Image by Nour Wageh

If you want more information on what you will learn in each level of classes, and what you should know/be able to do before enrolling, just scroll down!

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Click over to Current Classes for a list of class descriptions, times, pricing, and locations.

Click over to Future Classes to see classes we hope of offer in the future (pending covid resolution and registration)

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If you already know who's classes you want to take, click "register" in the main menu. 

If your questions aren't answered below, check out Class FAQs

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Level 1: Foundation

Just like learning vocabulary for a new language, this level breaks down movement to build safe technique that will keep you dancing into (or out of) old age. We also get you started on developing your sense of rhythm, building confidence for improvisation, and some of the teachers even gently introduce the iconic finger cymbals! 

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

These classes are designed to be complete introductions, and to set you up with the skills you will need for higher levels. If you can find where your leg is connected to your hip, and locate Egypt on a map, then you are ready to join us! Whether you’ve never danced sober in your life, or you’ve studied Western dances for years but are ready to make your first foray into Middle Eastern styles, this is the level for you! 

Level 2: Musicality

Once you have some vocabulary under your hip-scarf, it's time to learn to say something with it!  Oryantale dance is the music made visible, these classes practice and refine what you've learned so far, while building your recognition of rhythms, song structure, and instruments, along with your confidence and staging skills.

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

  • Students must have familiarity with basic movement vocabulary and posture, although full fluency is not yet expected.

  • You should be able to find the 1 in an even count rhythm cycle with a strong down beat being played (for example, listen to a recording of the wahida rhythm, or saidi. Can you find where the rhythm cycle starts over, at 1?)

  • Students should be familiar with the information in the Level 1 Reading.

  • You should be able to play gallop and running singles on finger cymbals.

  • You should be able to name some percussive moves, and some slow moves.

    • If only the last 2 bullets are new to you, you can either take a cycle of level 1 OR ask for some video home work  or a private lesson to get caught up for level 2

Level 3: Seasoning

In this level, we let what you have learned so far sink into your body, while practicing old skills in new ways. Students get introduced to a variety of props, as well as ways to style bellydance for different music and settings. Just like our other classes, some classes focus on improvisation, and some build towards applying the skills in a choreography.

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

  • Students should be able to improvise for an entire song (even if you sometimes feel unsure of what to do next).

  • You should be able to transition between moves easily.

  • Students must be able to perform bellydance movement vocabulary with good posture, safe technique, and little concentration.

    • ​if any of these first bullets are your sticking point, check out level 2 classes or a mixed level drills class!

  • You should be able to dance with a veil (singular).

  • You should be able to find the phrases in a song, including identifying call and responses, and be able to map a song.

  • You should recognize different instruments and be able to identify the level 2 rhythms.

  • You must be familiar with the information in the Level 2 readings.

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Level 4: Performing

Students in these advanced class have been doing MENAHT dances for at least 4 years. They are either 7+year students interested in becoming professional performers, or are 4+year students who are curious about stage craft and the art of creating a show. We work on the different parts of an oryantale dance set, skills for working with your audience, projecting and protecting your energy, and more! 

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

  • Students should feel comfortable dancing with a variety of props. These might include Isis wings, candelabra, cane, single veil, double veil, fan veil, tray, or sword, based on your interests. You do not need to be able to dance with ALL of these, but one veil and one balancing prop are a minimum.

  • You should know ABOUT the different styles of raqs sharki/oryantal dans, and about a variety of folk dances. 

  • You must be able to improvise and feel confident translating the music into movement and transitioning between movements.

  • Students should be able to play a few patterns on their finger cymbals, have a set of cymbals they like the sound of, and be able to play back a pattern if someone plays it to you (within reason. You won't be expected to repeat after a master dummer who is showing off!)

  • You should know which folk dances relate the the style(s) of bellydance you most enjoy doing.

  • You should be familiar with a variety of rhythms, and the Must Know Songs that were introduced throughout levels 2, 3, and the folklore semesters.

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Mixed Level: Drills and Rehersals

Mixed level drills classes are like oriental dance study hall! Your teachers will include exercises and games they don't have time for in regular level classes, and you can hone your skills at your own pace.

Troupe rehearsals also fall into this category. Please note each teacher's individual policy on troupe participation. 

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

  • Students must have familiarity with basic movement vocabulary and posture, although full fluency is not yet expected.

  • You should be able to find the 1 in an even count rhythm cycle with a strong down beat being played (for example, listen to a recording of the wahida rhythm, or saidi. Can you find where the rhythm cycle starts over at 1?)

  • Students should be familiar with the information in the Level 1 Reading.

  • You should be able to play gallop and running singles on finger cymbals.

  • You should be able to name some percussive moves, and some slow moves.

    • If only the last 2 bullets are new to you, you can either take a cycle of level 1 OR look at  the video home work, or take a private lesson to get prepare

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Folklore Classes

The MENAHT region is large and very diverse! These classes are meant to introduce students to a wide variety of folk dances performed throughout the regions. Our goal is to foster appreciation for the diversity of dances and cultures, and to help students recognize different dances and music. Some classes are designed to be samplers which help you find a style or two to dive deeper into, some will go deeper into areas of each teachers' expertise.

What to Know Before Registering For This Level

  • Most of these classes are not meant to give mastery of any of the styles presented. They are included as a sampler to help students recognize references to them, to deepen your appreciation for the diversity of the MENAHT region, and to give you the chance to find something you would enjoy learning more about.

  • Being able to dance with veil is helpful for learning maleya

  • You should know basic rhythms, and being ready for both even and odd time signatures

  • Students need to have control and awareness of their bodies, and be comfortable making modifications/asking the teacher for modifications if any movements feel uncomfortable, especially in the classes that cover head and hair movements.

  • You should be familiar with the different countries and subregions in the MENAHT area.

  • Be comfortable with some improvisation, and with learning some combinations.