Opening 2019 with the climbing of NEW mountains

Joana Saahirah Ilhas Dornes

Opening 2019 with open arms and heart

Flying into 2019 with the Passion and the Love I´ve always carried in my heart, a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

Here´s what they rarely tell us: evolution takes work; growth can be painful; letting go of limiting beliefs, wounds, old ghosts can be a never-ending battle but, YES, we can do it. If we genuinely want to.

I´ve never sat in my comfort zone – whenever I reach the top of one mountain, I start looking for a new mountain to climb. It´s the climbing, not the arrival, that builds our character.

From Portugal, my homeland where I was safe and comfortable, to Egypt where I spent 8 years building my career and myself in the midst of unimaginable challenges and blessings; from Egypt to the whole World where I´ve been traveling as an invited artist to perform, teach, and lecture on Egyptian Dance, Music, and Culture; from the World to wherever I dream.


Along the way, I´ve written an endless amount of articles for highly respected maganizes and newspapers; I´ve written and published my first book – The Secrets of Egypt – Dance, Life & Beyond” (follow link to get your own copy: ); I´ve created a pioneering school – Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School -, I´m about to publish my second book – Behind the Curtain – and I´m already working on my third book.  A brand new, upgraded, platform for Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School will soon be released. Stay tuned at this blog or ask to join our dance community via email (send email to

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is is just a little sample of how much I´ve lived, dreamed and materialized and how much I´m doing in the present. I hope it inspires you to turn your Wish List* into a Dreams Accomplished List.

wink-happy-16Hint: I have no intention to stop growing and making IT happen.

In 2019, more than in any other year, I thrive for new mountains – the most unexplored, frightening, amazing mountains; the ones that will ultimately bring me closer to my truest self. I hope YOU´re brave enough to do the same.

Happy climbing, my friends!


In this video: Joana Saahirah BOMBASTIC Majance Performance in Quebec, Canada. Quebec was one of the cities included in Joana Saahirah´s USA & CANADA SOULful Tour.


May Wisdom, Light, Love, and Beauty rule our new year.

Gathering your bearings (Welcome, 2019!)


Whenever I prepare to launch a new year, I look back and focus on the things I´m most GRATEFUL for in the year that´s coming to an end. I see it as preparing the ground for new, better, more loving fruits.

If we start a new year with resentments, anger, and negative vibes, those are the seeds we´re planting in the upcoming days and months. Why would we plant rotten seeds in a ground that we hope will bear delicious fruits? That, as many other questions, is a part of our human idiosyncrasies (let´s face it: we´re batshit crazy we don´t make sense, most of the time).

Instead of counting problems – or challenges, as I prefer to call them -, I count my blessings and I SUGGEST YOU DO THE SAME.

  • Here´s a sample of my personal 2018 GRATITUDE LIST – I hope it inspires you to grab a paper and a pen and create your own.


  1. I´m grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones.
  2. I´m grateful for having found the Love of my Life, the man of my dreams; grateful for our love, our evolution; the blooming of our relationship.
  3. I´m grateful for the peace inside and around me.
  4. I´m grateful for the success and growth of Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School, one of the most exciting things I´ve ever done professionally, and for the fact that it has educated and empowered many fabulous women from around the world.
  5. I´m grateful for the amazing trips I´ve made, the first I didn´t take exclusively for work  – Morocco, Bali, Malaysia, East-Timor, Holland and more.
  6. I´m grateful for having a safe ceiling upon my head, food on the table, and people who love me and care for me at arm’s length.
  7. I´m grateful for the NEW DREAMS that were born and old ones which turned into reality.
  8. I´m grateful for my NEW BOOK – “Behind the Curtain” – which is about to come out.
  9. I´m grateful for the inspiration, the creativity, the faith, and the passion in my life.
  10. I´m grateful for having survived natural catastrophes, painful challenges, and tests.
  11. I´m grateful for the sky, the oxygen, and all the – visible and invisible – blessings that surround me on a daily basis.
  12. I´m grateful for my growth as an Artist and, mostly, as a Human Being.
  13. I´m grateful for BEING ALIVE.

