class descriptions
Class Difficulty:
B
Beginner
BI
Beginner & Intermediate
I
Intermediate
IA
Intermediate & Advanced
A
Advanced

sonya teaching cabaret B Introduction to Belly Dance - 101
taught by Bridget & Christiana
Pre-Registration based class...First time in belly dance? Then this is the class for you! This primer class is where you start; helping you better in understand the movements that create the foundation of all styles of belly dance - technique through isolations and muscular training. This class focuses on break down of basic belly dance steps so that you begin with the correct methods to 'do' any of the common movements. Adds up to a great no-impact workout however the goal of the class is learning the verbiage, proper posture & being introduced to the different facets of Mid-East Dance.
As a new student to this art form we do recommend you take this class 1 full 7-week session before starting any of our other beginner belly dance classes, denoted with a blue star. See Class Attire here - no long skirts, as the instructors need to evaluate your knees & lower back position. You need no prior dance experience for this class, which is offered 2x in Winter Wednesdays at 7:20pm & Saturdays 10:45am - a minimum of 5 students per class offering is needed by the end of week 1 in order to run for the full session. All classes run on week 1.
Summer 1 will offer 3x a week, Mondays at 8:30pm & Wednesdays at 7:20pm & Saturdays 10:45am


BI Belly Dance Fundamentals
taught by Sonya & Christiana
Pre-Registration based class...After the minimum 7-week session of INTRO class, this Fundamentals class expands to teach you a wider vocabulary of basic belly dance traditional Orientale movements, traveling steps & turns common to the "classic" Egyptian-style of Mid East dance, & most importantly how to connect them. Here you learn where in the music these steps are best used, why we do it, & more about where in the world it comes from. Class works on clean technique with full break-downs & step-combos that can improve your posture, flexibility, balance & grace through muscle isolation and control. Each week we put these new moves into a dance routine, finishing the session with a full choreographed dance & a strong sense of body awareness.
This class is ideal for your first 8-12 months of your training, however you should stay in this level (blue star) until all these fundamental moves are comfortable to you. You will always come away with something new from week-to-week, session-to-session, even year-to-year. See Class Attire here -- no long skirts, as your instructor needs to evaluate your knees & lower back position. No prior dance experience is necessary for this class however please complete 1 full 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance class first (see above, green star). All weekly offerings of the 'Fundamentals' class contain the same lesson plan/choreographic routine, therefore interchangeable from week-to-week. Email us for music info.
Offered Mondays at 7:20pm & Wednesdays at 8:30pm & Saturdays at 12 noon


BI Intro: Tribal Fusion Bellydance
taught by Kamrah
Pre-Registration based class...Tribal without a tribe, this introduction to the Tribal Fusion-style of bellydance tones your muscles, improves your dance posture, and prepares you for the snaky and powerful signature movements of Tribal Fusion bellydance. Class begins with a warm-up and some strength training, so be prepared to sweat! The basic isolations and dance movements used in Tribal Fusion are demonstrated and then extensively drilled. Short combinations are then offered for integration and practice. Intro to Tribal Fusion is a great primer for those intrigued by the darker, deeply sensuous, and powerful movements of this beautiful dance! Performance opportunities will occasionally be available as troupe Ahsena with certain requirements. See Class Attire -- Sorry, but no long skirts, as Kamrah needs to view knees/lower back position. This is not your first class of belly dance - If you've never taken any belly dance you should complete 1 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance first (see above) & at least 1 7-week session of Belly Dance Fundamentals before trying this class. Offered Mondays at 6:10pm


BI ATS® 1 - American Tribal-Style Bellydance - Starts Summer 1
taught by Hanan
Pre-Registration based class...ATS® offers something for everyone: a good workout, improved posture and flexibility, a chance to interact within a group of dancers, and best of all, the joy of the dance itself. It is meant to be danced as cued improvisation, among dancers who all know the same step vocabulary. They exchange leadership and change moves on the fly-- this is not a choreographed dance form, but one that responds to the music, relying on non-verbal communication among the dancers as well as a deep knowledge of the steps. In this beginning class you can learn some of the basic vocabulary of steps, and the principles of how they can be put together, the 'shape' of the dance. You will also have the opportunity to learn the rudiments of finger cymbal, or zill, playing.
Wear clothes that are not binding and comfortable to move in, but that are not so loose it's hard for the instructor to read your movement. No long skirts. Hip scarves/shawls are encouraged! No prior dance experience is necessary for this class however if you've never taken any belly dance you should complete 1 7-week session of INTRO to Belly Dance first (see above) & perhaps a 7-week session of The Fundamentals. Offered Tuesdays at 7:20pm starting 5/30


