Class Descriptions **Click here for the schedule**
Classic and Fusion Bellydance
Learn muscle control and fluidity while toning the core, encouraging good posture, improving flexibility, and gaining body confidence. In this class you will learn the basic movements and isolations as well as the posture and styling of bellydance. Have fun and discover muscles you never knew you had! No previous dance experience necessary.
All of Serpentine Studios' Beginner Bellydance classes cover the same core technique, regardless of the instructor. This way everyone starts with the same strong foundation, and can move up to any style of bellydance afterwards.
Wondering what order to take our bellydance classes in? We've designed our curriculum as follows:
1. Bellydance 1
2. Bellydance 2
Either Egyptian, Tribal Fusion, or American Tribal Style
3. Bellydance 3
Either Egyptian, Tribal Fusion, or American Tribal Style continuing in the same style you completed for Level 2.
From here, your instructor will be able to direct you to the appropriate classes, or you can go back to Level 2 in a a different style and try something new!
Generally we recommend spending a number of sessions in each level in order to master the technique and concepts. Try a technique class, a drills class, or a choreography at each level to facilitate muscle memory and keep it interesting!
with Laura Selenzi
Egyptian Bellydance - an overview
Classic Egyptian bellydance (also called Raqs Sharqi or Oriental Dance) is taught by Laura in her signature fun and dramatic style. Modern Egyptian bellydance shows influences of Middle Eastern folkloric and social dance, ballet, and an aesthetic from golden-era movies in both Cairo and Hollywood. Expressive, sensual, playful and flirtatious, this dance encourages you to embrace your femininity while learning muscle control, grace, and poise. These classes introduce authentic and traditional Middle Eastern dance and music; solid, safe technique and an understanding of cultural folklore and Arabic music.
Folkloric Dance Combos ; focus on Melaya & Khaliji
Learn the fun and fascinating folkloric dances of Egypt and the surrounding regions. Discover infectiously fun Khaliji dance from the Gulf, and sassy Meleya from Alexandria in Egypt. We will explore character, technique and the history of these dances in fun combos. View Laura's favourite folkloric videos here to get an idea of what some of these dances look like!
Veil Combos (Level 2+)
Veils can be used to create drama, excitement, emotion and to express music that seems to call for something bigger than the body alone can create. Technique and combos will be taught. Bring a veil if possible, some veils will be available to borrow as well. This class will introduce the veil as a prop, so is appropriate for those new to it, or for dancers wanting to polish their use of the veil.
Level 3 Technique
This challenging class focuses on more intricate technique and specific nuance, building from Level 2. We will master 3/4 shimmies, undulations, mayas, and much more. Discover new movements and begin to layer, creating beautiful new combinations.
Egyptian Drills and Improv (3+)
This class focuses on strengthening and improving our bellydance technique to clean up and polish various movements. We will start with a fun and challenging shimmy drill, followed by a bit of technique, and a lot of drilling. We will mix it up with some improv practice, or as I like to call it, "dancing"! ;)
Serpentine Egyptian Troupe (Intermediate - Advanced - Pro)
For our student troupe and semi-professional dancers (by invite only - let us know if you are interested!), this class is designed to help you move from a student to a dancer. We will work on polishing our choreographies, stage presence, working as a group, refining technique, drilling essential movements, and more.
with Monique Ryan
Tribal Fusion Bellydance - an overview
Combining the ancient roots of bellydance with a modern twist, Tribal Fusion incorporates elements of other dance forms such as Indian, hip-hop, flamenco, and vaudeville. Earthy and snake-like yet fun and cheeky, music ranges from world to electronic to contemporary. This class teaches you how move fluidly and how to control your body parts independently, while toning the abdominals, encouraging good posture, improving flexibility, and inspiring you to find beauty and power within your body.
Zill Drills (Level 3+)A fun and playful multi-level class drilling combinations of movements and finger cymbals. Previous zill experience not necessary. Level 3+ bellydance recommended.
Tribal Fusion Drills
Be prepared to sweat! This upbeat multi-level bellydance class is for students who already have some bellydance experience. This is a bellydance technique class where movements are drilled to increase muscle memory so you can dance fluid and snake-like, or sharp and powerful with ease. Fun combinations as well as a great shimmy and layering section each class will ensure that all levels are challenged.
Tribal Fusion Troupe
This class is reserved for students who have been practicing with Monique for a number of years. Watch for upcoming performances at haflas!
Learn the basics of sweet, soft hula and fast shaking tahitian dance in this sunny and fun choreography. Perfect for summer!
with Elinor Crosby
American Tribal Style - an overview
ATS is an improvised group belly dance style that relies on Middle Eastern dance technique and a vocabulary of cues, transitions, and combinations to form a cohesive dance. Each performance is unique, making it dynamic and entertaining for both the audience and the dancers. Every dancer also leads and follows, performing in large groups, duets, trios, and more.
