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Our "Camp Counselors"

Our "Camp Classes"

Mahsati Janan

Candler, NC

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Mahsati Janan is an instructor and performer of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in the dances of Egypt and North Africa. As an in-demand workshop instructor, Mahsati has traveled the United States to share her knowledge and skills, but always considers herself a lifelong student and annually attends multiple professional and teacher-level training sessions with top dancers and researchers in her field. Her soulful classical Egyptian style performances and lively folkloric dances are always exciting and a wonderful addition to any event.

Maria Palacio

Columbia, SC

Maria Palacio starting dancing at a young age with ballet and jazz.  Over time her passion for dance grew into other styles includin flamenco, traditional latin dances and more, performing at local latin festivals in South Carolina.   In 2003 she saw a flyer offering bellydance classes at a local gym.  She started taking classes and was soon hooked.  She studied traditional oriental dance “raq sharqi”, American Tribal Style® (ATS®) and tribal fusion.   She soon became a valuable member of Delirium Tribal in 2005 performing around the Southeastern states and a founding member of Alternacirque until it dissolved in 2014.  Maria also pursued here solo career, performing all over the US and teaching workshops throughout the southeast.  She is known for combining her spanish heritage and flamenco flare into her bellydance style.   She continues her dance education through workshops / intensives and private lessons with various  master instructors.  Maria is a certified ATS instructor since 2011, providing lesson all over SC and GA while maintaining her studies with master ATS instructors.  In 2017, Maria started teaching beginning bellydance at the University of South Carolina as a credited class lecturing on history and movement vocabulary.  She also continues her studies in Egyptian raqs sharqi and folkloric styles, wanted to provided her students information, history and dance from where it all came from.

Christy Smith

Atlanta, GA

Christy revels in music from around the world, rejoicing in any chance to dance – even those 45 seconds alone in an elevator. You might say she moves to live, writes to understand, and breathes to get by.


In 2011, Christy asked eleven women who shared her passions to participate in The Enrichment Project. Together, they are dancers, artists, musicians, writers, aerialists, yoginis, and counselors. And polishing their stories into touchstones for creative living is altering her path. Will it alter yours?

Jaidra DuRant

Greenville, SC

Jaidra has a passion for movement, art, nature, and creating beautiful things that invoke emotion. She has fused all of this into the niad studio and niad dance company in Greenville, SC. Opened in 2017, niad stands for naturally inspired arts & dance and is a space for people of all sizes, shapes, and backgrounds to seek their own inspiration and develop a relationship with their personal creativity. Jaidra is dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to be an artist, and is extremely excited to host her first Bellydance Summer Camp at the niad studio! 

Jessica Wilson

Greenville, SC

Jessica Wilson-Thille began her yoga journey in 1999 as a college student, where she discovered yoga immensely helped her depression. as a result, she was able to stop taking medication. Years of practice and travel ensued and she finally received her 220hour certification in 2011.

Jessica's classes focus on connecting to one’s inner rhythms—uniting breath with movement to tap into the body’s natural intelligence. She is always encouraging students to meet themselves (and their bodies) just as they are at any given moment to cultivate mindfulness and gratitude within the practice. Expect to ebb and flow, sweat, and have fun as you cultivate heat and meaningful movement together!

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Registration and Information

All workshops and events except for "Becoming Naturally Inspired" on Friday and the Saturday evening field trip (TBA) will be located at the niad studio. 

Address for the studio is 1801 Rutherford Rd. Greenville.

Registration will roll out in stages.

Super Early Bird (on sale until May 1) - Fri, Sat, Sun : $230

Super Early Bird (on sale until May 1) - Sat, Sun : $200

Becoming Naturally Inspired w/ Jaidra


2:00 - 4:30 PM

Join Jaidra for a guided short hike and nature journaling trip to the beautiful Paris Mountain State Park. Niad stands for “naturally inspired arts & dance.” A South Carolina native, Jaidra grew up running barefoot through the oak hickory forests of the piedmont, splashing in the salt marsh of the coast and dreaming beside waterfalls in the mountains. She studied biology with a focus on plant science at the University of South Carolina, entomology at UC Riverside, and Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development at UGA. Jaidra completed the upstate master naturalist course in 2011 and has brought her love of art, theater, and movement along with her for her science ride. Now, as a fusion dancer, artist, and owner of niad studio, Jaidra loves to draw on the natural world for inspiration.

In this special class, we will look to the beauty and wonder of Paris Mountain State Park to find inspiration. This will be a short hike combined with multiple stops to use all of our senses to discover pieces of the natural world that move us. Please bring a small bag with your journal, a pen or pencil, sunscreen, water, and a snack. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing for a light hike. Entry to the park will be covered as part of your class fee. You may also want a camera. A group will carpool from the studio so that we all go to the same trailhead. Please meet at the studio by 1:45 PM.


