Phoenix Belly Dance

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The Phoenix Belly Dance 10th Annual Retreat
5-7 November 2021

Unfortunately the Retreat has to be postponed this year due to Covid-19

You've found one of New Zealand Belly Dance's most exciting, popular, and fun events of the year! The Phoenix Retreat with SADIE! 

Our vision is to deliver their very best creative, worthwhile retreat aimed to delight, inspire and increase a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the art of belly dance, as well as the chance to foster friendships with dancers from all walks of life. Our vision is to build our community, enable dancers to learn and grow, to reach dancers who feel out-of-touch, those who are struggling to be inspired, and to make the retreat a safe environment for dancers to really let their hair down, play, and find pure joy in sharing dance. 

The Phoenix Belly Dance 10th Annual Retreat , 5-7 November 2021

The Belly Dance Retreat is an incredible weekend where you will experience inspiring technique, choreography and discovery workshops with international and local teachers, entertainment, games, non-stop laughter, relaxation, and a chance to make new dance friends! There are 40 spots available and we usually sell out, so if you would like to book your spot please register now. 

You couldn't find a more beautiful spot to relax and have fun than at the stunning Bella Rakha Retreat Centre, boasting 32 acres of native bush and bliss, just 25 minutes from Auckland CBD. 

Our International Teacher - SADIE

This year, you will get the chance to learn from one of the most elite international master teachers and dubbed Queen of the Drum Solo: Sadie Marquardt! Check out her bio below.


You can find out about any announcements including more New Zealand teachers, shows, and activities both here and on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

If you've never been on our retreat before (or you have and would like to relive the memories), please feel free to check out our past retreats, with information on activities, teachers, and testimonials. You can also watch trailers for the 2013-2019 retreats, which give you a pretty good idea of all the wonderful things you'll get up to!

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to chat to you!
Candice / 0211704183 /

What else is included:

Dancing, Performances, Show and Hafla
There will be ample opportunities for you to dance, watch our teachers and other guests perform, and show off your improvisation skills. It’s going to be heaps of fun, whether you’d prefer to sit back and enjoy being entertained or if you’d like to share your dance with us! This is one of the most encouraging environments to perform, so feel free to perform no matter what your experience level! Send your music ahead of time if you’d like to present an item or two! Group and solo items are welcome! Works in progress are also welcome! 


You'll get a chance to participate in loads of fun and challenging belly dance games and activities throughout the weekend:

  • Morning rhythm walk and warm up classes to ease into the day
  • Brush up on your knowledge for the Belly Dance Quiz
  • Meditation and relaxation time
  • Hot Topics! Belly Dance discussions over breakfast lunch and dinner with our incredible teachers
  • Our famous Belly Dance Challenge
  • Optional extra - 1 hour Full Body Massage
  • Performances each night by our teachers and performance opportunities for participants
  • Meet & Greet with welcome drinks and gifts
  • Surprise activities... :D

NZ/International Teachers for 2020 Annual Retreat

Our teachers this year hail from far and wide around NZ and beyond! For their bios, please scroll down the page.

  • Sadie Marquardt (US)
  • Candice Frankland (New Zealand)
  • More announcements coming soon!

Workshop Structure, Topics & Descriptions

There will generally be two streams of workshops running at the same time, including lecture/technique/style/choreography workshops, and also theory and discussion based workshops to broaden our knowledge. Check out the Teacher's bios below to see their workshop topics and detailed descriptions. Feel free to email us with any questions.

Two wonderfully prepared healthy dinners will be provided for all dancers to fill their bellies after the days’ fun, and snack platters will be provided during the day between activities. Our chef Hayley has had the most amazing feedback on her meals each year - some people even say it is the highlight of the retreatYou can also purchase our pre-packed lunches and breakfasts or you are welcome to pack your own lunches, breakfasts and drinks for the weekend (we have structured it this way to help you make savings by supplying some of your own meals).

Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email within a few days, announcements and updates leading up to the retreat, and a detailed information pack a couple of weeks before the Retreat. This will include travel information and maps, a suggested packing list, daily schedule, and any other final details. Please let us know if you would like to share accommodation with any attendees in particular, and we will do our best to make it happen.


The Retreat prices include:

  • Accommodation for 2 nights,
  • All dinners and snack platters throughout the weekend,
  • 1 x Workshop with Sadie included (extra workshops can be purchased at a reduced rate for retreat attendees)
  • All workshops with all our other international and New Zealand based teachers are included,
  • Retreat evening shows, pamper sessions and hafla
  • Welcome drinks and gifts
  • Entertainment and activities throughout the weekend

Retreat Teachers

SADIE MARQUARDT - International Teacher

Sadie is an inspiration and icon to her students and fans around the world and serves to empower people through the captivating art of Oriental Dance (Bellydance). She has produced dozens of bestselling instructional videos. She has represented the art of Oriental Dance in front of millions of viewers on the hit show “America’s Got Talent”.

Sadie is the founder and director of the “Raqs Flow” training program, which enriches students with a strong foundation in technique while keeping them engaged and connected to the dance’s culture and historical roots. She recently launched a new clothing line of athletic dance wear and produces a variety of destination dance retreats around the world, taking her students on a deep journey and exploration of this incredible art form as well as their own inner selves.

Sadie lives in Denver, Colorado.  She loves spending time in nature, hiking, camping and adventuring with her family. Aside from dance, Sadie has a deep passion and commitment to living and creating a holistic, sustainable lifestyle and world. She loves to combine her passions in her retreats; bringing the power of nature, dance, music, conscious living and human connection together.

When she is not busy traveling the globe she can be found teaching her award-winning bellydance classes and workshops as well as performing locally in Colorado.

Sadie's Workshop Topics:

    • Mind Blowing Isolations (2hr)
      • A technique intensive designed to tap into the mind/body connections necessary to master precision, timing and separation, key concepts in creating truly mind blowing isolations. Sadie's drills and exercises will unleash your fullest potential and prepare you for her other workshops!
    • Tahiti Fusion (2hr)
      • Sadie will take you around the world and back in this pulsating workshop. Arabic rhythms combine together with island beats of Tahiti. Chock full of Sadie hottest drum solo techniques and combos and movements inspired by the Polynesians create one exhilarating workshop! 
    • Inside Out (2hr)
      • Somewhere along our journey as dancers we wish to connect deeply to our humanity and use the tools of dance to share our experience with others. Affecting your audience with your performance and presence can be one of the most rewarding experiences of dancing. In Arabic there is a word to hint to this feeling, it is Tarab. While is assigned to the ecstatic state that can be induced by music, especially live music, we can absolutely tap into the power of Tarab as dancers and even bring our audience member on the Tarab wave with us. 
        Ironically, many dancers are not natural born entertainers. If you have struggled with confidence, stage presence or effective emotional communication or if you would like to become more competent in these areas then this workshop is for you. We will explore many dance concepts and motifs to help us tap into our body communication. We will then put it all into action with some short phrases and choreography.
    • Tarab & Taksim (2hr)
      • The Taksim ~ the emotional and poetic improvised solo in Middle Eastern Music. Many dancers shy away from incorporating this powerful dance into their repertoire but not for long. Sadie will break down the basic elements of a Tarab and Taksim helping the dancer open up and express herself through this beautiful dance!

CANDICE FRANKLAND - New Zealand Teacher

Founder and director of Phoenix Belly Dance, a multi-award winning dance company and home to some of New Zealand's most sought after performers and teachers. Candice received the Tarazade Festival’s Trained by the Stars Award in Turkey in 2012, was winner of the Bellydance Evolution International Casting Competition 2014 (LA/Sydney), taught and performed at the 2015 Tarazade Festival in Turkey, and was cast in a supporting role during the Bellyqueen Journey Along the Silk Road in Oz 2016 Tour. It's one of Candice's most closely held beliefs that belly dance has benefits for everyone, both psychological and physical. The multiple layers and genres of belly dancing allow students to explore and find the styles they are most comfortable with, ones which make them feel beautiful and powerful.