Let the NEW YEAR & the MAGIC begin…



The Art of turning obstacles into OPPORTUNITIES (a NEW YEAR´s peculiar Message)


The Art of turning obstacles into OPPORTUNITIES is not new to me; every student, fan, follower and reader who´s been in contact with my work knows how familiar this ground is.

Would I wish to live in a world that always runs smoothly, an obstacle-free universe where everything goes exactly how I want them to go, a life covered in unblemished sugar and candy? Probably. Maybe not. Who knows?

I know enough, by now, to recognize Life has a way of making us grow – both professionally and personally – through adversity. And, in the sake of truth, let me say it like it is: obstacles aren´t nice; difficulties, loss, injustice, pain, setbacks, failure, adversity in all its shapes and colors aren´t cool. I can´t stand the voices who glamourize these dark patches trying to make them what they´re not: something we should (almost) wish for. I´d like to have all the roads opened wide for me – effortlessly, lovingly, populated with kind, honest, generous folks who wished me the best.

But, I have to admit, it´s through the dark tunnels we evolve. We must face them, cross them, light them up with our ability to turn the night into a new day.

I´ve lost count of the obstacles I met along the way – they were so many, and some of them so great, I started calling them “opportunities”, first as a strategy to cope with them and survive, then as a realization.

This year, I received loads of blessings and I went through some of the hardest moments, including a big earthquake with a tsunami threat in a distant island, disease, instabilities of different sorts, a face to face meeting with my deepest fears and a fire. If I didn´t have a heart attack these past months, I will never have it.

There are huge TRANSFORMATIONS happening inside me and in my work, including at Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School.

I´d been thinking about creating a better platform for the school – I´d been wishing for it and dreaming of it forever but life had to slap me on the face, once more, to push me into forward action. The platform – Powhow – where the school operated announced its closure in the space of one month. No warning, no pre-announcement, no preparation: the courses I´d been building in the platform would be gone, forever, after all the love and investment I´d put in them.

At first, it felt like a betrayal, a punch in the stomach. God knows how much work went into the school, how much time, money, skills, patience, care. Yet, my feelings weren´t taken in consideration. As it happens, most of the time, the world doesn´t care if we´re feeling down or outraged. As the jazz song says, “we gotta dust ourselves off and start all over again”. And so I did.

A lot of work is ahead – mistakes, trials, discoveries, surprises, evolution. There´s no shortcut to success or to love or to LIFE. We gotta dig in, dive deep, take chances, wrap our sleeves up and show up for our own survival and thriving.

tumblr_ntvrutKOqi1r9qv2bo1_500.jpgThe medicine may be bitter but it may heal us so let´s open the bottle and swallow the magic liquid, shall we?

1. In the NEW year that´s approaching, I hope you take a deep breath, close your eyes, and give thanks. Say THANK YOU for all you are and have right now (even the unpleasant stuff).

2. Take stake of the “negative” experiences you´ve lived in the past three months and check how you´ve lived them and if you managed to make the best of them. Bring the lessons from past experiences to the present and to the future. 

3. Feel the pain/loss, whenever you suffer/lose; take a step backwards, have a good night sleep, breathe deeply and “start all over again”. Going through the tunnel doesn´t mean we must remain in the tunnel – we cross it to, eventually, get out of it.

4. Wonder how you can turn a “bad situation” into an opportunity for growth. You may not be able to erase sadness or bring a lost treasure back but you can create something beautiful out of it – it won´t eliminate the dark tunnel but it´ll give it meaning.

5. Understand there´s no EVOLUTION without pain. We have to struggle to get out of our comfort zone; we must die a little in order to be reborn.

What I wish for this NEW YEAR is this: the lucidity and courage to cross the dark tunnels life throws at us with our eyes on the prize – what can I learn from this, how can I turn this shitty hard situation into something worthwhile?

You know the deal: nobody said it´d be easy, only that it would be worth it.

Meanwhile, it wouldn´t hurt if we asked Santa for world peace and, yeah!, a few open-wide roads. No rocks or frogs, no traps, no dragons with evil intentions, no losses.

We deserve a break and rewards for the seeds planted ❤

Joana Saahirah Online Dance School December 2018.jpg

A NEW, upgraded, Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School is about to be born.

