Jamila Salimpour Belly Dance Format

Jamila’s certification program provides a strong curriculum to train belly dancers in technique and performance. Dance certification provides students with formal recognition of their dedication to and hard-earned proficiency.  The certification program encompasses the following consecutive levels:

Basics (Level 1) —Introduction to the Format Part 1
Fundamentals (Level 2) —Introduction to the Format Part 2
Intermediate (Level 3) —Taking it All Apart to Put it Back Together
Advanced (Level 4) —Performance
Teaching (Level 5) – Teaching Certification

Each level builds on the previous level.  Over the full course of study, students are trained in dance technique, finger cymbals, rhythm identification, history, music, performance, choreography, teaching skills, etc.

Jamila has been teaching her format and finger cymbal instruction method since 1949. She continued to evolve and develop step familes throughout the years. In the late 197os the format was compiled in the Danse Orientale manual; soon thereafter, Suhaila was filmed teaching the format in the Archive Series.
Definitely! Most of the dancers in the certification program are located outside of California, and many are located outside of the U.S. Students can attend workshops to get the information they need to return home and train at their own pace. Several tools have been developed (Online Classes, Study Guides, Instructional DVDs, Audio Download Training Tools and CDs, etc.) to help long-distance certification participants.

“In person” training is still required through attendance at workshops. Many of the modules of study in later levels are presented and developed during workshops. The workshops also provide Jamila, Suhaila and the School instructors the opportunity to evaluate and provide valuable feedback to students.

Certification in the Jamila Salimpour Belly Dance format is valid for two years and contingent upon completion of the requisite number of Continuing Education Credits (CECs) and renewal fee. More information can be found on the Certified Dancers page.
For most dancers, the process can take 3-5 years, or longer. The time is dependent on many factors: experience, training time, motivation, dedication, etc. In theory, a very experienced and hardworking dancer could make it through the program in two years by devoting herself fulltime to the program and by attending the necessary workshops in a carefully mapped out sequence.
Teaching Certification is the only level providing a certificate that authorizes a dancer to teach the Jamila Salimpour format. All other certificates (Levels 1-4) are certificates of achievement within the Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance that denote a dancer’s progress. When a dancer achieves a Jamila Salimpour School of Belly Dance Teaching Certificate, they have received the highest quality of belly dance training available.
Regardless of previous experience, all students (without exception) begin with Level 1. Level 1 outlines the necessary elements and vocabulary including posture, muscle isolation, music theory, nomenclature, etc. The School uses certification testing as the method of determining whether a student has the required knowledge and/or abilities to proceed to the next level. Dancers with more experience have the potential to move through the certification program much more quickly; students are never held back from realizing their potential.

Jamila Level 1

In Jamila L1, students learn the basics of the format: step families, dance history, and finger cymbal work. Learning tools, workshop information, testing details, and a list of the covered steps, cymbals, etc. are provided in this section.
How do I study for Jamila L1?
Several tools are available to assist students in learning Jamila’s format. Note that knowledge of Suhaila Level 1 material is required including breakdown of movements by muscle contractions, foot positions, arm positions, foot patterns, etc.

The *NEW* Danse Oriental Manual
Suhaila Format Level 1 material
Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD
Cymbal Jams: Audio Download Training Tools
Rhythm ID CD
•Salimpour School Online Classes (Suhaila Level 1, Jamila Level 1, Folkloric Fusion)
Jamila Level 1 workshops
•Read “From Many Tribes: The Origins of Bal Anat” by Jamila Salimpour
•Read the Speech presented by Jamila Salimpour at the International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance, May 1997
•Jamila Archive Series available by online subscription (supplemental)

Looking Ahead to Jamila Level 2
Jamila’s Article Book
The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1

Steps, Step Families, and Finger Cymbal Patterns
View the JL1 Steps tab in this section for a list of steps, step families, and finger cymbals covered in JL1 along with arm positions (when applicable).

Specific Steps, Cymbals, etc. covered in Jamila Level 1.
In parentheses are the arm positions assigned for Jamila L1.

Basic Egyptian Family
Basic Egyptian (L1-5th)
Basic Egyptian Backwalk (L1-5th)
Basic Egyptian Walk with Pivot (L1-5th)
Basic Egyptian Walk with Pivot Angled (L1-5th)
Bow Step (default)
Step Forward-Back-Forward (L1-2nd)
Full Spin with Basic Egyptian (L1-2nd)
Open Spin with Basic Egyptian (L1-2nd & 5th)
Pivot Shift Step (L1-5th)
Half Turn with Pivot Shift Step (L1-5th)
Twist Step (L1-2nd)
Twist Step with Leg Lift (L1-2nd)
CCW Pivot Halftime (L1-5th)
CCW Pivot Fulltime (L1-5th)
CCW Pivot Doubletime (introduce) (L1-5th)
CCW Pivot: One Up, One Down (L1-5th)
CCW Pivot with Leg Lift (L1-5th)
Five Count (L1-2nd)
Five Count with Half Spin (L1-2nd)
Five Count with Full Spin (L1-2nd)

Arabic Family
Arabic 1 (L1-5th)
Arabic 2 (L1-5th)
Arabic 3 (L1-5th)
Arabic 4 (L1-5th)

Running Choo-Choo Family
Running Choo Choo (L1-4th)
4 Forward, 4 Back (L1-4th)
2 Forward, 2 Back (L1-4th)
1 Forward, 1 Back (L1-4th)
Forward, Middle, Middle Back (L1-4th)
Zenouba (default)

Shimmy Family
Singles on the Up halftime (One Ups) (L1-5th)
Singles on the Up fulltime (Two Ups) (L1-5th)

Taqsim Family
Basic Taqsim (L1-5th)
Reverse Basic Taqsim (L1-5th)
Maya (L1-2nd)
Reverse Maya (L1-2nd)
Circle Step (L1-2nd)
Crescent Step (L1-2nd)

Spins
Three Step Turn (Full Spin) (L1-2nd)
Open Spin (L1-2nd)
Basic 4/4 Spin (L1-2nd)
Spinning in 2/4 (L1-2nd)

Head Movements
Forward, Forward (default)
Side, Side (default)
Around, Around (default)
Crescent (default)

Cymbals
All finger cymbal patterns to be played right and left hand dominant.
Alternating Singles: quartertime, halftime, fulltime
3s (Longa): halftime, fulltime
3-1-3-1-3
7s
3-3-7
3-7-3
Running 5s
3-5-5
5-5-3
3-5-1-3
3-1-5-3
R-L-RL

What are Jamila L1 Three-Day Workshops?
These workshops introduce students through instruction and lecture to the basic step families and cymbals that serve as the foundation of the format. Whether you are interested in certification or not, these workshops are an excellent introduction to Jamila’s format. Workshops are taught by Suhaila and authorized TAs.

How do I prepare for a Jamila Level 1 Three-Day Workshop?
•Review “Travel Information for Out of Town Visitors” under the Workshop section. Note the list of items to bring as well as the studio rules.
•Review the materials listed under “Learning Jamila L1 Material”.
•You are encouraged to arrive early and warm-up prior to class.
•Workshops often run over the allotted teaching time. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.

What do I bring to a Jamila L1 Weeklong Workshop?
Carefully review How to Prepare for a Workshop: What to Bring and Studio Rules found in the Workshop section. Remember to bring finger cymbals, ballet or jazz shoes, hand towel, refillable water bottle, and deodorant to reapply as necessary.

How do I sign up for a Jamila L1 Workshop?
A listing of Jamila L1 workshops (with links to complete details) can be found in the Current Workshops section.

What is the Jamila L1 exam?
The L1 test has two portions: a practical portion and a written portion.  The two portions are sometimes given at one time, but the written portion is sometimes assigned as an online exam to be taken within a certain number of days.  To receive L1 certification, you must receive at least 70% on both portions of the exam.

Practical Portion
The practical portion of the exam is given in a studio setting. Students are given verbal commands, drills and instructions to which they must demonstrate an understanding of the Jamila Format.  The practical portion of the exam typically lasts 45-60 minutes.

Written Exam
The written exam portion tests students on Jamila L1 terminology, nomenclature, finger cymbals, rhythms, and history including multiple choice, matching, fill-in-the-blank and short answer. Students may be given access to an online testing service to complete the written exam in a 3-day window.  Visit the Online Test tab in this section for more information.

Are there any prerequisites?
You must also submit a completed Certification Registration form with payment.

How do I study for the Jamila L1 exam?
There are many tools you can use to study for the Jamila L1 exam. Please review the Learning Jamila L1 Material page. (Make sure to read the listed articles, as history questions on the written exam will come from those articles.)

When are the Jamila L1 exams offered?
L1 exams are given after the Jamila L1 Workshops.

What if I don’t pass the exam?

Practical exams:  If students fail the practical portion of the exam (SL1, JL1, SL2, or JL2), they must attend another workshop and pay another full testing fee.  

Choreography:  If a SL2 or JL2 tester fails a choreography portion, they may retest for that choreography by working with a L5 instructor (via in-person privates or Skype privates) assigned by Suhaila.  Students must pay the related private fees, and the choreography portion must be passed within 60 days of the original testing date.  (If successful, the original testing date of the workshop is used as the date for their certification exam.)

Written Exams:  For SL1, JL1, SL2, and JL2 testers, failed written exams may be retaken for a $75 retest fee.   The written retest must be taken within 30 daysof the original testing date.  

Expedited Fees:  In certain limited cases, students may receive permission from Suhaila to take their written exam slightly earlier for an additional fee of $25 to expedite the exam.  This situation is used only for those cases where a student might need the testing results from the current workshop to take a higher level workshop immediately following the current workshop.

If I attend a Jamila L1 Workshop and sign up for testing, will I pass the exam?
The exam is a real exam, requiring that the dancer demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the material in both the practical and written portions. The testing process is not a formality, meaning that a student can’t just show up, pay money and expect to pass. But, by studying what you learn in the workshop and from the sources listed above, you have the information needed to pass the exam.

May the exam be translated into another language?
The language of the format is English; therefore, all tests, manuals and educational materials are written in English, and students are expected to complete the test in English. Monitors are available at all exams to assist students with questions.

