How much do classes cost?
Most of our session dance classes are 8 weeks and cost 90$ for the session or 15$ per class to drop-in, if drop-ins are available. You may not drop-in on choreography classes, but some technique and open level movement classes do allow drop-ins. Special short sessions are offered at the discretion of the instructor. These will be priced individually according to topic.
The Balanced-Mind-Body track is our fitness, meditation, and expressive dance offerings. These classes do not necessarily build on previous weeks, so you may drop-in anytime for $15 per class
Do you allow drop-ins?
The answer to this is complicated, but mostly, no. Think of this more like a ballet or language class and less like a fitness class. You are learning a new movement discipline and the posture and technique that is the basis for all styles of bellydance takes time to feel at home in your body. I ask new students to dedicate themselves to 8 weeks so that each class can build on what was covered the week before. Once you have completed a session of 101 and 102, some of the 103 classes such as drills and combinations do allow drop-ins, because each week is stand alone. I understand that some individuals have schedules that make session classes difficult to attend, and that is why private and semi-private lessons are always available to you.
What should I wear to class?
The most important thing is for you to be comfortable. I recommend comfortable fitted yoga-style pants with a hip scarf or over skirt without coins to help you see your hip movements, and a tank top or sports bra with layers for colder weather on top. Fitted clothes help me check your posture and body alignment, so please no baggy t-shirts. I usually dance in half sole dance shoes. Many of our dancers do dance barefoot, but you may wish to have dance shoes for spinning and ankle support.
When can I start classes?
For a session class, where you will be building on previous classes each week, you should start at the beginning first or second week of the session. Session classes will have start dates posted on the upcoming classes page and our Facebook page.
Drop-in classes can be joined at any time, but most of our classes are sessions.
What else should I bring?
Please bring a bottle of water. Hydration is extremely important when performing any exercise, and bellydance is no exception. You may also want a notebook to write down your notes on moves and combinations, dance shoes or half soles, and a yoga mat to use during cool down stretches.
If a technique or choreography requires a prop, there will be a note in the class information section. I have some props available for lone. Other props will need to be purchased by the student
If I miss a class, is there a makeup available?
No, each class session is 8 weeks, and sessions are not interchangeable. The only time a makeup class is provided is if the instructor has to cancel for any reason and a substitute teacher is not available, so please check your calendar and make arrangements accordingly. If you miss a few classes, that's OK, as we do review some in most sessions. You won't lose out completely, and private lessons are always available if you are concerned about the information you missed.
What about private lessons?
I teach private and semi-private lessons out of the niad studio that can be arranged according to your schedule. Prices are listed on the class page. Contact me for more information.
I'm unsure of my dance level?
What's up with the leveling system?
The niad leveled dance curriculum was developed by Jaidra based on 15 years of teaching experience and is a semi-structured scaffold that allows instructors to build a wide variety of classes while dancers feel confident that they are in a class that suits their background experience. All classes in any style of transnational fusion, MENAHT influenced dance (bellydance) will be labeled as 100, 200, or 300 classes. The last number will tell the dancer what type of class it is. All 1 and 2 classes are technique, 3 means topics, and 4 is choreography. So 101 and 102 are technique, 103 are topics based on 101 and 102 technique or that utilize the movements from 101 and 102 technique as dancers learn a prop or skill, and 104 is choreographies using information learned in 101, 102, and 103 courses.
The 100 level classes will focus on basic isolations found in all styles of bellydance such as hip lifts and drops, basic shimmies, hip and chest circles, head slides, shoulder shimmies, and more. In the 100 level, you will begin learning some props such as veils and zills, and be able to learn choreographies that utilize the moves you learned in 101 and 102 in order to further polish your skills. No dancer should expect to master all of the isolations in a class in 8 weeks, but you will build a base to continue learning from. Each 100 level class will be different, so though you will continue working with the same moves, you will be putting them together in different combinations and learning different ways to transition between moves or accent your isolations. Classes labeled 101/102 are basic technique. Classes labeled 103 are topics using that basic technique and may include combinations, drills, layers, prop work, and more. Classes labeled 104 are choreography classes using 101/102 technique. All dancers should start in the 100 level in order to learn the niad vocabulary and technique.
200 level classes build on 100 level moves. In 201 and 202, you will learn moves that begin to layer directionality and speed such as mayas, umis, snake arms, paddle turns, undulations, vertical figure 8s, and more. In 203 classes, you will have the opportunity to hone your skills and start working with balance props, skirts, simple layers, and more through technique, special topic, and artistry classes. 204 will allow you to put all of these things together into choreography. As with 100 level classes, you won't master an undulation in 8 weeks, but you will be introduced to the tools that you can utilize to begin your journey with these moves.
300 level classes continue building on 100 and 200 level isolations and traveling moves while also starting to diverge heavily into stylization found in different types of bellydance. In 300 level classes, we will be focusing on layering moves, building in complexity. 300 level is where we start to work with various styles of dance in focused choreographies, complex and difficult props like swords and fire palms, group formation, and more. Unlike 100 and 200 technique classes, the technique at 300 level will be taught as focused topic sessions, so a class will be labeled as 300 int/adv tech: overshimmies and turns. As in 100 and 200 level classes, there will be topic courses and choreographies for groups and solos with and without props.
I recommend that all dancers begin with a 100 level or Bellydance basics open level course so that we can assess their skill level and so that they are confident in their abilities as they continue their bellydance journey. Most dancers continue to take 100 and 200 level classes to hone and define their skills as they progress. There is no such thing as graduating to a new level in dance. You will grow and progress, but basic dance foundation should always be honed and revisited. Even master musicians still practice scales, and dance technique and drills can be thought of as the foundation upon which your dance journey is built.