BI Belly Dance CARDIO
taught by Kamrah
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Get your heart rate up with this fast paced belly dance cardio workout. Basic belly dance movements will be drilled and combined into mini-combos specifically designed to keep the heart going for a satisfying cardio workout. We’ll throw in some traditional fitness conditioning for an all-around, full-body workout. Bring water! Offered Sundays at 1:15pm


BI BUTI Dance & Yoga Fitness
taught by Ashley
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Buti is a well blended workout fusion class. Buti is a transformative experience that combines tribal dance, yoga, cardio, and plyometrics. Ashley first discovered Buti in California where she completed the teacher training program. The meaning of the word Buti is based on an Indian Marathi word that means “a cure that has been hidden or kept secret”. Buti is a class that is still quite new to Chicago and Ashley cannot wait to share the Buti method with students! Buti is about cultivating an experience of empowerment within yourself through movement. This class is open to all levels of experience. For this class you will want to bring a yoga mat, water bottle, and possibly a towel. It’s an hour-long power class so prepare to sweat, laugh, and dance. More info about BUTI itself can be found here. Offered Sundays at 1:15pm except for 7/9


BI Burlesque 101 - Summer 1 Performance Opp!
taught by Eva La Feva
Pre-Registration based class... In this one-hour class, we will explore some basic burlesque technique (including walking with confidence in heels and emoting through movement) and apply that technique to learn a short choreography (performance opportunities may be available to those who have completed the class). Students will leave class understanding concepts like how to build suspense through "the tease," how to create a character/tell a story onstage, and how to make creative choices to make your acts dynamic. In this session, students will be be learning a choreography with Performance Opportunities!
From its origins in vaudeville halls, burlesque (or the art of striptease) has come to encompass a wide range of different performance art centered around the drama of "the reveal." From classic bump n' grind to modern day neo-burlesque, this subversive art form offers a unique opportunity to express power and confidence onstage. It is a celebration of form, beauty, and creativity. There is no nudity in this class. This class is to open to all, regardless of gender classification.
Needed: dance heels, yoga mat, knee pads (optional). Offered Wednesdays at 6:10pm


BI Beginners Hoopdance
taught by Ashley
Drop-in or Pre-Register...This class starts out with some gentle yoga stretches along with some breath work and stretching with the hoop. You will start out by breaking down the fundamental basic tricks and concepts of hoopdance. As the class progresses and students get more comfortable with their hula hoop you'll go into more advanced tricks and some choreography. Also provided are weighted hula hoops for the students. More info about the instructor on her website. Offered Sundays at 2:30pm except for 7/9


professional belly dancer I Moving Up; Belly Dance Choreography
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...Open to students who've mastered the basic belly dance movements introduced in the blue star classes (typically after 8-12 months of the Belly Dance Fundamentals class, comfortable with ALL those beginning moves), this choreography class is geared for those long-time beginners who feel they learn more through choreography, drills & routine. Every move you know has 100 variations, add-ons and layers... want to learn them? Take Yourself to that NEXT LEVEL! The dances learned in this weekly class can be auditioned for & performed in upcoming showcases, farmers markets, & "In-House Halfas" if desired as troupe el Amar. While everyone is unique, Pre-Requisites for this class are completion of the Fundamentals class (typically 4 sessions, or more) - Feel free to ask your instructor if you seem ready for the challenge or ask Sonya's advice before signing up & for music info.
Request to join our private facebook group for communication. Offered Wednesdays at 6:10pm & Saturdays at 12 noon


I Middle Eastern Dance
taught by Surayah Al-Muddaris' Troupe - Kristina & Marisela
Pre-Registration based class... This class "Drills your Skills" through dance movements, combinations, and fun folk dances to expand every belly dancer's repertory of moves. Focusing on the art of improvisation and connection with both live and recorded music, the special attention on dancer posture and form is beneficial for soloists and group performers alike. A mastery of intermediate belly dance curriculum is expected in this fast-paced class for rather experienced students. See Class Attire here - no long skirts, as the instructor needs to evaluate your knees & lower back position. Techniques learned in this class do have the opportunity to be performed by invitation, as Surayah's dance troupe, Firqit Surayah. Offered Wednesdays at 7:20pm - "Troupe Rehearsal" at 8:30pm


I Tribal Fusion Technique
taught by Kamrah
Drop-in or Pre-Register...Sharpen your Tribal Fusion technique! This intermediate class will focus primarily on drills and intensive technique instruction, with small combinations offered for maximum retention and for an introduction to stage presence practice. Class will begin with strength training for those muscles critical for strong, clean technique. Kamrah then offers intense drills for strong fusion technique, concentrating on sharp isolations, layering, and more tricky fusion movements. The focus will be on taking your practice further, learning the anatomy of fusion movement, and working on learning layering and how to use these techniques in performance. Offered Sundays at 12 noon


