class descriptions
Class Difficulty:
Beginner & Intermediate
Intermediate & Advanced

sonya teaching cabaret B Intro to Belly Dance - 101
taught by Bridget & Christiana
Pre-Registration based class...First time in belly dance? Then this is the class for you! This primer class is where you start; helping you better in understand the movements that create the foundation of all styles of belly dance - technique through isolations and muscular training. This class focuses on break down of basic belly dance steps so that you begin with the correct methods to 'do' any of the common movements. Adds up to a great no-impact workout however the goal of the class is learning the verbiage, proper posture & being introduced to the different facets of Mid-East Dance.
As a new student to this art form we do recommend you take this class 1 full 7-week session before starting any of our other beginner belly dance classes, denoted with a blue star. See Class Attire here - no long skirts, as the instructors need to evaluate your knees & lower back position. You need no prior dance experience for this class - a minimum of 5 students per class offering is needed by the end of week 1 in order to run for the full session. All classes run on week 1.
Offered Mondays at 8:30pm & Wednesdays at 7:20pm & Saturdays 10:45am

BI Fundamentals of Belly Dance
taught by Sonya & Christiana
Pre-Registration based class...After the minimum 7-week session of INTRO class, this Fundamentals class expands to teach you a wider vocabulary of basic belly dance traditional Orientale movements, traveling steps & turns common to the "classic" Egyptian-style of Mid East dance, & most importantly how to connect them. Here you learn where in the music these steps are best used, why we do it, & more about where in the world it comes from. Class works on clean technique with full break-downs & step-combos that can improve your posture, flexibility, balance & grace through muscle isolation and control. Each week we put these new moves into a dance routine, finishing the session with a full choreographed dance & a strong sense of body awareness.
This class is ideal for your first 8-12 months of your training, however you should stay in this level (blue star) until all these fundamental moves are comfortable to you. You will always come away with something new from week-to-week, session-to-session, even year-to-year. See Class Attire here -- no long skirts, as your instructor needs to evaluate your knees & lower back position. No prior dance experience is necessary for this class however please complete 1 full 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance class first (see above, green star). All weekly offerings of the 'Fundamentals' class contain the same lesson plan/choreographic routine, therefore interchangeable from week-to-week. Email us for music info.
Offered Mondays at 7:20pm & Wednesdays at 8:30pm & Saturdays at 12 noon

BI Intro: Tribal Fusion Bellydance
taught by Kamrah
Pre-Registration based class...Tribal without a tribe, this introduction to the Tribal Fusion-style of bellydance tones your muscles, improves your dance posture, and prepares you for the snaky and powerful signature movements of Tribal Fusion bellydance. Class begins with a warm-up and some strength training, so be prepared to sweat! The basic isolations and dance movements used in Tribal Fusion are demonstrated and then extensively drilled. Short combinations are then offered for integration and practice. Intro to Tribal Fusion is a great primer for those intrigued by the darker, deeply sensuous, and powerful movements of this beautiful dance! Performance opportunities will occasionally be available as troupe Ahsena with certain requirements. See Class Attire -- Sorry, but no long skirts, as Kamrah needs to view knees/lower back position. This is not your first class of belly dance - If you've never taken any belly dance you should complete 1 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance first (see above) & at least 1 7-week session of Belly Dance Fundamentals before trying this class. Offered Mondays at 6:10pm

BI Intro to ATS® - American Tribal-Style Bellydance Spring 1
taught by Hanan
Pre-Registration based class...ATS® offers something for everyone: a good workout, improved posture and flexibility, a chance to interact within a group of dancers, and best of all, the joy of the dance itself. It is meant to be danced as cued improvisation, among dancers who all know the same step vocabulary. They exchange leadership and change moves on the fly-- this is not a choreographed dance form, but one that responds to the music, relying on non-verbal communication among the dancers as well as a deep knowledge of the steps. In this beginning class you can learn some of the basic vocabulary of steps, and the principles of how they can be put together, the 'shape' of the dance. You will also have the opportunity to learn the rudiments of finger cymbal, or zill, playing.
Wear clothes that are not binding and comfortable to move in, but that are not so loose it's hard for the instructor to read your movement. No long skirts. Hip scarves/shawls are encouraged! No prior dance experience is necessary for this class however if you've never taken any belly dance you should complete 1 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance first (see above) & perhaps a 7-week session of The Fundamentals. Offered Tuesdays at 7:20pm starting 2/26

BI Finger Cymbals 101 Winter
taught by Christiana
Pre-Registration based class...Belly Dancing with full-tempo Finger Cymbal Accompaniment - In this class, dancers will begin to work on the fundamentals of playing and dancing with finger cymbals! Theory, technique and review of basic patterns will be emphasized. In addition, dancers will begin to explore the concept of movement while playing finger cymbals. See Class Attire here -- no long skirts, as your instructor needs to evaluate your knees & lower back position. No prior dance experience is necessary for this class however please complete 1 full 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance class first (see above, green star). Offered Thursdays at 6:10pm only through the Winter session