Titles
The JSBD Level 1 certification is a certificate of achievement within the JSBD format, and current JSBD Level 1 certified students may use the following wording: “JSBD Level 1 Certified” or “Jamila Level 1 Certified”. (The JSBD Level 5 Teaching Certificate is the only certificate that certifies a dancer to teach the JSBD format.)

For L1 online written exams, students will be emailed a link to take the exam within a 3-day period.   Students will need:

  • a computer or tablet with sound turned “on”
  • working and stable internet (for duration of exam)
  • one page of handwritten notes (optional, see below)

Once you begin the exam:

  • You will need to complete the exam in one sitting.
  • You will be allotted a defined period of time to complete your exam. The time is dictated by the number and type of questions asked, with each student’s test being slightly different.  As you begin the exam, you will be given the exact number of questions in your test along with the exact time limit for your test.  A typical L1 exam has 40 questions with a 50 minute time limit.
  • You will have to answer a question before you are allowed to move to the next question.
  • You will not be able to return to a previous question to change your answer.

The exam is not an open book exam; however, students may use one single sheet of handwritten notes (front and back: A4, 8.5x11”, or equivalent). The page may not be typed. Students may NOT use or access any other resources beyond a single page of handwritten notes.  As examples, this means you may NOT use: another person, an internet search, language translators, the SL1 Study Guide, the Salimpour Compendium, any other book, someone else’s notes, etc.

Jamila Level 1 starts with the basics of Jamila’s format. Students learn the basic step families and cymbal patterns upon which the rest of the format is built. All new students in the Certification program, whether they are beginning or advanced dancers, begin with L1.

Physiology, Training & Technical Focus
•Correct body posture and positioning when standing, traveling, etc.
•Development of balance and body awareness.
•Identification of muscle contractions involved for movement execution and isolation of muscle groups.
•Stylistic instruction.

Music & Music Theory
•Introduction to finger cymbals and strengthening necessary muscles to play correctly.
•Finger cymbal patterns played right and left hand dominant.
•Introduction to timing (quartertime, halftime, etc.).
•Introduction to Middle Eastern rhythms.

Jamila Level 2

In Jamila Level 2, students continue their study of the step families, movements, dance history, stylization, and cymbal patterns. Learning is promoted through technique, stylization, choreography, reading, and lecture. Learning tools, workshop information, testing details, and a list of the covered steps, cymbals, etc. are provided in this section.
How do I study for Jamila L2?
Several tools are available to assist students in learning Jamila’s format.

The “*NEW” Danse Oriental Manual

Jamila’s Article Book with a focus on pp.1-59 and pp. 88-98.

The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1 with a focus on pp.1-44 and pp.95-140.

Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD

Cymbal Jams: Audio Download Training Tools

Rhythm ID CD

Salimpour School Online Classes (Suhaila Level 1, Jamila Levels 1 & 2, and Folkloric Fusion classes)

Jamila L2 Weeklong Workshops

• Jamila L2 Choreography: El Samer with Cymbals (instruction available by subscription)

• Jamila L2 Choreography: Shams El Shamouseh (instruction available by subscription)

Specific Steps, Cymbals, etc. covered in Jamila L2

Building on Jamila L1 material, the indented steps are added to the movement repertoire in Jamila L2; default arms, if any, are listed included in parentheses. Additional cymbal patterns are introduced as listed below.

Basic Egyptian Family
Basic Egyptian (none)
Basic Egyptian Backwalk (none)
Basic Egyptian Walk with Pivot (none)
Basic Egyptian Walk with Pivot Angled (none)
Bow Step (default)
Step Forward-Back-Forward (2nd)
Full Spin with Basic Egyptian (none)
Open Spin with Basic Egyptian (none)
Pivot Shift Step (none)
Half Turn with Pivot Shift Step (none)
Twist Step (2nd)
Twist Step with Leg Lift (default)
—Syncopated Pivot Shift Step (none)
—Full Spin with Pivot Shift Step (none)
—Open Spin with Pivot Shift Step (none)
—V Step (none)
—V Step with Turn (none)
—V Step with Pivot Shift Step (none)
—V Step with Pivot Shift Step & Turn (none)
CCW Pivot Halftime (none)
CCW Pivot Fulltime (none)
CCW Pivot Doubletime (none)
CCW Pivot: One Up, One Down (none)
CCW Pivot with Leg Lift (default)
—Stomp Step (none)
—CCW Pivot Spin (none)
—Whip Spin with Twist (default)
Five Count (default)
Five Count with Half Spin (default)
Five Count with Full Spin (default)
—Four Count (2nd)
—X Step (none)

Arabic Family
Arabic 1 (none)
Arabic 2 (none)
Arabic 3 (none)
Arabic 4 (none)
—Eight Count (2nd)

Running Choo-Choo Family
Running Choo Choo (4th)
4 Forward, 4 Back (4th)
2 Forward, 2 Back (4th)
1 Forward, 1 Back (4th)
Forward, Middle, Middle, Back (4th)
Zenouba (default)

Shimmy Family
Singles on the Up Halftime (One Ups) (none)
Singles on the Up Fulltime (Two Ups) (none)
—Choo-Choo (none)
—Shimmy Spin (none)
—Stomp Step with Shimmy (default)
—Algerian Shimmy (2nd)
—Four-Four Shimmy (2nd)
—Singles on the Down (none)
—Ahmad Shimmy (none)
—Three Quarter Shimmy: 3/4 on the Up (none)
—F-and-B-and Walk-2-3-4 (none)
—Three Quarter Shimmy Turn (none)
—Three Quarter Shimmy with Twist (none)
—One, Two, Three, And (2nd)
—Three Quarter Flamenco (none)
—Samiha (none)

Salaam Family
—Greeting Step (none)
—Salaam Step (none)
—Brush Step (none)
—Bounce Step (Hop Back Step) (none)
—Salaam Step in Circle (none)
—Horse Step (none)

Debke Family
—Debke 1
—Debke 2
—Debke 3
—Debke 4
—Debke 5

Taqsim Family
Basic Taqsim (none)
Reverse Basic Taqsim (none)
Maya (none)
Reverse Maya (none)
Circle Step (none)
Crescent Step (none)
—Crescent Step with Pelvic Locks (none)
—Turkish Walk (none)
—Turkish Backwalk (2nd)
—Pyramid Step / Suzi Q (none)
—Goosh Step (default)
—Goosh Spin (default)
—F8 Backwalk (none)
—Rib Figure Eights & Chest Locks (none)

Spins
Three Step Turn (Full Spin) (none)
Open Spin (default)
4/4 Spin (none)
2/4 Spin (none)
—Diagonal 2/4 Spin (default)
—Centrifugal Spin (default)
—Out-Up-Out-Down Spin (default)
—In-Out Spin (default)

Head Movements
Forward, Forward (hands on hips)
Side, Side (hands on hips)
Around, Around (hands on hips)
Crescent (hands on hips)
Head Movement Pattern (hands on hips)

FINGER CYMBALS
All finger cymbal patterns to be played right and left hand dominant.

Know all patterns from Jamila L1

Patterns Introduced in JL2
4s
4-1-4-1-4
4-4-7
4-7-4
4-5-5
5-5-4
4-5-1-4
4-1-5-4
Alternating 4s & 5s

R-L-RL
2s
2-1-2-1-3
2-2-7
2-7-4
2-5-5
5-5-2
2-5-1-2
2-1-5-2

3s LRT
3-1-3-1-3 with LRT
7s LRT
3-3-7 with LRT
3-7-3 with LRT
5s LRT
3-5-5 with LRT
5-5-3 with LRT
3-5-1-3 with LRT
3-1-5-3 with LRT

LRR
RLRR-LRLL
LRR-LRR-LR
LRRx4 & 4

Rx
Lx
Claps

JL3 Patterns
Introduced in JL2, but tested in JL3
6s
Running 7s
10s
2-6
2-6-10
4-4-10
7-1-3-3
2-6-10-7-1-3-3
Moori
Karshilama x 4
Wahaeda
1-5-5-3-3-3

What are Jamila L2 Weeklong Workshops?
These workshops immerse students in five days of study, using dance instruction, lecture and choreography as the tools for learning and testing. Classes are taught by Suhaila and authorized TAs/instructors. Participants must have current Jamila L1 certification to attend, and students are expected to have a thorough working knowledge of Jamila’s format and terminology. Notes: You are encouraged to arrive early and warm-up prior to class. Workshops often run over the allotted teaching time. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.

How do I prepare for a Jamila L2 Weeklong Workshop?
• Read/review the About Workshops page that includes Common Questions, Studio Rules, and more.

• Study The New Danse Orientale Manual

• Study Jamila’s Article Book with a focus on pp.1-59.

• Study The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1 with a focus on pp.1-44.

• Train with Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD

• Train with Cymbal Jams: Finger Cymbal Audio Tutorials

• Learn the Jamila L2 El Samer Choreography by subscription

• Learn the Jamila L2 Shams El Shamouseh Choreography by subscription

• Take Jamila Format Classes taught by Suhaila via online classes

• Review the Jamila Archive Series available by online class subscription (supplemental)

What do I bring to a Jamila L2 Weeklong Workshop?
Read the Assignments tab below for a detailed list.

How do I sign up for a Jamila L2 Workshop?
A listing of Jamila L2 workshops (with links to complete details) can be found in the Current Workshops section.

About Testing
Certification testing is available for an additional fee, and more details on the test are provided under the Testing Tab in this section. Note that testing is dispersed and monitored throughout the weeklong, so students will need to know they are testing on the first day of the workshop.

What do I bring to a Jamila L2 Weeklong Workshop?

•Read and bring The New Danse Orientale Manual with your questions and to take notes.

•Read Jamila’s Article Book with a focus on pp.1-59.

The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1 with a focus on pp.1-44.

•Watch the videos below at the end of this list.

•Bring a printed copy of the El Samer choreography notes with your questions and to make notes.

•Bring a printed copy of the Shams El Shamouseh choreography notes with your questions and to make notes.

