Yes, YOU can dance!
Bellydance, called raqs sharki in Arabic and oryantal dans in Turkish, is rooted in dances done at social celebrations. It is a joyful and cathartic dance, that fosters togetherness and creativity. It provides a chance to make new friends and learn new skills, and a way to practice loving your body and trusting your instincts.
Raqs sharki/oryantal dans is done from Anatolia to Persia to Morocco. Its long history is shaped by changing trade routes and shifting borders. As we learn to translate the music into movement, we also learn about the diverse cultures this dance, and many others, belong to. Bellydance is often gateway to greater cultural understanding and connection.
Dancers also gain strength and confidence as they learn to move their bodies in new ways. Students often find that their posture and balance improve, and it is a great low impact and fun way to get moving and find your strength.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“As a former student, I walked away from each class with a deeper appreciation for this dance, confidence in executing the moves, and love of the sisterhood that bellydance brings”
— Nerissa, intermediate student
We created the Central Bellydance School to give students an organized way to learn oriental dance. Our curriculum is planned so that classes, confidence, and skills build on each other while preserving the unique flavor of raks sharki and avoiding the sterilizing influence of standardization that is so antithetical to this diverse folk dance.
We believe in honoring the cultures these dances come from. To that end, we work to form one side of the cultural bridge, and to bring in native MENAHT teachers whenever possible. We also believe in diversity, and welcome dancers from all backgrounds who are interested in learning with an open heart and respectful mind.
Most of all, we believe in the power of fun and friendship. Just like the movements of oriental dance restore muscle balances in the body, the playful nature of gathering with friends and enjoying the dance restores an emotional balance. Come dance with us!