Classes are held at the Desert Journey School of Dance Located at 1367 South Major St, Salt Lake City, Utah
Learning belly dance is a journey and not a destination.
We offer a variety of instructional belly dance classes and workshops designed to take you through the journey from Beginning to Advanced, from Egyptian to Tribal. As part of the journey, we have several Technique classes and Specialty courses designed to teach you more technical skills and aspects of belly dance, such as Isolation & Drills, Belly Burn, Improvisation & Choreographing, and Floorwork. We also provide opportunities to learn the props that go along with belly dance presentation including sword, veil, Zills (finger cymbals), fans, ribbon, Isis Wings, and more. We design belly dance classes to be fun and educational, to increase your knowledge as well as your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness.
(Classes may rotate throughout the year or as we have requests for specific classes.)
LEARN BELLY DANCE
Beginning Bellies is a low-impact class designed to introduce students to the basic movements and posture of Egyptian (traditional) Belly Dance. Beginning Bellies is recommended for those that have little or no dance experience and/or minimal aerobic activity.
Intermediate Bellies is a continuation of beginning belly dance, teaching more of the basic movements, as well as using movements from previous classes in new ways. Students are introduced to formation work along with an introduction to layering techniques, preparing students for advancement.
Beginning/Intermediate Combos (Eden) introduces beginning and intermediate level belly dance moves. Students drill each combination and put them together to create an entire dance choreography. All levels are welcome, from those who have never tried belly dance to those who have taken classes previously. This class has opportunities to perform for those interested (optional).
Beginning/Intermediate Technique focuses on breaking down the basic movements of belly dance and drilling/developing the muscle groups needed. This class welcomes those that have little or no dance experience as well as intermediate dancers and students who wish to drill and define belly dance moves. This class allows you to “choose your own adventures” where the teacher provides different difficulty levels for each drill.
Advanced Bellies is an extension of belly dance, designed to teach more difficult moves and combinations. Students explore multiple dance layers, challenging both the body and the mind to further advance students in their belly dance journey.
IMPROVISATIONAL DANCE (fCBD/ATS)
Improvisational Dance (also known as Fat Chance Belly Dance/FCBD or American Tribal Style/ATS) is a modern belly dance style created by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman. It is very different from traditional belly dance in style, technique, and attire with a unique and flowing dance structure. Techniques are grounded, rooting deep in the torso with strong balance and control. This dance style focuses more on the group as a whole rather than an individual. Soloists emerge from the group, dancing as a representation of the group, and are again reabsorbed, to be followed by another. Many times, the group will break into smaller units, flowing separate and together in rhythmic style and dance. Invisible cues signal shifts and changes in routine.
URBAN TRIBAL/TRIBAL FUSION
Urban Tribal is a tribal fusion dance incorporating non-traditional movements and music, more angular and muscular dancing. Urban Tribal fuses together belly dance movement with other dance styles such as alternative, hip-hop, lyrical, and modern dance.
Beginning Urban Tribal is a class designed to introduce students to the basics of Urban Tribal style belly dance. This class is recommended for those with little or no dance experience, or students wishing to transition into this dynamic dance style.
Intermediate Urban Tribal is a continuation of the Urban Tribal/Tribal Fusion style designed to teach a variety of new moves and incorporate more of the beginning movements into a structured choreography. Students are introduced to Floorwork and back extensions to prepare for advancement.
Advanced Urban Tribal class incorporates some of the harder movements and finishing touches of the Urban Tribal style. Students learn advanced layering techniques while increasing strength and flexibility.
Props are items used to embellish belly dance, but also crossover into other forms of dance and presentation. Classes and workshops are offered throughout the year to teach students about these props that accompany belly dance. Students can pick and choose which classes they would like to learn, or learn them all.
FANS VEILS & HAND FANS
Learning to dance with hand fans is a beautiful way to add dimension and elegance to your presentation. Learn the techniques single fan or double fan while practicing moves like figure eights, butterflies, flurries, and more. Students may need to purchase their own hand fans.
Isis Wings are an extension of dance, adding beauty and flare to many styles of dance. Students learn how to execute dips, spins, flutters, waves and more whit practicing safety and awareness of these larger dance props. Students will need to bring or purchase Isis Wings for this class.
