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Specialty Classes in Lebanese Folkloric Dance and Drumming

Aug 28

morweena2Join us on Sunday August 28th, for two Wonderful Specialty Classes by our guest teachers, Morwenna and Walid Assaf.

I am bringing these two so very talented people in, because they are the types of teachers I seek out for myself and my students; to become better dancers, and to have better in depth knowledge of our dance roots and history!!

I encourage ALL my students of all levels to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from some of the best In the field, and I happily invite any other dancers from other areas to join us. Check out the workshop details below and keep in mind that we will have a few loaner drums for those who do not own one, please let us know if you will need to borrow one when you register.


About our Teachers…

MORWENNA ASSAF – from England and Canada. Artistic Director and Master Teacher of Middle Eastern Dance. Strong background in ballet, jazz, modern, notation and various ethnic dance forms and theater. Studied under mentor the late Ibrahim Farrah and La Meri plus inspired by Yousry Sharif, Elena Lentini, Valerie Camille, Mahmoud Reda and Marta Zorina plus more recently by Amani of Lebanon.
Morwenna has been in this business for over 40 years. She started out in Massachusetts in the 70’s and found her way to NYC in 1976 where she studied with the late Ibrahim (Bobby) Farrah till 1996. While there she was exposed to the best from Egypt and surrounding countries, with greats like Nadia Gamal from Lebanon and Mahmoud Reda of Egypt. Not only did she take 24 Intensive Teacher training courses but you would find her every week from Mon – Thursday in Mr. Farrah’s studio. She has run her own studio, taught in colleges in both MA and RI but also performed in the prestigious clubs that were the hey day of the 80s and 90s. In 1996 Morwenna relocated to Southern CA and started over again. For 18 years there, Morwenna and her husband Walid ran their own studio, performed and taught throughout the US especially NE, Canada, Mexico and Lebanon. From there, they moved to Knoxville, TN last year for the final phase of their lives and careers.

Walid Assaf 001siteWALID ASSAF excels as a percussionist and is from Lebanon. He has played for the finest dancers on both coasts and overseas. He has also taught many drummers to excel in their passion for Middle Eastern Rhythm (percussion). He is a Musical Director and Manager and Internationally known star of both drum and debke. Walid has Studied under the best the Middle East has to offer both here and abroad.

Specialty Classes in Lebanese Dance and Drumming

Sunday, August 28th Morning Workshop - Dances from the Levant

studio210:00am Doors Open & Registration

10:00 AM Doors Open and Registration
Cost: $25 per class or $40 for both.
Space is limited, so please register ASAP if you want a spot!

Registration and Workshops will take place at our studio in downtown Lexington.

We are located at:
451B Chair Ave.
Lexington, Ky. 40508

10:30 AM- 12:00 Noon – Eastern Bedouin Suite & Debke

This Class Morwenna will be teaching 2 dances from the Levant. An “Eastern Bedouin Suite” consisting of a Ladies Dance and a Debke. Both Eastern Bedouin style. These dances reside in the area of Baalbek Lebanon and are typical of the style that is still there today as it has been for decades. These dances are best when executed with shoes. Character shoes or some kind of dance shoe. (Shoes are not required, but highly recommended). This style is different and a great deal of fun

12:00-1:30pm Lunch Break

Sunday, August 28th Afternoon Workshop - Lebanese Hand Drumming with Walid Assaf

1:30pm-3:00pm Lebanese Hand Drumming Class

Walid b & wWalid will teach Lebanese Drumming. All levels of Drummers are welcome. (We will have a few loaner drums for those who do not own one, please let us know if you will need to borrow one when you register.)

For this Drumming Class Walid will go farther into the knowledge of the drummers by expanding their knowledge on rhythms and the difference between Egyptian and Lebanese rhythms used for belly dancers. This could be called Rhythm Identification and strategies. This also leads the way for teachers to offer their own drum classes to their students. Both drummers and belly dancers will benefit from Walid’s class.

Walid will continue his classes building on what has gone before “Rhythm & Dance”. Working with a piece of music to make the dance exciting. He will also explore a few more complex rhythms for those who have drumming background.

