Suhaila Salimpour Belly Dance Format

Suhaila’s certification program provides a well-rounded curriculum to train students to become complete belly dancers.  Dance certification by Suhaila provides students with formal recognition of their dedication to and hard-earned proficiency in Suhaila’s challenging style.  The certification program encompasses the following consecutive levels:

Basics (Level 1)  The Foundation of the Format
Fundamentals (Level 2)  The Next Important Step
Intermediate (Level 3)  All the Pieces of the Puzzle
Advanced (Level 4)  The Big Picture
Teaching (Level 5)  Teaching Certification

Each level builds on the previous level, providing specialized training within a logical, cumulative sequence.  Over the full course of study, students are trained in dance technique, finger cymbals, rhythm identification, history, music, culture, improvisation, performance, choreography, teaching skills, etc.

Definitely! Most of the dancers in Suhaila’s certification program are located outside of California, and many are located outside of the U.S.A.  Students can attend workshops to get the information they need to return home and train at their own pace.  Suhaila has developed several tools (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 Suhaila and the School instructors the opportunity to evaluate and provide valuable feedback to students.

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.
Certification in the Suhaila 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 Maintaing Certification page.
Having been raised with both Jamila’s format and with conventional dance training (ballet, jazz, tap, etc.), Suhaila began using elements from her conventional dance to solidy and expand her mother’s format at an early age.  Beginning in the mid-80’s while she was in high school, Suhaila began working more purposely on developing her own format. She continued developing her format and launched the certification program based on her format in 1999.  Suhaila’s format has existed for over 30 years and is continually evaluated and updated to maintain the highest instructional and education standard available in belly dance.
Regardless of previous experience, all students (without exception) begin with Level 1.  Level 1 outlines all the necessary elements of Suhaila’s format 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; Suhaila never holds students back from realizing their potential.
Teaching Certification is the only level providing a certificate that authorizes a dancer to teach the Suhaila Salimpour format. All other certificates (Levels 1-4) are certificates of achievement within the Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance that denote a dancer’ss progress. When a dancer achieves a Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance Teaching Certificate, they have received the highest quality of belly dance training available.

Suhaila Level 1

To register, click here.

Level 1 starts with the basics of Suhaila’s format. Learn the skills necessary to develop the physical strength and mind-body connection to continue through the certification program. This level represents Suhaila’s extensive formal training in the structured disciplines of Contemporary and Middle Eastern dance. Due to the unique nature of Suhaila’s format, all new students in the Certification program, whether they are beginning or advanced dancers, begin with L1.

Enrollment into the Salimpour School of Belly Dance requires students pass the Level 1 Exam.

Salimpour School Online Classes
Take the very same classes taught at the Mothership from the comfort of your very own home, wherever you live, to fit your time schedule. Various subscriptions available.

Level 1 Study Guide
The Guide is a useful (and highly recommended) outline to help you organize your training and study for the written and practical portions of the L1 Certification Test.

Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD
This tutorial CD breaks down 24 finger cymbal patterns (on separate tracks) by name both slowly and then up to tempo. You might also consider Jamila’s Illustrated Manual of Finger Cymbal Instruction, which covers 42 separate cymbal patterns. Focus on singles (quartertime, halftime, fulltime, doubletime) and 3s (halftime, fulltime) played right and left hand dominant.  Look under the Curriculum tab in this section to see the cymbal patterns covered in Suhaila Level 1.

Cymbal Jams
Introduced in 2014, Cymbal Jams, more great audio download training tools, include the 24 finger cymbal patterns from Jamila’s classic finger cymbal cd (above), plus an additional 48 patterns. Like the original, patterns are broken down slowly, then up-to-tempo, explained in both right-hand and left-hand dominant versions.  Look under the Curriculum tab in this section to see the cymbal patterns covered in Suhaila Level 1.

Rhythm ID CD
This CD includes over 40 Middle Eastern rhythms (on separate tracks).

Level 1 Three-Day Workshop
These workshops are an introduction to Suhaila’s format and focus specifically on L1 material. View the current Workshop Listings for the most up-to-date information on workshops scheduled throughout the world.

Audio Training Downloads
Once you learn the SL1 concepts, use Audio Training Downloads. Drill Breaks provide a training option that takes under 30 minutes each session (and most under 20 minutes). L1 Drill Breaks help you drill areas in which you need more work. L1.5 Drill Breaks help bridge the gap between L1 and L2.

What are L1 Three-Day Workshops?
L1 Three-Day workshops focus specifically on L1 material. Whether you are interested in certification or not, these workshops are an excellent introduction to Suhaila’s format and training methods.

How do I prepare for a L1 Workshop?
•Review the “About Workshops” page of the website which includes common questions, preparing for a workshop, what to bring, studio rules, workshop payment policies, and more.
•Review the Suhaila Level 1 section of the Suhaila Certification page for ways to prepare in advance.
•You are encouraged to arrive early and warm-up prior to class.
•Suhaila often runs over the allotted teaching time. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.
•If you are traveling from out of town, visit the Travel page for information about location, housing, and transportation.

What do I bring to a L1 Workshop?
•For all workshops, carefully review How to Prepare for a Workshop, What to Bring, and Studio Rules found in the Workshop About page.
•For your specific workshop, also review the Suhaila Certification page which includes detailed information for each level.
•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 L1 Workshop?
Visit the Current Workshops section for a listing of all upcoming workshops, including L1 workshops.

What is the Level 1 exam?
The L1 test has two portions: practical and written. Both portions are offered at one time, usually for a total time period of 60-90 minutes. To receive SL1 certification, you must receive at least 70% on each portion of the exam.

What does the practical portion include?
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 concepts. Students are not expected to execute the movements perfectly, but they are required to show a sufficient understanding of the concepts through their movement. To pass the practical, a student must receive 70% or higher.

What does the written exam include?
The written exam tests students on SL1 terminology and concepts. Exam questions may include multiple choice, true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer. To pass the written portion of the exam, a student must receive 70% or higher.  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 submit a completed Certification Registration form with testing payment. Students must also create an account with the Salimpour School Online; a paid account is not needed, and you can sign up for a free trial with no payment information required. It is through this account that students will have access to their certification data records, test results, CECs, and choreographies/classes that require a specific certification level for access.

How do I study for the L1 exam?
Many study tools are available including the SL1 Study Guide, Online Classes, attendance at Suhaila’s local studio classes and/or participation in a L1 Workshop. For best results, use as many tools as you can, as each tool helps solidify your knowledge of the material. Also, select at least one option that provides you one-on-one feedback from Suhaila or one of her authorized teachers. Educational tools are very helpful, but nothing replaces the one-on-one feedback from a teacher in a live classroom environment.

When are the L1 exams offered?
L1 exams are offered after L1 Workshops (3 days). Occasionally, exams are given at other times, and those times will be advertised in advance.

When am I ready to take a L1 exam?
You are ready to test when you know the concepts. Some students can attend a L1 Workshop, read the L1 Study Guide, and immediately take a L1 exam. Others may take six months to a year. If you are in doubt, ask Suhaila or one or her authorized studio instructors; their goal is to keep you continually moving forward in your dance studies. If for some reason they feel you are not ready, they will provide you specific information on what you need to learn or improve to test.

What if I don’t pass the exam?
If you do not pass one portion of the test, you may retake that portion within one year of the original exam for a reduced fee. If you do not pass both portions of the test, then the test may be retaken at the full testing fee.

If I attend a 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 in the L1 Study Guide, 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.

