Class Levels

Dance is the hidden language of the soul.
~ Martha Graham ~

Sahara Dance offers belly dance classes covering a wide range of topics and styles. Find out more…

Performance

Performance classes and companies are designed to allow students to learn stage presence and challenge themselves with a fun, bonding experience. Requires concurrent enrollment in a technique class.
Specialty

Supplement your technique training with specialty classes exploring the historical, contextual and experimental sides of belly dance. Specialty classes focus on a variety of skills, and include:

  • Arabic Rhythms Combinations
  • Belly Dance Cardio
  • Egyptian Folkloric Dances
  • Mindfulness and Belly Dance
  • Modern Egyptian Combinations
  • ShimmyHIIT
  • Tabla I: Introduction to Tabla (Drum) and Rhythms
  • Tabla II: Beginner Tabla (Drum)
  • Tabla III: Intermediate Tabla (Drum)
  • Urban-Belly Dance Fusion
Technique
Class structure is based on a Western format of clear movement breakdowns, drilling the basics, hands-on adjustments and integrating movements through combinations, choreography and improvisational exercises.

MORE INFO

Learn more about our classes, required materials and our studio policies.

 

Class Levels

Most students should start with a Beginner I Technique class. If you don’t think you fall into this category, please contact us to discuss placement.

After completing Beginner I Technique class, deciding to move up or repeat a level depends on your dance intentions. There are many valid and good reasons to study belly dance and we welcome and support your personal dance goals.

If you are taking classes primarily for fun and exercise, your enrollment should be based on personal preference. Combinations classes are a great workout and fit this category well. If you aspire to master the dance, perform, and/or join one of the student companies, your training should be more structured. For those in the second category, we recommend the following:

As a general rule, it’s best to stay at a class level until you feel you’ve built the movements into your muscle memory. Mastery of the movement includes being able to easily and joyfully execute combinations, in time with the music, without the teacher in front of you.

For most people, this means taking technique classes at the same level several times. Take your time to allow your body to absorb the foundational material with exposure over several semesters. Repetition is the best way to internalize the movement and music and build strong alignment, form and movement execution. Most importantly, study of the dance is not something to rush, but to savor! Your dance development and persona will be fully realized by experiencing the joy of mastering the dance at each level.

As we get a lot of questions about this, we recommend using the parameters below as general guidelines and asking your teachers for placement advice. Additionally, most students take technique classes multiple times each week to reinforce movement vocabulary and musical interpretation. As always, ask if you’re feeling a little lost.

Class Level Recommended Repetition
Beginner I Technique (Zeina and Aziza) 1 to 2 enrollment sessions each (3-6 months)
Beginner II Technique 2 to 4 enrollment sessions (6-16 months)
Beginner II Technique 1 to 3 enrollment sessions (3-12 months)
Low Intermediate I (no props) 1 to 3 enrollment sessions (3-12 months)
Low Intermediate II: Zills 1 to 3 enrollment sessions (3-12 months)
Low Intermediate III: Veil 1 to 3 enrollment sessions (3-12 months)
Intermediate and Above Based on individual evaluation / teacher recommendation
Performance Classes See class prerequisites
Raquettes Performance Classes See class prerequisites
Raqs Caravan West Company Class See class prerequisites
Raqs Caravan East Company Class See class prerequisites