For Shira's Weekly Students
This page is intended for the students who attend Shira's belly dance classes in Iowa City, IA.
Table of Contents
The most important items you'll need for class include:
- Appropriate dance class attire.
- I personally wear a snug tank top with yoga pants and recommend that my students do the same.
- Other options could include leotard, sports bra, snug T-shirt, sweat pants, and unitard.
- On your feet, I recommend wearing socks.
- Finger cymbals
- A copy of the music we use
Optional items you could also get if you want to, but are not required:
- Dance shoes
- Hip scarf
- Veil (used in "Belly Dance for Exercise" class)
- Cane (used in "Belly Dance for Exercise" class)
- Something to balance on your head (used in "Belly Dance for Exercise" class)
Where to Get Things
Set of Finger Cymbals
These are strongly recommended for all students, regardless of which class you take. I do bring loaners to class with me, but I don't have enough loaner sets for everybody.
These come in sets of four. After getting your set, follow the "Preparing Your Cymbals for Use" instructions on my "Introduction to Finger Cymbals" article. Recommended sources:
- Demizo's Dance Supply. Located in the Clock Tower Plaza shopping center on the Coralville Strip. 1801 2nd Street, Coralville, IA 52241. Recommend calling ahead to find out store hours and make sure they have them in stock. Phone number is 319-358-7191.
- Sold at Amazon.com
- Nefertiti made by Harry Saroyan. Nice quality.
- "Student Zills" sold by Mid-East Manufacturing. Lower price, but the quality and sound aren't as nice as the Nefertiti zills.
- FREE Music! You can download a few Arab MP3 files for FREE on Amazon. Click here to get the songs.
- For Level 1 class:
- In Fall 2011 the choreography I teach in class will be to the song Nibtidi Mneen al-Hikaya. The track appears on the CD Gems of the Middle East, Volume 1, performed by Mary Ellen Donald and Mimi Spencer.
I strongly recommend buying a copy for practicing at home between classes. I also sometimes teach choreographies to two other songs on this CD, Hibbena and Al Ataba Ghazzaz. So if you continue to take classes from me, you'll be able to keep using it.
- I also recommend using a CD of drum rhythms to help with practicing at home. The one I use in class is Middle Eastern Rhythms for Beginners (slow version) or Middle Eastern Rhythms for Intermediate/Advanced (faster version) by Mary Ellen Donald
- For Level 3 class:
- In Fall 2011, I plan to focus on the track "Raqs Mustapha" from the CD Joy of Belly Dancing by George Abdo. You can download the MP3 for the song from Amazon, or buy the entire CD, whichever you prefer. (It also has a nice version of "A Nedda', the song we use for the debke choreography.)
- Jalilah's Raks Sharki 5: Stars of Casino Opera. Music download for the 15-minute version of "Nibtidi Mneen al-Hikaya" - we use a segment of it in our class choreography.
- Sabah Favorites. Contains the full-length version of "A Nedda", the debke that we are using a cut version of for class choreography.
- Ahsan Nas. The cut version used by Mahmoud Reda for his choreography, slowed for practice purposes. This is the version with the timing references in the choreography notes handout.
The veils we use in class are rectangles 3 yards long and 45 inches wide.
- Make Your Own. Click this link to a page with instructions.
- Purchase One Already Made. This link goes to the L. Rose Designs web site, and any of the veil choices offered at this link is acceptable for class.
This is a special kind of cane used for Lebanese and Egyptian folkloric-style dance. In the Belly Dance for Exercise class, this folkloric dance style is used for the aerobic section of class.
- Nibtidi Mneen al-Hikaya. Video clip showing the legendary Egyptian dancer Soheir Zaki performing to this song. Probably from 1970's or 1980's.
- Nibtidi Mneen al-Hikaya. Playlist of several video clips showing the legendary singer Abdel Halim Hafez performing this song in 1975.
- A Nedda. Series of still photos of people dancing debke to Sabah's full-length recording of this song.
- Nauli Kriya. This youtube clip shows a yoga practice that builds strength and control in abdominal muscles. I use a very small part of this in class to help build the muscles needed for abdominal rolls. This is not belly dance, it's yoga. I simply find the exercise useful for building muscle tone.
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