Candice's Workshop Topics:

  • To be announced

Past Retreat Teachers

Candice Frankland (Auckland, NZ)

Aziza (Montreal, Canada)

Marta Korzun (Ukraine)

Anasma (USA / France / Tunisia)

Sahra Saeeda (Los Angeles, USA)

Hadia (Canada)

Rose Ottaviano (Australia)

Helene Skaugen (Norway)

Kateryna Siham (Dubai, UAE)

Jrisi Jusakos (Australia)

Bibiana Franco (Australia)

Rabiya (Sydney, Australia)

Vanessa Castro (Brazil)

The Ruby Lady (Christchurch, NZ)

Mirian Caberlon Chamberlain (Wellington, NZ)

Lisa Maia Ambrose (Dunedin, NZ)

Zummarad (Christchurch, NZ)

Christine Haviland (Auckland, NZ)

Angela Mott (Auckland, NZ)

Suezy Robertson (Auckland, NZ)

Julie Anterrieu (France)

Aida Sajadi (Iran / NZ)

Tanya Bamford King (Tauranga, NZ)

Dallia (Auckland, NZ)

Tatyana Tania Laptsevich (Belarus / Australia)

Margaret-Mary (Auckland, NZ)

Krishna Gotty (NZ)

More Info

Thrilling workshops, making new belly dance friends, non-stop fun and activities, relaxation time, and a stunning weekend away at our new location, the spectacular Bella Rakha Retreat Centre! The venue is surrounded by nature, facilities are lovely and inviting with comfortable one or two sleeper rooms, spacious workshop rooms and brand new kitchen and dining facility. The venue has recently been refurbished and plays host to several local artists and sculptors, and has a massive Frisbee golf course!

Testimonials from Past Retreats

'Thank you so much for all the love you poured into this special event. It really did exactly what you hoped it would - it helped me feel reconnected to dance and helped me feel a belonging in the dance community in New Zealand. This year has been a difficult year of feeling lost, lonely and disconnected. The retreat came at a time where I was having lot of self doubt and confidence issues and it really lifted me out of those. I feel like for that weekend I was restored to my former self. I felt like I could just be me again and forget myself. The best thing is that this feeling has carried on afterwards too. The weekend really helped me to make decisions about where to be in New Zealand and it encouraged me to move somewhere with a dance community because I feel like I am living with a missing limb. I felt welcomed into a community in a way I haven't felt since arriving in New Zealand and I felt that people were open and non-judgemental which enabled me to feel comfortable to dance in front of them. The activities really helped me to make friends and to just have a lot of laughter and fun. I really took it all in and will be saving up to come again next year for sure. Thank you so much for providing this amazing event and for wanting it to be so much more than just another series of dance workshops. This retreat really is unique and special and seeing how much the teachers embraced and enjoyed it too was special because it is not often you feel you can get to know international dance stars. The retreat has been a powerful experience for me at a turbulent time and it has probably been more important to me than you could know. Thank you again. I can't wait to get dancing again!.' - Lenna

'Thank you very much for a wonderful Retreat experience. It was my 1st time ever and I really enjoyed it. Everything was organised very well & full on and yet it was relaxing too :) And I loved our healthy snacks!!!!! It was very inspirational event and the show was beautiful! Of course Marta was so inspiring - her teaching skills are just superb! Loved her personality too :) Great Dancer & Person inside and out :)' - Natallia

'Thank you :D : The warmth, acceptance and truly excellent standard of teaching make this an event not to be missed. You can do as much or as little as you want. It's a weekend for healing your soul' - Barbara

'Thanks for an awesome weekend! I had a ball, learned so much, loved all the food :) ' -Wai Ling

'Just what I needed!' -Suezy

'Loved the whole weekend and definitely will be back.' – Nyla