits", which it calls the “jinn’’.

Perfumes (especially frankincense) are the most common offerings to Zaar spirits. At the beginning of the ceremonies guests, purify themselves by inhaling fragrances.
Diriye Abdullahi, a native of Somalia, says that the Zaar is basically a dance of spirits, or a religious dance. The Zaar is spirit dance inspired by the old African deities, a form of what we describe in the west as "voodoo". According to Bobby Farah, the word "Zaar" is from the word for "visitation", referring to being "visited" by a possessing spirit or demon. 
The Zaar is hosted and led by a shamanic type of leader, who is often female. The Zaar  creates a sense of community while it heals, embracing the individual within a community."
Ishtar has been teaching trance dance and other forms of Middle Eastern and Indian dance for almost twenty years and has learnt the art from indigenous people. She has been published in many journals on the subject. Ishtar holds a Masters of Science in Consciousness Studies. (her dissertation is on healing dance). She holds a BA in Psychology and Women's Studies. She has professional qualifications in Holistic therapies and teaching. Her courses In 'Shamanism', 'The Divine Feminine' and 'Psychology of Self', are published by the international correspondence school BSY. Ishtar has been teaching and performing dance for over twenty years and is also a director of 'Earth Moves' a community arts and gardening project. and



The Passion of the Gypsy Women All ethnicities have their own dance styles and often perform for money, mutual entertainment and to express the joy of life. Achieving a high level of mastery and artistry these individuals respond to a traveling lifestyle and the inspiration of the natural and supernatural world. This workshop is a 'fantasy' fusion of belly dance -which is in its self a gypsy dance with other gypsy style dances.

We will learn how to play basic Zills finger cymbals (provided but bring your own if you have them).

This workshop will focus on technique which will culminate in a choreography. included will be ideas about performance, personal expression, and stage presence. Performance opportunities for committed individuals.Watch Student Performance Video  Watch Ishtar and group performance Turkish Gypsey Cabaret

Fusion Drum and Dance Workshop 

Learn Arabic drum rhythms mixed with other world beats and how to dance to them  

Workshop leaders Michael Graham (music master from the  Arabesque Music Ensemble) and international dancer Ishtar.

Michael and Ishtar have been collaborators for a while and have worked together and separately as entertainers for the Arabic community and many other clients. This workshop is suitable for men and women of all levels of ability, ages and types- from complete beginners to professional dancer/musician.

Men will be encouraged to be involved in the dancing aspect. This is useful to know how if feels from the perspective of the dancer (as we

ll as being great fun)! If you don’t own a drum (darbuka) these will be available to hire for £2 per drum. You may use any small hand drum for your initial practice.

You will learn how to play various  Arabic rhythms including Saiidi, Zaar, Zappha and Masmoudi mix them with Latin, African and Celtic grooves. We will learn a drum piece with opportunity, to perform at a theatre show.

Ishtar is known for her fast, athletic and precise drum solo work. She will show you basic combinations and improvisational methods, body conditioning for drum solos and of course working with live drummers. She will show you what moves one should do to the different rhythms. (which you will now know!)

The workshop will engage people exchanging roles of playing for dancers and dancing with drummers.

Sticking to the traditional but also adding creativity style and glamour, to make your drum solo entertaining and captivating.

As with all Ishtar events, we value the contribution made by all individuals and believe learning should be a friendly, uplifting experience. We hope to provide chances to make positive connections with others.

Goddess Night- rituals dance, creativity, healing, dressing up, laughing, delicious food!

The Goddess says,’ Ye shall dance, sing, feast, make love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of spirit and mine also is joy on earth.’(Farrar 1974) The worship of the great powers of life has many names. Venus, Ishtar, Freya, Shakti.Tanit, Innana, etc.

Find out how the sexual is the spiritual This workshop will focus on us channeling the vibrant, sexy and life-enhancing energy, of the goddess of love. Goddess worship has always been linked to sensual dance. We will learn how to dance with intention, to harness these powerful euphoric energies. With practice they give vigor and youthfulness and a special allure. Together with the connection with image and ritual, we will learn how to reach ecstatic heights and make our energy fields more charismatic and sexually alluring. 

    Delicious Goddess vegetarian/vegan feast included. (Includes raw desserts and chocolate)!



  Other workshops presented by Ishtar,   

 Bollywood dance routine to ‘Beedi‘

Bollywood dance is a fusion dance composed of classical and folk Indian dance styles .Bollywood also integrates other

forms such as belly dance and western styles.



 Zeina choreography

Modern Egyptian style choreography to a modern song.Watch video  


Middle Eastern Trance dance.

Technique, discussion and practice of Egyptian Zaar, Hadra, Sufi and Guedra for healing, psychic cleansing and deep transformation.

Read article

Khallegi Choreography

Khallegi is a Gulf dance that is designed to create a positive mood and celebrate life.  A choreography will be taught. Watch video ;

Dance of the Ancient Minoan’s

 Unusual workshop recreating  ancient goddess dance based on  observation of early artworks 

Read article

Bellydance Burlesque

Cute ,fun fusion dance.