I’ve been taking Online classes and know the L1 Study Guide by heart. I’ve never taken a class in person from Suhaila or one of her authorized teachers. May I just show up at the end of one of the L1 workshops to take the L1 exam?
The short answer is no. Dance is a live art form, and nothing replaces the feedback and training that is received in a live classroom environment. Suhaila and/or one of her authorized instructors must see a student in a classroom environment before that student may test.

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 list 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 an assigned time range of somewhere from 20 to 60 minutes. Plan to allot 30 seconds per question.
  • 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.

Congratulations
After you pass the Suhaila Level 1 Certification Test, there is still more to learn! Here is information to help you move forward with your training.

Resources to Further Training
Salimpour School Online Classes. A subscription gives you access to over over 300 hours of classes including Level 1, Level 2, Dance Movement, Folkloric Fusion, and Jamila format. Obtain 5 CECs by paying for a full year in one payment.
Drill Breaks: Audio Training Downloads. Options include Level 1, Level 1.5, Level 2, and Level 2+.
Cymbal Jams: Audio Training Downloads. Over 72 cymbal patterns broken down and explained both right and left hand dominant.
Level 2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo Choreography Subscription. Begin working on the required choreography for L2. You must have an account with the Salimpour School Online (paid or unpaid); you will need to be logged in and have your SL1 certification status updated in your account to be able to see the L2FCDS as an option to purchase in the PPV section.
Daily Twitter Drills. Take a minute every day to focus on the format.
•Our main website has a lot of information. We encourage you to take some time to read through the CertificationSection carefully to get a better idea of the overall program.
The Resources Section of this website has additional tools.
•Read Jamila’s Article Book, which will be one of your text books for Levels 2-5; the Compendium is used in both the Suhaila and Jamila certification programs.
•Read The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1, which will be one of your text books for Levels 2-5; the Compendium is used in both the Suhaila and Jamila certification programs.
•Read The New Danse Orientale. Although this is the technique book for the Jamila certification program, the book contains valuable information about the Salimpour formats and family.

Stay Connected
Email our Certification Coordinator with any questions.
Salimpour School fanpage.
Suhaila Salimpour fanpage.
Find SuhailaDance on Twitter.
Visit our YourTube channel.
Visit our Vimeo Channel.

Maintaining Your Certification
•Your certification is valid for two years. To maintain Level 1 certification, you must either 1) accumulate 20 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) before the certification expiration (two years) and submit a renewal fee; or 2) test successfully for a higher level.
•CECs may be accrued by taking any workshops taught by Suhaila or officially sanctioned by the Salimpour School. A list is available on the main website.
•If you have any questions about which workshops or classes are applicable for CECs, contact us.
More information about CECs and certification renewal fees is available on the website.

Certificates
Each dancer has a personally prepared certificate which will be mailed upon its completion. Certificates take several weeks to produce (up to 12 weeks or more in some cases). A more typical time frame is 6-8 weeks.

What is Level 1?
Level 1 starts with the basics of Suhaila’s format. Students learn the skills necessary to develop the physical strength and mind-body connection to continue through the certification program. This level represents Suhaila’s extensive formal training in the structured disciplines of Contemporary and Middle Eastern dance. Due to the unique nature of Suhaila’s format, all new students in the Certification program, whether they are beginning or advanced dancers, begin with L1.

Physiology & Training

  • Warm-up and drill exercises designed to promote the specific physical strength and muscle development required to execute this dance safely and efficiently.
  • 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.

Technical Focus of Level 1

  • Introduction of belly dance movements standing and moving.
  • Proficiency in L1 warm-up positions and exercises.
  • All movements up to half time (no layering) with foot patterns and / or arm movements.

Music & Music Theory

  • Introduction to finger cymbal patterns and strengthening necessary muscles to play correctly.
  • Introduction to timing (quartertime, halftime, etc.)
  • Introduction to Middle Eastern rhythms.

Finger Cymbals

  • Introduction to finger cymbal patterns and strengthening necessary muscles to play correctly.
  • Singles finger cymbal pattern (quartertime, halftime, fulltime, doubletime) played in home position with belly dance movements; left and right hand dominant.
  • 3s finger cymbal pattern (halftime, fulltime) played in home position with belly dance movements; left and right hand dominant

Additional Finger Cymbal Patterns

  • The patterns below (right and left hand dominant) may be included on the written test or as part of the practical (played  alone or standing in home position with a repetitive hip movement, but not traveling).
  • 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

Suhaila Level 2

To register, click here.

In L2, students continue developing muscle and body awareness while increasing the prevision, efficiency and fluidity of their movements. Layering concepts are introduced in the warm-up. Dancers begin integrating belly dance movements with dance movement and cymbals. Additional music theory, history and cultural elements are included. Choreography is introduced both as a training and testing tool.
Salimpour School Online Classes
Nothing can replace being in a live classroom where an instructor can see you and correct you directly, but Online Classes are certainly a useful tool that can play an important role in your dance training. Take the actual classes taught at the Mothership from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are, whenever you want. Various subscriptions are available. Visit the Salimpour School Online Classes website to subscribe.

Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD
This tutorial CD breaks down 24 finger cymbal patterns (on separate tracks) by name both slowly and then up to tempo. For additional patterns and practice, use Cymbal Jams, another audio training download tool. As a supplement to the CD, you might also consider Jamila’s Illustrated Manual of Finger Cymbal Instruction, which covers 42 separate cymbal patterns.  Visit the Curriculum Tab in this section for a specific list of SL2 finger cymbal patterns.

Rhythm ID CD
This CD includes over 40 Middle Eastern rhythms (on separate tracks). Knowledge of the names and structure of these rhythms will be necessary throughout all the format levels.

L2 Weeklong Workshops
These workshops are designed to focus specifically on L2 material. Check the Current Workshop Listings for the most up-to-date information on scheduled L2 workshops.

Audio Training Downloads
Suhaila has created special Audio Training downloads called Drill Breaks to provide a training option that takes under 30 minutes each session.

L1 Drill Breaks: to help drill areas in which you need more work
L1.5 Drill Breaks: to bridge the gap between L1 & L2
L2 Drill Breaks: to build stamina, technique & efficiency
L2+ Drill Outs: to test stamina & technique in longer drill session

Suhaila Format Nomenclature
Learn the Suhaila format nomenclature and syntax (sequencing) as provided in the Resources section of the website.

Level 2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo Choreography
The required Level 2 choreography (Level 2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo or L2FCDS) is available in one month increments by choreography subscription via the Salimpour School Online (online classes). Students must have currently Suhaila L1 certification to subscribe to the L2FCDS choreography.

Required Reading, Listening, Viewing List
Suhaila Salimpour Format L1 Study Guide
Jamila’s Article Book
The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium 1
Rhythm ID CD
Cymbal Jams and Playing Finger Cymbals with Jamila CD
•The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Recommended
•Umm Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt DVD
•Bellydancers of Cairo Documentary by Natasha Senkovich (DVD)
Compositions Every Belly Dancer Should Know (Salimpour School website)
Issam Houshan’s Ear for Rhythms Series (Online Classes)
Ziad Master Class: Beginning Drum Technique & Rhythms (Online Class)
100+ Compositions Every Belly Dancer Should Know

What are L2 Weeklong Workshops?
These fun and challenging workshops focus specifically on L2 material. You learn exercises and drills to develop strength, endurance and efficiency of movement. Further emphasis is placed on integrating posture, belly dance movements, dance movement, cymbals, etc. You also receive feedback on your progress in learning the L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo choreography required for the L2 certification exam.