What our students say about our Online Course “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”

Enta Omri Testimonials at Joana Saahirah Online Dance School.jpg
We´ve wrapped the live classes of the Course that celebrated Joana Saahirah´s Online Dance School 1st anniversary and, now, you can subscribe to the RECORDED COURSE, available at our school, and enjoy a Dance & Personal Journey that has the power to change YOU, YOUR DANCE, and YOUR LIFE.

WARNING: If you subscribe to “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”, there´s a serious risk of growth in every area of your existence.


Check out the TESTIMONIALS some of our amazing students wrote about “Enta Omri, a Journey of Soulful Egyptian Dance & Self-Love”.

 I´ll also add, with pride and gratitude, the classes in this course deserved a 5 stars rating from our all our students.

Just sayin´…
Thank you to the students who took the time, and the love, to share their feedback on the course. Much appreciated.



“The best course ever! Joana taught us many valuable things, thank you Joana!”
“Dear Joana Saahirah, I am speechless,
how an online Course can be that touching !
Energy flows, not taking care of any miles-distance.
Your structure is great, they way you announce the program of the lesson, how you guide us and how you let us free, it is such a good dose.
Thank you also for giving theoretical Input to get some knowledge of Egyptian dance history and culture..and all of the Bonus material!
Today, for me, was a clue lesson. We really dig deep in this journey :-). I thank you from and with all my heart for your honesty and the energy you put in it, in us, your faith, your trust, your love., your wisdom and your clearness.
May this pure love come back to you in more than 1000 different ways. Not every great dancer is meant to be a great teacher too, but some of them are…happy those who find them …thank you for sharing what your heart is burning for.”
“Oh my God! We go deeper and deeper in Egyptian dance but also in our way of thinking!!! It’s completely crazy!! I think we never be the same! How can we?

I’m so proud to subscribe these classes! Amazing, wonderful… words aren’t big enough to describe this soulful Egyptian dance and life travel with such inspired and experimented teacher and with beautiful and kind dancers! it’s just magical. I have leaved the class with such satisfaction, recharged, full of positives projects, ready to bite the life tofull teeth! Hey world… HERE I AM!!!!!

Patricia Ponchie-Hannequin


Again wonderful class, I am so lucky to take this course on live with other dance mates. The choreography is so beautiful and dramatic, I will review the classes this weekend and practice the movements, so that I can put my emotions into them and enjoy/grasp the essence of Egyptian Oriental Dance!”




“Thank you for discussing the difference between bringing raw emotions & exposing your private life, that was incredibly helpful for me — a paradigm shift I daresay. Wonderful class, as always. This is proving to be an epic series & I am grateful for all the thoughtfulness, work & passion you have put into it — it really shows.”


Justine Riekena


“Once again, thank you for the inspiring classes. Emotions are a special chapter with me. I feel a LOT but it doesn’t always show. So I try working on that. It has to do a lot with the insecurity deep down I guess. And I’ll repeat myself, I love your classes. They resonate with me and in such a kind way.”

Lucie Kupalová



“I received very useful and practical tips for improvisation, physically and mentally. I will allow myself to be more free and enjoy the moment, no more worries what others may think about me. The Choreography is very romantic and beautiful, I am in love with it!! Thank you again for the wonderful class!”


Seiko Endo


“Terrific class, wish I could have been there live today. Today’s part of the choreography features movements that fall in among my favourites, so it felt very good. Now to sharpen & bring the clarity. I must admit that my favourite part of class was at the end when you clasped you hands & laughed demonically while saying, “tomorrow’s gonna kick your ***, so sweet, so sweet.” So very Joana. Of course you know I adore you & I cherish that you bring your true self to our classes, not a filtered public persona. 😉 Looking forward to tomorrow’s additions to Enta Omri (a song I love).”
Justine Riekena


“I received very useful and practical tips for improvisation, physically and mentally. I will allow myself to be more free and enjoy the moment, no more worries what others may think about me. The Choreography is very romantic and beautiful, I am in love with it!! Thank you again for the wonderful class!”


Seiko Endo



“Five stars and more! How to become a great dancer? This is the place to grow as an oriental dancer student, as a woman and as a human being! Thank you so much!”

Patricia Ponchie-Hannequin



Vintage-Pointing-Hand-Image-GraphicsFairyFollow the link for more information on this Pioneering Course: