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How to Teach Belly Dancing: Tips for Instructors

written by: Fitnessmom • edited by: Angela Atkinson • updated: 10/27/2010

Whether you are instructing a belly dancing class or being self-taught by a DVD program, there are a few important things to consider before you begin on this exciting adventure of dance instruction.

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    Preparing for Class

    First you want to make sure you have a quiet classroom atmosphere, free from distractions. The floor should be comfortable and may have "give" or a slightly padded texture.

    Clothing worn should be comfortable and the body must be able to move freely, with the hips and core of the body clearly visible. You may want to have your students use a scarf or hip wrap as a fun visual learning tool. Choose a few styles of music to have for each class to add variety and suit everyone's tastes.

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    Study Time

    Belly dancing can be taught with the individual students' goals in mind. For example, if a person wishes to study dancing for fitness, be sure to teach several of the basic movements in order to choreograph an effective workout.

    However, if a person simply wants to learn to dance for fun or desires to compete, the amount of practice can be set by you or the individual according to their needs.

    A person studying belly dancing simply for recreational purposes may want to practice 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week. For those who wish to compete or perform, it's necessary to practice up to an hour each day.

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    Warm Up

    It is also important to have students begin each practice session with warm up exercises and end the workout with proper cool down techniques. Many yoga positions are useful to stretching the muscles involved in belly dancing.

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    Putting It Together

    When teaching a group, decide ahead of time what techniques and review of material you wish to cover in order to make the most of everyone's time. Consider whether you're teaching beginner Belly Dancing steps or more advanced.

    A teacher should be able to break a movement into separate pieces and demonstrate proper posture and technique as the move. Complete basic movements before choreographing a dance combination.

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    Educate Yourself

    It is recommended that before you begin to teach, you study the various forms of belly dancing. This way, you are sure to have a full understanding of this art and the many styles that have formed throughout different countries.

    Discussing these different styles with your students is a good idea, so that each person can find the style they like best. Encourage your students to explore belly dancing outside of the classroom by visiting events such as festivals or competitions.

    Most importantly of course, is to have fun and be positive while encouraging each student's progress. Happy dancing!