TarabRaqs Mid East Arts Education

—Bringing a world of serious fun to the classroom —

Our Teaching Style

Education is no longer just about core standards or the 3 R's.  It's about teaching how to solve problems—socially and analytically—and live together in an increasingly complex and multicultural and world.

 

Each of our programs, whether in the elementary classroom or a university lecture hall, is based on integrated, multi-disciplinary learning that encourages critical thinking and active participation.  Our goal is to inspire students to embrace challenges they encounter in the classroom and beyond.

We're teaching about the culture of the Middle East, about music, about dance.  Effectively, these are the vehicles to deliver the the lessons of inquiry, analysis, processes—problem solving at its essence.  As a mechanical engineer and an artist team, we have an intrinsic project-based STEAM approach to each of our education programs.

Request Jensuya's resume.

Live programs are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Scroll down to browse virtual programs and online courses.

“One of the best things that you do is gradual steps.  It's wonderful the way you teach.  You listen to the students as you teach.  That's one of the most important things a teacher needs to do, and you do it superbly well.” 

—David J. Gonzol, PhD, Director of Music Education, Shepherd University

Magic Carpet Ride

VIRTUAL Artist Residency

Grades 3 - 5

Magic Carpet Ride - Introduction to Music, Dance & Culture of the Middle East, is an arts integration program for grades 3 - 5 in the geography, language, music, dance, and culture of the Middle East.  This program focuses on connecting concepts in students' academic studies in social studies, math, and current events with learning skills and arts of the Near East.  Highlights:

  • Chant & clap Middle Eastern rhythm

  • Speak Arabic words

  • Engage in geography activities

  • Learn the Debke folk dance

  • Complete rhythm and word activities

  • Experience live Middle Eastern drumming

Live program is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Here's the Virtual Program.

“The program was excellent and connected to what we were studying at the time. The students were engaged and had the opportunity to learn about another culture."  —Summer McClintock, 4th Grade Teacher, Pleasant View Elementary School

Raqqin' the Kasbah

Elementary School Assembly

Raqqin' the Kasbah school assembly performance is an arts integration program for grades K-5 in the geography, history, language, music, dance, and culture of the Middle East.  This high energy, multi-media, costumed performance focusses on involving students in the fun of the show and fostering understanding and joy in a not-so-familiar culture.  Highlights:

  • Chant & clap Middle Eastern rhythm

  • Speak Arabic words

  • Learn a Debke folk dance step

  • Experience live Middle Eastern drumming

“The container you created for the class to express themselves was exquisite.”—Anne Beckley, Executive Director, Morgan Arts Council

Rhythm, Roots & RAQS

High School Residency

Rhythm Roots & RAQ is a week-long artists-in-residency program for high school phys ed students in the fundamentals of Raqs Sharqi dance.  Using a STEAM approach, we teach concrete skills in rhythm, movement, listening, and responding as students learn fundamentals of this Middle Eastern stage dance, its cultural implications, and its significance in the world dance genre.  Students learn:

  • Beat, rhythm, tempo, timing

  • Expressive elements and movement isolation

  • Move sequences and combinations

  • Arabic & English dance terminology

  • Principles of improvisation

“Today I went to see the arts integration class in the Middle Eastern arts, dancing Debke, which is our traditional dance in Palestine. I was so overwhelmed, shocked, giddy, and fascinated on what my American Fellows can do!!!  The funny thing is, they dance it better than I do!” 

—Yasmeen F., Berkeley Springs High School

Yallah Debke

High School Residency

Yallah Debke is a week-long artists-in-residency program for high school physical education students in the fundamentals of Debke folk dance.  Using a STEAM approach, we teach students concrete skills in rhythm, movement, listening, and responding as they learn the fundamentals of this Levantine folk dance, its cultural implications, and its significance in the world dance genre.  Students learn:

  • Beat, rhythm, tempo, timing

  • Movement steps and sequences

  • Arabic & English dance terminology

  • Principles of group dance cooperation

“THANK YOU!!  The students really raved about the presentation today!  We'll definitely have you back next year.”

——Laura Renninger, Shepherd University Guest Lecturer, music department

It's a Hip Thing

High School Masterclass

It's a Hip Thing is a 1-hour (flexible) masterclass for high school physical education or dance students in the fundamentals of Raqs Beledi dance.  Using a STEAM approach, we teach students concrete skills in rhythm, movement, listening, and responding as they learn the fundamentals of this Middle Eastern social dance, its cultural implications, and its significance in the world dance genre.  Students learn:

  • Chant & clap Middle Eastern rhythm

  • Learn basic dance moves

  • Arabic & English dance terminology

  • Practice a movement sequence

“Jennifer did an amazing job of...presenting the content in an incredibly organized and accessible way...” 

—Emily Oleson, Dance Program Coordinator, Davis & Elkins College

Crossing the Bridge

College or University Masterclass

Crossing the Bridge is a 1-hour (flexible) masterclass for college or university students in the music, dance, and culture of the Middle East.  Using a workshop approach, we teach students a quintessential Near Eastern rhythm, a movement sequence of Raqs Beledi or Debke, the iconic differences between Eastern and Western music, and the cultural implications and significance of Near Eastern music in the world music genre.  Highlights:

  • Chant & clap Middle Eastern rhythm

  • Learn a dance sequence

  • Speak Arabic words

  • Experience live Middle Eastern drumming

  • Identify features of Eastern music

“It was easy for beginners to follow;  it was challenging enough for the advanced dancers;  it was a beautiful experience of improvisation.” 

——Laurie Goux, Adjunct Dance Professor, Davis & Elkins College

Belly Dance RAQS

College or University Masterclass

Belly Dance RAQS is a 1-hour (flexible) masterclass for college or university dance students in the fundamentals of Raqs Sharqi dance and how to add a Middle Eastern flair to their dances.  With an emphasis on classic posture and moves of Raqs Sharqi, this masterclass includes skills and steps for lending authenticity to choreographies.  Students learn to:

  • Identify key features of posture

  • Distinguish iconic movement elements

  • Learn quintessential dance moves

  • Create a dance sequence

  • Experience live Middle Eastern drumming
© Jennifer Carpenter-Peak and Robert Peak, 2020. All rights reserved.
Jensuya teaches belly dance at Davis & Elkins College, WV

Jensuya TarabRaqs intro to belly dance college masterclass