Frequently Asked Questions

Is Belly Dancing a good exercise?

Belly Dance is excellent exercise. Not only do you work your body, but you also work your mind. There are so many interesting things about this ancient dance!

Belly dance combines natural, body-friendly movement with yoga, ethnic and modern dance. The result of this unique synthesis is a dance which gives your body an anerobic and aerobic form of exercise.

Are there any physical limitations connected with Belly Dancing?

Starting a Belly Dance class is like starting any other program of physical activity; check with your physician first!

People who should definitely talk to the doctor are people with back and joint problems; obesity; pregnancy and, of course, people who haven't exercised for a LOOONG time.

Is there any "age limit" for starting a Belly Dance class?

Unlike a lot of dance classes, there isn't an age cap on starting a Belly Dance class. Some instructors will take children (but not me *) through senior citizens.

The majority of Belly Dance enthusiasts are females between the ages of 20 - 55, but there is definitely some room for variation in this population.

What should I wear to a Belly Dance class?

Lightweight workout clothes , or a leotard and tights are fine. I make & sell belly dance clothes. Dressing up is lots of fun, but you definitely don't need to & it is not a requirement. I have some students who come in sweats while other students love to wear the harem pants, dance skirts and cool tops.

I personally love to be fashionable while dancing ; (Where else can you exercise while looking so exotic & beautiful?? Somehow sweating and getting a major workout isn't so bad when you look so fabulous! :)

As far as footwear is concerned, you will be dancing on a hardwood-like suspended cork floor. Although some students dance either with socks or barefoot, I encourage students to invest in a jazz shoe, jazz sandals, or ballet practice shoes as class footwear. Tennis shoes are not allowed, socks slide on the floor and bare feet tempt painful injury to your precious tootsies!

Do I need any special "equipment"?

As for special equipment : students will find a large scarf, shawl or coin sash very helpful. These items are used for hip wraps - a visual aid for both the student AND teacher.

Other things you'll probably want to add to your dance "collection" are finger cymbals (4 of them, not 2, and don't get the cheap ones with round holes, your fingers will thank you), called zils or zaghat and a veil (silk please, other fabric has the elegance of a bedsheet) - which you'll get to toss and twirl (when needed for a class, we special order them in bulk to keep cost down).

Can I take a Belly Dance class if I'm pregnant?

Please, check with your OB/GYN first before starting a Belly Dance class. With physician approval, there shouldn't be any reason why you couldn't take a Belly Dance class as part of a pre-natal fitness program. (Where do you think "Lamaze" originated?)

If you do start (or continue!) dancing, DO take it easy while you enjoy the benefit of a good abdominal workout! By adding Belly Dance to a pre-natal fitness regimen, you'll be the envy of your Lamaze class come delivery time!

What if I (have to) miss a class?

Due to the 7 week course structure, we can not offer you an individual make-up class, nor credit for any missed classes.

However, you can make up a class by attending a belly fitness class rather than your normal bellydance class. Freestyle is also open to all levels.

Can I observe a class before I sign up for a course?

Well, yes and no. I do not let anyone sit and watch a class. I find it SERIOUSLY disrupts the flow of the class and makes the students participating feel awkward and self-conscious. I am just not willing to do that to my sweet students! So sorry, no observers.

Free come and try bellydance and belly fit classes : I do however have a free come and try short half hour class so you can get a taste of bellydance. If you would like to take advantage of the "special try out policy," do make sure to give me a call or e-mail me and I will let you know when the next come and try class is scheduled. date of the class you want to attend.

Can I bring my child(ren) with me??

No men, no observers, and no one under the age of 16 is allowed in the studio during classtime. This is your special time.

If I want to perform my new Belly Dance skills, where would I dance?

If you DO want to dance, we organize shows throughout the year in which our professional and amateur troupes are accompanied by groups of beginners' level students. These groups are put together about 6-8 weeks before the show and practice only for that particular show.

We also have an amateur night for students at a local restaurant for our regular students. Auditions are held usually the Friday before, see our Facebook page and entertainment page for details.

For students who want to perform on a continuous basis and are committed to putting in some serious practice time, we also have a student performing troupe called Raqs Shiraz. Sandy also performs at shows that we organize and re also invited to perform at shows both inside and outside of the dance community. They also perform every at Nicola's Restaurant - see calendar.

How to join a troupe?

Raqs Shiraz is our performing troupe. We typically hold two to three times a year open (to our current students) or closed (by invitation only) auditions for Raqs Shiraz.

We recruit from within, so there will never be open auditions for our professional troupes.

Shiraz Bellydance will be holding regular Cabaret-Bellydance Dinner Shows and Raqs Shiraz will be the host performers.

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Or call Sandy on 0402 016 056 for more information.