How do I learn the required choreography?
The required choreography (L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo) is available as a choreography subscription for you to study independently on your own time and at your own pace. During the workshop, you will have an opportunity to ask specific questions and receive feedback on your progress with the choreography. Note: You must be logged in to your online class account with current SL1 status to have access to purchase the L2FCDS choreography subscription from the PPV section.

How do I prepare for a L2 Workshop?
•Review the About Workshops page. Note the list of items to bring as well as the studio rules.
•Review all information in the L1 Study Guide. A L2 student should have a good working knowledge and physical command of the techniques and drills outlined in those materials.
•Drill movements halftime and fulltime standing in home position, at the barre, and around the room in drills.
•Take Salimpour Online Classes to help keep you moving forward with your training.
•Download Drill Breaks Levels 1.5 and 2 (Audio Training Download Tools).
•Use Cymbal Jams (Audio Training Download Tools).
•Take dance movement classes in your area (beginning ballet barre and jazz) or via Salimpour Online Classes to develop your balance, posture, carriage, and grace.
•If you have not done so already, begin keeping a dance art book. See “Dance Art Book” in the Documentation section of the Resources page; click here.
•Learn the required L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo choreography via a subscription for Salimpour School Online Classes.
•Review and learn the format nomenclature and syntax (see Resources section of website).
•Review the material on writing Training Plans in the Resources section of the website.
•You are encouraged to arrive early and warm-up prior to class.
•Suhaila often runs 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 L2 Workshop?
•Read/review the About Workshops page including Common Questions, Studio Rules, etc.
•Read the Assignments tab below for Pre-workshop Assignments and a more detailed list of things to bring.

How do I sign up for a L2 Workshop?
A listing of L2 workshops (with links to more 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 L2 Workshop?

•Prepare an 8-12 week Training Plan, carefully following the instructions in the Resources section. Have your Training plan printed and ready to submit the first morning you arrive. The goal of the exercise is to learn to write a training plan, and feedback will be given to students. (Submit only the Training Plan, not the Time Priority Assessment.)

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

•Read Jamila’s Article Book, with a focus on pp.64-87 and pp.99-117.

•Read The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Vol. 1, with a focus on “The Middle East and Origins of Belly Dance”, pp.45-94; and “Belly Dance in the U.S.”, pp.141-174.

•Bring a copy of the L2FCDS Choreography notes (and any questions) for your use and review during the workshop.

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

•Plan in advance to have access to a computer and printer for homework assignments during the week.

•Read/review the About Workshops page including Common Questions, Studio Rules, etc.

What is the Suhaila L2 exam?
The SL2 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 SL2 movement and cymbal vocabulary. To receive SL2 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 Suhaila 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 a 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.  For more information about the online exam, visit the Online Test tab in this section.

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 required L2FCDS choreography 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 SL2.

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

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

When are the Suhaila L2 exams offered?
Exams are administered throughout the week at SL2 Weeklong Workshops. Attendance at a SL2 weeklong is mandatory to test, as the exam is fully integrated into the regular workshop hours.

What if I don’t pass the exam?
If you do not pass one portion of the test, you may retake that portion within one year of the original exam for a reduced fee (information on Retake Exam pricing can be found in Suhaila’s Online Store.) If you do not pass two or more portions of the test, then the test may be retaken at the full testing fee.

If I attend a Suhaila 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.

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 list 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 an assigned time range of somewhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Plan to allot 30 seconds per question.
  • 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.

Congratulations
After you pass the Suhaila Level 2 Certification Test, there is still more to learn! Here is information to help you move forward with your training.

Resources to Further Training
Suhaila Online Classes. A subscription gives you access to over over 300 hours of classes including Level 1, Level 2, Dance Movement, Folkloric Fusion, and more. Obtain 5 CECs by paying for a full year in one payment.
Drill Breaks: Audio Training Downloads. Options include Level 1, Level 1.5, Level 2, and Level 2+.
Level 2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo Choreography Subscription. Review the required choreography for L2 with L hand dominant cymbals.
Level 3 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo Choreography Subscription. Learn the required L3 choreography with R and L hand dominant cymbals.
Maddah Al Amar Choreography Subscription. Learn the required L3 choreography.
Daily Twitter Drills. Take a minute every day to focus on the format.
Our main website has a lot of information. We encourage you to take some time to read through the certification section carefully to get a better idea of the overall program.
The Resources Section of this website provides additional tools.

Stay Connected
Email our office with any questions.
Facebook: Suhaila International.
Facebook: Suhaila Salimpour.
Twitter: SuhailaDance.
YouTube: Suhaila Belly Dance.

Maintaining Your Certification
Your certification is valid for two years.
To maintain L2 certification, you 1) must accumulate 30 Continuing Education Credits (CECs) before the certification expiration (two years) and submit a renewal fee; or 2) you may test successfully for a higher level.
CECs may be accrued by taking any workshops taught by Suhaila or officially sanctioned by Suhaila International. A list is available on the main website (http://suhailainternational.com/workshops_current.php).
If you have questions about which workshops or classes are applicable for CECs, contact us.
More information about CECs and certification renewal fees is available on the website.

Certificates
Each dancer has a personally prepared certificate which will be mailed upon its completion. Certificates take several weeks to produce, up to 12 weeks or more in some cases. A more typical time frame is 6-8 weeks.

What is Level 2?
In L2, students continue developing muscle and body awareness while increasing the prevision, efficiency and fluidity of their movements. Layering concepts are introduced in the warm-up. Dancers begin integrating belly dance movements with dance movement and cymbals. Additional music theory, history and cultural elements are included. Choreography is introduced both as a training and testing tool.

Physiology & Training

  • Identification of muscle contractions involved for movement execution.
  • Increased muscle development to prepare for layering.
  • Focus on precise and efficient hipwork and isolations.
  • Introduction of arm and hand positions.

Technical Focus

  • Proficiency in L2 warm-up positions and exercises.
  • All movements up to full-time (no layering) with foot patterns, arm movements and/or finger cymbals.

Music & Music Theory

  • Continued work on finger cymbal patterns and strength while drilling; see detailed list below.
  • Continued work on timing (including fulltime and doubletime
  • Middle Eastern rhythms from Rhythm ID CD

Suhaila Choreography

  • Dance combinations to promote dance transitions and fluidity.
  • Instruction of L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo to be used both as a training and a testing tool.

Creativity & Research

  • Begin maintaining a dance art book (no smaller than by 9×12 inches or size B4 paper) to document your creative ideas, endeavors, and assignments.
  • Jamila’s Article Book.
  • The Salimpour Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1
  • View videos of Nadia Gamal, Souhair Zaki, Samia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef, Nagwa Fouad, Mona El Said, etc.:
  • View American Bellydancer DVD.
  • View American Belly Dance Legends DVD.
  • Read The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield.
  • Learn about your personal nutritional and dietary concerns to maintain a healthy body.

Finger Cymbal Pattern List

  • Continued work on precision and strength building.  All finger cymbal patterns to be played right and left hand dominant.  
  • All patterns to be played alone, drilling in home position or at the barre, and traveling with movements.

SL1 Finger Cymbal Patterns

  • 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

SL2 Finger Cymbal Patterns

  • 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

SL3 Finger Cymbal Patterns

  • Introduced in SL2, but tested in SL3
  • 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

Suhaila Level 3

To register, click here.