I ATS® 2 - American Tribal-Style Bellydance
taught by Hanan
Pre-Registration based class...Learn complex combinations, and how to sync from one to another on the fly, as well as the smooth exchange of leadership within the group. Improv at its finest, with an emphasis on dancing in formation. Wear clothes that are not binding and comfortable to move in, but that are not so loose it's hard for the instructor to read your movement. Hip scarves/shawls are encouraged. Please speak to the instructor to gain entry to this class, & performance opportunities with troupe Arba'a.
Offered Sundays at 2:30pm


IA Belly Dance - Layers & Traveling (90 minutes)
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...For the dancer who is strong in ALL the fundamental movements and their myriad of intermediate variations, we offer a more advanced view of combinations with the moves you already know, new moves you've never seen before, as well as transitions from one move to the next, a "volume knob" approach to speed and expectations of layering movements simultaneously while traveling with them.
Longer, more difficult step combinations stretch the mind and muscle memory and a few improvisational dance techniques appear, while the content of a full session includes a challenging choreography with a new focus week-to-week on different dance skills, occasional prop use, and special "tips & tricks" you've always wished you knew!
A mastery of intermediate belly dance curriculum is expected in this fast-paced class for rather experienced students. Being comfortable in the intermediate/purple star classes and having good attendance is expected to keep up in this high-level offering.
Students are always expected to come to class prepared with their Veil and Finger Cymbals.
New students accepted only on the 1st week of the session, after already having spoken with Sonya regarding qualifications.
Choreographies learned in this class do have the opportunity to be auditioned for and performed, as Sonya's award-winning revolving student dance troupe, Ro-He.
This class is not a drop-in class; weekly attendance is expected.
90 minute classes = $158 - if you miss 1 class you may make it up with any 1 drop-in class offering or by coming to Sonya's Moving Up class; miss 2 classes and you may come to 3-60 minute classes to make-up.
Email Sonya for music info and request to join our private facebook group for Ro-He communication.
Offered Tuesdays at 7:20pm followed by "Troupe Ro-He Repertoire" at 8:55pm $5 when you stay, & optional


read my hips ATS IA SpellBound (Troupe Rehearsal)
taught by Eliza
Pre-Registration based class...This performance-focused rehearsal consists of a group of Eliza`s dedicated dancers who are striving to reach their optimal dance potential. Rehearsal focuses on learning a complete choreography - to be performed at local, regional, and national events - with special attention on performance skills, musical interpretation, theatrical expression, and the clarity and articulation of technique. Entry into this class is by invitation only, seek Eliza's input regarding this class. Must also commit to the costuming needs of SpellBound - Spring 2 & Summer 1 this 2-hour class will be $210, Offered Mondays at 6:10pm


sonia A Semi-Pro Soloist Training - returns in Winter/Jan. 2018
taught by Sonya
Pre-Registration based class...Learning choreography, performing occasionally, and sweating in class is not enough if you take your dancing seriously. For the higher-level student with genuine intentions in this dance form we offer a laser-focused 1-hour weekly class on developing you as a knowledgeable soloist and expert of your field, Arab Dance Arts.
Over several sessions we will deeply explore the stylistic influences of many notable Mid-East dancers as well as those heralded in American Orientale; we will become knowledgeable to the names of the famous dancers, musical scores & composers of the "Golden Era" of belly dance, & even some Arabic word recognition, all while studying our own performance aspects (such as facial comportment, stage presence, body awareness, musicality, etc) and methods of self-assessment designed to foster communication and feedback skills of your own.
You will create a solo dance through week-to-week "homework" & mentor/peer evaluations, which when completed will stir up both your choreographic and improvisational skills, helping your dance excel to new heights, & enable you greater performance opportunities.
Class teaches YOU to build combinations that serve a purpose as well as how to recognize & identify 7 of the most usual Arabic rhythms (always come prepared with your finger cymbals/zill/segat & a veil). With an emphasis on deliberate self-practice, professionalism, history & dance community standards, this mentor ship with Sonya could complete each session with a solo performance opportunity & each year (7 sessions) with a certificate of completion.
Class Pre-Requisites:
Student must have been through a minimum 3 sessions/6 months of Moving Up (intermediate choreography class) or minimum 1 session/2 months of Layers & Traveling (interm./advanced choreography class) - AND maintain this level* of studentship during your time in Semi-Pro - this class is not a drop-in class; weekly attendance is expected. Also, weekly attendance in your other companion class is required. Student should not be afraid of finger cymbals (or math) & have a solemn desire for a whole-brain approach to basic belly dance movements & their variations; and come prepared each week ON TIME with homework completed. Failure to heed these strict rules forfeits your entry for the session.

Returns Jan. 2018 (Winter session)




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