Your dance art book as described in the Documentation Section of the Resources page.

•Bring finger cymbals, veil, ballet or jazz shoes, hand towel, refillable water bottle, and deodorant to reapply as necessary.

•Ensure you have access to a computer/printer for any assignments throughout the week.

•Read/review the About Workshops page that includes Common Questions, Studio Rules, and more.

PERFORMANCES TO WATCH

John Carney Bal Anat documentary: youtube or vimeo

Bal Anat Performance (TV studio): link

Bal Anat Performance c1974: link

Bal Anat Revival 2001: link

Jamila and Suhaila Duet, 1977: link

Suhaila and Rashid Duet: link

What is the Jamila L2 exam?
The JL2 exam has three portions: practical, written, and choreography. The exam will be conducted throughout the entire intensive. With testing incorporated as part of the weeklong, students will need to come prepared and be completely familiar with the JL2 movement and cymbal vocabulary. To receive JL2 certification, you must receive at least 70% on each portion of the exam.

What does the written exam portion include?
The written exam portion tests students on Jamila L2 terminology, history, nomenclature, finger cymbals, and rhythms as addressed in School classes, lectures, workshops, CDs, books, etc.. Exam questions are written in a variety of ways that may include: long essay, short essay, short answer, matching, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, etc. Note that the test may be held at the studio after class on evening or given as an online take-home exam. In the case of a take-home exam, the student will need access to a computer and the internet; as the test will be given online.  Visit the Online Test tab in this section for more information.

What does the practical portion include?
The practical portion of the exam occurs throughout the entire week. Students are given verbal commands, drills, and instructions to which they must demonstrate an understanding of the concepts. Students also are tested on their technique, endurance, and efficiency of movement.

What does the choreography portion include?
For the choreography exam portion, a student must demonstrate their knowledge of and technique in the two required JL2 Choreographiues (El Samer and Shams El Shamouseh) by performing the choreography in a classroom setting for Suhaila. The required choreography includes dance movement, muscular control, finger cymbals and other elements that are specific to JL2.

In order to test for Jamila Level 2, dancers must be signed off with approval from a L5 dancer prior to testing on both choreography.  See Pre-Test Submissions on this page for detail.

  • El Samer (JL2)
  • Shams El Shamouse (JL2)

Are there any prerequisites for the exam?
Testers must hold current Jamila Level 1 certification. A completed Certification Registration form with payment is also required.  Choreography approval to test.

How do I study for the Jamila L2 exam?
There are many tools you can use to study for the Jamila L2 exam. Please review the tabs above for more information.

When are the Jamila L2 exams offered?
Exams are administered throughout the week at JL2 Weeklong Workshops. Attendance at a JL2 weeklong is mandatory to test, as the exam is fully integrated into the regular workshop hours.

What if I don’t pass the exam?

Practical exams:  If students fail the practical portion of the exam (SL1, JL1, SL2, or JL2), they must attend another workshop and pay another full testing fee.  

Choreography:  If a SL2 or JL2 tester fails a choreography portion, they may retest for that choreography by working with a L5 instructor (via in-person privates or Skype privates) assigned by Suhaila.  Students must pay the related private fees, and the choreography portion must be passed within 60 days of the original testing date.  (If successful, the original testing date of the workshop is used as the date for their certification exam.)

Written Exams:  For SL1, JL1, SL2, and JL2 testers, failed written exams may be retaken for a $75 retest fee.   The written retest must be taken within 30 daysof the original testing date.  

Expedited Fees:  In certain limited cases, students may receive permission from Suhaila to take their written exam slightly earlier for an additional fee of $25 to expedite the exam.  This situation is used only for those cases where a student might need the testing results from the current workshop to take a higher level workshop immediately following the current workshop.

If I attend a Jamila L2 Workshop and sign up for testing, will I pass the exam?
The exam is a real exam, requiring that the dancer demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the material. But, by studying what you learn in the workshop and from the sources listed above, you have the information needed to pass the exam.

May the exam be translated into another language?
The language of the format is English; therefore, all tests, manuals and educational materials are written in English, and students are expected to complete the test in English. Monitors are available at all exams to assist students with questions.

Titles
The JSBD Level 2 certification is a certificate of achievement within the JSBD format, and current JSBD Level 2 certified students may use the following wording: “JSBD Level 2 Certified” or “Jamila Level 2 Certified”. (The JSBD Level 5 Teaching Certificate is the only certificate that certifies a dancer to teach the JSBD format.)

Students will be emailed a link to take the exam within a 3-day period.   Students will need:

  • a computer or tablet with sound “on”
  • working and stable internet (for duration of exam)
  • one page of handwritten notes (optional, see below)

Once you begin the exam:

  • You will need to complete the exam in one sitting.
  • You will be allotted a defined period of time to complete your exam. The time is dictated by the number and type of questions asked, with each student’s test being slightly different.  As you begin the exam, you will be given the exact number of questions in your test along with the exact time limit for your test.  A typical L2 exam has 75 questions with a 95 minute time limit.
  • You will have to answer a question before you are allowed to move to the next question.
  • You will not be able to return to a previous question to change your answer.

The exam is a “limited” open book exam, meaning that only the following resources may be used:

  • SL1 Study Guide
  • The New Danse Orientale
  • The Salimpour Belly Dance Compendium V1
  • Jamila’s Article Book
  • SalimpourSchool.com
  • SalimpourSchoolOnline.com
  • dictionary (or for language translation)
  • your personal notes from classes, workshops, and the above sources

You may NOT use other resources beyond those specifically listed. As examples, this means you may not use another person, a general internet search, any other book that those listed, someone else’s notes, etc.

In order to test for Jamila Level 2, you must complete the following and be signed off with approval from a L5 dancer prior to testing.

Certification Choreography
The required JL2 Certification Choreography must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of technique & finger cymbal patterns, R and/or L dominant (per required).  Separate video may be requested of finger cymbal pattern  playing without dancing the choreography.

  • El Samer (JL2)
  • Shams El Shamouse (JL2)

Private Lesson with L5
In order to test into JL2 dancers must schedule a private lesson with a L5 dancer to have the videos evaluated and approved for before testing JL2 weeklong in which they will test.  If videos are not view-able, dancers will need to re-film and re submit the work.  Or, if work still needs to be done, dancers can continue to schedule privates for guidance and feedback until they are approved for testing.

In Jamila Level 2, students continue work on the format, completing their study of the step families, movements and cymbal patterns. Learning is promoted through technique, stylization, choreography, and lecture on various topics.

Physiology, Training & Technical Focus
•Correct body posture and positioning when standing, traveling, etc.
•Identification of muscle contractions involved for movement execution and isolation of muscle groups.
•Learning to isolate muscle groups while maintaining stylistic cohesion throughout a move or phrase
•Proficiency in belly dance movements standing and moving.

Music & Music Theory
•Play finger cymbal patterns on Cymbal Jams (right and left hand dominant).
•Identify all rhythms from Rhythm ID CD.

Jamila Format Choreography
•Perform Suhaila’s El Samer choreography with cymbals.
•Perform Suhaila’s Shams El Shamouseh choreography.

History & Culture
•Jamila’s Article Book
•The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1

Jamila Level 3

In Jamila Level 3, students begin to learn and work the format from the inside out. By understanding the structure and technique behind each movement, dancers can learn to expand and layer the format in unlimited ways. Learning is promoted through technique, stylization, choreography, reading, and lecture. Learning tools, workshop information, testing details, and a list of the covered steps, cymbals, etc. are provided in this section.
How do I study for Jamila L3?
Several tools are available to assist students in learning Jamila’s format.

The *NEW* Danse Orientale Manual
Jamila’s Article Book with a focus on pp.1-59 and pp.88-98
The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium with a focus on pp. 1-44 and pp.95-140
Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD
Cymbal Jams: Audio Download Training Tool
Rhythm ID CD
Salimpour School Online Classes
Jamila L3 Weeklong Workshops
Jamila L2 and L3 Choreographies (see list below)
Jamila Archive Series

Certification Requirements
To test for Jamila L3, students must have current Jamila L2 certification. Jamila L3 contains significant overlap between the two formats, and knowledge of Suhaila L1 is strongly recommended. (Note that Suhaila L2 certification is required to test for Jamila L4 certification.)

List of Choreographies & Subscriptions
To access the subscriptions, you must be logged in to your Salimpour School Online account with current JL1 certification status to see/purchase these options in the PPV section.
•El Samer (JL2)
•Shams El Shamouseh (Jl2)
•Level 3 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo (JL3)
•Sallam Allay (JL3)

Specific Steps, Cymbals, etc. Covered in Jamila L3
Level 3 students learn variations and improvisations of all the existing Jamila steps covered in The New Danse Oriental manual, the Archive Series Volumes 1-4, and the Jamila Level 1 & 2 workshops. All finger cymbal patterns to be played right and left hand dominant.

Finger Cymbals
All patterns from Jamila L1 & L2
6s
2-6
10s
2-6-10
4-4-10
Running 7s
7-1-3-3
2-6-10-7-1-3-3
Moori
Karshlama (four patterns)
Taqsim (Waheda)
Taqsim (1-5-5-3-3-3)

Greetings, dancers! Abby here, from the “Mothership” in California.

New students at the Salimpour School often ask me: What’s the difference between the Suhaila and Jamila formats? Do I have to do both?

The short answer: At the lower levels, the Suhaila Salimpour Format (SSF) is about learning physical technique, and the Jamila Salimpour Format (JSF) is about learning steps and sentiment. If one doesn’t start with the Suhaila format, they won’t have the physical technical training to execute the steps in the Jamila format. If one doesn’t do the JSF, they’re missing out on key historical and cultural elements of belly dance as a professional dance form with roots in the Middle East. (For the sake of this blog post, I’ll be using the term “Middle East” to refer to the regions of the eastern Mediterranean, western Asia, and North Africa.)

But that’s not the whole story.

Let’s start with a little background on the development of each format.