In SSBD L3, students begin to combine several elements together. In this level, they develop increased speed, precision and stamina while layering movements with various timings, downbeats, foot patterns, arm positions and finger cymbal patterns. They also receive training in emotional preparation and choreography skills.
Technique Progression
L3 builds on concepts from L2. As soon as you have mastered L2 material, prepare to move forward with layering techniques, finger cymbal skills, etc. Continue developing technique by using the following tools and options:

•Continued attendance at L2 Weeklong Workshops (advanced dancers are given more layering options and challenges)
•Attendance at L3 Workshops to learn layering techniques, creativity tools, choreography skills, emotional preparation exercises, etc.
•Participation in Salimpour School Online Classes.
•Drill Breaks (Audio Download Training Tools).
•Cymbal Jams (Audio Download Training Tools).

Required Choreographies
The required L3 choreographies are available by subscription through the Salimpour School Online to students who are Suhaila L1 certified and above. Students can learn the choreographies on their own at their own pace. During L3 Weeklong workshops (or at specially scheduled Clean-up Classes held near/around the workshop), students will have an opportunity to ask specific questions about the choreographies and to receive feedback on their progress. Note that the choreographies take time to learn and develop, so students are encouraged to begin work on them as soon as possible. To access the choreographies, you must be logged into your Salimpour School Online account with current SL1 status to see/purchase the choreographies in the PPV section.

L3 Project Packet
Most of the L3 Project Packet assignments are the same for each year, so you may begin working on them as soon as you have completed your L2 certification. More details are provided in the L3 Testing tab and in the SL3 testing packet section.

Looking Forward
As you work on L3 certification, you might find it helpful to also keep an eye on what is ahead of you in the certification program. Here are just a few things to keep in mind.

•Begin developing your Personal Performance Catalog as soon as you are L2 certified. The Personal Performance Catalog is part of the L4 testing requirements.
•Continue developing your Personal Education Log.
•Attend the Choreography Weeklong and Live Music 4-day Intensive to utilize concepts introduced in L3 and further develop skills for L4.
•Review the Requirements & Testing Process for future levels. Carefully review the documentation for future levels, making sure you understand the requirements.

What are L3 Weeklong Workshops?
Building on the basic L3 concepts, you work at a higher level on technique, choreography, emotional preparation, creativity, etc. To attend a L3 Weeklong workshop, you must have current SSBD L2 certification.

L3 Weeklong Pre-Workshop Assignments
For many of Suhaila’s advanced workshops, Pre-Workshop Assignments prepare participants for the planned activities and exercises. You are expected to complete all pre-workshop assignments before the first day of the workshop. See below for pre-workshop assignments, requirements, and instructions. See the “Assignments” tab below for details.

How do I prepare for a L3 Workshop?

•Review “Travel Information for Out of Town Visitors” under Workshop section of website. Note the list of items to bring as well as the studio rules.

•Take Salimpour Online Classes to help keep you moving forward with your training and to maintain your L2/L3 stamina work.

•Drill movements fulltime and doubletime standing in home position, at the barre, and around the room in drills.

•Consider taking dance movement classes in your area (beginning ballet barre and jazz) or via the Salimpour School Online Classes to develop your balance, posture, carriage, and grace.

•Learn the required L3 choreographies (Maddah and L3FCDS) in advance of the workshop. Learn the L3 layering options for the L2FCDS Choreography.

•Review/ learn the format nomenclature and syntax as provided in the resources section of the website.

•Continue working on your dance art book (no smaller than by 9×12 inches or size B4 paper). Use the art book as a creative source and outlet for your ideas, thoughts, influences, questions, frustrations, emotions, etc. on dance. Include things that inspire you. Draw, collage, doodle, write. . . Contribute to your dance art book regularly.

•Arrive early and warm-up prior to class.

•Expect Suhaila to run over the allotted teaching time and to include special offerings and potential field trips. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.

•Complete the pre-workshop assignments listed under the “Assignments” tab below. Testers complete both the testing requirements and pre-workshop assignments.

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 read everything 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 SL3 and JL3 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.

•Dance art book with assignments; click link for instructions: DanceJournalAssignments. Include a copy of the pre-workshop assignment instructions in your art book, and use bookmarks to clearly show where your regular entries begin (from any previously presented work) and to clearly show where to find your art book assignments.

•Training Plan; use format in Resources section. Select a specific goal and develop 4-16 week plan to submit on the first morning before the workshop begins.

•Bring a copy of choreography notes for Maddah, L2FCDS, and L3FCDS for your reference and review.

•Review / learn the current nomenclature and syntax in the Resources section of the website.

•Emotion Exercise Music Selections (3-4 selections) on CD and easily queued (no iPods). Bring 3-4 selections of music, any genre/type (selections do not need to be bellydance music), that evoke strong and specific emotions to which you can assign very specific memories. Each piece of music should have its own very specific memory and emotional perspective. Have the music available on CDs labeled with your name and “emotional exercise”.

•Suhaila will select a performance set for you from the Suhaila list. You will use this set for improvisation performance nights Lab.
http://www.salimpourschool.com/performance-catalogs/

•Bring a selection of your Middle Eastern dance music, including classics (see here for examples), for homework exercises during the week.

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

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

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

When are the L3 exams offered?
L3 exams are given during the L3 Weeklong Workshops.  The exams include a project packet to be completed and submitted in advance.

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. When you feel you are ready to test, ask Suhaila; her goal is to keep you continually moving forward in your dance studies. 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.

How do I study for the L3 exam?
There are many tools you can use to study for the L3 exam.

•Salimpour School Online (Online Classes)
•Suhaila’s local studio classes
•L3 Weeklong Workshops (required)
•L3 Choreography Subscriptions (required)

What prerequisites are needed to test for L3?
•Current Suhaila L2 certification.
•Solid working knowledge of the required material and concepts presented in L3 including the required certification choreographies.
•Previous attendance at a L3 Weeklong at which you are presented advanced technique, emotional preparation work, and creativity exercises in a live classroom environment for which there is no alternative.
•Approval from Suhaila to test.
•Submission of L3 Certification Registration with payment.
•Submission of L3 Project Packet to coincide with the L3 weeklong at which you will be testing.
•Attendance at a specified L3 Weeklong at which you will be testing.

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 SL3 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 will I be tested during the L3 Weeklong?
Throughout the workshop, you will be given exam portions: written tests, choreography, technique drills, stamina drills, emotional preparation work, etc. During the week, you are also required to participate in any performance nights, such as the Improvisation Performance Labs. The pre-workshop Testing Packet (see tab below) must be submitted no later than the first morning of the workshop before class begins.

What if I don’t pass the exam?
If you do not pass the exam, you may participate in and pay for another L3 testing cycle at a later date with Suhaila’s approval.

Packet Requirements for Testing
See the SL3 Testing Packet section on this page.

What is Level 3?
In SSBD L3, students begin to combine several elements together. In this level, they develop increased speed, precision and stamina while layering movements with various timings, downbeats, foot patterns, arm positions and finger cymbal patterns. They also receive training in emotional preparation and choreography skills.

Physiology & Training
•Identification of muscle contractions involved for movement execution.
•Development of layering with various timings, downbeats, foot patterns, arm positions and finger cymbal patterns.
•Focus on building speed and stamina.

Technical Focus of L3
•Proficiency in L3 warm-up positions and exercises.
•Standing Vibrations 5 min (non-negotiable).
•All movements double-time (no layering) with foot patterns, arm movements and/or finger cymbals.
•All movements up to full-time plus one quarter-time or half-time layering movement with foot patterns, arm movements and/or finger cymbals.