Learn compulsory ribbon elements including flicks, circles, snakes, spirals, and throws with traditional dance ribbons or silk ribbons. Dancing with a ribbon is a unique way to add smooth and sharp extensions to your belly dance performance. Some practice ribbons may be available, however students may need to purchase ribbons for this class.
Skirt Technique teaches students the flow of skirt dances from Tradition Egyptian and Tribal styles, as well as some Spanish flare. The skirt dance choreography teaches students combinations, direction sense, spins, and proper handling of skirts while dancing. Students will need a large (wide) skirt for this class.
The Sword Technique class is designed to introduce students to the basics of sword balancing in conjunction with beginning and intermediate belly dance movements. This is a low-impact class with some medium-level floorwork exercises. This class can be easily adjusted for personal fitness levels and floorwork is not required. Some swords will be available for students to practice with, however bringing your own sword to class is preferred. The Floorwork Level 1 is recommended along with this class (see Specialized classes below).
VEIL & DOUBLE VEIL
Veils are an extension of the body. Students will learn proper use of rectangle and half-circle veils and proper technique in the delicate movements used with silk and light chiffon veils to the more aggressive handling of heavier veils. Veil work is a high-intensity arm, shoulder, and upper back workout. A few practice veils will be available for students to borrow during class, however it is recommended that students purchase their own veils (or fabric) for home practice. Veils may be available for purchase.
VOI & DOUBLE VOI
Voi (Veil-Poi) is the prop used by belly dancers to spin poi with a beautiful veil attached. Learn entrances, exits and tucks along with spinning, as well as safety, to get the most out of your performance with Voi.
The Zill Technique class is designed to introduce students to the basics of using finger cymbals, learning basic zill rhythms along with simple dance choreography. Some zills may be available for students to borrow during class, but it is highly recommended that students purchase their own zills for home practice. Zills may be available for purchase.
SPECIALIZED CLASSES & TECHNIQUES
Specialized classes and Technique classes and workshops have been developed to give students a more in depth view of belly dancing movement and the different styles.
Want an aerobic workout that challenges your body and mind? Belly Burn is designed to keep you moving while training your mind with new techniques and combinations. This class puts basic belly dance moves to fast-paced music to get your blood pumpin’ and body movin’! This class is for any fitness level–stick with the basics for a healthy workout, or upgrade the steps for more advanced combinations. (This class is often paired with ‘Boda Boot camp to increase strength and endurance.)
‘BODA BOOT CAMP
Increasing your strength and endurance is what this class is all about. Let ‘Boda help you find muscles you didn’t know you had in this ‘physical training’-type class. Beginners to athletes welcome! This is a multi-level class that you decide what level to take it!
BollyX® is a Bollywood-inspired cardio dance fitness program that encompasses dynamic choreography with the hottest music from around the world. BollyX® encourages each participant to “unleash their inner rockstar” just like the actors do in Bollywood movies.
CHOREOGRAPHY & IMPROVISATION
Students will be taught the basics of choreography development. We listen to a variety of sounds and discuss what movements would fit. We discuss how to balance out body work and dance structure, and eliminate repetition. Students will be taught flow from one dance to another and how to keep each movement within the style and story you are trying to portray. (This class is recommended for students who have completed Beginning and Intermediate level classes.)
FLOORWORK 1 & 2
The Floorwork Level 1 class is designed to introduce students to the basics of floor work in conjunction with beginning and intermediate belly dance movements. The Level 1 class teaches you the proper stretching and posture for muscles, ligaments, and tendons and includes movements such as level changes, lunges, slides, side plank, and sit-turns. Floorwork Level 2 is designed for advancement and mastery of floorwork technique in conjunction with more advanced belly dance movement. Level 2 movements include full undulations, hovering, planks, and floor rotations, and Turkish drops.
These classed can be easily adjusted for personal fitness and flexibility levels. Knee pads, socks, and foot pads are recommended. Floor mats will be available for students to use.
DRILLZ & SKILLZ
This class breaks down basic belly dance into more defined isolations and exact movements, outlining body mechanics, muscle understanding, and brain training. Students will be taught which areas of the body control which moves and understand the difference between skeletal and muscular movement.
STYLES & HISTORY
The Styles and History class teaches students about Folkloric dance, American Tribal style, Traditional Egyptian, Urban Tribal, and the fusion styles, along with the history of Belly Dance and how it began. This specialized class is a brief introduction of each style. (A beginning class and intermediate class recommended to take this class.)