BI Belly Dance CARDIO
taught by Kamrah
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Get your heart rate up with this fast paced belly dance cardio workout. Basic belly dance movements will be drilled and combined into mini-combos specifically designed to keep the heart going for a satisfying cardio workout. We’ll throw in some traditional fitness conditioning for an all-around, full-body workout. Bring water! Offered Thursdays at 8:30pm

BI Modern Fusion Belly Dance
taught by Eliza
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Modern Fusion Belly Dance (MFDB) combines or "fuses" movements of traditional belly dance (Egyptian, Turkish & Tunisian) with elements of western dance formats such as Modern Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and others. Designed for the long-time beginner & intermediate dancer, this class focuses on developing a clean and fluid belly dance technique infused with elements of western dance. Class starts with a short warm up to improve flexibility and get muscles and joints moving followed by exercises and drills that strengthen and tone primary muscles used in our dance practice. The second part of class focuses on learning a short combination or "choreo chunk" that will be repeated and refined over a couple of weeks as we build layers and add footwork to develop a multidimensional dance practice. Emphasis is placed on proper posture, fluid and concise movements, and seamless transitions.
Eliza brings her dance background in ATS/ITS and Tribal Fusion and fuses her dance style with qualities of western dance formats. She strives to honor traditional belly dance while also integrating contemporary, jazz and a bit of show girl to create fresh movements and unique choreography. Drop-in friendly class although regular attendance is encouraged as we build our combinations into a full dance to be performed at a future Arabesque Hafla. Offered Mondays at 8:30pm

BI Sassy & Sultry Combos Spring 1
taught by Christiana
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Give me an “A” for ATTITUDE! In this class, dancers will work technique and exploring their playful side. Every week, we’ll bring the sassy and sultry side to the dance floor, learning fusion-based belly dance combinations with music to set the mood! Offered Thursdays at 6:10pm Starts 3/1

BI Burlesque 101
taught by Eva La Feva
Pre-Registration based class... In this one-hour class, we will explore some basic burlesque technique (including walking with confidence in heels and emoting through movement) and apply that technique to learn a short choreography (performance opportunities may be available to those who have completed the class). Students will leave class understanding concepts like how to build suspense through "the tease," how to create a character/tell a story onstage, and how to make creative choices to make your acts dynamic. In this session, students will be be learning a choreography with Performance Opportunities!
From its origins in vaudeville halls, burlesque (or the art of striptease) has come to encompass a wide range of different performance art centered around the drama of "the reveal." From classic bump n' grind to modern day neo-burlesque, this subversive art form offers a unique opportunity to express power and confidence onstage. It is a celebration of form, beauty, and creativity. There is no nudity in this class. This class is to open to all, regardless of gender classification.
Needed: dance heels, yoga mat, knee pads (optional). Offered Wednesdays at 6:10pm

professional belly dancer I Moving Up; Belly Dance Choreography
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...Open to students who've mastered the basic belly dance movements introduced in the blue star classes (typically after 8-12 months of the Belly Dance Fundamentals class, comfortable with ALL those beginning moves), this choreography class is geared for those long-time beginners who feel they learn more through choreography, drills & routine. Every move you know has 100 variations, add-ons and layers... want to learn them? Take Yourself to that NEXT LEVEL! The dances learned in this weekly class can be auditioned for & performed in upcoming showcases, farmers markets, & "In-House Halfas" if desired as troupe el Amar. While everyone is unique, Pre-Requisites for this class are completion of the Fundamentals class (typically 4 sessions, or more) - Feel free to ask your instructor if you seem ready for the challenge or ask Sonya's advice before signing up & for music info.
Request to join our private facebook group for communication. Offered Wednesdays at 6:10pm & Saturdays at 12 noon

I Vintage Belly Dance Choreography Spring 1 & 2
taught by Lisha
Pre-Registration based class...The 1960’s through the 1980’s were the heyday of American Cabaret (aka Vintage Orientale) bellydance. This style was a fusion of Turkish and Arabic dances mixed with American theatricality. The live bands that performed had musicians from many of the diverse cultures of the Middle East. The Sultans were such a band, formed in New York City in 1976. Their music is the focus of the Spring 1 and 2 semesters. Spring 1 Lisha will feature an upbeat intro song with lots of shimmies, turns and a playful energy. Spring 2 semester will feature a drum solo and finale song.
You do not have to take Spring 1 to take Spring 2. They both will be available as a performance opportunity with troupe El Hawanem for the July Cairo by Night Hafla. It’s recommended that you complete 8 to 12 months of Fundamentals or equivalent experience before taking this class. You may want to wear half-sole dance shoes or ballet slippers for this class. Feel free to speak with the instructor for advice on beginning this class, Offered Saturdays at 1:15pm

