Coming from a background in instrumental and vocal music and musical theatre, Phaedra Darwish was mesmerized by Arabic dance and music after studying different types of dance from around the world. She feels that these art forms are beautiful ways to share the culture of her heritage. She regularly performs and teaches workshops and classes in Chicago and throughout the US, hoping to spread enthusiasm and respect for Middle Eastern dance as more and more people get acquainted with its health benefits and enchanted by its beauty.
With its lively music and rich historic tradition, oriental dance, or raqs sharqi, brings with it more than just dance moves. By examining the music, regions, and cultural aspects behind the movement in her classes and performing Arabic dance at a professional level both inside and outside of its traditional environment, Phaedra seeks to fulfill her mission as an artist: to increase cultural awareness, appreciation, and understanding by sharing the dances of her heritage with as large a population as possible.