Morwenna Assaf

Morwenna A.

New Market, TN

Lesson Details



Morwenna delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Females 15+, males 20+ and special needs

Teaching since:
September 1975

Since I have been in this business for so many years and lived with the people of the Middle East for so many years, I can offer you the finest training in this dance form. I know dance this dance form from the inside out. My training started as a child in the UK. It continued in Canada and also in the USA. I know and understand dance and the human body. I understand where movement comes from and can give this to you. I am lucky enough to have learned from the best that the dance has to offer both here in NYC and overseas. I am a member in good standing with several national dance organizations including CID -UNESCO which is international in 63 counties. I will not give you rose colored glasses to see with but will teach you the correct way to approach this dance that is best for you and the dance form. This dance is a complex cultural style of dance.

All classes begin with a warm-up. The warm up I have designed is to help improve your technique and to make sure your posture is correct so there is no injury to the body. We also will do strengthening exercises for detail and and beauty of movement. Finally there will be drills for the hips and gluttes as it is very important that these moves are done correctly. We do work across the floor and in the center of the room. This will consist of individual steps and also then put into short combinations. From there we move onto some choreography. These could be in the form of Oriental Dance (Belly Dance) or a folkloric dance that represents an area that is also in the Middle East. Why? Because this dance is comprised of these folkloric dances and then put into a more sophisticated setting. We end the class with a short cool-down that is more improvisation by nature so you can just feel the music and the rhythms.

I will not tell you any more than that, but, believe me no matter what style of dance you end up doing in the end be it American Cabaret, Lebanese, Egyptian. or even Tribal, your posture, and attitude will be professional and your dance will look great with high standards. So sign up and become a dancer of the finest kind. If you would like to be certified as a professional we can also offer certification through CID. This certification is accepted and regarded with esteem world wide.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio is a at her home with a separate entrance, There is plenty of parking either on the street or in the driveway. There is a spring wood floor so no one will ever hurt their spines or have injuries to their feet and legs. Special speakers and a sound system so all music is clear.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If Morwenna has to travel to you then it is required you have space for this. Lacking mirrors is a little inconvenient but not unmanageable. Anything else we can handle.

*** Specialties ***
We offer only Middle Eastern Styles. This is our forte so we can better serve you. Morwenna is absolutely the best in the business in this area. After spending 40 odd years in the business, being married into the culture for almost as long, she has a great feeling for the people, the dance and you. Teaching is her passion and the sharing of information with you.

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Sep 2014 - Present
Private Dance Studio

Helping professional dancers reach their best in the dance by meeting privately and making them reach for the stars.

Owner/Choreographer/Dance Director & Author of Dance education books
Apr 1975 - Present
Dance Academy

Have run this belly dance studio in San Diego North County for 18 years. Before that ran Scheherazade Studios in South Eastern MA for 21 years. I have taught dancers and students all over the USA, Canada , Mexico and even Lebanon. There are many dancers around the USA who owe their dance careers to Morwenna. She is a passionately devoted educator. Her desire is to make you happy, educated and the absolute dancer you can be.

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21 years of study and 16 completions of Teachers Intensives
Aug 1975 - Oct 1996
Near East School of Dance, NYC
Music & dance
Oct 1976 - Sep 1996
Near East Dance School


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Arabic is my husband's language
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


16 Years of Teaching Annually
Mar 2015

A Certification for having taught for 16 years with this organization. Now I have moved it is just too far to travel to continue.

Professional Member of CID
Jan 2000

This organization is the most famous international dance institution and organization in the world. Recognized world wide.


Choreographer of the Year
Nov 2014
Boston Belly Dance Club
World Class for Research and Choreography
Oct 1994
American Academy of Middle Eastern Dance


National Dance Education Organization
Sep 1999

The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance. NDEO forges alliances with over 150 federal and state agencies and arts and education associations to support quality dance education at local, state, and national levels in the United States and with our friends in international communities.

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International Dance Council Education Department
Sep 1998

Our mission is to inspire, stimulate and promote excellence in education for the World Dance Council and Amateur League (WDC and AL) community by: Development and identification of educational and learning styles and methods through training, resources, input and advocacy; Cultivation of a desire to learn, to generate new knowledge, be challenged and appreciate diversity; Continued commitment to development, pioneering and appreciation of multiple learning environments and perspectives; Continued commitment to the appointment of highly educated and trained interdisciplinary professionals who train effectively and passionately within a broad based, collaborative environment; Providing exceptional learning resources that are enhanced by the use of technology, internet resources and global support; Dedication to the preservation of existing knowledge and archival material; Challenging members through innovation in education to stretch beyond their current levels of knowledge and training to become an integral part of the WDC and AL community; Design, development and implementation of programmes to meet the professional development needs of educators, coaches, adjudicators and dancers within the WDC and AL; Working together to create and maintain an academic, physical, emotional, social and safe environment where each can learn and respect one another

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American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Jan 1997

AAHPERD is the largest organization of professionals involved in physical education, physical activity, dance, school health and sport--all specialties related to achieving an active, healthy lifestyle.

Photos & Videos

DancerAndDrummer.comThis video shows the duo of Morwenna & Walid Assaf in several different venues.
Drum class in the studio to learn the rhythms of belly dance.
learning welcome dance in studio. Oceanside, CA
Teaching a class in San Diego on Debke from Lebanon.
Morwenna at Continental Restaurant Assonet MA

Morwenna at Continental Restaurant Assonet MA

Morwenna at Zorba's in National City CA

This is one organization I belong to. I also belong to CAAPHERD, AAPHERD, NDA, NATCHMED and local dance organizations.