I Tribal Fusion Technique
taught by Kamrah
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Sharpen your Tribal Fusion technique! This intermediate class will focus primarily on drills and intensive technique instruction, with small combinations offered for maximum retention and for an introduction to stage presence practice. Class will begin with strength training for those muscles critical for strong, clean technique. Kamrah then offers intense drills for strong fusion technique, concentrating on sharp isolations, layering, and more tricky fusion movements. The focus will be on taking your practice further, learning the anatomy of fusion movement, and working on learning layering and how to use these techniques in performance. Offered Thursdays at 7:20pm

I Middle Eastern Dance
taught by Marisela
Drop-in or Pre-Register...This class will be following the training design of Marisela’s teacher and mentor Surayah Al-Muddaris. We will always begin with a conditioning & cardio warm up for endurance, and we will train hip rotation techniques, shimmies, and proper belly dance form. The second half of the class will be focused on small portions of choreography that will be dissected for dance training as well as providing students with cultural context and musical ear training. Marisela has extensive experience in flamenco as well as many middle eastern folk dances (mainly debke) and will incorporate these into class on a frequent basis. The purpose of this class is to train dancers to be strong, have great form, develop an understanding of Egyptian music, as well as prepare dancers for performance opportunities. Offered Wednesdays at 7:20pm

IA Layers & Traveling (75 minutes)
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...For the dancer who is strong in ALL the fundamental movements and their myriad of intermediate variations, we offer a more advanced view of combinations with the moves you already know, new moves you've never seen before, as well as transitions from one move to the next, a "volume knob" approach to speed and expectations of layering movements simultaneously while traveling with them.
Longer, more difficult step combinations stretch the mind and muscle memory and a few improvisational dance techniques appear, while the content of a full session includes a challenging choreography with a new focus week-to-week on different dance skills, occasional prop use, and special "tips & tricks" you've always wished you knew!
A mastery of intermediate belly dance curriculum is expected in this fast-paced class for rather experienced students. Being comfortable in the intermediate/purple star classes and having good attendance is expected to keep up in this high-level offering.
Students are always expected to come to class prepared with their Veil and Finger Cymbals.
New students accepted only on the 1st week of the session, after already having spoken with Sonya regarding qualifications.
Choreographies learned in this class do have the opportunity to be auditioned for and performed, as Sonya's award-winning revolving student dance troupe, Ro-He.
This class is not a drop-in class; weekly attendance is expected. 75 minute classes = $131
Email Sonya for music info and request to join our private facebook group for troupe/Ro-He communication.
Offered Tuesdays at 7:20-8:35pm

IA SpellBound (Troupe Class)
taught by Eliza
Pre-Registration based class...This 2-hour performance-focused class/rehearsal consists of a group of Eliza`s dedicated dancers who are striving to reach their optimal dance potential. Rehearsal focuses on learning a complete choreography - to be performed at local, regional, and national events - with special attention on performance skills, musical interpretation, theatrical expression, and the clarity and articulation of technique. Entry into this class is by invitation only, seek Eliza's input regarding this class. Must also commit to the costuming needs of SpellBound - Offered Mondays at 6:10-8:20pm

sonia A Semi-Pro Soloist Training
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...Learning choreography, performing occasionally, and sweating in class is not enough if you take your dancing seriously. For the higher-level student with genuine intentions in this dance form we offer a laser-focused 1-hour weekly class on developing you as a knowledgeable soloist and expert of your field, Arab Dance Arts.
Over several sessions we will deeply explore the stylistic influences of many notable Mid-East dancers as well as those heralded in American Orientale; we will become knowledgeable to the names of the famous dancers, musical scores & composers of the "Golden Era" of belly dance, & even some Arabic word recognition, all while studying our own performance aspects (such as facial comportment, stage presence, body awareness, musicality, etc) and methods of self-assessment designed to foster communication and feedback skills of your own.
You will create a solo dance through week-to-week "homework" & mentor/peer evaluations, which when completed will stir up both your choreographic and improvisational skills, helping your dance excel to new heights, & enable you greater performance opportunities.
Class teaches YOU to build combinations that serve a purpose as well as how to recognize & identify 7 of the most usual Arabic rhythms (always come prepared with your finger cymbals/zill/segat & a veil). With an emphasis on deliberate self-practice, professionalism, history & dance community standards, this mentor ship with Sonya could complete each session with a solo performance opportunity & each year (7 sessions) with a certificate of completion.
Class Pre-Requisites:
Student must have been through a minimum 3 sessions/6 months of Moving Up (intermediate choreography class) or minimum 1 session/2 months of Layers & Traveling (interm./advanced choreography class) - AND maintain this level* of studentship during your time in Semi-Pro - this class is not a drop-in class; weekly attendance is expected. Also, weekly attendance in your other companion class is required. Student should not be afraid of finger cymbals (or math) & have a solemn desire for a whole-brain approach to basic belly dance movements & their variations; and come prepared each week ON TIME with homework completed. Failure to heed these strict rules forfeits your entry for the session.

Offered Tuesdays at 6:10pm

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