In the Beginning…
Each step in the Jamila Salimpour format is derived from steps and movements performed by real people in or from the Middle East. When Jamila was observing dancers in films from Cairo, casual dancing at cultural gatherings, and nightclub performers in the United States, she wanted to make sense of what she was seeing.

Jamila Salimpour began her cataloging of steps in the 1930s, and essentially ceased in 1974. She organized what she observed into what she called “Step Families,” which we still use today. At Suhaila added steps that she observed on her travels to the Middle East, at her mother’s request. Jamila herself never traveled to the Arab world; Suhaila, however, traveled there multiple times as a teenager, and eventually spent 10 years working as a professional dancer throughout the Arab world. Suhaila, at her mother’s request, added steps such as Stomp Step with a Shimmy, 3/4 Shimmy Spin, and most of the Salaam Family. Through both of their contributions, the JSF was, for the most part, set and codified by 1978.

Each step family has an overall sentiment or feeling; some step families are also characterized by a shared technical element. For example, the Basic Egyptian family steps feature hip twists (except for the Five Count, which has no hip work at all) and have an outward action. These are the steps that were and are performed by professional dancers. The Salaam Family is connected by the fact that these steps are all “party steps” or movements that one might see at a family gathering, wedding, or other celebration; most of them have a fulltime bounce down, driven by small demi pliés. The Arabic family features shuffling steps that mostly stay in place, the legs are kept close together, and the sentiment is demure, coy, and sweet; this family is also much more internal than the Egyptian family steps. As you learn the steps, you will noticed that some sentiments cross over between steps and families.

You might be wondering… if the Jamila Salimpour Format includes culturally-derived steps, why do I need the Suhaila Format? Can’t I just use the steps in the Jamila Format? Well, you could, but you’d be missing out on your full technical potential to interpret the rich, complex music to which dancers perform today.

The Music Changes
In the late 1970s, professional dancers in the Middle East commissioned longer, orchestrated compositions specifically for performance from well-respected composers. When recordings of these pieces reached the United States, often bootlegged from a tape recorder hidden in a patron’s purse at a nightclub, dancers were struck by the complexity and changes in each piece. These compositions were often full-length sets, or included now-classic entrance pieces such as “Set El Hosen” and “Mishaal.”

Before these pieces reached North America, dancers in American nightclubs mostly only improvised to folk songs with few tempo or rhythmic changes, such as “Ya Ain Moulaytin,” “Salaam Allay,” “Hizzy Ya Nawaem,” or Turkish folk songs such as “?i?eler,” or “Rompi Rompi.” Sometimes Armenian and Greek pieces would be included, such as “Tamzara,” (a folk dance song in 9/8 time) or “Miserlou.” A set would include a fast, upbeat opening song, a slow taqsim for veilwork, followed by another upbeat or medium tempo folk song, followed by another slow taqsim to which dancers often performed floorwork, then another upbeat song, a drum solo, and a fast closing song. This is what we now refer to as the 5- or 7-part set. But these new pieces coming out of the Middle East required deeper listening and greater planning, increased technical skill, set choreography.

By this time, Suhaila, now 12 years old, had learned every step in her mother’s format inside and out. She had been playing with the character, sentiment, and technique of each step the way a little girl might play with dolls.

When she heard this new music from the Middle East, she knew how she wanted to dance to it, but did not yet have the physical technical ability to execute her vision. So, she broke down each step in her mother’s format into their essential elements: foot pattern, hip work, upper body, arms, and any other technical elements. From there, she was able to create new movement that better suited the rich music composed for dancers from the Middle East. From this work came the development of her own format. Additionally, she worked with her mother on several iconic choreographies that heralded a new era in musical interpretation of belly dance music. From these collaborations came “Hayati” and “Joumana” (the first belly dance performance to ever be selected for the prestigious San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival). Some people like to separate mother from daughter, but Jamila herself wanted Suhaila to develop belly dance as a genre beyond the boilerplate steps of the JSF.

At this time, Suhaila also began adding movements into her belly dance performances that were not a part of her mother’s format. These include the hard-contraction movements that emerged out Suhaila’s training in jazz dance as well as from her work with Boogaloo dancer Walter “Sundance” Freeman. These movements include interior hip squares, pelvic locks, arm waves from out-to-in, hard contraction arm waves in both directions, rib and pelvic pyramids and Vs.

Breaking it Down, Putting it Together
In JSF Level 3, students learn to manipulate the JSF, layer JSF movements over JSF movements, and add SSF layers. Not only does this burst open the creative and technical possibilities inherent in belly dance as a professional performance genre, but it also gives us greater versatility in how we choose to interpret Arabic music. In the school we jokingly refer to this process as “Jamhaila”: a blending of the Jamila and Suhaila Formats. It is also how Suhaila began to experiment with her mother’s format when she was younger, and explore the potential in the steps, while adding her own hard contraction movements and layering techniques.

What does this mean? Let’s look at some examples:

8 count phrase using three steps in the JSF.
Concept: Breaking out of the idea that JSF is only to be used in large musical chunks.
Steps: CCW Pivot 1U1D [1-2], 3/4 Shimmy on the Up [3-4], Full Spin with Syncopated Pivot Shift Step [5-8].
Feet: L foot flat, R relevé in jazz 3rd, demi plié on “2” [1-2], step ht db R flat-footed, going F [3-4], stepping ht db R, making CW turn, going R [5-6], come up onto ball of L foot [&(7)], step R foot flat to complete full CW turn [7], touch ball of L foot in jazz 3rd [8].
Hips: Tw ft db L [1-2], alt 3/4 glutes dt db R [3-4], home [5-6], tw L [&(7)], tw ht db R [7-8].
Arms: L arm mod 5th, R mod 2nd [1-2], both mod 2nd [3-5], high 1st [6], R hand behind head, L hand at L hip [7-8].
Cymbals: 3-3-7 [1-4], 3-1-3-1-3 [5-8].
Here we haven’t manipulated the JSF movements out of their default sentiments or timings; we’re only breaking them up into smaller bits to fit more into one count of 8. Also notice how that if you wanted to repeat this phrase, you would have to reverse (mirror image) the entire combination, because you end with your weight on the right foot.

JSF layered over JSF:
Concept: Layering steps and step families in the Jamila Format, choosing a dominant sentiment.
Steps: Algerian Shimmy with the upper body and sentiment of Arabic 1.
Feet: Touch-step ht db R in relevé
Hips: Alt glutes dt db L
Torso: Und U-D ft db UB
Arms: Back of R hand over mouth, palm facing out, L arm in mod 2nd.
Cymbals: Running 4s and 5s.
Notice how the arms emphasize the coy, shy feeling of the Arabic 1 step, even though the lower body is performing the Algerian Shimmy. Here we are also layering the Arabic Family over the Shimmy Family.

SSF layered over JSF:
Concept: Combining the steps of JSF with the technical elements of SSF.
Overview: Five Count with alternating interior hip squares and optional rib cage locks.
Feet: Stepping ht db R in relevé: cross R behind L, step L in place [1-2], step in place in releve, 3/4 timing ft db R [3-4], reverse [5-8].
Hips: Alt int sq CW ht db F [1-8].
Arms: Mod 2nd [1-8].
Cymbals: 4-4-10
Optional Layer: Rib locks ht db F [1-8].
The Five Count is a JSF movement, and by default, it does not feature hip work. The interior hip square is a distinctly SSF movement, refined and codified by Suhaila in the 1980s, after the 1978 JSF cut-off. The rib locks are a true layer, as codified by Suhaila within the context of the SSF.

Two Formats, One Vision
As you work in both the SSF and the JSF, remember to keep the two formats clearly separated in your head. The SSF refers to base technical movements divided up in the body; the JSF refers to steps and step names that encompass the whole body. We must also understand that there are movements that we do in the SSF that are not JSF. While it is true that the JSF came first, we use our SSF technical foundations to do the steps in the JSF. The formats feed into one another, weaving back and forth. When you are learning the two formats, be very clear with yourself which one is which.

It is also important that when you are learning the steps of the JSF that you aren’t approaching them as though they were drills. Each step comes with a built-in cultural context and origin. Sometimes the origin is right there in the step name: Basic Egyptian, Algerian Shimmy, Turkish Walk, Turkish Backwalk, Basic Taqsim. Practice physicalizing and embodying the character of each step. Pretend to dance like Samia Gamal when doing your Walk With Pivot on an Angle. Embody the archetypal matriarch when doing your 4/4 Shimmy. Channel a coy sister at a family house party when dancing your Arabic 1.

If you are in the Salimpour School, it is essential that you train simultaneously in both formats. Doing so will make you a strong technical dancer with fantastic musicality and a wealth of historical and cultural context on which to draw from when composing dances, either in improvisation or choreography.

What are Jamila L3 Weeklong Workshops?
These workshops immerse students in five full days of study, using dance instruction, lecture and choreography as the tools for learning and testing. Classes are taught by Suhaila and authorized TAs/instructors. Participants must have current Jamila L2 certification to attend, and students are expected to have a thorough working knowledge of Jamila’s format and terminology.

How do I prepare for a Jamila L3 Weeklong Workshop?
•Read/review the About Workshops page that includes Common Questions, Studio Rules, and more.
•Review all materials listed in the above “Preparing” tab.
•You are encouraged to arrive early and warm-up prior to class.
•Workshops often run over the allotted teaching time. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.
•Suhaila L1 certification is strongly recommended in preparation for learning Jamila L3 material, but is not required to take the workshop.

What do I bring to a Jamila L3 Weeklong Workshop?
Carefully read the Assignments tab below for details.

How do I sign up for a Jamila L3 Workshop?
A listing of Jamila L3 workshops (with links to complete details) can be found in the Current Workshops section.

What are the pre-workshop assignments for a L3 Weeklong and what do I bring?

Prior to attending a L3 weeklong, students have pre-workshop assignments to complete. The School recommends that students began work on the assignments immediately, as some assignments may take weeks to complete.

Required/Recommended for all Attendees

Students will typically attend several L3 weeklongs before testing.  Begin working your way through the reading list.  You might not have everything read by the time you attend your first L3, but do what you can.  The more prepared you are for the weeklong, the better you can absorb material and progress in the workshop.  Note that the reading list for JL3 and SL3 is the same.

