Can I just turn up or join when I want?

Belly dance isn't the kind of thing most people master in an hour so the beginners course is designed to build up over the weeks. If you've never done any belly dancing before then you will need to start at the beginning of the course, to be booked in advance. Get in touch to secure your place! 

The troupe and open level classes will be designed as a course, but if you can't make a few classes but still need your dance fix then you can drop in for £8 a class. 

What if I'm not a beginner?

If you've been belly dancing for less than six months you will probably find the beginners class the right level for you.

The open level course is designed to be interesting for those with some experience so even if you know your hip drops from your hagalla, you will get something from it! I will tailor the content to who is in the room as much as possible. As well as building on the foundations of technique, it is a good opportunity to join and build the local belly dance community.

The troupe class will also be open level with the chance to include higher level moves and combos. Performance encouraged but entirely optional!

When and where is it?

The next six week course will start Thursday 21st March at St Peter's Community Centre in Sowerby village (HX6).

The hall has plenty of parking and near the 570 and 590 bus stops. 

How much is it?

Each six week course will be £40, to be paid in advance. Drop ins for the open level class are £8. For those on the open level course, the choreography class price will be £4, £8 for choreography class only. 

Do I need to be in good shape?

Belly dance is a skill to learn, a way of moving your body, so if you have a body then you are in good shape! Generally speaking, whatever your age, fitness level, shape, size, gender... Everyone is welcome. 

On registration you will be asked about any medical conditions which may affect your ability to dance and adjustments will be made where required. There may be some people with conditions and mobility restrictions which severely limit their ability to enjoy and get the most out of belly dance classes. If you think that may apply to you then let's chat about it before you decide. 

What should I wear?

The main thing is to be comfortable and wear clothes that will allow you to move freely. This could be a t-shirt and tracksuit trousers, a vest top and leggings, a crop top and long skirt or something else if you prefer. If you have a coin belt to tie around your hips then wear one, but I have some that can be used in class.

We usually dance barefoot to allow maximum foot flexibility, although dance shoes with flexible soles can be worn. No dancing in just socks on hard floors, it's a slip risk. Jewellery that could get caught and cause injury should also be removed. 

Is belly dance good for weight loss?

It can be if you do a lot of it, but it is a low impact form of exercise and so attending a class a week is unlikely to be enough to lose much weight. It is, however, great for self-esteem, confidence, posture, muscle tone, making friends and moving more, which are probably better things to aim for than achieving a particular number on a set of scales! 

What style of belly dance is it?

Classes are mainly rooted in Egyptian style belly dance as well as some fusion belly dance, to a range of Arabic and Western music. Every effort is made to be accurate and respectful when presenting elements of the cultures from which the dance originates, which is different to my own. There is always more to learn and as a living art form this is constantly evolving. It's part of what makes belly dance such an interesting hobby.

For more information on belly dance styles, history and perspectives, and are great resources! 

Do I have to perform in public?

No! There is no pressure on anyone to perform. Most people find that they want to perform after all the hard work they've put in learning the moves and routines. 

As well as community and charity events, there are a number of gatherings with other belly dancers called haflas, where we all dance for each other and cheer each other on. Haflas in particular are a great way to step outside your comfort zone in a safe and supportive environment, this can really help develop confidence and self esteem.