Middle Eastern Dance Classes

Dancers practice their art at ancient Karnak.

Men and women are both welcome -- all ages and body types encouraged. Everyone can do this dance form! It is beneficial to body, mind and spirit and a great way to relieve the stress of the workday in a non-competitive atmosphere.

Classes emphasize technique, posture, the importance of the breath, the historical context of the dance, stage presence, and the art of dancing to live music. Be prepared to have a fun workout!

Come Join Us

Beginner Basics: Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00 pm (class usually goes on till 9:15 or 9:30 pm)
Richmond District YMCA, 360 18th Avenue - Phone (415) 666-9622
(between Clement and Geary, by the Alexandria Theater)
Cost: Included with membership.
Non-members' day pass: $5 when accompanied by a member; $12 unaccompanied.
Fee includes use of all facilities at the YMCA.

About the Classes

The Beginner Basics class is for those who have never taken belly dance before. It is especially designed for those with no dance background. The class emphasizes posture, the importance of the breath, presence and music interpretation. Steps are thoroughly broken down in detail. Dancers will also be introduced to veil and zils (finger cymbals).

The Intermediate level (not currently offered, but hopefully will be again soon!) is geared towards dancers who have taken belly dance for about one year, or who already have a strong dance background and can learn steps quickly. This class covers more complicated movements, combinations and rhythms. Choreography, veil, zils and performance techniques will also be explored in-depth.

Students will have the opportunity to perform at class haflas (Middle Eastern-style parties), which will also feature professional dancers and live music!

Private lessons are available by appointment. Please call for rates and availability.

Dance Attire

Wear comfortable clothing such as a leotard, leggings, loose pantaloons, T-shirt, and bring a scarf to tie around your hips. Soft-soled dance slippers are OK but not required. Please bring water!

Your Instructor

Instructor Janine performed at the Camel Races in Benicia, California Janine studied under the renown Magaņa Baptiste, and performed with the San Francisco Royal Academy of Oriental Dance. She is certified in the Baptiste Method of Oriental Dance. She continues to study with John Compton of the Hahbi 'Ru Dance Ensemble and sometimes performs with the company at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Janine has learned from many excellent teachers through workshops and dance camps, such as Suzy Tekbilek, Dalia Carella, Morocco, Elizabeth Artemis Mourat, Hassan Harfouche, Barbara Chookasian, Amel Tafsout, Katarina Burda, Delilah, Dr. Moh Geddawi, Wendy Buonaventura, Erin M'Rabet and more. Janine was the assistant director of Aladdin's Lads and Lasses, learning the art of dancing to live music from director Gayle Wayne. She and her husband Eliott, an excellent drummer, performed with the ensemble for over four years at festivals throughout Northern California, and appeared on Evening Magazine. Janine currently co-directs Danse Maghreb, a dance company based in San Francisco specializing in traditional folkloric dance styles from North Africa and al-Andalus. Her greatest joy is in sharing this beautiful dance form with others!



or call (415) 864-5368.
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