What should I wear to class?
Wear something that you're comfortable moving in that shows your movement. Yoga pants and a tank top are a great option. Wearing a coin scarf can also help you to see (and hear) your movements, and it's also a lot of fun. But it's not required.
Some students dance barefoot, and some choose to wear dance shoes. Either is fine in class, and many different practice shoes work for belly dance, including soft ballet slippers, jazz shoes, and half-sole dance sandals. No street shoes in the studio, please.
Does my age/size/shape matter? Can I still belly dance?
The dance we do in class has roots in the social dance of the Middle East. It's a dance that anyone would do at a wedding, party, or other fun occasion -- male and female, from kids to grandparents. In my classes, I've taught students ranging from teenagers to people looking for something fun and new to do in retirement. ;)
People sometimes wonder if their belly is too big or too small for belly dance, or if belly dance will change their belly. Amazing belly dancers come in all sizes! When I started studying Middle Eastern dance, I noticed some changes in my body (like greater strength and balance). And I also began to develop a new relationship with my body, and to feel comfortable in the body I had instead of wishing for a different one. This is a great benefit of Middle Eastern dance -- seeing all sizes and shapes of people who dance.
What if I'm not sure that I'm graceful and coordinated?
Some people have tried different dance classes in the past and left thinking that dance is not for them. You're always the judge of what's right for you! But if you've only experienced western dance (such as ballet or tap), give Middle Eastern dance a try. The movements are different, and you may find that even if you're not coordinated in a western way, you might be coordinated in an eastern way!
This dance is also a good way to strengthen important muscles and open up your posture (especially after a long day at a desk). When I started taking belly dance classes, so many people commented on how my posture had changed. So come as you are, even if you don't already feel graceful; it's an opportunity to build a new relationship with your body.
Want to know more?
Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions and to sign up for classes.
You can also join the mailing list for information on upcoming classes and events.