Music & Music Theory
•Play all finger cymbal patterns on Jamila’s CD right dominant, left dominant.
•Read and complete exercises on Rhythmic Training for Dancers by Robert Kaplan.
•Identify all drum rhythms from Drum Rhythm ID CD.

Suhaila Choreography
•Perform Maddah choreography with improvisational intro including vibration.
•Perform L3 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo choreography with cymbals right and left hand dominant.
•Perform L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo choreography (including finger cymbal patterns both right and left hand dominant) with L3 layering additions.

Creativity & Personal Choreography (tools)
•One-movement emotional preparation song.
•Composition/song choices with which to practice choreographical skills.
•Read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and complete the exercises outlined in the book.
•Continue maintaining a dance art book to document your creative ideas, endeavors, and assignments.
•Read and complete projects/assignments including, but not limited to, the following books:
•Sanford Meisner on Acting by Sanford Meisner
•Dance Psychology for Artistic and Performance Excellence by James Taylor and Elena Estanol
•The Art of Making Dances by Doris Humphrey

History & Culture
View and complete projects/assignments including, but not limited to, the following:

•Jamila’s Article Book
•The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium Volume 1
•Umm Kulthum: A Voice Like Egypt DVD
•Rare Glimpses: Dancers from the Middle East DVD presented by Ibrahim Farrah
•The Legend, Nadia Gamal DVD
•The Bellydancers of Cairo: A Documentary by Natasha Senkovich DVD

Suhaila Level 3 Testing Packet

To register, click here.

For a complete overview of the SL3 testing process, see “The Testing Process” in the SL3 section. Here we focus on the SL3 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.

SL3 Testing Packet Deadline

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

  • Pay the SL3 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

  • Jan 2017:  testing fees & packets due between Dec 23 & Jan 13
  • Jul 2017:  testing fees & packets due between Jun 30 & Jul 21
  • Jan 2018:  testing fees & packets due between Dec 29 & Jan 19
  • Aug 2018:  testing fees & packets due between Jul 13 & Aug 3

SL3 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 (definitions) 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 SL3 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.

  1. Anatomy & Dance Movement Definitions
  2. Anatomy Exercises
  3. Dance Psychology Self-Study (Jan 2017 testers may substitute Rhythmic Training for Dancers project)
  4. Creative Habit Questions
  5. Meisner Questions
  6. Nomenclature Drills
  7. Grid Assignments
  8. Compendium Questions

Resources

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

 

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

Updated 19 Oct 2016

Prepare note cards (flash cards) for the following anatomy and ballet terms using Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas and ballet dictionaries (see Resources page for recommendations).  Note cards (flash cards) should be no larger than 4″x6″ and can be typed or handwritten; one or both sides of the card may be used. Each notecard should include three things:

  1. term in English
  2. brief definition in English
  3. definition, notes and diagrams in your own words. This section can be in your preferred language.

Before using the anatomy book, read the notes for belly dancers for the book on the Resources page of this website. These exercises are to help you learn more about how your body works. Exceptions and adaptations for belly dancers are discussed in workshops and classes.

Anatomy Terms

  • Flexion
  • Extension
  • Abduction
  • Adduction
  • External rotation
  • Internal rotation
  • Plantar flexion
  • Dorsiflexion
  • Slow twitch fibers
  • Fast twitch fibers
  • Concentric contraction
  • Eccentric contraction
  • Isometric (static) contraction
  • Agonists
  • Anatagonists
  • Synergists
  • Stabilizers
  • Supine
  • Prone
  • Superior
  • Inferior
  • Anterior
  • Posterior
  • Transverse
  • Sagittal
  • Cervical spine region
  • Thoracic spine region
  • Lumbar spine and sacrum region
  • Inspiration
  • Expiration
  • Transversus abdominis muscle
  • Multifidi
  • Erector spinae
  • Pelvic bones
  • Fascia
  • Clavicle
  • Scapula
  • Carpal
  • Glenoid cavity
  • Scapulothoriacic
  • Glenohumeral
  • Trapezius
  • Port de bras
  • Sacrum
  • Acetabulum
  • Hip disassociation
  • Tensor fasciae latae
  • Iliotibial band
  • Femur
  • Quadraceps
  • Adductors

Ballet Terms

Focus on the general meaning of the terms as they can be applied to and combined with other terms.

  • allegro
  • allonge
  • arabesque
  • attitude
  • arriere, en
  • avant, en
  • balance
  • battement
  • grand battement
  • battement en croix
  • chaines
  • chasse
  • cou-de-pied
  • croix, en
  • degage
  • demi
  • derriere
  • dedan, en
  • dehors, en
  • devant
  • developpe
  • enchainement
  • entree
  • etrende
  • face, en
  • fondu
  • grand (grande)
  • l’air, en
  • pas
  • passe
  • pique
  • piroutte
  • plat, a (pied a terre)
  • plie
  • port de bras
  • promenade
  • releve
  • rond de bras
  • rond de jambe
  • sauter
  • sickling
  • sous-sus
  • soutenu
  • spotting
  • de suite
  • tableau
  • tendue
  • terre, a
  • tournant, en
Complete the following exercises from Dance Anatomy by Jacqui Greene Haas. The assignment goal is to increase your awareness of different muscle groups. For the purpose of this assignment, consider this work as exploratory , allowing yourself time to breathe and observe, rather than treating these as conventional exercises where you do so many repetitions or sets. Approach the exercises carefully and mindfully with a body that has been properly warmed up. Read through the entire exercise, including all safety tips, cautions, and dance focus notes before beginning the exercise. Students are recommended to explore no more than five exercises in a session. Seek assistance from a dance professional when needed.

Notes:

  • Before using this anatomy book, read the notes for belly dancers for the book on the Resources page of the main website. These exercises are to help you learn more about how your body works. Exceptions and adaptations for belly dancers are discussed in workshops and classes.
  • For exercises using weights, use no weight unless you are under the supervision of an exercise professional.

For each exercise, include the following parts typed:

  1. exercise title and page number
  2. list of muscles involved
  3. in your own words, list (rewrite) the dance focus
  4. include your personal observations and notes; when applicable makes notes on when you feel these muscles working during class and/or when you observe (or how you will apply attention to) this muscle in specific belly dance movements; document any questions you have.

Chapter 2

  • Locating Neutral page 20
  • Leg Glide page 22
  • Trunk Curl Isometrics page 24
  • Hip Flexor Isometrics page 26
  • Spinal Brace page 28
  • Variation Side Hover page 29

Chapter 3

  • Lateral Breathing page 40
  • Breathing with Side Bend page 42
  • Breathing with Port de Bras page 44
  • Thoracic Extension page 46
  • Variation Trunk Extension page 47
  • Breathing Plie page 49

Chapter 4

  • Side Bend page 58
  • Trunk Curl page 50
  • Oblique Lift page 62
  • Variation Advanced Oblique Lift page 63
  • Side Lift page 64
  • Coccyx Balance page 66
  • Modified Swan page 68
  • Trunk Twist page 70

Chapter 5

  • Wall Press page 84
  • Variation Modified Push-up Plus page 85
  • Port de Bras page 86
  • Biceps Curl page 89
  • Triceps Pull page 90
  • Vs page 92
  • Rowing page 94
  • Plank page 96

Chapter 6

  • Plie Heel Squeeze page 108
  • Passe Press page 112
  • Inner-Thigh Press page 114
  • Hip Flexor Pulse page 118
  • Attitude Lift page 120
  • Hip Flexor Stretch page 122

Chapter 7

  • Hamstring Curl page 134
  • Hamstring Lift page 136
  • Side Scissor page 138
For this self-guided study, you will be analyzing yourself as a dancer using Dance Psychology for Artistic and Performance Excellence by Jim Taylor and Elena Estanol. By learning the concepts and analyses presented in the book, you will learn to better analyze your performance to aid in your personal dance growth. As you progress over time, your answers will most likely change over time.

