Teachers at the Old Town School

Erika Ochoa

Middle Eastern Belly Dance

Erika Ochoa is a contemporary artist of Middle Eastern dance, specializing in Egyptian-style dance. She has been dancing professionally in the Chicago-land area for the past fourteen years and has expanded her education broadly, studying with various well-respected and recognized Egyptian dancers and choreographers such as Yousry Sharif, Randa Kamel, Mahmoud Reda, Farida Fahmy, Lubna, Aida Nour, Tito and more, Having Samara of NYC as her main influence and inspiration. Erika has completed the teacher’s training certification program under Hadia’s method. Erika holds a degree in Fashion Design and produces her own line of dance clothes and costuming, seen in her shows and productions. She shares her skills with her students at Pineapple Dance Studio, her private studio in Forest Park, IL, and at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where she teaches regularly. She is the producer of Baladina Egyptian Dance Theatre and has produced a number of shows in the past three years that have received critical acclaim in the Chicago Tribune and other media sources. She can be seen in festivals and many other dance show events.” To see her full bio you may go to www.erikadance.com

Started at the Old Town School in July of 2004

Upcoming Workshops

Egyptian Folklore: Saidi and Nubian Dance

Open to All

$25 ($22 members)

Thu. November 07, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM · 4545 N Lincoln Ave

Join Erika Ochoa, Middle Eastern Dance faculty, for this deep dive introduction into Egyptian Folkloric Dances! All levels welcome. With live drumming by Ryan Mayer. NUBIAN There are actually a wide variety of Nubian dances; previously the Nubian peoples were of different groups in many different villages scattered along the length of the Nile in both southern Egypt and the Sudan. Some of the dances are from the Kensi people, some from Fadiki and some from groups who identify with Arab (Khaliji) immigrants. The basic step most groups have in common is the right foot in front stepping down on the beat, the ball of the left foot in back stepping on the “and.” The arms move symmetrically together either forward and back or side and towards center. Men lean forward from the hips, women stand straight. Neither men nor women use hip-work, both can tilt their shoulders, women can also do upper torso lifts or drops. SA’IDI Sa’idi is probably the most well known “folklore” dance of Egypt.The most popular public dance of the Sa’id is Raqs Assaya (stick dance), whether the Assaya was twirled or held. The Saidi dance is from Upper Egypt, between Gizeh and Edfu.The Saidi people are upper Egyptian farmers. Usually a Saidi dance is lively, energetic and earthy. The dancer uses one or two sticks, originally made of bamboo. There are two types of Saidi stick dance: Raks Assaya and Tahtib. The word Tahtib means dancing with sticks and it is originally a kind of conflict with sticks between men to show their power. Tahtib is the oldest form of Egyptian martial arts to have survived. Tahtib dancing is a product of Egyptian martial arts from the pharaonic times. The Pharaohs painted this kind of dance on the walls of their temples and their soldiers learned it.


Group Classes for the session beginning 10/28/2019

Middle Eastern Belly Dance 1 with Erika Ochoa

Portrayed in hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian temples, this is the world’s oldest recorded dance form. After you learn basic steps, incorporate finger cymbals or a veil. Warmups include isolation exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques. Plan to repeat Level I to refine your skills and learn new choreographies. Bring a hip scarf and wear form-fitting clothing.

$132 ($112 members)

10/29/2019 – 12/17/2019 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Middle Eastern Belly Dance 2 with Erika Ochoa

Portrayed in hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian temples, this is the world’s oldest recorded dance form. After you learn basic steps, incorporate finger cymbals or a veil. Warmups include isolation exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques. Bring a hip scarf and wear form-fitting clothing.

$184 ($164 members)

10/29/2019 – 12/17/2019 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 7:20 PM – 8:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave


Group Classes for the session beginning 01/06/2020

Middle Eastern Belly Dance 1 with Erika Ochoa

Portrayed in hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian temples, this is the world’s oldest recorded dance form. After you learn basic steps, incorporate finger cymbals or a veil. Warmups include isolation exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques. Plan to repeat Level I to refine your skills and learn new choreographies. Bring a hip scarf and wear form-fitting clothing.

$132 ($112 members)

01/07/2020 – 02/25/2020 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave

Middle Eastern Belly Dance 2 with Erika Ochoa

Portrayed in hieroglyphics on the walls of Egyptian temples, this is the world’s oldest recorded dance form. After you learn basic steps, incorporate finger cymbals or a veil. Warmups include isolation exercises, stretching, and strengthening techniques. Bring a hip scarf and wear form-fitting clothing.

$184 ($164 members)

01/07/2020 – 02/25/2020 (8 meetings)

Tuesdays · 7:20 PM – 8:50 PM · 4544 N Lincoln Ave