Lodging and Food


A number of nice hotels and restaurants are within easy access of the studio.

campbellHere is my first recommended Hotel, very close to the class and show location. The Campbell House is a Four Star Hotel, the accommodations are great and they have very nice suites, so if you are traveling with a group of friends and want to share a room its great for you. (Checking out prices on booking.com they have lower than usual prices available for our weekend if you book ASAP! You can reserve a room and pay nothing now, and cancel later if you find something better, and they do not charge your credit card.
Now…if you are trying to pinch pennies, and/or do not want to share a room, I’d recommend you skip this hotel.

broadwayHere is my second recommendation, great reviews and close to both the class and show locations! A bit more affordable, a bit less fancy. Inn on Broadway is a three star hotel…
Check them out HERE


The Springhill Suites Lexington is our third recommendation, midway between the first and second in both cost and accommodations…more suites, so great for groups traveling together, and again….very close to both the class and show locations!


Fourth on our list is the Red Roof Inn, lower rates, less amenities, not as close to class and show locations. I have used this hotel before, for business and visiting friends. It is clean, fairly newly renovated and in a good location….lots of restaurants, shopping, etc close by and its about 10-15 minute drive to the studio.

Fifth recommendation is Guesthouse Inn and Suites Lexington, right off the interstate on the East side of Lexington, pretty much the same info as the Red Roof Inn…except it is within a group if hotels, restaurants and a strip club…lol….but the staff are friendly, the rooms clean, and the place comes well recommended, and is more affordable!

And last, but certainly not least, is the Baymont Inn Lexington…..cheapest on the list, just a few yards away from the Guesthouse Suites…..just a little less fancy, but good reviews and great for penny pinchers;)

About a 10-15 minute drive to downtown where both the classes and show take place.

Lexington Cuisine

Average dinner per person:
$ $14 and under
$$ $15 to $30
$$$ $31 to $50
$$$$ More than $50

Alfalfa – 141 East Main Street – 859.253.0014
Brick-walled, art-filled cafe serving Southern & global fare made with local ingredients. ($-$$)

Atomic Café – 265 N. Limestone – 859.254.1969
Caribbean-inspired fare & specialty drinks amid colorful, tropical murals. ($-$$)

Banana Leaf – 102 West High Street (upstairs in Bombay Bar and Grill) – 859.389.7107
South Indian staples like dosa, a savory pancake, & Malaysian dishes are served in simple surroundings. ($-$$)

Bombay Bar & Grill – 102 West High Street – 859.389.7107
Northern & Southern Indian dishes, including family-style options plus drinks in a modern setting. ($-$$)

Bourbon n’ Toulousehttp: – 829 Euclid Ave – 859.335.0300
Cajun & Creole specialties (including many vegetarian and gluten-free options) in simple, colorful surroundings. ($-$$)

Charlie Brown’s Restaurant & Lounge – 816 Euclid Ave – 859.269.5701
American. Rustic spot for sandwiches, appetizers & beer in a cozy setting with books, a fireplace & a patio. ($-$$)

Cheapside Bar & Grill – 131 Cheapside Street- 859.254.0046
Southwest inspired menu, drink specials, and a Victorian pub inside with a lively patio and deck outside. Live music on the weekends and never a cover charge. Brunch, lunch, and dinner. ($-$$)

Common Grounds Coffee House – 343 East High Street – 859.233.9761
Coffees, specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, chais/teas, International breakfast, sandwhiches, wraps, salads. Vegetarian offerings. ($)

Dudley’s on Short – 259 West Short Street, Suite, 125 – 859.252.1010
American: Along with the cozy dining room, it boasts an outdoor patio, and a great bar. The restaurant serves dinner quite late, a boon to folks with busy schedules. ($-$$)

The Grey Goose – 170 Jefferson Street – 859.233.1500
American: Brunch and dinner. ($-$$)

Gumbo Ya Ya – 1080 South Broadway, #107 – 859.252.9292
Creole. Gumbo, crawfish Creole, jambalaya & beer are dished out at this counter-serve Cajun-Creole spot. Vegetarian friendly. ($)

