Feed From Belly Dance World
If you are looking to lead a belly dancing club or gathering, then the most important thing you need is a venue. Traditionally town halls, social clubs and health centres all rent out rooms to dance classes and clubs, so that is a good place to start.
Almost all of these venues will charge some sort of rental fee for your use of the room, but premium sports clubs are no doubt going to charge the
most, however some may be willing to do some sort of deal where if you book in advance for a
set number of weeks, they will offer a discount. Of course, this is all dependant on the club and isn't true for every sport centre.
Church halls and social clubs are also good, essentially anywhere with a large amount of room where you can spread your pupils out for the dance classes and lessons. Most of these venues will have wooden floors which can be easily swept in order to be kept clean, and are easy to dance and train on.
Alternatively, you can use the internet to see where other dance classes in your area go to train. Major cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham all have a number of dance centres that are routinely rented out by assorted clubs for competitions and classes. If you are unable to find a venue for yourself, sharing one with other classes is also an option. It is also a good bet that they will have facilities that will also be useful for your dance class, such as toilets and a kitchen.
If you are planning on teaching or organising a dance club, then there are several things you need to remember. Firstly, if you are the teacher, you are responsible for your pupils so you need to make sure that the venue has at least a basic first aid kit to look after any minor injuries. Depending on the type of dance that you are teaching, it may be worth looking into getting
insurance cover for your classes. More strenuous types of dancing could potentially lead to injury, so to protect yourself and your pupils, consider getting some form of insurance cover.
As the teacher however, you will realise that injuries only occur through carelessness or through a lack of a proper warm up. Dance can be trying on the body, especially if it is unused to it, so it is important to warm up your pupils through a series of exercises in order to get the blood pumping and the muscles read. This can be done through a series of basic stretches, or simple cardio exercises like star jumps or light jogging.
Next is ensuring your pupils are doing the various techniques correctly. This can be done by pairing your pupils up, so they have someone to train with as well as performing the various techniques yourself so your pupils know what they are meant to do and the correct way to do it.
The most important thing to remember is before teaching new pupils, discover whether they have any conditions that might cause problems in the future, such as back problems. That way you can make sure that they don't over-exert themselves. Find more tips on teaching belly dance and other forms of dance with some free guides on world belly dance. Go to Egypt
for dance training?
When your belly dance school is ready to form its first dance troupe, it is important to give some careful thought to how you
will tackle the question of what to wear. You may have visions of a slick,
professional ensemble – but for amateurs, it is not realistic to insist they
buy the latest fashion in a Dina bra and slinky lycra skirt.
First, there is the expense. It is one thing for a professional belly dancer to spend hundreds of dollars on a
costume, because she will wear it many times. How often will your students use
theirs? Will you be happy for them to appear in the same thing at every single
performance for the next few years, to justify the cost? Not to mention the
fact that some may simply not be able to afford it in the first place. Secondly,
if you have older or larger ladies in your class, they may drop out rather than
perform in a skin-tight costume which is not kind to their saggy bits – and you
do not want to lose students.
However, it is important to create a uniform “look” for your group. Students often have trouble keeping “in sync”,
no matter how much you rehearse. Consistent costuming will help give the
illusion of a coherent unit, even if they are not all performing exactly the
same steps at exactly the same time! By contrast, “make-do” outfits highlight
differences – the audience is more likely to focus on the best outfit, rather
than the best dancer.
Don't be afraid to ask your class how they feel about buying something for the show – they may not want to invest
hundreds of dollars, but you may be surprised to find they are excited by the
idea of looking like a “real” belly dancer, and are willing to make a
reasonable investment to achieve it. Take their feedback into account when
deciding how much you will ask them to spend.
There are a couple of options to achieve a coherent look while letting your students create a costume they will feel
· “Neutral” Bedleh: Specify a bra and belt (or if you are really on a budget, a choli
top and hip scarf) in black, white, silver or gold. Allow each student to add a skirt and
accessories in any colour. Dancers who are self-conscious about their shape can
add a body stocking and a shrug.
