Algerian Raï Dance Workshop with Esraa Warda

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Posted in G+JI Events Lectures

Monday, April 8, 2024

4:00 – 6:00 PM EST – In-Person Event, ***RSVP required, Spots limited***

Healey Family Student Center, Dance Studio B, Georgetown University Main Campus

Co-sponsored by Georgetown Gender+ Justice Initiative, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Women’s Center, Arabic and Islamic Studies Dept., Culture & Politics, African Studies, and Women’s & Gender Studies.

Join Esraa Warda, an Algerian-American dance teaching artist, for a dance workshop on Raï, Algeria’s “rebel blues.” Discover the origins and evolution of this music genre, emblematic of subversiveness in Algeria and the diaspora. Exploring themes of exile, love, and loss, Raï sheds light on the dilemmas and personal expressions of marginalized North Africans. Participants will learn fundamental movements, rhythms, and the unique “groove” of Raï dance.


Note: Wear comfortable clothes you can dance in and wear light dance shoes or barefoot. Bring a scarf that you can tie around your waist.

The workshop serves as a practical extension of the themes explored in a lecture given by Esraa Warda entitled “Gender and Sexuality in Algerian Rai Music” in Fall 2022. By offering participants the opportunity to engage directly with Raï dance, the workshop brings a hands-on understanding of the cultural and artistic expressions discussed in the earlier lecture. It is available to watch to Georgetown affiliates.

About the artist:

Esraa Warda is a New York-based Algerian dancer and teaching artist specializing in traditional North African dance forms. One of her life purposes is to revive the presence of Raï dancers and women-led traditions in performance, an ode to the way Cheikha Rimitti always had dancers by her side. Her collaboration with Cheikha Rabia is one of her many projects to honor women and sheikhat of traditional music in hopes of challenging patriarchy. Featured in New York Times, BBC, Vogue Arabia, Al Jazeera FR, The Metric, and soon on a special episode on PBS’S “Bare Feet with Mickela Malozzi”, Warda is one of USA’s emerging influential North African dancers. Warda was selected as part of BBC 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2022. Follow IG: @wardadance

Accommodation requests can be made at

This event is free and open to all

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