Watch video;

Dancing twelve Middle Eastern Goddess Archetypes;.

I give a talk and slide show of twelve Middle Eastern Goddess archetypes. I instruct the group in suitable Middle Eastern dance techniques. The mythological stories are enacted through dance psychodrama. Through the movements, participants can connect in a very powerful way to the metaphysical and transformative meaning of the movements. I use trance and creative visualisation to produce a life-changing, inspiring and magical experience for those involved.

              Gypsy fantasy; Watch video



                      Fan veils

                                                                                   Dance of the Enchantress-Fantasy

Inspired by the fantasy of the seductive and beautiful enchantress. Strong Bellydance technique is mixed with theatre. A dance narrative or story is told through the moves. The enchantress casts a circle and creates beauty and positive change through dance.A dance routine will be taught. The work will be suitable for all levels with more challenging variations for more experienced dancers. Dance resources including music and video of piece will be provided.Emotional expression and ways to use  the body to evoke an emotional response from the audience will be taught


                                                                              Glamorous Gothica 

We will involve some sword dancing in  this piece and teach technique. We may also use masks and other theatrical props.This dance piece will be very creative and involve moves and ideas from other forms such as contemporary dance and Indian. Watch video

  Release Your Inner Show Girl- Glamour Posse!

We will use movements from Egyptian dance combined with some ideas, postures and movements from Burlesque style dance.Dance like a professional, how to release your inner diva and give her permission to express her true goddess sexy self!We will look at: 

Use of the stage Facial expressions responding to the audience Stage make-up.We will cover-

What components are needed in a cabaret performance.- 

Exploring space and time through dance,

Bellydance as  entertainment,

Audience interaction, Floorwork,  gesture, facial expression, entrances and exits. Short  choreograph

                        Bellywood dreams

This is a fusion based on bollywood and bellydance. Differences and similarities are discussed. Indian hand moments (mudras' are taught.). This is a romantic, feminine and poetic choreography. This piece will allow the individual to shine whilst working in a group.                                                                                                                                             

Fantasy Bellydance.inspired by passion and enchantment.  -Watch video                                       Seduction by Magic

Warrior Woman

A mix of Bellydance and marital moves. Inspired by Xena Warrior Princess.Watch video


Turkish Cabaret.

Goddess workshops

Workshops that may or may not involve dance. Designed for healing, confidence building, psychic healing, and empowerment.

See also Divine Feminine Retreats 

See up and coming Goddess Workshops

Transformational Divine Goddess Ceremony

“Women are divinity, women are life, women are truly jewels”-Yoni Tantra

Feel empowered, feel strong & connect to the divine feminine energy within you! This immersive one-day workshop will allow you to connect with fellow goddesses (or gods!) within a sacred circle to explore sacred 

femininity. This journey will be transformational for body, mind & the spirit.

The Transformational Goddess Ceremony hopes to empower students and heal people of the problems encountered caused by living in a masculine dominated world. Women can be strong and successful while maintaining a feminine approach to work and life. This workshop aims to inspire and motivate women & men, who want to change themselves and the world through connecting with goddesses & helps women to feel great about their bodies and their sexuality.

Your journey will be inspired by a variety of teachings such as Hinduism, Shamanism and Paganism, allowing you to connect to feminine spirituality through the icon of the goddess.

What to expect:

·    Initiation Ceremony- Raising goddess vibration

·     Priestess Work

·     Stretching & Breath Work

·    Goddess Cards

·    Sacred Dancing to cultivate goddess energy  (Belly dance & Indian)

·    Goddess Moving Meditation

·    Goddess Meditation

·     Goddess Chanting

·    Shamanic Drumming

·    Explore Goddess Philosophy

·        Mask Making- Sculpt your own goddess

Shake your Shakti- Dance the Serpent Power Workshop

Fusion of serpentine belly dance moves with aspects from Indian dance. Includes instruction on a variety mudras, (Indian dance and yogic hand movements), and their healing properties. Learn how to stimulate serpent energy for confidence, youthfulness, health and vitality.

Also detailed are moving meditations, short fusion choreography of Belly Dance and Bollywood dance. This will serve as a comprehensive program for you to practice at home and deepen and integrate what you have learned at the workshop. Hand-outs will be distributed as an aide memoir.

Psychological process as well as historical, and mythological information is facilitate physical and mental transformation.

This workshop is for all levels of experience, but some background in dance or yoga is preferred.  

Psychology and alchemy of dance are explained and practised. In this workshop we attempt to become part of the spirit of the serpent goddess. Kundalini techniques are discussed and demonstrated. Activation of Serpent power can bring many healing benefits as well as increase in psychic abilities and sexual allure.

 Channel The Power of Goddess Archetypes

ALL women of ALL ages and types can benefit from this confidence building workshop. Using dance and other creative mediums, we will look at what is stopping us from expressing our sensual nature. We will look at techniques and meditations to look feel and believe we are the goddesses we were born to be. We often get caught up in daily routine and forget ourselves.