Started in the 1980s by Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellydance, ATS quickly spread across the United States and Canada. Many other innovators branched out from FCBD, including Gypsy Caravan and Black Sheep Belly Dance, who are also considered to be "grandmothers" of Improvisational Tribal Style (ITS) dancing along with FCBD. UberWench Tribal focuses on having a strong base in the original FCBD style while adding combinations and cues from other improvisational tribal belly dance styles, and occasionally inventing their own.
Bellydance 2: Intro to American Tribal Style
Prerequisite: Bellydance 1 (Beginner)
This introduction to American Tribal Style (ATS) introduces students to the basic vocabulary of movements, combinations and cues of American Tribal Style belly dance. Each class students will continue to learn new dance vocabulary with cues, work on developing good core strength and dance posture, review previous class materials, as well as practice group improvisational dancing. All students will learn to both lead and follow, gaining confidence through practice and the support of their fellow dancers. 1 hour
Dancing in Flow®
Prerequisite: ATS 1
Already know some American Tribal Style®? Want to dance more and think less? Then this class is for you! Dancing in Flow® was created by Carolena Nericcio-Bohlman with the class format of “all dance, no talk.” During the class, there will be no verbal communication, just one hour of American Tribal Style® (ATS®) dancing with quiet water breaks every 15 minutes. Bliss out on dance!
American Tribal Style® Bellydance Drills & Conditioning 2+
Prerequisite: ATS 1
This multi-level drill class is suitable for anyone who has completed at least one level of American Tribal Style® bellydance! We will drill and break down fast and slow movements, do some strengthening and conditioning, and deepen our understanding of the ATS® vocabulary. This is a great companion to Dancing in Flow®!
Bellydance 3: American Tribal Style Bellydance
Prerequisite: ATS 1
Level 3 ATS requires experience with ATS taught by UberWench Tribal or the equivalent experience at another studio. (Introductory workshops, intro classes, etc.) New variations on the basic vocabulary of movements, combinations and cues of ATS will be introduced and work will begin on dancing in duets as well as more complex formations. Each class students will continue to learn new dance vocabulary with cues, work on developing good core strength and dance posture, review previous class materials, as well as practice group improvisational dancing. 1 hour
American Tribal Style Bellydance 3+
Level 3+ ATS requires some experience with basic ATS or Improv Tribal dance vocabulary either as taught by UberWench Tribal or the equivalent experience at another studio. (Introductory workshops, intro classes, etc.) Variations on the basic vocabulary of movements, combinations and cues of ATS and ITS will be introduced, and work will begin on dancing in duets as well as more complex formations. Each class students will continue to learn new dance vocabulary with cues, work on developing good core strength and dance posture, review previous class materials, as well as practice group improvisational dancing. 1 hour and 15 mins
American Tribal Style Bellydance 4
Prerequisite: ATS 3 & permission of instructor
ATS 4 requires experience with basic ATS dance vocabulary either as taught by UberWench Tribal or the equivalent experience at another studio. It is an ongoing, challenging, fast-paced class exploring advanced movements, combinations and formations for improvised group belly dance. More challenging isolations will be taught, different rhythms will be utilized, as well as more intricate ATS formations, cues, and transitions. Zills will be used and other props may be introduced such as skirts or swords. Each class students will continue to learn new dance vocabulary with cues, work on developing good core strength and dance posture, review previous class materials, as well as practice group improvisational dancing.Registration in this class is by instructor permission only. 1 and a half hours
Sword for ATS (and other forms of improvisational tribal style)
Learn how to dance gracefully with one of bellydance's most exciting props! Proper sword handling, balancing, care, and technique will be covered, as well as improvisational Tribal and American Tribal Style sword vocabulary with swords. You will build strength, balance, and isolation while gaining confidence, poise, and fierceness. Suitable for those who have completed ATS Fundamentals or equivalent.
with Darshini Shah
Join Darshini for Bharatnatyam, a classical Indian dance, and other dances of India. Feel the vibrance of dance, enjoy an energetic workout, and take part in a colourful dance showcase after all the sessions completed! (performance is optional)
A genre of Indian classical dance that has traditionally been a solo dance performed exclusively by women. Quite possibly the oldest classical dance tradition of India; it is noted for its spectacular footwork and sophisticated vocabulary of sign language based on gestures of hands, eyes and face muscles.
