About Us

What is Celebrating Dance?

Celebrating Dance is an exciting annual festival held in Torquay, Devon each Autumn. It is the ONLY festival in the UK that is held in a 3 Star hotel, offering a luxury belly dance weekend at a price you can afford!

Afra invites a selection of talented teachers including top names from either the US or Europe along with a line up popular UK-based teachers. Afra started the festival in 2001 after moving to North Devon in 2000. She realized that there was a growing dance community which had very little access to quality workshops from top teachers. So she decided to rectify the matter and Celebrating Dance was born! The first few festivals were held in various locations in Bideford and it relocated to Torquay and the Toorak Hotel in 2005 which has been its home ever since. Celebrating Dance is run by Afra al Kahira and her husband John.

The exciting package of UK-based and international teachers means that Celebrating Dance welcomes dancers from all over the UK and beyond who wish to take advantage of studying with quality teachers in a quality learning environment. The weekend’s workshops are designed to offer something to most levels of dancers from those just starting out to those at advanced level who are looking for a serious challenge! Either way our aim is for our delegates to go home with a wealth of dance information to add to their own dance experiences in the year ahead.

Afra & John are committed to the values that have made so many dancers return every year:

  • Warm and friendly, non-competitive atmosphere. Dancers come back every year because other events just don’t offer the same atmosphere to their delegates. Afra and John are a very visible and approachable part of the festival team – they are not faceless organizers who hide away and leave their staff to deal with the day to day running of things. Afra considers part of the reward for putting on the event is the fact that she has made so many friends amongst the delegates, and you’ll find that she’s always ready for a chat whether it’s about the weekend in particular or dance in general.
  • There are workshops to suit most levels of dancer. We have classes for those just starting out and right up to those designed to challenge the advanced dancer, in a wide range of subjects and themes. Workshops vary in length from 1.5 hour to 2 hour sessions.
  • High quality teaching in a non-crowded environment with teachers who are friendly, knowledgeable and approachable. Celebrating Dance has no room for divas of any sort. Afra carefully screens all the teachers’ credentials and she will never employ anyone, no matter how big the name, if she cannot establish a friendly rapport with them. She understands that no matter how hard you want to work, you need to have fun too!

Celebrating Dance – “a dance festival with a difference!”


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