Class Descriptions

Belly Dance Tucson Class Descriptions

Intro To Belly Dance

This is where all new dancers start. This class gives you the understanding of basic belly dance technique, posturing, language, move execution and it helps you to build necessary strength. You must have a working knowledge of the material in the intro class to move into the level 1 class. Moving into the level 1 class must be approved by your instructor. This class is drop in friendly.

Choreography for Beginners

This class takes all of the movements learned in the Intro To Belly Dance Class and puts them in an easy to learn choreography that gets the student moving and showcasing all they have been learning in the introductory class. This class is drop in friendly but is easiest if attended regularly as the choreography builds each week. Each choreography will be worked with and reviewed for 8 weeks and then a new choreography is started. If you are taking any of the technique classes feel free to drop into this class. This class is cyclical and is not always featured on the schedule. Check the current schedule to see what is running.

Intermediate Drills with Zills

This class is adding on to the technique that you learn in the introduction class. You will start layering the moves that you learn in the Introduction class. You will start putting together combinations and you will begin traveling with layers. You must have a full working knowledge of the Introductory material and it must be cleared by the teacher before joining this class. Finger cymbals are required in this class. Once you are approved to be in this class it is drop in friendly.

Dance Movement and Conditioning For Belly Dancers

Prepare to sweat! This is an all level class that focuses on building strength and endurance. Dancers are athletes too and this class is where your inner athlete and inner dancer get to become friends! Half of the class is conditioning DANCER style and the other half of class utilizes traveling movements that help you build coordination and speed. When you are new to the class your focus will be on learning the movements and strengthening your body. If you have experience with this class you will focus on cleaning up your movement to achieve that “effortless” look and you will be required to play finger cymbals with the traveling portion of class. This class is drop in friendly. This class is cyclical and is not always featured on the schedule. Check the current schedule to see what is running.

UNMATA Style ITS Level 1

Improvisational Tribal Style is a style of belly dance where the choreography for a group is made up on the spot. This is done by dancers learning particular movements and movement combinations that are “cued” by a leader letting the other dancers in the group know what is coming next. Here at Belly Dance Tucson we are honored to have studied with Amy Sigil, director of UNMATA. We are inspired by her format and focus our ITS classes on the UNMATA style format. This class covers the introductory syllabus to the UNMATA format. You must have a working knowledge of the 7 week introductory syllabus to move into the beginner syllabus. Movement into the beginner syllabus must be approved by your instructor. This class is drop in friendly. This class is cyclical and is not always featured on the schedule. Check the current schedule to see what is running.

UNMATA Style ITS Level 2

This is the next phase in the UNMATA format. The Beginner syllabus is 12 weeks. During the 12 weeks the movement combinations become longer than in the Intro syllabus. Once you are approved to be in this class it is drop in friendly. This class is cyclical and is not always featured on the schedule. Check the current schedule to see what is running.

Student Troupe

This is an exciting new addition to Belly Dance Tucson! This is for dancers of mixed levels that wish to move into choreography and that have a desire to perform in student recitals and small community events. A working knowledge of the Introduction To Belly Dance class is required and it is encouraged for students to be taking at least one of the following classes weekly: Level 1, Dance Movement and Conditioning, or the Intro to UNMATA ITS class, before auditioning for the student troupe. Auditions for the student troupe are held once a year and it will be posted well in advance so that dancers can practice and prepare for the audition.

Belly Dance Tucson Professional Troupe

This is for dancers that have shown the commitment, strength, endurance, and dedication required to step up their dance to a professional level. Dancers are required to play finger cymbals and use a veil fluently. The troupe dancers must have a full working knowledge of all the technique material through the level 1 class as well as the UNMATA style ITS Beginner class.

Private Class

Jessica is available for private lessons. If you have an area that you have been struggling with and want some one on one help this is perfect for you. If you are wanting to move into the next level of classes but you are not sure what you need to focus on a private lesson is a great way to narrow the focus of your dance practice. Or if you just want some personal feedback about how you can improve a private lesson is a great way to do so! Private lessons can be split by two people.

Classes Taught By Fonda Hamilton-Insley

Beginner Tribal Improv

This class is basic Tribal Improv based primarily on the Gypsy Caravan format.  Students will learn the basic elements of belly dance, along with a basic vocabulary of Tribal moves.  You will learn to lead a group and the follow in an improvisational language.  This class in no impact and a fun way to get in shape and learn to dance with others or alone.

Tribal Combos And Anatomy Of Steps - Intermediate I.T.S.

This class is designed for students who have had some exposure to Group Tribal Improv or are attending the Beginning class.  Each week we will either learn anew combo for use in group or solo Improv, or we will take a very deep look at the anatomy of one of our moves this entails breaking the move all the way down and working to perfect every nuance of a move.

Classes Taught By Chandreyee

Beginner Improv Tribal Style ITS

Beginner ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style) Belly Dance: ITS is not choreographed. Dancers dance in groups, where a leader (and leads change throughout the song) initiates moves, which are then followed by the rest of the group. Because of this format, learning ITS can be thought of as learning a language. And this class will teach students the alphabet, as well as some simple grammar and sentence structure, in the language of ITS. You will learn the base steps around which most ITS is based, and will be introduced to simple combinations based off these steps. You will learn to follow a leader, and later, learn to lead a group. And in the process, you will get a good workout to fun music. This class is drop-in friendly.

Advanced ITS

Advanced ITS (Improvisational Tribal Style) Belly Dance: This class takes up where the Beginner ITS class leaves off. You will learn advanced combinations, and be expected to know how to lead and follow them in groups. We will work on breaking moves down, and rebuilding them, so that we can understand in underlying anatomy of the different movements. In addition, we will work on musicality, rhythm, and styling. You will need instructor permission to move to this class from the beginner class.

Classes Taught By Dawn Sehar

Dawn Sehar - beginning belly dance format

Dawn will be teaching a class that focuses on the techniques and methods that will explain basic belly dance technique while focusing on good form and posture.

Specialty Workshops


In this class you will be introduced to dancing with a veil. You will learn how to handle a veil, proper way of holding the veil, and appropriate veil size. This class will generally run in 4 week sessions, require a minimum # of students and due to space considerations are limited to 9 people per class.

Dancing With A Drummer

This class features a talented local musician (bio of current drummer will be listed when we are running a workshop). He/She will go over the basics of Middle Eastern rhythms and drummer dancer communication. This class will be co-taught by both a drummer and a dancer. This class is for all levels and can be structured both as a workshop and a 4 week session. A minimum of 12 people are required for a session to run.

Specialty Workshops With Local Guest Teachers

We are always interested in bringing in other styles of dance such as Indian and Folkloric dances or ballroom style dances. These classes will be posted on the schedule. Sometimes registration will go through Belly Dance Tucson and sometimes it will go through the class instructor. It will be indicated here and on the calendar.