Freedom to a dancer means discipline. That is what technique is for — liberation.
~ Martha Graham ~
Technique classes are based on a consistent format of clear movement breakdowns, drilling the basics, hands-on adjustments and integrating movements through combinations, choreography and improvisational exercises.
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.
BEGINNER I TECHNIQUE (ZEINA / AZIZA)
This course is designed for students new to belly dance or seeking a belly dance refresher. No dance experience necessary.
Students will learn basic belly dance technique, including posture, shimmies, isolations, undulations and traveling steps. Class will include a brief introduction to the history, context, and philosophy of belly dance, as well as a brief introduction to Middle Eastern music. Choreography will be taught to incorporate new movements. Come celebrate your femininity!
Two separate and distinct Beginner I Technique classes will be offered each semester. Beginner I Technique (Zeina) is offered in the first half of each semester; Beginner I Technique (Aziza) is offered in the second half of each semester. Each course will be 7- to 8-weeks, and together provide a complete introduction to belly dance. Each course covers different material, and students can begin with either one (Zeina or Aziza).
We recommend that students take two full semesters of Beginner I (i.e., two sessions of Zeina and two sessions of Aziza) before moving on, and recommend taking different teachers for each class to gain full advantage of the different teaching styles.
Mastery of the Beginner I (Zeina & Aziza) curricula is required for enrollment in Beginner II.
No dance experience necessary.
BEGINNER II TECHNIQUE
Expand your movement base to include foundational undulations and accents, turns and layering. Begin exploring Middle Eastern music rhythms and structure. Choreography and improvisational exercises will be taught.
Prerequisite: Mastery of content from Sahara Dance Beginner I Technique or permission of teacher.
LOW INTERMEDIATE I TECHNIQUE
Learn to travel with isolations and layering. Dance more complex combinations and floor patterns.
Prerequisite: Mastery of content from Sahara Dance Beginner II Technique or permission of teacher.
Refine and master technique through advanced combinations and learning more intricate movement vocabulary. Emphasis is placed on spins, entrance steps, speed and layering.
Prerequisite: Mastery of content from Sahara Dance Low Intermediate I Technique or permission of teacher.
INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED TECHNIQUE
Concentrate on components for raqs sharqi performance sets, including more advanced turns, drills, entrance veil work, cane, taqsim and drum solos. Emphasis is on emotional expression, improvisation and musical interpretation. Practice weekly conditioning for maintaining and improving a full movement repertoire for belly dance performance.
Prerequisite: Mastery of Sahara Dance Low Intermediate I, II and III (zills and veil) and Intermediate material and / or permission of instructor.
Enjoy a class full of shimmies, drills, combinations, traveling steps and turns. Begin class with a comprehensive warm up to build core strength and flexibility. Emphasis is on quality movement execution, musical interpretation, alignment, stamina, and whole-body awareness. Class may include components and props for raqs sharqi performance sets, including more advanced turns, folkloric dance, improvisation, entrance veil work, cane, taqsim and drum solos. Practice weekly conditioning for maintaining and improving a full movement repertoire for belly dance performance.
Prerequisite: Mastery of Sahara Dance Low Intermediate I, II (Zills) and III (Veil) and Intermediate material, and / or permission of instructor.
Low Intermediate Technique II: Zills
Complementing movement with the sound of finger cymbals (called zills or sagat) is a fundamental skill for every belly dancer. This class includes the basics of creating different sounds, learning common patterns and rhythms, and incorporating music and movement together for a harmonious whole. It will draw on the Low Intermediate curriculum as a foundation for the combinations designed to highlight the zills. Both novice finger cymbal players and advanced students looking for a refresher are welcome.
Students should provide their own finger cymbals (ask teacher for recommendations), some will be available to borrow for the first weeks.
LOW INTERMEDIATE TECHNIQUE III: PROPS SAMPLER
Learn the many delightful and foundational props used to enhance your belly dance artistry! Focus on musicality with zills, grace and traveling steps with veil, and big earthy movements with cane for a well-rounded dance experience. Drawing from the Low Intermediate curriculum, dancers will learn the musical contexts, combinations and movements that best highlight each prop to maximize its effect.
Props include cane, veil, and zills/segat (finger cymbals). Some canes are available to borrow at the studio. Students must provide their own finger cymbals and veil (ask teacher for recommendations).