  • Jamila’s Article Book*
  • The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1
  • The New Danse Orientale
  • The Salimpour Music Module (available in 2017; date TBD)
  • Music Fundamentals for Dance by Nola Nolen Holland
  • Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas
  • Ballet dictionary (see Resources page for recommendations)
  • On Acting by Sanford Meisner
  • Choreography and the Specific Image by Daniel Nagrin
  • Books on choreography (see Resources page)
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
  • The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
  • Dance Psychology for Artistic and Performance Exellcence by Jim Taylor and Elena Estanol
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
  • List of bellydance music classics on Suhaila’s website (Resources Section) or click here.
  • Salimpour Format Cymbal Patterns (Cymbal Jams)
  • Middle Eastern Rhythms (Rhythm ID CD)
  • Suhaila Format Nomenclature (Resources section)
  • Issam Houshan’s Ear for Rhythms Series
  • Umm Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt (DVD)
  • Bellydancers of Cairo Documentary by Natasha Senkovich (DVD)
  • Additional resources as including in the Reading List on the Resources page.

•Bring your dance art book (no smaller than by 9×12 inches or size B4 paper) with your regular contributions as described in the “Workshops” tab above. Can use the same book for each level and for both formats.

•Suhaila will select a performance set for you from the Jamila set list. You will use this set for required participation in the improvisation performance nights Lab.

Performance Catalogs

•Research and watch videos of three of the great dancers from the Middle East from the 1930s, 40s, 50s, or 60s. Note the signature moves, music selections, sentiments, costuming, venue, year, etc. Write, draw, collage your findings in your dance art book, with at least 2 pages per researched dancer. Prepare to submit your pre-workshop assignment (in your art book) on the first morning of the workshop. Each time you attend a JL3 weeklong, select different dancers to research.

•View the Bal Anat performances available on youtube and vimeo (see below). Select one historical member of Bal Anat (finale dancer, pot dancer, sword dancer, Morrocan dancer, Tunisian dancer, tray dancer, Pink Lady, etc.) and create your version of that character. Research and create a name and back story for the character. Keeping in line with the Bal Anat vibe, think about what other music you might use, your costuming, Jamila-styled phrases and combinations. Document your findings and ideas in your art book (at least 3 pages). Prepare to submit your pre-workshop assignment (in your art book) on the first morning of the workshop. Each time you attend a JL3, select a different dancer/character to research.

•Bring choreography notes for all required certification choreographies to use as a reference during the workshop, from which to ask any of your choreography questions, and on which to take any notes.

•Bring a notebook and pen or pencil to take notes.

•Bring a selection of your Middle Eastern music for homework exercises during the week. Focus on classics and Jamila-era music.

•Bring finger cymbals, veil, ballet or jazz shoes, hand towel, refillable water bottle, and deodorant to reapply as necessary.

•Access to a computer / printer for any homework during the week.

•If testing, bring your completed JL3 Testing Packet as outlined in the JL3 testing section.

•Read/review the About Workshops page that includes Common Questions, Studio Rules, and more.

BAL ANAT PERFORMANCES

John Carney Bal Anat documentary: youtube or vimeo

Bal Anat Performance (TV studio): link

Bal Anat Performance c1974: link

Bal Anat Revival 2001: link

What is the Jamila L3 exam?
The Jamila L3 exam is comprised of three parts: written (see JL3 testing packet section), practical, and choreography. The written portion is prepared before the workshop, and the practical and choreography portions are given during the workshop. You must receive at least 70% on each of three exam portions: written, practical, and choreography.

•The written portion is a pre-workshop JL3 Testing Packet (see Jl3 testing packet section on this page). Testers will continue to fine-tune their work as assigned during the weeklong.
•For the practical portion, students are given verbal commands, drills and instructions to which they must demonstrate an understanding of the Jamila format. During the week, you are also required to participate in any performance nights, such as the Improvisation Performance Labs.
•For the choreography portion, students perform the required choreographies (props required, if applicable to the dance) in a live class studio environment (during the workshop).

Are there any prerequisites for the exam?
•Approval from Suhaila to test.
•Approved Pre-Chute Submissions
•Testers must hold current Jamila Level 2 certification, and Suhaila Level 2 or 3 is strongly recommended.
•A completed Certification Registration form with payment is also required.

What are the Pre-Chute submissions?
See the Pre-Chute Submissions section for more detail:
•Technique Drill Videos = Filming yourself drilling proficiently at the required skill level to be accepted into the test chute.
•Choreography Video = Filming the required certification choreography for evaluation to be accepted into the test chute.
•Video Evaluation Approval= Private lessons with L5 dancer for feedback on Skill Drills and Choreography; Must have approval to enter test chute and begin the Project Packet.

What is the L3 Project Packet?
See the Testing Packet section on this page. The packets and testing fee must be submitted several days in advance of the weeklong at which you will be testing; see the JL3 testing packet section for specific deadline information.   Note that the SSBD Certification Program is under constant review and evaluation for growth and improvement. You are responsible for rechecking the packet instructions for changes prior to your approved testing date to verify that you have the most up-to-date instructions.

How do I study for the Jamila L3 exam?
There are many tools you can use to study for the Jamila L3 exam. Please review all the tabs in this section and in the JL3 testing packet section on this same page for details.

When am I ready to take a L3 exam?
You are ready to test when you know and can demonstrate sufficiently all the material covered in L3 including the required choreographies. Part of the process of learning JL3 material requires attending the workshops to learn tools and practices that you will take home and work on for several months.  The typical tester takes 2-4 JL3 weeklongs before testing.

How do I get permission to test?
When you feel you are ready to test, contact Suhaila to receive formal permission.  Suhaila’s goal is to keep you continually moving forward in your dance studies and to set you up for success at each step of the process. If for some reason she feels you are not ready, she will provide you specific information on what you need to learn or improve to test.  Once you do have Suhaila’s permission to test, you contact the Certification Coordinator to enter the testing chute.

How do I sign up for the test?
Once you have Suhaila’s permission to test, contact the Certification Coordinator to enter the testing chute.  CLICK HERE.  The Coordinator will verify Suhaila’s approval and then send you the necessary paperwork and payment link.

When are the Jamila L3 exams offered?
Jamila L3 exams are given during the Jamila L3 Workshops.

In order to be accepted into the Testing Chute for Level 3, you must complete the following and be signed off with approval before you begin your Level 3 Testing Packet.

Technique Drills 
The Drill section must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of the required JL3 technique.  The Drills will be done solo to a pre-recorded “Class video” with specific drills composed for JL3 technique.  Each drill must executed correctly and with clear JL3 skill articulation.  You may purchase this specific Technique Drill video for test preparation.  When you feel you are ready for evaluation you will then purchase a private lesson with a L5 dancer to be evaluated and approved for this portion of the Submissions.  Submissions and approval must be completed prior to beginning your JL3 test packet.

Certification Choreography
The required L3 Certification Choreography section must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of technique & finger cymbal patterns, R and/or L dominant (per required).  Separate video may be requested of finger cymbal pattern  playing without dancing the choreography.

Private Lesson with L5
In order to be accepted into the L3 Testing Chute, dancers must schedule a private lesson with a L5 dancer to have the videos evaluated and approved for the testing process.  If videos are not view-able, dancers will need to re-film and re submit the work.  Or, if work still needs to be done, dancers can continue to schedule privates for guidance and feedback until they are approved for the Testing Chute.

What is Jamila Level 3?
In JSBD L3, students begin to work the format from the inside out. By understanding the structure and technique behind each movement, dancers can learn to expand and layer the format in unlimited ways. Learning is promoted through technique, stylization, choreography, and lecture on various topics.

Physiology & Training
•Identification of muscle contractions involved for movement execution.
•Deconstruction and reconstruction of the movements and step families.
•Development of layering with various timings, downbeats, foot patterns, arm positions and finger cymbal patterns.
•Emphasis on strong technique and stylization.
•Focus on building speed and stamina.

Music & Music Theory
•Play all finger cymbal patterns on Cymbal Jams (right and left hand dominant).
•Identify all drum rhythms from Drum Rhythm ID CD.

Jamila Format Choreography
•Perform L3 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo choreography with cymbals.
•Perform Sallam Allay with finger cymbals.
•Perform El Samer and Shams El Shamouseh from Jamila L2.

History & Culture
Jamila’s Article Book with a focus on pp.88-98.
The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1 with a focus on pp.94-140.

Jamila Level 3 Testing Packet

 

For a complete overview of the JL3 testing process, see “The Testing Process” in the JL3 section. Here we focus on the JL3 testing packet, which is only part of the testing process.  Testers must attend the workshop and participate in all workshop activities, pre-workshop assignments, during-the-week homework, and improvisation performance nights.  The tester must complete the L3 pre-testing chute requirements (see the SL3 section) and have approval from the Certification Coordinator before submitting her testing packet.

L3 Testing Packet Deadline

Ten to thirty days prior to the workshop in which you are testing, you must:

  • Pay the JL3 testing fee.
  • Submit the assignments outlined in this section.
  • Proof of your testing payment plus the assignments must be emailed to salimpourcertification at gmail.com 10-30 days prior to the workshop in which you are testing.

Specific Packet Deadlines

  • Aug 2017:  testing fees & packets due between Jul 7 & Jul 31
  • Feb 2018:  testing fees & packets due between Dec 29 & Jan 19
  • Aug 2018:  testing fees & packets due between Jul 6 & Jul 30

JL3 Testing Packet Overview

The testing packet takes time to complete; students are encouraged to begin at least six months in advance.  Students are expected to complete and submit the following assignments as outlined in the sections below 10-30 days prior to the workshop at which they are testing.  Project 1 (morning pages) should be submitted in hardcopy in addition to any pre-workshop assignments.  Projects 2-8 should be emailed as PDF files, along with proof of the JL3 testing payment, to the email listed above in the deadline section.  Submit each project as a single PDF, clearly labeled with the project title and your name.  Complete all projects and submit them at one time.  Note:  if you tested for SL3 when the Artist’s Way was part of your testing chute projects, use Project List B further below.