Character and Expression in Dance w/ Jaidra


6 - 7:30 PM

What summer camp is complete without theater games?

At its core, dance is story telling without words. In this workshop, we will explore a variety of techniques to create characters and build emotion in our dance.  All skill levels welcome.

Jaidra was in front of the camera and back stage in the theater before she could walk. An introvert by nature, Jaidra has always felt more comfortable "in character" than out, and brings years of theatrical training to her dance. 

PJ's and Movies (a non-slumber party)


7:30 - 9:30 PM

It's summer camp! So ditch your responsibilities and throw on your favorite pajamas for a movie night with friends at the niad studio. (We will call it an early night so that you can be ready to dance on Saturday morning)

Yoga for Dancers with Jessica



Wake up, stretch, and get ready for a day of dance!

Tray Dancing with Moroccan Flair w/ Mahsati


10:30AM - 12PM

Balancing dances are a wonderful way to show your skills with movement isolations, balance, and strength. Performers in Morocco take full advantage of this style of dance with their amazing tray dances. Learn how to incorporate common tray dance movements with a Moroccan flair in this workshop. There will be some floorwork included, but standing variations will be offered for those who prefer not to use floorwork in their performances. If you plan to participate in the floor movements, a yoga mat or knees pads are recommended for class. Please bring a non-breakable balancing tray. If you don't have a balancing tray, you can substitute with a tray-like basket.

Lunch and Learn Henna Demo


Saturday Lunch.

A brief history and how to of henna body art hosted by Jaidra.

Bring a bag lunch. 

ATS Bellydance - A language in Dance w/ Maria


1 - 2:30PM

ATS Bellydance – A language in Dance. ATS is a language of movement vocabulary that is danced worldwide in groups. In this workshop, you will learn the basic moves of American Tribal Style Belly Dance, including slow and fast vocabulary. By the end of the class you will be able to dance with each other without choreography or verbal communication. No experience needed. Bring a skirt and finger cymbals. We will have a few available to borrow.

Music from Five Languages and Five Cultures w/ Christy


3 - 4:30 PM

Grab your passport for an epic sing-along from North Africa (“Sidi Mansour”) and Egypt (“Hadouni, Hadouni”) through Israel (“Erev Shel Shoshanim”) and Turkey (“Uskadara”), that will wind up in Serbia (“Ajde Jano”). You’re guaranteed to learn cultural tidbits, translations, and tongue twisters. Drummers and melody instruments welcome.

Saturday Hafla and Fire


7- 10PM

Join us at Jaidra's home for a hafla. Bring a snack to share and anything you want to drink other than water or tea. Car pooling recommended. If you have fire toys, there will be an open spin zone. Musical instruments encouraged. Dancing encouraged. Fun guaranteed. 

Yoga for Dancers with Jessica



Wake up, stretch, and get ready for a day of dance!

Spanish Fusion Bellydance w/ Maria


10:30AM - 12PM

Ever wanted to go to Spain and learn about one of it’s most famous dances, Flamenco? How about fusing it with belly dance. In this workshop you will learn about arm positions, hand floreos and how to incorporate with belly dance. Then we will put some of the movements together in a combo. Learn a little bit about Spain and Flamenco and you travel to this Iberian country through this dance. Bring a skirt!? 

Sword Flow w/ Jaidra


1 - 2:30 PM

The sword is fierce and commanding prop, a weapon, and a dance partner. Join Jaidra for a jaunt into her signature style of sword dance. Combining concepts from flow arts with physics and geometry, we will explore dancing with the sword as if it were your dance partner, an extension of yourself. Swings, twists, shaves, turns, and more will be seemlessly joined to create a flowing series of combinations that will take your sword dance into a new place. Bring a sword balanced for dance. Jaidra has some swords for loan. 

The Saiidi and the Cane w/ Mahsati


2:30 - 4PM

The Saiidi and the Cane The Saiidi region of Upper Egypt is home to a folkloric dance style that incorporates movements from a martial art (tahtib), movements from their famous dancing horses, grounded and lively steps, and even variations for both folkloric and modern variations for men and women. Learn the basic techniques to help you bring the Saiidi region and the Saiidi rhythm to life in your performances. Dancing with the assaya (cane) is an important part of this class, so make sure to bring a cane with you. The assaya can be a performance tahtib style cane, Cairo style hooked cane, or a wooden dowel. The cane for dancing is usually between hip height and belly button height in most cases and as high as your low ribcage for some tahtib inspired assayas...

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