Joe Bologna’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, Inc – 120 West Maxwell St. – 859.252.4933
Italian: Longtime pizza parlor with a casual vibe housed in a former synagogue with stained-glass windows. ($-$$)

Josie’s – 821 Chevy Chase Pl – 859.8328
American. Breakfast mainstay serving pancakes, cheese grits & other American eats, as well as lunch & dinner. ($-$$)

King Tut’s Mediterranean Grill – 341 South Limestone – 859.243.0768
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian. Vegetarian and Vegan friendly. ($)

Lexington Diner – 124 N. Upper St – 859.303.7308
All-American breakfast and lunch made with locally grown ingredients. ($)

The Local Taco – 315 South Limestone – 859.523.3700
An eclectic and unique restaurant serving up Tex-Mex cuisine, the traditions and character of Southern food culture, and distinct flavors of the communities in which it resides. ($-$$)

Magee’s Bakery/Deli – 726 East Main Street – 859.255.9481
Cozy bakery and deli offering breakfast and brunch. ($)

McAlister’s Deli – 836 Euclid Avenue – 859.368.9880
American. Easygoing counter-service chain known for its sandwiches, stuffed baked potatoes & sweet tea. ($)

Mellow Mushroom – 503 South Upper Street – 859.281.6111
American: Funky, art-filled chain pizzeria featuring craft beer, calzones & creative stone-baked pizzas. ($-$$)

Natasha’s Bistro & Bar – 112 Esplanade Alley -859.259.2754
American spot with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet plus regular evening music & theater events. ($$)

Nick Ryan’s Saloon – 157 Jefferson Street – 859.233.7900
American: Lunch and dinner fare from locally sourced ingredients served in an renovated Victorian house with an interesting history.

Oasis Mediterranean Restaurant – 837 Chevy Chase Place – 859.269.6440
Mediterranean. Comfortable go-to plating classic eats, including baba ghanoush & shawarma, with a lunch buffet too. ($$)

Saul Good Restaurant & Pub – 123 North Broadway – 859.252.4663
American cuisine served in a casual setting. ($-$$)

Sav’s West African Grille – 304 S. Limestone Street – 859.369.7287
West-African stews, platters, salads, sides. ($)

Sawyer’s Downtown – 325 West Main Street – 859.281.6022
American: Chili, burger bar & other American classics served in a bright, casual space with neon decorations. ($-$$)

Shakespeare & Co. – 67 West Short Street- 859.367.0413
U.S. outpost of a Dubai-based cafe chain serving an all-day global menu amid Victorian-themed decor. ($-$$)

Stella’s Kentucky Deli – 143 Jefferson Street – 859-255-3354
Local food-oriented brunch & lunch deli, plus end-of-the-week dinner & cocktails, set in a historic house. ($-$$)

Table 310 – 310 West Short Street – 859.309.3901
Rustic, farm-driven American fare served in a loftlike, industrial-chic venue with sidewalk seating. ($-$$)

Taste of Thai – 101 West Main Street – 859.255.1155
Thai food in a casual dining atmosphere. Lunch and dinner. ($-$$)

Third Street Stuff – 257 North Limestone #1 – 859.255.5301
American. Funky coffeehouse & retail shop offering hot drinks, sandwiches, desserts & a unique gift selection. ($)

Tolly-Ho Restaurants – 606 South Broadway – 859.253.2007
Classic American burgers, sandwiches, breakfast all day . Open 24 hours. ($)

Tomo – 848 East High Street – 859.269.9291
Japanese. Sushi specialist also offers traditional Japanese dishes & cocktails in contemporary quarters. ($$)

The Village Idiot – 307 West Short Street – 859.252.0099
Lexington’s first upscale gastropub serving Local and high-end beer and locally sourced food in an renovated post office from 1825. Dinner and Brunch served. ($$-$$$)


The ‘Souk’ at Arabesque will be open during Workshop hours and carries new and used belly dance apparel for every genre.

Registration, Pricing & Payment


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Class Selections

$25 per class or $40 for both.
Space is limited, so please register ASAP if you want a spot!


Aug 28


Safiya Nawaar


Arabesque World Dance
451-B Chair Ave
Lexington, KY United States
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