  • Project 1: Artist’s Way morning pages
  • Project 2: Artist’s Way questions
  • Project 3: Music Project
  • Project 4: Compendium Reports
  • Project 5: Article Book & Compendium Questions
  • Project 6: Choreography Questions
  • Project 7: Jamhaila Drills
  • Project 8: Grid Assignments

Resources

Visit the Reading List on the Resources page for the texts and other resources to assist you in completing the projects.

 

Project List B:  If you successfully tested for SL3 when the morning pages were part of your testing chute requirements, use this project list.

  • Dance Anatomy & Ballet Definitions outlined in SL3 Testing Packet (instead of Artist’s Way morning pages)
  • Dance Psychology Self Study outlined in SL3 Testing Packet (instead of Artist’s Way questions)
  • Music Project
  • Compendium Reports
  • Article Book & Compendium Questions
  • Choreography Questions
  • Jamhaila Drills
  • Grid Assignments

Note: The Salimpour School programs are always under review and evaluation for improvement. Know that changes and adjustments may be made to the process. It is the responsibility of the student to check the requirements regularly for changes and updates.

Updated 6 Mar 2017

Read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and complete the activites and morning pages; the process takes 12 weeks.  Note:  For dancers who completed the morning pages as part of their SL3 testing chute, submit both the Dance Anatomy and Ballet Definitions and the Dance Psychology Self Study projects as outlined in the current SL3 packet.

  • Bring your completed morning pages to demonstrate you have completed the 12 week study.  
  • Answer the following questions.  
    1. Define morning pages and the purpose of writing them.
    2. Explain how you followed (or didn’t follow) the morning page exercise and what you think you learned (or didn’t learn) from the process.
    3. Define what Cameron means by “filling the well”?
    4. In her discussions on Attention, Cameron states: “Very often, a creative block manifests itself as an addiction to fantasy.” Do you think this has specific merit to the belly dance world, or do you think all art forms have the same problem? Discuss.
    5. Cameron discusses synchronicity? Have you ever had an opportunity presented to you that you regret passing up? Explain.
    6. Discuss a specific artist’s date (and the related chapter, exercise or concept) and what you learned from the date.
    7. What does Cameron mean by “The Virtue Trap”?
    8. How does Cameron define “perfectionism”?
    9. What does Cameron mean by “filling the form”?
Audit the Yale class “Introduction to Classical Music” through the online course program with Coursera.  Complete the two exercises outlined below.

The goal of this project is to further your understanding of how to hear music and what to listen for. Although this course has been created with Western Classical music in mind, many of the terms and concepts are similar to what is presented in Middle Eastern music. Although this is a 9 week course, you are only required to watch the videos for the first 3 weeks as this information will be most relevant to our studies.

The Course can be found here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/introclassicalmusic/home/welcome

Click on the “Enroll Now” button, and select “Audit” to register for the course. You do not need to purchase the course to have access to the videos. Note: only the videos for Weeks 1-3 are required for this project.

Exercise 1

After listening to Weeks 1-3 of the course, pick 3 different pieces of music from the list of 100+ songs on the website. Using the concepts and terms discussed in the lessons, describe the music similarly to how Professor Wright does in his class. Use a minimum of 5 terms / concepts, and give time markers to your breakdown. (Note: in some cases the terminology might not be a complete match. If the general concept is the same, note the similarities / differences.) Discuss what effect the terms / concepts have on the emotional / structural delivery of the music, and how that might relate to your general choice of movement as a dancer.

Examples of (but not limited to) terminology to use:

  • Texture: Polyphonic, Homophonic, or Monophonic
  • Melody: Conjunct or Disjunct
  • Melody: Motive or Theme
  • Dissonance / Consonance
  • Antecedent / Consequent
  • Melodic Sequence: Ascending or Descending
  • Ritardando / Accelerando
  • Duple, Triple Rhythms
  • Form
  • Verse / Chorus
    • Ternary Form
    • Sonata Allegro
    • Theme and Variation
    • Rondo Form
  • Functional Types: Thematic / Transitional / Developmental / Cadential

Exercise 2

Write an essay (approximately 2 pages) on how this course has changed the way you hear music. What are some of the similarities you’ve noticed between Western and Middle Eastern Classical Music? What are some of the differences? Feel free to discuss any additional connections you have made through watching this course.

Prepare a total of three reports using “The West Discovers the Middle East” section of The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium V1.

  • Select three sections of interest.
  • Prepare a short paper (3-5 pages double-spaced, size 12 font, 1” margins) on each topic furthering the research presented in the book. Do not simply rephrase what is already in the book; use the book to inspire you for your own research.
  • Each report should have at least 4 references. Wikipedia does NOT count as a reference.

Notes: The goal is to further your knowledge on three topics. Some report ideas include a basic report, book review, commentary, informed opinion, interviews, documentaries, videos, reviewing the current views on controversial topics, noting conflicting information that you’ve found, comparing video to written material, etc. You have freedom in the scope and content of the “report”, as long as it meets the above requirements.

Using the Article Book, Compendium, New Danse Orientale, and personal experience, answer the following questions. Answers should range from a few sentences to a few paragraphs based on need.

  1. Throughout history, the West has been borrowing from the East, has been borrowing from the West. Using each of the three categories of Music, Dance and Costuming, site examples of how they have been changed through exposure or expectation from other cultures. Briefly describe the social, political, or economic situations that encouraged or necessitated this change.
  2. What role did Egyptomania and Orientalism play in the development of bellydance in the West? What was the western cultural context at the time that provided fertile ground for this introduction?
  3. Through a combination of fantasy and reality, bellydance has garnered a salacious reputation both in the East, and West. What events or concepts lead to this reputation? How has this perception affected you – for better and/or worse?
  4. Is there such a thing as “Traditional Bellydance”? What defines bellydance to you, and what are the parameters for inclusion?
  5. Name three ways in which Jamila Salimpour revolutionized the dance into what we know of it today.
  6. What does “Responsible Fusion” mean to you?
  7. If someone were to accuse you of Cultural Appropriation, what would be your response?
  8. Why is it important to understand the historic and cultural context surrounding bellydance?
  9. What significance did Modern Dancers of the early 20th century impart to bellydance as we know it today?
  10. What are some defining characteristics of the unique style of American Bellydance during the 19050’s-1970’s and what contributed to their debut?
Read two (or more) choreography books of your choice.*  Write 4-6 pages on the following concepts.

  • space definition and explanation
  • time definition and explanation
  • energy definition and explanation
  • include a list of choreography books read and referenced (at least two books*)

*See the Resources page for suggestions.  

Create three types of combination phrases as detailed below. Your goal is to smoothly transition between the steps and demonstrate your knowledge of how the moves are similar (or dissimilar) in execution, movement quality, or emotional intent.  Have fun and improvise with the steps, seeing what emerges.  Always be clear on what the original step is, but then be creative:  flip it, reverse it, rewind it, use only part of it, use multiple timings, etc. Throughout the assignment, use a wide variety of steps and finger cymbal patterns, using more than one cymbal pattern per phrase where suitable. Type the combinations using Jamila step names and Suhaila nomenclature to specify timing, travelling direction, arms, staging, reverses, transitions, etc.  For documentation. use the “one-body-part-per-line” approach used in all certification choreography notes.  For this exercise (and for all choreography and homework), use the nomenclature documents provided on the Resource page in the Documentation section; these include symbols, abbreviations, usage instructions, phrase samples, and a choreography example.)

  • Set 1.  20 separate phrases of eight counts; each phrase containing 3 Jamila steps (or parts of Jamila steps) connected sequentially, using smooth transitions.
  • Set 2.  20 separate phrases of eight counts; each phrase containing Jamila steps layered on top of each other; list the sentiment of what you have chosen as the underlying Jamila step for the phrase.  Each phrase should contain at least 3 Jamila steps.
  • Set 3.  20 separate phrases of eight counts; each phrase with a) at least two Jamila steps layered, fused, and/or connected as developed in Sets 1 and 2 plus b) Suhaila format layering added for the entire phrase.
  • After completing your combinations, print a list of all Jamila steps and finger cymbal patterns (from JL2 section: JL2 Step Families and Finger Cymbals); on that list, check off all the steps and finger cymbals you included in your combination phrases.
Using the staging and emotional grid, complete the following exercises.

  1. Create and submit a chart of the audience grid, playing a specific person in each of the 9 audience spots.  Example: maternal grandmother in 1, ex boyfriend from high school in 9, etc.
  2. Using the Shams El Shamouseh choreography, prepare an emotional projection grid (not staging), phrase-by-phrase (will be based on the people you place in #1).
  3. Using the Sallam Allay choreography, prepare a staging grid (no emotional projection grid) phrase-by-phrase.

Grid Examples

  • Basic grid example: StageAudienceGrid
  • Completed grid that shows both staging and emotional projection.  Note that for your exercises above, you are staging one choreography and creating emotional projection for the other.
  • Note:  Use the nomenclature documents provided on the Resource page in the Documentation section; these include symbols, abbreviations, usage instructions, phrase samples, and a choreography example.

Jamila Level 4

Jamila Level 4 represents the most advanced level of Jamila format training. Students build on Jamila Level 3. Learning is promoted through technique, stylization, choreography, reading, and lecture. Learning tools, workshop information, testing details, and a list of the covered steps, cymbals, etc. are provided in this section.
Technique Progression
L4 builds on concepts from L3. As soon as you have mastered L3 material, continue moving forward with your work on advanced layering techniques, finger cymbal skills, etc. Continue developing technique by using the following tools and options:

•Continued attendance at L2 and L3 Workshops (advanced dancers are given more layering options and challenges).
•Improvisation & Choreography Weeklong attendance (current Suhaila Level 2 or Jamila Level 2 certification required for attendance).
•Live Music Workshop attendance (current Suhaila Level 2 or Jamila Level 2 certification required for attendance).
•Participation in Salimpour School Online (online classes).
•Study with Cymbal Jams (audio training tools) covering 72+ finger cymbal patterns.
•Study with Drill Breaks and Drill Outs (audio training downloads) to address those technique areas in which you still need work.
•To test for JL4, students must have JL3 and SL4 certification.  To test for JL5, students must have JL4 and SL4 certification.