Photo by Morwenna A.
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10 Reviews

Write a Review
Judy S. May 17, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

I've had the privilege to study the art of belly dancing with the Artistic Director of Art Dance Academy, Morwenna Assaf. She is a great teacher, choreographer and performer. Her love and dedication to the art of belly dance is evident in her instruction. She is excellent in breaking down movements so you can understand and master the movement. She has been, and continues to be an inspiration to me.

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Byllie S. May 7, 2015
Arabic · In studio

Morwenna is a wonderful person and an awesome teacher!

I had no dance experience when I started taking classes with her beyond watching some movies and being fascinated with how the dancers moved so gracefully.
I have been taking classes with her for close to two months now and know I still have a long way to go but she is always supportive of her students, making sure each knows why something is done a specific way and when it is done.
She impressed me so much in my first class with her that I recruited several family members to take the class with me.
We have a lot of fun while we learn the elements of this awesome dance style!
Don't get me WILL sweat and you WILL be a little or a lot sore because you are going to use muscles you may not even know you have, let alone used before!
Her class is a wonderful stress reliever and I tell everyone they should at least try it!!!!!!
She shares her knowledge in a way that anyone can understand!
She has a fountain of knowledge and would do a wonderful job of teaching a college level class on the history of Arabic Belly Dance if she wanted to do that.
I am grateful I have received the opportunity to have her as my teacher and mentor!
You would not regret signing up with this awesome lady!

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Lucia H. May 4, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

I traveled with Morwenna and Walid Assaf to Beirut, Lebanon and participated in their workshops. Morwenna is an excellent instructor, with a vast knowledge of Middle Eastern Dance, Music and Culture. She is an accomplished performer, choreographer, troupe director and author of many books related to this topic. I am impressed with her skills to teach all levels of dance, and enthusiasm for students progress.

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Teri C. Apr 27, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

I started dance quite late in life and went to Mowenna with absolutely no dance experience. I knew nothing about the dance.
Mowenna taught me the beauty and history of so many different styles of Belly dance while keeping it authentic and always in good taste.
Whether dancing in a troupe or as a solo she makes sure the movements are correct and the costume is right for the dance.
She is the book of knowledge of the dances, staging and costumes and a beautiful dancer herself.

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Dolores R. M. Apr 27, 2015
Belly Dancing ·

I have known Morwenna Assaf for more than 40 years. She is one of the most honorable people I have ever met. She holds Middle Eastern dance in very high regard, always mindful of the culture from which it is drawn. She is an excellent teacher, carefully developing her students to their highest potential.

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Jamila D. Apr 26, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

I have had the pleasure of knowing Morwenna Assaf for eight years. When I started taking Middle Eastern dance classes with Mrs. Assaf, I was amazed with her dedication and passion of teaching Arabic Style Belly Dance. Morwenna is very resourceful and knowledgeable about the subject. She does not only teach the dance moves but also educates her students about its history, culture, music and traditions.

As a teacher, she is very patient and persistent with her students. Although each class gets crowded, Morwenna finds time to work with every student individually on their strengths and weaknesses. No matter what level of the dance you are at, you get to practice the props (veils, zills, canes, scarves) almost every class. Her classes are taught based on the proper body dynamics, muscle work, breathing and posture. Basic ballet movements are practiced in every class and directed towards developing strength and flexibility. She makes you work every muscle of your body and every student comes out of her class with the feeling that they just have done 2 hours of cardio work.

There is not just one style of Middle Eastern dance taught by Morwenna, there are many. She exposes her students to Egyptian, Lebanese, Bedouin, and North African, both folkloric and staged forms of the dance. She knows very well what costume and history goes with what dance.

I believe Morwenna Assaf is one of the most educated and experienced belly dance teachers in the United States. In addition to introducing students to this ancient form of dance, Morwenna’s classes are primarily focused on promotion of wellness and health, especially in women. Therefore, I highly recommend Mrs. Assaf as a dance teacher and a mentor.

Yours Sincerely,
Jamila D.

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Kanina H. Apr 26, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

If you want to learn the beauty and artistry of Middle Eastern dance and belly dance, Morwenna is the teacher for you. I studied with her as a young dancer and she introduced me to the discipline and rhythms of Arabic dance. She has studied with the masters of the dance and her movement is precise yet lyrical. Morwenna is a treasure-trove of knowledge, and I’d highly recommend her as a teacher. I am now in my 42nd year of teaching and performing and am indebted to her for the knowledge she has so generously shared with me over the years.

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Alexia S. Apr 23, 2015

I have know Morwenna for many years and know that she is a highly qualified teacher in Middle Eastern Dance aka Belly Dance. She is so well adversed in the cultural and this form of dance because of her many years of study. She will give you all her best in making you feel comfortable as she helps you to grow as a dancer! I have seen her turn out many good dancers! Wonderful teacher!!

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Jaimee P. Apr 23, 2015
Dance · In studio

Morwenna Assaf is an exceptional teacher from whom anyone can learn the art and culture behind Arabic dance. She is a highly professional instructor who teaches the artistry of dance utilizing a comprehensive approach encompassing all aspects of performance. Classes are designed around basic warm ups, routine technique drills, and time dedicated to learning and perfecting choreographed material. Each season brings various themes and elements added to the core classical and folkloric centered curriculum. What elevates Morwenna's teaching above other professionals is the way in which she nurtures a passion for art and Arabic cultures in all of her students regardless of level or prior experience. Every student from absolute beginners in the world of dance to professionals looking to further their knowledge will find that Morwenna's signature style includes a refined elegance not found anywhere else.

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julie M. Apr 22, 2015
Belly Dancing · In studio

Morwenna is a awesome teacher. She not only brings out the best dancer you will be. She motivates you to become the best that you can be. She educates you on the culture so you will be in touch with the dance. By doing this you have a understanding why you are doing the movements. She creates a fun environment for learning. She builds your self esteem. She is the best. Simply the best!

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