SaJa Middle Eastern Dance Co., based out of San Luis Obispo County is co-directed by Sandra Sarrouf and Jenna Mitchell. SaJa shares diverse dance traditions from North Africa to the Middle East re-presenting some of the beautiful and varied cultural dance expressions from the Arab world. Sharing the long standing tradition of social celebration SaJa hopes to inspire, educate and connect communities.
Sandra Sarrouf has been dancing her whole life! Immigrating to the US at a young age from the Middle East, she deepened the connection to her heritage through the study of arabic music and dance. A cultural worker and advocate for traditional arts, Sandra sees ethnic dance as a bridge for cross cultural engagement, leading to deeper work around cultural equity. A mother, active community member, and MA candidate in cultural sustainability Sandra hopes to connect, inspire and educate about our beautifully diverse America through dance. She has been teaching and performing for over 20 years, is a guest dance director for the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble, and has had the great honor of performing at Carnegie Hall. Outside of dance Sandra is a business owner, community/events organizer and connector firmly committed to social and environmental justice.
Jenna Mitchell is the owner of World Rhythm & Motion Studio, co-director of SaJa Middle Eastern Dance Co, and a guest dance director for Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble. Jenna began her dance training as a child focusing on classical ballet, modern and jazz, later performing with Cal Poly’s Orchesis Dance Company. Middle Eastern Dance became her passion 25 years ago which led her to study with master teachers in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, and the US. Jenna has been teaching and performing for many years, had the great privilege of performing at Carnegie Hall, and is committed to presenting diverse dances from the Arab World. A long time community member, Cal Poly graduate, mother and human resources manager Jenna loves to share Middle Eastern dance with the community.