Required Choreographies
As soon as you are Suhaila Level 2 certified, begin learning the required L4 certification choreographies. The choreographies take time to learn and develop; for most students, it typically requires a year of consistent work or more to master the pieces. In addition, you are expected to further develop your performance of the L2FCDS and the three L3 choreographies.

  • El Samer
  • Shams El Shamouseh
  • L3FCD
  • Sallam Allay
  • Cane Dance
  • Khatwit Habibi
  • Sword (Standing or Bal Anat)
  • Zay El Hawa
  • Hayati

Improv-Prep Choreography  

 

  • 2018:  Raks Jamila Set: Raks Jamila, Guitar Solo, L3FCDS (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)
  • 2019:  Maharjan (Keyboard Solo TrackMaharjan, 2 (like in Chair/Veil), Elf Leyla, Unforeseen Drum Solo)
  • 2020:  Set El Hosen
  • 2021:  Raks Suhaila Set: Raks Suhaila, Maddah, Unveiled Drum (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)

Improvisation & Choreography Weeklong

Live Music Workshop

Personal Education Catalog

Personal Performance Catalog

L4 Teaching Path
On a case-by-case basis, Suhaila will evaluate students’ requests to participate in a modified version of the SL4 certification performance path. In general, the performance requirements are modified while significantly stronger evaluation and teaching components are added. View the L4 Teaching Path section for more details.

Visit the Suhaila Level 4 section for details about the Level 4 Choreography Weeklong. Review the section about the workshop and the section about the pre-workshop assignments. Note that when you are working on Level 4 for the Jamila format, the personal choreography (and related assignments) should be focused on the Jamila format and stylization.
Visit the Suhaila Level 4 section for details about the Live Music workshop. Review the section about the workshop and the section about the pre-workshop assignments. Note that when you are working on Level 4 for the Jamila format, your improvisation work (and related assignments) should be focused on the Jamila format and stylization.
Visit the Suhaila Level 4 section for details about the Level 4 Choreography Weeklong. Review the section about the workshop and the section about the pre-workshop assignments. Note that when you are working on Level 4 for the Jamila format, the personal choreography (and related assignments) should be focused on the Jamila format and stylization.
Read full instructions for preparing Personal Performance Catalog at this link:
http://www.salimpourschool.com/performance-catalogs/
The progression of L4 testing (or how to test for L4)
After you are L3 certified and feel you have a good working knowledge of the required certification choreographies and have almost completed work on your Personal Performance and Education Catalogs, you are ready to make the push towards L4. The process involves  steps:

Step 1: Submission of Technique Drills 
The L4 Technique Drills must be filmed correctly & submitted  by October for evaluation and must be approved prior to the L4 workshops in January.  See the “Choreography Submission” section on this page for more detail.

Step 2: Submission of Certification Choreography 
The L4 Certification Choreography Set must be recorded correctly, submitted in November and approved prior to the L4 workshops in January  to enter the Test Chute.  See the “Choreography Submission” section on this page for more detail.

Step 3: Submission Improv-Prep Choreography  
This section is to demonstrate performance skills needed to participate in the Testing Chute. The L4 Improv-Prep Choreography Set must be recorded and will be submitted day one with the Catalogs at the L4 workshops to enter the Test Chute.  All L4 testers will complete all four as part of L4 pre-testing.  See the “Choreography Submission” section on this page for more detail.

Step 4: Registration & Catalog Submissions
Once you receive verification and approval from Suhaila on steps 1-3, prior to the L4 choreography weeklong that you are ready to participate in the upcoming performance test, you will submit the following items on the first day of the weeklong.  Note that your performance catalog should represent your best work and show that you are already consistently working at a L4 level specific to the format in which you are testing.

•L4 Certification Registration with payment
•Technique Drills
•Improv-Prep Video(s)
•Required Cert Choreos
•Personal Choreography
•Personal Performance Catalog
•Personal Education Catalog

Step :5 Completion of Choreography Weeklong
Participation in all activities and completion of all homework before and during weeklong with a resulting choreography approved by Suhaila to be used for L4 testing.  Approval of the personal choreography is required for the L4 testing chute.

Step 6: Completion of Live Music Workshop module
To enter the L4 testing chute, a student must receive permission from Suhaila that they have sufficiently mastered the Live Music Weeklong module material. Most students will need to take the workshop at least twice (often more) before testing in one format.  Note that based on which format you are planning to test (Suhaila or Jamila), your  work in the Live Music workshop should reflect the best of your improvisation work in that specific format.  Most L4 testers will need to attend the Live Music weeklong immediately prior to their testing performance to demonstrate their work (technique, stage, emotional range and context) at a high level in specifically the Suhaila or Jamila format.

Step 7: Technical Demonstration of Required Choreographies, Personal Choreography Segment, & Required Catalogs
When you have completed Steps 1 – 3, you attend a L4 Choreography Weeklong to 1) demonstrate your proficiency of the required certification choreographies and 2) show your personal choreography. Upon Suhaila’s approval, you may proceed in the Testing Chute.
The final version of the personal choreography must include stage placement and emotional intent as show in this example: MawoudExample2015

Step 8: Test Chute
During the testing chute, you may have additional individually-assigned projects related to your catalogs, certification choreography, and personal choreography to complete before final testing. You will need to coordinate with other students in your testing chute as well as studio TAs to work on the required certification choreographies for the testing performance. You may also need to schedule private lessons with Suhaila for development of your personal choreography for the testing performance.  In some cases, students may be required to continue work on your catalogs under the guidance of the Certification Coordinator or other high-certified staff; additional review and evaluation will require additional fees.

Step 9: L4 Testers’ Retreat, Materials Fees, and Performance Exams
At the end of the testing chute, you may be required to attend a formal Tester’s Retreat (or the equivalent) prior to the final testing to help prepare and focus all testers for the improvisational and choreography public performance exams.

All testers pay a required performance materials fee (due two months prior to the performance) based on the number of testers performing at a specific performance exam. The fee will be based on the number of performers/testers and will not exceed $1,000/performer.

For approved participants in the L4 Teaching Path, modifications to the above requirements can be found in the L4 Teaching Path section.

The Salimpour Certification Programs are under constant review and evaluation for growth and improvement. Although the plans for L4 Testing are established in advance, know that small changes and adjustments may be made to the process. You are responsible for rechecking any assignment instructions four months from your target L4 testing submission date to verify that you have the most up-to-date instructions.

These choreography submissions are separate and independent of the Performance and Improvisation Catalogs.  These steps in the testing process are to help determine acceptance into the Testing Chute.

Technique Drills 
The Drill section must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of the required JL4 technique.  The Drills will be done solo to a pre-recorded “Class video” with specific drills composed for JL4 technique.  Each drill must executed correctly and with clear JL4 skill articulation.  You may purchase this specific Technique Drill video for test preparation.  When you feel you are ready for evaluation you will then purchase a private lesson with a L5 dancer to be evaluated and approved for this portion of the Submissions.  Submissions and approval must be completed by October 1st prior to the L4 workshops you will attend in the Test Chute.

Certification Choreography
The L4 Certification Choreography Set section must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of technique & finger cymbal patterns.  No restaurant performances, waiters walking through the set, audience distractions, etc.  This must be a “theater like” professional performance setting in the standard scrunchy-butt attire.  Venues must be approved by Suhaila prior to filming to be submitted.

Examples:
Dance Studio with stage set up (lighting)
Small theater (rented)
Hall set up for performance (lighting)
Dedicated stage (lighting)

These sets are to be recorded with no breaks, all songs back to back as on set(as done at the Lesher Theater). Only current testers of that format may perform in the recorded set and all testers must submit a video. In the case that some testers are located in other cities or countries, they may fly in to record the set together with all testers present or they can record their own set separate. But ALL testers must submit the Certification Choreography Set video. Submissions and approval must be completed by November 1st prior to the L4 workshops you will attend in the Test Chute.

During the L4 Choreography weeklong testers will be prepared to demonstrate the entire Certification Choreography set to satisfy they are still working at a high level of knowledge, stamina and technique.

  • El Samer
  • Shams El Shamouseh
  • L3FCD
  • Sallam Allay
  • Cane Dance
  • Khatwit Habibi
  • Sword (Standing or Bal Anat)
  • Zay El Hawa
  • Hayati

Improv-Prep Choreography  

If you did not complete this section for your SL4 certification, you must complete it for JL4.

Prior to the L4 weeklong, the Choreography Improv-Prep set must be recorded and will be submitted day one with the Performance Catalogs at the L4 workshops to enter the Test Chute. These are choreography sets.  These choreography sets have improvisation sections in them. Choreography Improv-Prep sets are required for SL4 certification.  Each song of the Choreography Improv-Prep set may be recorded separately or it can all be done in one set. Restaurant venues are fine for these recordings.  All SL4 testers will have to complete all four as part of SL4 pre-testing (or JL4 if already tested for SL4.)

  • Raks Jamila Set: Raks Jamila, Guitar Solo, L3FCDS (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)
  • Maharjan (Keyboard Solo TrackMaharjan, 2 (like in Chair/Veil), Elf Leyla, Unforeseen Drum Solo)
  • Set El Hosen
  • Raks Suhaila Set: Raks Suhaila, Maddah, Unveiled Drum (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)
Jamila L4 represents the most advanced level of Jamila format training. Students focus on technique with stylization through performance of choreography.

Physiology & Training
•Advanced identification and awareness of muscle contractions involved for movement execution.
•Continued focus on building precision/control, stamina and efficiency of movement.
•Current Suhaila L2 certification (in addition to Jamila L3 certification) required to test for Jamila L4.

Technical Focus of L4
•Proficiency in warm-up positions and exercises.
•All movements with multiple layers at any speed with a vibration, foot patterns, arm movements and/or finger cymbals.
•Writing choreography in Suhaila nomenclature.

