Image shows Monica performing a Saiidi style

Monica :: San Francisco Dance

Weekly Classes and Occasional Performances
Music : Movement : Culture : Joy

رقص = Raqs = Dance

Classes & Coaching \ Events \ About \ Merch \ Contact & Newsletter

Ongoing Dance Classes in San Francisco

Online class every Monday from 6 to 7PM
Registration and how to join is at the Lines Website

San Francisco: Mondays with Monica

All in-person classes are being held online

Monica teaches weekly musically-driven Egyptian Style Dance classes at Lines Dance Center in San Francisco, California. Monica has taught at Lines since 2003. This is a mixed-level class suitable for all levels of folks wanting to work with Egyptian style raqs sharqi and raqs beledi. We'll spend each week exploring and being inspired by Egyptian and pan-Arab movement and music while focusing on respect for the dancers, respect for the form, cultural context, and fun. Classes include a dance-oriented warm-up and a mix of dance alongs, technique breakdown and drills, combinations and choreography, how to improvise to the music, lyrics and singing, percussion and rhythm recognition, folkloric influences, and participatory dance circles. Dancers newer to the form as well as experienced movers are all welcome.

Register for classes directly with Lines
Cost is $13 (one hour class, live remote)
Classes are ongoing — please join in anytime. All bodies always welcome.

No class May 29 (Memorial Day)
No other upcoming class cancellations

Private Lessons & Coaching
In person in San Francisco, online anywhere in the world

Monica has worked one on one with many dancers duets, and groups who are creating or polishing a piece, looking for inspiration, or need a critical eye on their work, progression, or style.

Rates start at $75 per hour, plus studio rent. Monica has access to very affordable studios in San Francisco and can keep this cost low. Travel in the greater Bay Area or beyond is also possible, but will incur extra fees.

Private lessons can also now take place on Zoom.

Please contact Monica for a questionnaire and initial email consultation so she can make sure that lessons are focused and on point for your needs. Note that private lessons are not recommended for beginners or dancers new to the form except in special circumstances. Let's talk!

Need choreography? Please contact Monica for current rates, references, and details of how it all works.



Note: Only public performances are listed here

Aswat Ensemble presents...
The Compostions of Baligh Hamdi
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Aragon Theater
San Mateo, California
Under the musical direction of Saleheddine Bedoui

Belly Dancer of the Year
Sunday, May 28, 2023
Orinda, California
6:30 to 9:30pm
Monica will be judging the finals


Monica has been studying dances, movement, music, songs, percussion, and languages of Egypt, the Arab-speaking world, and the Mediterranean region since she was a teenager, with training in San Francisco, New York City, and Cairo. She worked professionally for many years as a performer at countless venues, weddings, parties and celebrations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She still occasionally performs and also brings dance and music artists and instructors to teach and perform in the Bay Area. Monica teaches weekly dance classes, plays and performs Arabic music and percussion, and continues to dance and learn. Monica is inspired by her extended family's fairly recent immigration and migration from their Mediterranean and Slavic homes, and she nurtures an ongoing southern Italian and Sicilian movement and percussion practice. She is a performing member of Aswat and the Aswat Women's Ensemble. She does all her own stunts and html. Please be kind about the inevitable typos.

Fifi Tanks

What Would Fifi Do? is a question anyone serious about Egyptian raqs asks themselves at some point. Monica — via The Little Black Egg — put the query on a shirt. Recognize!

The classic ribbed silver on black will be back, but we have a fresh blue on grey limited run available now.

Get your very own!


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Image shows Monica bellydancing wearing a green Egyptian dress in an animated gif courtesy of Alonzo King Lines Dance Center