San Diego State University Logo
School of Music and Dance logo

Photo credit: Seddik Saber Photography

Christine Şahin


Christine Şahin

Office: M255

Ph.D., Critical Dance Studies, University of California, Riverside

Christine M. Şahin (Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California, Riverside) is a dance practitioner-scholar and ethnographer specializing in raqs sharqi (“belly dance”) and other MENAT (Middle Eastern, North African, and Turkish) dances. Her research investigates local, intra-MENAT, and global circulations of raqs sharqi centered within Cairo, Egypt. Sahin uses dance ethnography to explore the ways raqs sharqi contexts and bodies relate to tumultuous contemporary Middle Eastern politics. In particular, she positions her research in Cairo as a core site for analyzing the political, gender, and economic transformations the country has been experiencing in the continuing aftermath of Egypt’s January 25th, 2011 revolution. Her current project is expanding upon her doctoral dissertation, Core Connections: A Contemporary Cairo Raqs Sharqi Ethnography, and re-crafting it into a book. Her teaching specializations include Critical Dance Studies, dance and feminist ethnography, Middle Eastern Gender and Performance Studies, Choreographing Writing, as well as transnational and global approaches and perspectives on interdisciplinary dance and performance research.


As a long-term practitioner and teacher of raqs sharqi, Sahin has performed and taught extensively for over a decade throughout the East and West Coasts. As a professional performer, the pinnacle of her career has been starting out as a solo woman on the dance floor at Middle Eastern weddings and parties, and by the end of her show, having the entire room up singing and dancing together. This commitment and dedication to eliciting sincere human connection through bodily frameworks is embodied within her teaching pedagogy as well as research objectives and approaches.

As Guest Lecturer in Dance for Fall 2018, Sahin will be teaching Dance 181: Introduction to Dance, as well as Dance 380: Dance History: Global and Contemporary Contexts.