Inspiring Artists with the world's oldest dance, Raqs Sharqi
"I've always wanted to take a Class like this! What should I do?"
What's happening at BellyDanceGR? EVERYTHING is happening! Art, Education, Fitness, Fun, Dance, Workouts & Community! We are an International Dance Arts Academy with a mission to connect cultures through music and movement. We are facilitate growth and attract individuals who are looking for a way to connect with themselves, their bodies, minds and creativity -- all while getting fit and happy! We have cultivated a non-competitive, non-intimidating environment. We have many master instructors teaching their area of expertise -- Hawaiian Hula, Raqs Sharqi (Mideast Dance), West African, Bollywood, Chinese Dance, Hula Hooping, Aerial Yoga, Yoga, Zumba & MORE! What are the different LEVELS at BDGR? We offer levels from Beginner to Advanced
Beginners: Most Beginners can expect 8-12 months in the Beginner class before being invited to Intermediate. Our Sessions are not designed to be graduated immediately upon completion, as this is a rich and beautiful art form with many nuances and subtleties. Best prepare yourself to relax and let go of all preconceptions.
We dance barefoot or wear dance shoes. For pants we recommend yoga pants, stretch leggings or jazz pants, comfortable and form fitting. For tops we recommend form fitting tanks with support, snug t shirts and layering so as you warm up, you can remove layers. A hip scarf or sash is recommended but not required. They will accent your movements. Scarves and dance accessories can be found in the BDGR boutique. Any triangular fabric or shawl you have will do perfectly!
Do I have to show my belly?
Not at all! It is entirely up to your comfort or preference.
What if I've never danced before?
BellyDance, Hawaiian, Chinese Dance, Tahitian & Bollywood use a movement vocabulary unique unto themselves. We have first time dancers in their 50’s step onto our dance floor and are performing within the same year! No previous dance training is necessary to enjoy these art forms.
Am I too fat or too skinny for this?
Heck NO! Women come in all shapes and sizes and so do BellyDancers. We have a safe and supportive environment free from competition and criticism. Anyone can do this and you will be among a community women, just like yourself! Don't be afraid -- GO FOR IT! I promise it isn't intimidating.
Is this something that men can watch?
There will be no spectators during classes, men or women, as the dance studio is on the second floor and is large and secluded from onlookers. We have a comfortable lounge outside the studio where friends and family are welcome to wait.
Should I BellyDance while pregnant?
Yes you can, and I did it through both my pregnancies. BellyDancing is an excellent muscle toner and is not a high impact exercise. We recommend beginning your BellyDance journey within the first few trimester of pregnancy for ease and comfort, as mobility changes in the third trimester. Always consult your doctor/midwife if you have concerns. Also, we have found that BellyDancing after birth is one of the best ways to tone your core and back muscles after labor and delivery.
May I watch a class before buying one?
Our students have shared with us that it is distracting to them and often feel uncomfortable being “watched” while learning. We offer a 60-minute "INTRO TO BELLYDANCE" Classes for complete beginners.
Performing -- What if I DO or DON’T want to Perform on stage?
There are Performance opportunities for our Students (3x annually). Most of our students attend classes are seeking fun, fitness and the love for World Dance music and movements. You will never be required to perform. There equal opportunities for non-performing students to take all the same advanced classes offered to those who do perform.
What are the different styles of belly dance (Raks Sharqi) taught at BDGR?
Egyptian Oryental (Raqs Sharqi)
What are the health benefits of BellyDance?
BellyDancing has both physical and emotional health benefits. The physical benefits include strengthened posture and muscle toning, improved balance and dexterity. Dancing burns calories and can lead to weight loss. On an emotional level, women come to dance class because they WANT to be there. BellyDancing is a fantastic stress reliever and combats depression. Many women find dancing their way through winters helps them with Seasonal Affect Disorder. However, what we hear most commonly is that BellyDancing greatly improves your overall self esteem! BellyDance feels good, is tremendously fun while engaging in a HEALTHY way to improve your overall being. I encourage you to read other dancers testimonials on how BellyDancing changed their lives. There are also many articles on the Benefits of BellyDance on Shiras Website.
Where is the Studio? Studio location, parking info, bus routes & biking info can be found on OUR STUDIOS page.
Do I have to be a Member to take classes? Not at all! Consider it like the ‘Frequent Flyer Miles’ of Club BellyDance. If you decide you’re as hooked as we are, then you will probably join up with the RakStar or VIP UNLIMITED Members, because they get some SWEET PERKS! Check out the -- oh -- and you can "sample" those by trying the 3 Month Unlimited Package.
Am I too old for BellyDance? BellyDancers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Our youngest dancer is 13 years old and our oldest is 80. You are welcomed and encouraged to explore your movement capabilities at any age!
Who are the Instructors? There are many Instructors at BDGR, and sometimes we have guest Instructors teaching Workshops. Visit our ABOUT USPage to learn all about our Current Instructors & Guest Instructors.
Where can I find a Glossary of BellyDance Terms?
There is one home we all go to, and that is Shira! Personally, I am glad to know her and have shared the stage at many events (the kitty cat performance in Peoria, IL. was my fav). Shira has a website for ALL THINGS BELLYDANCE. Here is a Link to her Glossary, and please explore!
BellyDanceGR, Blackport Building, 959 Lake Drive SE. STE 200, Grand Rapids, MI. 49506