· Same Colour, Different Designs. Students
can wear any style they like, so long as it is in the specified colour. This option will be welcomed by intermediate
students who may have suitable costumes in their closet already. It is best to narrow it down (e.g. “royal
blue”, not just “blue”), otherwise the outcome can be a hotch-potch (e.g. green
can range from a delicate mint, through fluoro lime to a dark bottle)! Providing
a fabric swatch is a good idea.
Although the hip belt is going out of style these days in favour of an embellished skirt, I still like the bedlah idea for student troupes. Once they
have bought the bra and belt, you have the basis for an endless variety of
costumes for future haflas, simply by adding a different style or colour of
skirt and adding sleeves, a shrug, ghawazee coat etc. Problem solved!
Guest post written by Thea.
Thea is a freelance writer and the owner and webmistress of BellydanceOz.com, which has grown from an Australian belly dance directory into a multi-stranded website for
belly dancers everywhere.
Welcome to my first belly dance blog for 2010. As a belly dancing enthusiast, my plan for the New Year includes some resolutions to do with my favourite dance form.
My first resolution to do with belly dance is of course to practise more and if possible attend private lessons with some famous belly dancers. Also, I would like to go to Egypt at some point if finances and time allow.
I also would like to try and perform more often and also try and listen to more Arabic music
to see if I can discover new tracks I like. I would like to attend more events and workshops and, finally, I would like to really learn how to play sagat properly. This is not easy as it requires a lot of practice and I do not want to upset my neighbours with the noise…however, the sound of zils can be muffled
somehow. It would be great to play finger cymbals freely, but playing them muzzled is better then nothing. If I ever move to a detached house, then, who knows, I may be able to let myself go!
I wonder what other belly dancers’ resolutions for 2010 are. Please feel free to send me your comments!
Archaeologists have argued that belly dancing has been going on in Greece since ancient times. It is thought that the Tsifteteli (Greek belly dancing) was born when Greek women used to dance it for worshiping Aphrodite
(Venus) thousands of years ago.
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has many Greek and Turkish influences despite being its own republic. Many tourists travel to the island every year in order to see the Greek and Turkish influenced belly dancing that goes on and many come to get involved and learn how to belly dance like the professionals!
If you are staying in Pafos, then there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from if you want to watch belly dancing although it isn’t uncommon to come across a non-local performing a dance which for many tarnishes the experience. If you pick some of the lower end establishments, it is also fair to say that the quality of dancer can be hit or miss.
If you are looking for the ultimate authentic experience then a trip to Agios Georgios is highly recommended. Not only will you find a range of local tavernas to sample the local cuisine, in some of the more livelier bars (ask the locals where’s best on the night you are there) and you will more than likely see a local Cypriot lady perform a technically astounding and truly breath-taking performance. This has normally been laid on for the locals’ entertainment but they are always happy to welcome new faces!
If you are looking to learn the ancient art of belly dancing then Paphos is probably the place to go with many dancers offering tuition on most evenings. They welcome individuals and groups and are usually very reasonably priced. They welcome beginners and can be a nice way to get you in the mood for fun-filled night out. If you are away without your partner then the skills you acquire could also prove to be a nice ‘souvenir’ for them on your return!
Without a doubt, the best place to see belly dancing on the whole island is on Saturday at the Layali Café on Evagorou Street in Nicosia where they have Belly Dance Fever. You can see the many beautiful women shaking their stuff and if you are feeling adventurous (or you’ve had one too many) you can get involved and the dancers are always happy to share some techniques and tricks of the trade.
Many view belly dancing as an Arabian tradition but in actual fact (like most things) it was an advent of the ancient Greeks, therefore it makes sense that an island with such a rich influence of Greek heritage should produce some of the world’s finest displays of belly dancing.
This is a guest contribution from the team at Villas for sale in Cyprus). Do you hold Cyprus belly dance classes? You might also be interested in Venice dance events
where Valeria Lo Iacono sometimes performs and teaches.