A review of Mahmoud Reda's Sat Workshop

Mahmoud RedaMaster dancer and instructor Mahmoud Reda taught a 2-day dance workshop in the San Francisco bay area. We were very fortunate to have such a dance legend come to us from Egypt. Here's a review written by one of the attendees

I'll tell you about my one day of Mahmoud Reda's workshop, which was excellent. It was actually 2-day but I only went to day 1. On Day 1, he taught us 2 routines: one that was a warm-up but was quite complex with a lot of weight shifts, turns, and foot changes. It was challenging to keep up with the lilting and lyrical musical phrasing, but once we got it there was a wonderful feel to it. It was simple enough that you could do it to almost any sort of 4 or 8 count music, and possibly to other meters as well. The other routine was from a musical production he choreographed called "Robabikyah" and was more folk-oriented both in music and movement. We learned a few men's steps too, along with the women's steps. This one also had a lot of quick foot shifts and weight changes, and what I call "surprise" turns, because I was often turning the opposite direction from what I would normally do. This makes the dancing more interesting to watch and hopefully will make my own dancing and steps more varied and versatile. Many of the dance steps broke out into series which would repeat at various points during the music, so after a while we just had to remember which series was next and we could do the whole thing.

I watched a number of dancers get frustrated at the initial complexity of what we were doing. The best thing to do seemed to be to ask a question if something was confusing, and he was very good about responding to people who didn't quite get something the first time he showed it. He was very patient with us but still kept the class moving along. Once we had all the choreography, about 5 minutes of it, we still had enough time to repeat it so everyone, or almost everyone, got it by the end. I was glad I took copious notes! They didn't have choreo handouts. For me, although handouts help, sometimes taking all the notes myself helps me remember it better. After coming home, I was able to repeat everything we'd done. Some things (phrasing on the warm-up) were A LOT harder to get right when I didn't have a class full of people to look at. When I took the notes on that warmup, I was careful to note the downbeats and was glad I had. Other things to note:

That's all folks. I heard Day 2 (shawl dance) was equally rewarding.