Important Note: You will need access to the ancillary worksheets to complete this model; these workshops are NOT included in the actual book.  When you purchase the book (either in hardcopy or as an ebook), confirm that your source gives you access to the worksheets needed to complete the module.

Submit the following assignments as a single PDF document in the following order. Worksheets must be completed by typing (not handwriting). Note that additional assignments are included in addition to the worksheets, so review the list below carefully to make sure to submit all required assignments.

 

Chapter 2 Knowing Yourself

  • Worksheet 2.1 Psychology Profile
  • Worksheet 2.2 Physical Profile
  • Worksheet 2.3 Technical and Artistic Profile
  • Worksheet 2.4 Priority Form

Chapter 3 Motivation and Why You Dance

  • Worksheet 3.1 Why I Dance
  • Worksheet 3.2 The Three Ds of Motivation

Chapter 4 Confidence

  • Worksheet 4.1 Confidence Inventory
  • Worksheet 4.2 Know Your Self Talk
  • Assignment 4.3 Write your own Dancer’s Litany.

Chapter 5 Intensity

  • Worksheet 5.1 Intensity Inventory
  • Worksheet 5.2 Intensity Identification
  • Worksheet 5.3 Intensity Key Words

Chapter 6 Focus

  • Worksheet 6.1 Focus Inventory
  • Worksheet 6.2 Relevant and Irrelevant Cues
  • Worksheet 6.3 Performance-relevant Key Words
  • Assignment 6.4 List and briefly define the four Ps of Focus

Chapter 7 Emotions

  • Worksheet 7.1 Positive and Negative Emotions
  • Worksheet 7.2 Examining Emotional Threats
  • Worksheet 7.3 Managing Your Fears

Chapter 8 Goal Setting

  • Worksheet 8.1 Goal Setting

Chapter 9 Imagery

  • Worksheet 9.1 Imagery Skills Profile
  • Worksheet 9.2 Imagery Exercises
  • Worksheet 9.3 Imagery Goals
  • Worksheet 9.4 Imagery Ladder
  • Worksheet 9.5 Imagery Scenarios
  • Worksheet 9.6 Imagery Log

Chapter 10 Routines

  • Worksheet 10.1 Personalized Pre-Performance Ritual
  • Assignment 10.2 Select and briefly describe a specific performance. Write a detailed dance bag list (see Fig. 10.1)
  • Assignment 10.3 List and briefly define the Four Rs of Transition Routines.

Chapter 11 Individualized Program

  • Worksheet 11.1 Areas for Development
  • Worksheet 11.2 Program Planner

Chapter 12 Stress and Burnout

  • Worksheet 12.1 Dealing with Burnout

Chapter 13 Injury

  • Assignment 13.0. Explain the difference between injury pain and exertion pain.
  • Worksheet 13.1 Pain and Injury Management Strategies.

Chapter 14 Disordered Eating

  • No assignments are to be turned in for this chapter.
Using The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, answer the following questions.

  1. Twyla mentions Balanchine’s quote, “On union time”. To what discussion or concept does this apply? Explain.
  2. Explain what you think Tharp means is the difference between obligation and commitment in terms of creating.
  3. Define what Tharp means by “what is your pencil”.
  4. Explain Tharp’s statement: “Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art”.
  5. What does Tharp mean by “scratching”?
  6. What does Tharp mean by “spine”?
After reading On Acting (Sanford Meisner), answer the following questions.

  1. Define three acting methods: Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberrg, and Stella Adler. Discuss the similarities and differences amongst the methods.
  2. Explain the repetition exercise as presented in the book. Explain how you think Suhaila has adapted the exercise for her dance program.
Write drills as outlined below using Suhaila nomenclature and syntax. This exercise is NOT about writing complicated drills. The exercise is about demonstrating your knowledge of 1) the material, timing, etc. applicable to each level and of 2) the format nomenclature and syntax. try to not repeat the exact same movement or traveling step within each level. Keep arms to 5th or mod-2nd position.

  1. Write thirty Level 1 drills. No cymbals or traveling (stay in home position).
  2. Write thirty Level 2 traveling drills with cymbals.
  3. Write thirty Level 3 traveling drills with cymbals.
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 Maddah choreography, prepare an emotional projection grid (not staging), phrase-by-phrase (will be based on the people you place in #1).
  3. Using the L3FCDS, 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.  MawoudExample2015
Prepare a total of three reports using the following sections of The Salimpour School Belly Dance Compendium V1.

  • Select three sections of interest.  Select two from The Middle East and Origins of Belly Dance (pages 45-94).  Select one from Belly Dance in The U.S. (pages 141-174).
  • 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 3 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.

Suhaila Level 4

To register, click here

Level 4 represents the most advanced technical training in belly dance. Students increase their technical abilities while working on advanced skills in performance, emotion, creativity, history, culture, choreography, etc.
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.
•Jamila L2 certification (in addition to Suhaila L3 certification) is required to test for Suhaila L4 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.
•L2: L2FCDS
•L3: L3FCDS
•L3: Maddah
•L4: Accessible
•L4: Bongo Funk
•L4: Nebtidi
•L4: Enta Omri
•L4: Yanna Yanna

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.

Two Workshops are Required for Level 4.
Level 4 has two workshops, both for which participants must have current Suhaila L2 or Jamila L2 certification to attend. Information on the Choreography, Improvisation, and Music Studies Weeklong is below.

What is covered in the Choreography, Improvisation, and Music Studies Weeklong?
•Choreography development.
•Stage placement, energy, and emotional intent.
•Perform a personally prepared choreography segment for workshop group at end of week.
•Additional concepts and topics.

Pre-Workshop Assignments
Read the Assignments tab below, but also read the entire L4 section carefully for details about preparation, expectations, and more. You are expected to complete the following pre-workshop assignments before attending the workshop. You are recommended to begin work on the assignments at least three months in advance of the workshop.

How to Prepare for an Advanced Weeklong
•Complete the pre-workshop assignments (see the Assignments tab below).
•Review the “About Workshops” page that includes general information for all workshops including Common Questions, Workshop Preparation, What to Bring, Studio Rules, etc.
•Plan for homework during the workshop. Each night you will be given homework on choreography, improvisation, creativity, research, etc..
•Learn the required certification choreographies.
•For many higher level workshops, Suhaila runs over the allotted teaching time. She also includes special offerings and potential field trips. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.
•To achieve the precision and quality of movement required for the choreographies, continue your advanced drill work.

