Class FAQ

This FAQ refers to Emma’s regular classes, which are not being run at the moment.

How can I try a bellydance class before signing up for a course?

Come to a taster workshop. I often run a taster workshop before each term starts to give new dancers an idea of what to expect from their bellydance class, although there will not be a taster workshop before the Summer 2013 course. If the course you are interested in hasn’t sold out you can use the first class of term as a taster and just pay for that, then pay the balance of the course fee if you decide to continue. Please note that higher level classes (improver and intermediate) usually sell out before term starts, so keep an eye on the classes page.

Can’t I just sit and watch?

You won’t know you like bellydancing until you get up and try it – go on, be brave! There are no spectators in class, just participants. To see the kind of bellydancing I do watch some of my videos.

Am I too old/young/fat/thin/unfit to bellydance?

No! Bellydance can be enjoyed by everyone. There is a caveat: make sure it is OK for you to undertake light aerobic exercise, if you are at all unsure please check with your doctor first. You will be asked to fill in a short “Fitness to Dance” questionnare in your first class. Students as young as 14 are welcome in class, any younger students must be accompanied by a responsible adult who is also taking the class.

Why do you only run courses? Do you ever teach drop in classes?

Courses are the best way for students to progress in their learning. You can quickly pick up the basic moves but bellydance is a skill that takes time and practice to master. I am still learning every day and I hope this journey never ends! By starting in a class with other dancers of a similar level you can build up your technique and knowledge week by week. I want to encourage all my students to grow and develop as dancers. I am not currently running any drop in classes, but look out for my taster workshops which allow you to try out a single class without committing to a course.

Can men bellydance?

Yes! In the UK we are lucky to have some excellent male bellydancers who are in demand as teachers and performers all over the world. Men don’t often sign up to classes though, so in practice classes are almost entirely female. If it is important to you that you are in an all-female environment please tell me.

How many people are in each class?

This depends on the venue. Classes at St Pauls have a maximum of 25 people, classes at the YMCA have a maximum of 20 people and classes at Colours of Dance have a maximum of 12 people. Every student gets individual attention and help in class. The lines in class are rotated throughout the session so that everyone gets the chance to stand at the front.

What level class should I come to?

As a rough guide, if you are brand new to bellydance or have less than six months experience you should go to a beginners class. If you have more than six months experience I suggest you try an improvers class. If you have at least two years experience of bellydance (not just at beginner level), a good memory for choreography and a desire to perform then the intermediate class might be for you. If you find that the class you have chosen is not right for your level of dance you can change. If your new class costs less you will be refunded, if it costs more you can pay the balance of the fee after half term.

How long does a course last?

All courses last ten weeks. They are usually split into two blocks of five weeks with a break of one week inbetween. This may change, so make a note of the course dates when you receive them! I will remind you about half term and the end of term in class and by email.

How much does a course cost?

Beginner courses cost £60 (£55 concessions), improver and intermediate courses cost £75 (£70 concessions). Payment is required in advance to guarantee your place. You can either pay for the full course or the first five weeks, then pay the balance after half term.

What should I wear to class?

Wear clothes that allow you to move easily such as your usual exercise wear. You can wear trousers or a long skirt if you prefer. If you have a scarf to tie around your hips it can help you to concentrate on that area but it isn’t essential. You can dance in your bare feet or wear shoes. If you wear shoes they should be flat with a flexible sole.

What happens if I miss a class?

Don’t worry if you miss a class, any new material (technique or choreography) will be covered in the next class to help you catch up. Beginners and improvers can make up any classes they miss by attending two classes in a different week within the term they have registered for. Intermediate dancers are welcome to attend another class of a different level but of course it will not cover material they have missed.

What happens if a class is cancelled?

In the unlikely event of a class being cancelled you will either be offered a refund for that class or you can come to a rescheduled class.

What is your refund policy?

If you have to cancel your place up to two weeks before the start of term you will receive a 100% refund. If you cancel after that but before the start of your course you will receive a 50% refund. After that refunds are only available if you have to cancel your place due to medical reasons, you will be refunded for all classes paid for after the date you notify me. Alternatively you can carry those classes forward to the next term (this option is only available for one term).