Kush Project

The Kush Project was launched by renowned Turkish dancer Melisa Yavas in February 2013 to help women find their natural rhythm in life. This unique series of women-only workshops harnesses the power of bellydancing and meditation with complementary activities, such as yoga and sound therapy, to enlighten, invigorate and empower women by improving their understanding of and relationship with their minds, bodies and others.

Oriental dancing (also known as bellydancing) is growing in popularity all over the world, along with a desire to find inner peace. Melisa knows first-hand how bellydancing can benefit people through her dance therapy work with the wider community, from bellydance classes for women to working with special needs children.

The Kush Project draws on Melisa’s professional and academic experience in psychotherapy, combined with her ethnic Turkish background, dancing career and interests in spirituality.

Kush workshops are tailored to suit specific programmes, locations and needs. They can run as an individual two hour session, or over half-a-day, Kush can form part of a weekend of related activities, or as a series of weekly hour-long workshops.

Each Kush session has a theme, such as Relationship or Acceptance, which is both practical and inspirational. Combining fun with feminine energy, women connect with their bodies and feelings, as well as interacting positively with each other. There is a physical wellbeing aspect (dance) and learning about the techniques for core bellydancing moves, together with meditation and other inner peace activities that are related to the specific theme. Those attending will leave the session feeling empowered individually and collectively.

Click on the headers below to learn about forthcoming Kush workshops and to reserve your place. Follow the Kush Project on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KushProject

Kush Founder Melisa Yavas

The Kush Experts

Kush Workshops

The Kush Project is back with a new series of workshops in Cambridge. Funded by Cambridge City Council and organised by local community arts group Balik Arts, the bellydance-led workshops will launch on 5th March and run weekly on Wednesdays for five weeks. They are open to women of all ages and backgrounds who want to have some fun and keep fit, while allowing them to meet other women in the local community.

Kush offers a safe and inclusive space for women to come together, where they can be open about their feelings, while more accepting and less judgmental of themselves and others. Central to the Kush philosophy is the power of bellydance, helping women to fly high and seek their own freedom through dance and inner peace.

Each workshop will be led by Kush founder Melisa Yavas, with renowned drummer Sallam Al-Sheikh providing live rhythms, and Cambridge-based Rosanna Gordon the meditation and yoga instructions. Each session starts with a group circle and introductions, followed by a warm-up, then high-energy Oriental dancing, and finally a cool down with meditation and related therapies.

Relationship will form the start and end of the Cambridge series of Kush workshops, with Acceptance, Womb and Naturally Balanced Female in between. Each theme homes in on a different aspect of the feminine being; women leave sessions feeling more enlightened, invigorated and empowered through their improved understanding of, and relationship with, their minds, bodies and each other.

While not compulsory, women are encouraged to attend all five workshops. Each session lasts for 1.5 hours and there is a maximum of fifteen people in any one workshop. Advance booking is highly recommended. No previous experience of bellydancing, yoga or meditation is required, but attendees should be in relatively good health – if in doubt please seek medical advice before attending.

Workshop venue: Mill Road Baptist Church, 178 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 3LP

Dates: 05/03/2014; 05/03/2014; 12/03/2014; 19/03/2014; 26/03/2014, and 02/04/2014

Times: 17.00 to 18.30pm – please arrive 15 minutes before the start time, so you can be ready to start on time.

Dress: loose comfortable clothing for stretching and easy movement: bring a few layers, to take off when you are warm and to put back on when you cool down e.g. during meditation

Entrance: £3 per workshop, £10 for all five.

Info and workshop tickets: via Balik Arts. Email them on info@balikarts.org.uk or text/call 07989 401 504


  • Melisa Yavas: she is one of the UK’s best known Turkish dancers, her reputation forged through her exhilarating Oriental-infused performances and incredible sword dances She is also the founder of the Kush Project. For more information, visit: www.melisayavas.com
  • Balik Arts: established in 1999, the group has driven a wide-range of local, regional and international art and educational projects. In 2012, the group expanded its activities to Cambridge. For more information, visit: www.balikarts.org.uk or www.facebook.com/balikarts
  • Rosanna Gordon: an experienced yoga teacher based in Cambridge. For more information, visit: www.rosannagordon.com

The Kush Project in Cambridge is supported by Balik Arts and Cambridge City Council

Cambridge City CouncilBalik Arts_logo