Bollywood: Back to Basics
with Monique Ryan
Upbeat, colourful and exotic, let us take you on a trip to India and beyond! The highlight of Bollywood (the Indian answer to Hollywood) movies are always the elaborate dance sequences. Bollywood dance combines the rich tapestry of India’s many dance forms fused with elements of Jazz, Hip-Hop, Arabic and Latin.
with Kay Licious
Burlesque, originally all about parody, was popular from the 1860s to the 1940s, often in cabarets and clubs, as well as theatres and featured bawdy comedy and female striptease. In recent decades, there has been a revival of burlesque, sometimes called Neo-burlesque. A new generation, nostalgic for the spectacle and perceived glamour of the classic American burlesque, developed a cult following for the art in the early 1990s. Modern burlesque explores the glamour and tease of classic burlesque with a modern, funny, and original twist.
Explore burlesque with Kay Licious. Learn how to shimmy & shake, bump & grind, and take it off with style! Teasing peels, tantalizing moves, and sassy attitude will all be covered, so that you can get un-covered. No experience or dance background necessary.
Come enjoy some tasty bite-sized bits of Burlesque! Each class will focus on a particular move or peel, starting from the ground up, developing and drilling them. We will also learn some fun combos. No experience necessary.
Hooping is a fun, anti-stress workout that boosts metabolism! Burn 400-600 calories in a one-hour class. Heavy, adult-sized hoops with friction tape help you keep the hoop up. You can order your hoop on the first day of class, or get you hoop in advance so you will have it for the first class. Check out the shop to order your hoop.
Hula Hoop 1
For beginner hoopers with little or no experience. Join this energetic class for a great cardio workout and learn some easy tricks to keep it fun and interesting. Hoop 1 is for beginners, and those who have a bit of hooping experience, but may not know a lot of tricks yet, and may still have trouble in the second direction.
Hula Hoop 2
For students who have completed Hoop 1 and have a solid grasp of all the tricks from this level. Harder moves will be introduced while strengthening technique from previous levels. Hoop 2 is for people with some experience, and who can knee hoop (a bit), chest hoop (a bit) and do basic isolations and off the body work - all in BOTH directions. We still work on knees and chest - especially knees to waist, and chest variations, as well as introduce foot hooping, body rolls, weaves, elbow hooping, and we start doubles work!
Hula Hoop 3
For students who have completed Hoop 2 and are comfortable with all the tricks up to this point. New, challenging moves will be introduced while strengthening technique from previous levels. Hoop 3 is for those with lots of hooping experience and are proficient at hooping in both directions on the knees, chest, foot hooping, isolations, doubles, etc. We work on advanced off the body tricks, combos, weave variations, and single knee. If you have not taken hoop 2, but are very experienced, you may send a video, to help figure out placement.
Hula Hoop Dance/Flow (multi-level) with Aly Thomson
For students who have a solid grasp of the tricks learned in Hoop 1. This class will take you through the hoop dance essentials, including waist/chest/knee hooping, lifts, fancy footwork, escalators, isolations, and twin hoop work — all while simultaneously developing your own hoop flow style. Near the end of each class, we will connect the tricks into a hoop sequence you can incorporate into your hoop flow. Most tricks will have different variations to suit your skill level — from novice to advanced hooper! We will also work on adding flare and grace to our hoop dance, while stimulating our creative flow.
Kids Hula Hoop with Alix Todd-Morse
Kids love this fun and energetic class! They will learn some basic hoop tricks, play games, and get some healthy physical activity, all while having a blast.
Fitness, Flexibility and Acro Classes
Want to get fit...but have fun too? Let us whip you into shape!
Body Bootcamp with Monique Ryan
Get fit and have fun as Monique whips you into shape. Get sweaty while you tone and stretch your entire body with a series of fun exercises in a bootcamp-style class. This class includes a short cardio blast, followed by floor exercises designed for targeting the abs, legs, butt, and arms that change every week. Each section finishes with stretching to help keep your muscles looking and feeling long and lean. All levels are welcome as all exercises have a beginner, intermediate and advanced variation. No experience necessary, drop-ins are welcome.
Acro with Vanessa
Cartwheels, handstands, elbowstands, partner acro, and more! This class will also include an active warm up, conditioning and stretching for you to reach your full potential. Open to total beginners, you will surprise yourself with what your body can do!
Flexibility with Elspeth (aka Something Els!)
Looking to touch your toes? Or sit on your own head? This flexibility class is open to all skill levels and will focus on functional flexibility and techniques to stretch you out without breaking! We will focus on stabilizing and lengthening your body to whatever level of flexibility you aspire!
with Rebecca Wilson
Start your day with a fun and energizing yoga practice! A balance of mindful and playful, Rebecca teaches a flow class that is accessible to all, offers many levels of challenge, and will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the day. Each class has a different focus--for example: hip openers, low back TLC, backbends--so you're always learning something new.
A warming, powerful and dynamic practice, followed by restorative and yin postures to soothe and stretch the mind and body. Come explore the full spectrum of your practice: balancing effort and ease, strength and softness, focus and light-heartedness, creating space to explore challenge, play with movement, and celebrate what your body can do. A great class for anyone who wants to balance strength work with flexibility.