Music & Music Theory
•For all finger cymbal patterns on Jamila’s CD and for each of the required certification choreographies:
–Play all cymbal patterns on Jamila’s CD and in the Finger Cymbal manual.
–Play right side only or left side only.
–Play using 3 cymbals instead of 4 (cross over pattern).
•Question and answer finger cymbal pattern repeat.

Jamila Choreography Improv-Prep (if not completed for SL4)

  • 2018:  Raks Jamila Set: Raks Jamila, Guitar Solo, L3FCDS (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)
  • 2019:  Maharjan (Keyboard Solo TrackMaharjan, 2 (Chair/Veil), Elf Leyla, Unforeseen Drum Solo)
  • 2020:  Set El Hosen
  • 2021:  Raks Suhaila Set: Raks Suhaila, Maddah, Unveiled Drum (Arabian Musicals Vol.1)

Jamila Format Choreography & Performance

  • El Samer
  • Shams El Shamouseh
  • L3FCD
  • Sallam Allay
  • Cane Dance
  • Khatwit Habibi
  • Sword (Standing or Bal Anat)
  • Zay El Hawa
  • Hayati

Jamila Level 5

L5 is the Teaching Level for those dancers who wish to pursue Teaching Certification following JL4 certification. Participants are evaluated individually based on skill and experience, and Suhaila carefully crafts and develops a personalized enrichment and project plan for each dancer that incorporates elements outlined in this section. These elements include:

•Teaching skills
•Curriculum development
•Choreography development
•Business topic(s)
•Educational project(s)
•Creative project(s)
•Teaching ethics
•Personal enrichment plan development
•Final Project

To begin L5 testing, you must first have current JL4 and SL2 certifications and permission from Suhaila to begin. It is also recommended that students have already begun their Teaching Assistant (TA) work under Suhaila.

Step 1: Submit Materials
1) Teacher Book
2) Registration form with fee.

Step 2: Teaching Assistant (TA) Assignment
Depending on individual ability and experience, TA hours/exercises will be assigned. In some cases, the requirements may be quite extensive. Note that in most cases, certification program participants undergo much of their TA training prior to entering L5.

Step 3: Personalized Plan Assignment
Suhaila will develop a personalized project plan for each student.

Step 4: Timeline
Suhaila and each participant will develop a mutually agreed-upon timeline for completion of the work, typically less than 1 year. Failure to meet project dates and/or requests for large deadline extensions may require students to pay for an additional L5 test period and/or restart the L5 process with new projects.

Step 5: Project Assessment
Each project and task will be evaluated, and feedback give to the participant. In some cases, additional work may be required to finalize some projects.

Teacher Notebook & Lesson Plan Requirements
Beginning in L3, students interested in pursuing L5 certification begin maintaining a teacher’s log and notebook. This notebook will be used as the student’s personal teacher reference and will also be submitted for review prior to the student’s official enrollment in L5.

Students are recommended to use a binder for the notebook, as they may submit some assignments at various times, and this will make it easier to add, remove, and update as needed.

The following sections are to be included in the notebook. (Note that Suhaila may require additional materials as assigned directly to a group or individuals). For dancers who have already submitted an approved Suhaila Format Teacher Book, see instructions at the end.

NOTE: The goal of the teacher notebook is to create a standard base. As an example, it is important for School instructors to know the definitive warm-ups for each level and the role and purpose of each element and how it is placed in the warm-up. First, you prove your thorough and solid understanding of the existing material. Later in your training, you will be assigned tasks to bring in new ideas and material.

Introduction
•Personal Teaching Philosophy (1 page describing your personal teaching philosophy)
•Why I Teach (1 page explaining why you teach or why you want to teach)
•My Personal Code of Ethics as Teacher (1-2 pages outlining your personal teacher code of ethics)
•Attributes and Skills of Successful Teachers (1-2 pages listing the attributes/skills you feel you should have to be a successful teacher)

Studio Information & Policies
This serves as a section to keep any posted information or policies for Suhaila’s studio (or your own). Examples include Class rotation charts, policy memos, etc.

Personal Enrichment Plan
Develop and document an ongoing plan on how you will promote your own training and development as a student, teacher, performer, choreographer, manager of dance activity, etc. Provide a date when plan was developed, and update the enrichment plan each year.

Resource List
Include a list of at least 15 resources (books, manuals, articles, DVDs, etc.) from which you have gathered information or ideas to contribute to your teaching skill set. For each resource listed, provide a short explanation of its relevance to your process or skill set.

Class Specific Sections
Create three separate sections (Level 1, Level 2, and Folkloric Fusion) written in Salimpour format nomenclature when applicable.

Jamila Level 1 Section
1. Document the standard introduction, warm-up, and cool down used in Suhaila’s studio for Jamila Level 1 classes. For this section, you can also use material from other sources. As an example, if you select a stretch that is described and pictured well in another source, then you may include that as long as you cite the source. For each exercise or stretch, include:
•Description (describe the exercise or stretch including muscles used/affected)
•Purpose (explain why the move is included in the warm-up and how the inclusion of this move is related to the Format.
•Duration (list your recommended duration)
•Execution (explain how to execute correct form and alignment)
•Cautions (list cautions about form/alignment to prevent injury)
•Modifications (list any common modifications necessary for more common conditions/injuries)

2. Document the standard review material to be used for every Jamila Level 1 class.

3. Prepare two 12-week rotations of classes (following the Salimpour School Jamila Format 12 week rotation of movements).
•For each class, write the focus: Step Family(s), cymbals, etc.
•Document the general music selections you plan to use for each portion of the class.
•No need to rewrite the standard warm-up for each class; instead, document any changes you make (if any) for the particular class and why.
•Write our your projected sequencing for the drills as well as things you want to observe and address.
•Document your combination with specific music selection.

Jamila Level 2 Section
Repeat same instructions from Jamila Level 1.

Folkloric Fusion Section
Repeat same instructions from Jamila Level 1, except prepare 16 weeks of classes representing at least eight different stylizations and a variety of rhythms.

Observations and Notes
1. Observations of Previous Teachers. Many people remember teachers (both good and bad) from their past that, for whatever reason, stay as strong memories. Provide short profiles (1-3 paragraphs per person) of at least five teachers from any point in your past, outlining what you liked or disliked about their teaching approach/methods. You may include observations about their approach, method, pacing, personality, etc. You may reference any type of teacher, does not need to be a dance or exercise instructor.)
2. Current Observations. Include additional notes and observations from your teaching experience (notes about your personal teaching work, effective or ineffective classes/teachers you have observed/analyzed, existing teaching skills you bring from a non-dance situation, etc.)

Modified Class Lesson Plans
Develop a different class structure and breakdown that may better address your unique teaching situation and skill set. Using the structuring concepts as in the standard class lesson plan section, prepare a set of lesson plans for a minimum of 30 classes. Provide an explanation of your class structure including your rationale for the structure, the purpose for additional elements you integrate, etc.

Modifications
Include in your teacher’s notebook a list of answers, solutions, and/or modifications for commonly asked questions, body issues, imbalances and injuries. The goal is to develop this section over time, adding notes each time you teach or TA.

Report Forms (if applicable)
Include copies of your submitted and received TA Report and Evaluation Forms (or equivalent documentation), along with any follow-up notes or documentation

Other
Additional or alternate projects may be assigned individually or to groups.

Teacher Book Format for Submission
The teacher book may be submitted in two ways:
1. Hardcopy in a three-ring hole-bunched binder with section dividers.
2. PDF version with all material in a single document, organized with a contents page using hyperlinks and submitted via DropBox or shared via Google drive.

For Current SL5 Dancers
When creating your JL5 book, revise your SL5 book. The Jamila Level 1 and 2 sections will be new additions, but you can submit your previous Folkloric Fusion section (with revisions or changes, if any), as long as it meets the current requirements as listed above.

L5 certification is valid for 2 years. For the Teaching Certification to be extended or renewed an additional 2 years, participants must complete the following:

1. 50 CEC Hours (plus renewal fee)
L5 dancers are still required to attend regular workshops to maintain their technique and stay up to date on the latest additions to the program. Dancers are encouraged to attend higher level workshops and to obtain feedback from Suhaila and other authorized instructors. In some ways, reaching L5 can be viewed as just the start. . . there is so much more to learn by participation in the program.

2. 25 TA Hours
L5 dancers continue their TA hours, which typically means TAing one or two workshops during a two year period to maintain their L5 certification.

3. Conceptual or Project CECs
Dancers will be given general assignments (to be listed here soon) as well as individual ones. Assignments and projects are designed to promote the continual development of the L5 dancer.

L5 is the Teaching Level for those dancers who wish to pursue Teaching Certification following L4 certification. Participants are evaluated individually based on skill and experience, and Suhaila carefully crafts and develops a personalized enrichment and project plan for each dancer that incorporates the following elements:

Teaching skills
•Curriculum development
•Choreography development
•Educational project(s)
•Creative project(s)
•Teaching ethics
•Personal enrichment plan development

Teaching Apprenticeship & Skills
•Learn breath, voice control & projection
•Teach technique classes
•TA workshops & classes under the supervision of Suhaila or authorized staffLearn breath, voice control & projection
•Train for and demonstrate the ability to teach technique and choreography to all student levels

Curriculum & Choreography Development
•Maintain a teacher’s log & notebook to develop your own teacher reference manual
•Prepare thorough class curriculum plans
•Create level-specific choreography(s) and combinations as assigned by Suhaila
•Develop a personal teacher enrichment plan for yourself to promote your own growth in dance as a student, performer, teacher, and/or choreographer.

Additional Topics
•Discuss teacher ethics and responsibilities
•Cultural and history reading assignment(s) and/or project(s)
•Creative project(s)

Jamila Level 4 Teaching Path

Contact the School for more information about the JL4 Teaching Path.

Advanced Certification

With approval, Level 5 dancers can apprentice with Suhaila directly in several areas of study for additional certification.  Suhaila will create a personal path of study for the student and mentor them through the work.  This program takes several years.
Apprenticeship and advanced certification are available in the following categories:

  • Advanced Technique
  • Choreography Development
  • Performance
  • Curriculum Development