Jawaahir Dance Company

A nonprofit organization

Jawaahir Dance Company is dedicated to bringing the rich folkloric heritage of the Middle East to the theater stage, to presenting Middle Eastern dance as a living art form at its highest artistic level, to providing training in the dance in its authentic form, and to making this dance accessible to the public. On a broader scale, our mission is to promote greater understanding of Middle Eastern cultures through artistic, education, and outreach activities.

Jawaahir is the premier professional Middle Eastern dance company in the Midwest. Since its founding in 1989 by Cassandra Shore, and currently directed by Vanessa (Fall, 2022), Jawaahir has grown to 18 members and has performed throughout the Midwest as well as in California, Texas, and New York. The Company has established a seasonal concert series in Minneapolis, presented hundreds of formal and community concerts, including free performances at area schools and universities, libraries, city parks, and cultural festivals.

Jawaahir has hosted more than 85 guest artists, including many distinguished dancers, choreographers, composers, and musicians of Middle Eastern, North African, and Arab descent, and has collaborated and/or performed with over 30 regional performing arts groups. 

Jawaahir Dance Academy, the teaching arm of Jawaahir, offers year-round classes in Middle Eastern dance for levels ranging from beginning to professional. These classes incorporate relevant aspects of the dance, music, and culture. The regular classes serve the seven-county metro area and are sought by students from across the United States who have relocated expressly to study with Founder, Cassandra, Members of Jawaahir, and the school. Jawaahir Dance Academy has classes in Minneapolis, MN in the Hook and Ladder Building and since 2020, offers international instruction via online classes. 

Jawaahir Dance Company is involved in a myriad of activities:

  • Concerts of dance and music
  • Dance classes from beginning to professional levels
  • Workshops and professional learning opportunities with distinguished guest artists
  • Lecture-demonstrations in schools, community centers, and other settings
  • Free public performances
  • Collaborations with other artistic and cultural groups
  • Leasing rehearsal, class, and theater space to metro-area artists from our Minnehaha Ave. studio. 

For more information, visit www.jawaahir.org

Organization Data


Organization name

Jawaahir Dance Company

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture International


3010 Minnehaha Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55406



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