Choreography Weeklong Pre-Workshop Assignments and What to Bring

  • Dance art book (no smaller than by 9×12 inches or size B4 paper) and any related supplies (markets, glue, etc.) with at least 10 pages of new material.
  • “Box” with completed Personal Choreography assignments.
  • Completed personal choreography (see below) committed to memory.
  • Completed personal choreography written in Suhaila nomenclature to be turned in separately. For dancers entering the L4 testing chute, the choreography notes submitted at the workshop do not need to include grids for staging and emotional intent; however, the final version of your written personal choreography (to be submitted 60 days after the workshop) must include staging and emotional intent as seen in this example: MawoudExample2015  
  • Music for your choreography on a CD by itself labeled with your name and music title.
  • Stylization exercise homework in your dance journal as outlined below.
  • Grid work exercises to be submitted separately from dance journal as outlined below.
  • Access to a computer and printer during the weeklong for homework and to update your choreography notes.
  • A notebook and pen or pencil to take notes.
  • Bring various pieces of Middle Eastern music and a means in which you can play the pieces in the studio and also work with those pieces in the evening when you are away from the studio.
  • An IPOD (or equivalent) is recommended.
  • Bring 3-4 emotional preparation pieces (as described for Suhaila Level 3 Weeklongs).
  • Costume for choreography segment performance at end of workshop. (Black scrunchy or yoga pant and simple top.)
  • Bring a copy of all certification choreography notes for your reference and review during workshop.
  • Remember to bring finger cymbals, ballet or jazz shoes, hand towel, refillable water bottle, and deodorant to reapply as necessary.
  • Review “About Workshops” page.

Choreography Workshop Music Theme
Any classical Middle Eastern selection (at least 4 minutes long) from Suhaila’s published catalog of music (including the Enta Omri, Onzor Elai, 1990 Ala Nar Blvd, Beyond Byblos, and Ya Sallem Bal Anat albums) or a classic selection from the 100+ Compositions Every Bellydance Should Know in the Resources section of this website or click here.

Personal Choreography

  • Create at least two continuous minutes of choreography.
  • As described in TCH, prepare a box or the equivalent (Pinterest, box, envelope, etc.) for your choreography and bring or have access to at the workshop.
  • The goal is to develop and fix the choreography during the workshop, so it need not be brilliant or even good. Just choreograph and get the assignment done.
  • Tally the music.
  • Know the music (phrasing, counts, instruments, etc.).
  • Have a story line for your choreography (measure by measure) and assigned sentiments (measure by measure) and be prepared to talk through it.
  • Have the choreography committed to memory and written in Suhaila nomenclature.
  • Begin working with stage presence energy and points, noting where you stand on stage and where you look in the audience.
  • For SL4 testers, your goal is include 60% of L3+ technique which includes layering 2+ belly dance moves, doubletime movements, finger cymbals (when appropriate), etc.   For JL4 testers, your goal is to include 40% Jamhaila, which includes fusing and overlapping of Jamila steps; layering with Suhaila moves; and finger cymbals (as appropriate).  The L4 certification choreographies are a good example of the level of work to emulate.

Stylization Homework Exercise

  • Using basic Jamila format steps (no Jamhaila), create an easy-to-remember eight count phrase. For the purposes of this exercises, it can be very simple such as below; in fact, you may use the phrase below. Commit your phrase to memory and be prepared to repeat the phrase to any style of music.
    • Arabic 1 [8 cts]; Arabic 2 [8 cts]; Zenouba [8 cts]; Samiha [8 cts]. Reverse phrase [32 cts].
  • Research the following stylizations using online classes and the internet. In your dance journal dedicate a page or page spread to taking notes about what you learn about each stylization.
  • Prepare to demonstrate the above phrase in each of the following stylizations. The goal is to research and present what you are able to find on your own. The class will then work together on the material together to delve deeper into understanding the adaptation and sentiment for each stylization.
    • Egyptian
    • Lebanese
    • Folkloric (Mahmoud Reda)
    • Khaleegy
    • Turkish
    • Persian

Grid Work Exercises

  • Select two of the required L4 choreographies. For each: submit the following typed, separate from your dance diary.
  • Include a chart showing the nine specific people you know in one of the nine audience spots (ex:. my maternal grandmother in 1, my ex from high school in 9 etc.)
  • Include the typed choreography with grids including both staging and emotional projection to audience (MawoudExample2015).

L4 Teaching Path
For students officially approved to participate in the modified L4 certification plan (Teaching Path), please view the L4 Teaching Path section for more details.

 

Ideas to Help You Choreograph

  • Outline the entire composition using tallies to count off measures.
  • Select words, colors, and images that represent the piece.
  • Using TCH, what is the spine of your choreography?
  • Divide the piece into sections; provide your emotional perspective or intent for each section. For each theme, experiment with and document non-dance physicalization to represent that perspective.
  • Experiment using different choreography exercises and document the outcomes.
  • Select fabric swatches to represent the tactile and visual elements of the piece.
  • Describe and draw a picture of the costuming you would design for the choreography. Explain why the costume is appropriate for the music, choreography and your intent.
  • Add whatever additional materials, notes and inspirations you want to your “box”.

Notes

  • Students are expected to arrive with a finished choreography committed to memory. Prepare to demonstrate choreography with the music and also counted out loud without the music.
    Students are expected to arrive with all homework assignments completed.
  • This homework is to be repeated each time a student takes an Improvisation & Choreography workshop.
  • Although Suhaila and Jamila L2+ students may attend, the Improvisation & Choreography workshop is designed for students who have Suhaila L3 and Jamila L3 certification and is a continuation of work addressed in the Suhaila L3 and Jamila L3 weeklongs. All participants are still expected to complete the same advanced homework; no exceptions. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the office.
Two Workshops are Required for Level 4.
Level 4 has two workshops, both for which participants must have current Suhaila L2 or Jamila L2 certification to attend. Information on the Live Music workshops is provided below.

What is covered in the Live Music Four-Day Workshop?
•Improvisation skills for entrances, exits, the body of the compositions, and drum solos.
•Training time with Middle Eastern musicians to practice improvisation skills.
•Performance spot to live Middle Eastern music.
•Additional concepts and topics.

Pre-Workshop Assignments
Read the Assignments tab below, but also read the entire L4 section carefully for details about preparation, expectations, and more. You are expected to complete the following pre-workshop assignments before attending the workshop. You are recommended to begin work on the assignments at least three months in advance of the workshop.

How to Prepare for an Advanced Weeklong
•Complete the pre-workshop assignments (see the Assignments tab below).
•Review the “About Workshops” page that includes general information for all workshops including Common Questions, Workshop Preparation, What to Bring, Studio Rules, etc.
•Plan for homework during the workshop.
•For many higher level workshops, Suhaila runs over the allotted teaching time. She also includes special offerings and potential field trips. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.

Live Music Workshop Pre-Workshop Assignments and What to Bring

• Study the 100+ Compositions list.

•Make all your choices (poses, veil, costumes, make-up, etc.) keeping in mind that you’ll be working with a live Arabic band.

• Research the great dancers (Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef, Samia Gamal, Nadia Gamal, Nagwa Fouad, Mona Said, etc.) by watching as much performance as possible.

• Bring your dance art book (no smaller than by 9×12 inches or size B4 paper) and any related supplies (markers, glue, etc.) with at least 10 pages of new material.  Note that for many of the exercises below, you will experimenting with veil, poses, make-up, etc.  Make notes, sketches and collages of your ideas in your dance book.  Although you will be turning in your final selections separate from your dance book, material from your art book will also be used to further experiment and explore various movement and appearance options.

• A notebook and pen or pencil to take notes.

• Experiment with several ways to remove your veil and set it aside, making notes and sketches in your dance book.  The goal is to create basic but professional methods that promote confidence; limit your veil tricks.  We will work with these in the workshop.  Document (type) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book on the first morning.