We all have a heroic mission in life and there are methods to help us find this. This workshop is for all women who want to spend time finding out what this is, by accessing the power of the Goddess within. Spend a day with experienced facilitators spoiling yourself and rediscovering your inner Goddess.

In this workshop, we will explore certain myths and archetypes that we can relate to and through this reveal our inner goddess who will enhance and promote our self-esteem and how we feel about ourselves.

Unleash the  Goddess Within!

Using various transpersonal techniques such as meditation, visualisation, creativity, movement, costume and ritual.We will create a safe magical space for you to indulge in your glorious nature to express your divine Self and truly feel like a Goddess. This workshop will change you for the better, you will have fun and learn how to shine and be powerful.

Together with the connection with image and ritual we will learn how to and make our energy fields more charismatic.


Are you as strong and brave as you would like.? There are energies we can connect to that will help us to not be afraid of life’s challenges. Women have been using the techniques taught in this workshop to become connected to powerful feminine energies, for thousands of years. In this workshop, we explore Goddess myths and archetypes that will enhance our lives. We will look at strong powerful Goddess ‘s. From Middle Eastern, Asian and Celtic mythology. We are all diverse individuals with our own unique personalities; we are also many different women in one person. This day is about connecting with the strong dynamic and powerful aspect of the self that is IN ALL WOMEN. Using a variety of Goddess’s handed down to us through myth and legend.

We will have loads of fun as we work on our inner selves. Using various transpersonal techniques such as meditation, visualisation, creativity, movement, costume and ritual. In the slide show and talk, you will see images of various Goddess from diverse cultures their myth and meanings will be revealed. We will create a safe magical space for you to access your warrior woman nature, express your Divine Self and truly feel like a Goddess.

 Dancing Twelve Middle Eastern Archetypes.

I give a talk and slide show of twelve Middle Eastern Goddess archetypes. I instruct the group in suitable Middle Eastern dance techniques. The mythological stories are enacted through dance psychodrama. Through the

movements, participants can connect in a very powerful way to the metaphysical and transformative meaning of the movements. I use trance and creative visualisation to produce a life-changing, inspiring and magical experience for those involved.

Healing Through Divine Archetypes.

The divine archetypes residential whilst designed to work on a deep level is also fun and educational. We will use as our tools,- Dance, meditation, visualisation, gentle questioning, storytelling, writing art and ritual. Each day will have a varied dynamic agenda. You will learn to reprogram yourself to transform into the person you instinctively know you could be. Easily, in a way that will feel like enjoyment. These methods are assessable to all people including the most and least intellectual/creative.

Workshops will Explore,-

* What is an Aspect of self or Archetype?                                                                                                                                                                                  

* How does one know what Aspects or Archetypes one has?

How does one start to acknowledge and connect with these energies?

·  How to heal and free your mind from past hurts.

·  How to see aspects of yourself through your interactions with other people

·  How to begin to heal by loving and accepting all aspects of yourself

·  How to fully express your true self and reach your highest potential

·  How to me more powerfully you.

·  How to contact your warrior self.

·  How to connect with your inner lover for guidance.

·  How to heal the wounded inner child and other parts of yourself

·  How to access the real you by learning from the other side of yourself

Divine archetypes are beings that exist as energetic templates they are the heroic divine and beautiful aspects of the human being. They exist in the collective unconscious where it is possible to ‘plug in ‘to their reality and connect and be influenced by them. Theology, science, philosophy and psychology, explain why it is possible to be moved and influenced from higher beings.  I suggest practical steps and provide a variety of suggestions to suit different individuals.

 Ishtar's Workshop Biography

Ishtar has been dancing since she was five and has learned a variety of styles, eventually  specialising in Belly Dance and Bollywood dance She has which she has taught and performed professionally for twenty-five years. Ishtar has led many retreats and workshops in the UK and abroad using creative, psychological and alchemical techniques, to draw down the energy of the divine feminine.

Ishtar’s has an MSc in Consciousness Spirituality and Transpersonal psychology, where she completed a dissertation on spiritual dance. Ishtar has BA in Psychology and Women’s’ Studies, and professional qualifications in teaching adults and Holistic therapies. Ishtar has been published in many journals on a variety of subjects including healing dance, shamanism, and feminine spirituality. Her courses on Psychology of Self, Shamanism and Divine Feminine Spirituality are published by the international correspondence school,-The British School of Yoga. Ishtar’s grandparents were professional world class dancers performing and running a dance school together, Ishtar learned her first dance steps from her grandmother. See endosements

Ishtar has been leading Goddess retreats and workshops in the UK and abroad for around fifteen years.

A switch is flipped on as I actually begin to understand and even revel in my female power......  realizing that that I have been well and truly inspired. l set off early on my journey home with wonderful a sense of empowerment, new companions; a heightened sense self-awareness and a stirring inner goddess. Kindred Spirit March /April 2010.