• Experiment with several different final poses coming out of a finale spin, making notes in your art book; we will work with these in the workshop.  Document (type) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book on the first morning.

• Experiment with different ways to pick up your veil as you exit the stage, making notes in your art book; we will experiment with these in the workshop. Document (type) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book on the first morning.

• Experiment with different make-up looks, making notes in your art book; you will try these out (and experiment further) during the workshop.  Prepare 2-4 full make-up looks for yourself for stage; take photos of yourself with the make-up.  Have your photos ready both in your dance book and to turn in separately the first morning.

• Experiment with different hair styles, making notes in your art book; you will try these out (and experiment further) during the workshop.  Prepare 2-4 hair styles for yourself for stage; take photos of yourself with the hair styles.  Have your photos ready both in your dance book and to turn in separately the first morning.

• Bring two complete performance costumes with jewelry, veil, heels, etc. on the first morning and as required throughout the workshop.  Also bring pictures and/or sketches of additional complete performance costume options in your art book on the first morning.

• Bring dance heels, cymbals, and veil to the workshop every day.

• Bring your arrival outfit for a professional gig:  cocktail dress, heels, jewelry, costume bag (can be your suitcase roller board) on the first morning and as required throughout the workshop.

• If you want advance assistance in selecting your costuming, contact us at least six weeks from the date of the workshop and we can put you in touch with dancers to help you select.

• Access to a computer / printer for any homework: working in your dance art book or researching compositions, musicians, singers, and dancers.

• Review “About Workshops” page.

Notes
• Students are expected to arrive with all homework assignments completed.
• This homework is to be repeated each time a student takes a Live Music workshop.
• Although Suhaila and Jamila L2+ students may attend, the Live Music workshop is designed for students who have Suhaila L3 and Jamila L3 certification and is a continuation of work addressed in the Suhaila L3 and Jamila L3 weeklongs. All participants are still expected to complete the same advanced homework; no exceptions. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the office.

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 six steps:

Step 1: 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 to enter the L4 testing chute.

Step 2: 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 3: Technical Demonstration of Required Choreographies, Personal Choreography Segment, & Required Catalogs
When you have completed Steps 1 and 2, 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 to Step 4.
The final version of the personal choreography must include stage placement and emotional intent as show in this example: MawoudExample2015

Step 4: Registration & Catalog Submissions
Once you receive verification from Suhaila during the L4 choreography weeklong that you are ready to participate in the upcoming performance test, you submit the following items no  later than four weeks after 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
•Personal Performance Catalog
•Personal Education Catalog

Step 5: Testing 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 6: 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.

What is a Personal Education Catalog?
The Education Catalog is documentation of your dance training and study with teachers other than Suhaila, her TAs, or her local studio teachers. Students are encouraged to begin their logs as soon as possible, studying with a wide variety of teachers to learn stylizations, props, different teaching methods, etc. Note that once you submit your Education Catalog, you are expected to continue your education with other teachers and documenting that in your Catalog.

How do I document my training?
Maintain a written log of your training with other instructors, following the list below.
•Date(s) of training
•Genre: (Examples: Belly dance, African, ballet, etc.)
•Instructor name(s)
•Venue/location
•Duration of Training (number of hours)
•Prop(s) Taught (if any)
•Stylization Taught (if any)
•Material Covered (provide detailed information on content)
•List the key points you learned from the workshop/class

Requirements:
1. Your Catalog should include a minimum of 50* instruction hours as instructed below. *Note that at least 15 hours must be current (within the last two years).
2. Minimum 30 hours with other belly dance instructors which must include:
2a. At least five different instructors (at least two hours each)
2b. At least three different stylizations (at least two hours each)
3. Minimum 12 hours of non-bellydance dance instruction (African, flamenco, ballet, etc.)

When Do I Start Working on My Catalog?
You may begin your Log as early as L1.

When do I Submit my Personal Education Catalog?
You may submit your Personal Education Catalog as soon as you are L3 certified. An approved catalog will be valid for two years. Should a student not test for L4 during that two year period, they would need to resubmit an updated version of the Catalog following the instructions posted at that time. The catalog must be submitted and approved before the dancer can officially enter the L4 testing chute.

Submission Instructions
1. The Personal Education Catalog should be submitted in an organized manner in a single PDF document.
3. Number the pages and use a font size no smaller than 12.
4. Email the catalog to salimpourcertification@gmail.com; if the file size is too large, submit by dropbox or shared via Google Drive.

For Dancers who have Current JL4 Certification
Note that as a member of the School, you are expected to obtain at least 15 hours every two years that meet the Education Catalog requirements. In the case of students testing for your next L4, you must submit any new hours (15 every two years) to cover the the time from your previous L4 test the current date.

What is Level 4?
Level 4 represents the most advanced technical training in belly dance. Students increase their technical abilities while working on advanced skills in performance, emotion, creativity, history, culture, choreography, etc.

Physiology & Training
Advanced identification and awareness of muscle contractions involved for movement execution.
Continued focus on building precision/control, stamina and efficiency of movement.

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.
•For Suhaila L4 testing, both Suhaila L3 and Jamila L2 certifications are required.

Music & Music Theory
For all finger cymbal patterns on Jamila’s CD and for each of the required certification choreographies:

•Play right or left hand dominant.
•Play right side only or left side only.
•Play using 3 cymbals instead of 4 (cross over pattern) with right dominant or left dominant.
•Question and answer finger cymbal pattern repeat.

Suhaila Choreography & Performance
•Yanna Yanna with cymbals
•Neb Tedi
•Bongo Funk
•Accessible with cymbals
•Enta Omri
•Maddah
•L3 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo
•L2 Finger Cymbal Drum Solo (with L3 layering)

Creativity & Personal Choreography
•Develop personal choreography with emotional preparation and required elements.
•Perform personal choreography.

Improvisational Performance
•Complete improvisation exercises as presented and/or assigned by Suhaila.
•Video submission of personal performance catalog including improvisational work.
•Live improvisational performance.

Level 4 Teaching Path
On a case-by-case basis, Suhaila will evaluate students’ requests to participate in a modified version of L4 certification. 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.

Suhaila Level 4 Teaching Path

Belly dance is a performing art, and someone holding an SSBD Teaching Certificate must understand and teach performance skills to their students. As an alternative to the classic performance approach, the Teaching Path option was developed.
Information coming soon.
What is a Performance Evaluation Catalog?
The Catalog is a documentation of your studies and detailed evaluations of performance. This option is provided in lieu of providing a Personal Performance Catalog and provides a means to study performance skills and elements in an observatory manner. Note that every evaluation is anticipated to take 2+ hours in evaluation after viewing, and the evaluations must reflect that level of scrutiny for the Catalog to be accepted and approved.

How Do I Document My Catalog?
Maintain written evaluations of the required viewed performances, using the provided evaluation criteria. The entire catalog must be submitted at one time, not piecemeal or in phases. The presented material should be clearly organized, and the required video footage included on no more than 1 DVD.

What Performances do I Evaluate?
Each student will submit evaluations using the provided criteria plus video footage of themselves demonstrating/explaining props and stylizations. For every evaluation create your own form by typing all the questions in full. Items marked as “recorded” mean to specifically select performances documented on DVD, DVR, etc. to allow you to rewind as needed for thorough evaluation. Do not include Suhaila; the goal is to seek out other performer influences for study.

Non-Bellydance Dance (Recorded) Performances (20)
Evaluate professional performances. Each of the 20 chosen performances should be at least 20 minutes. If you wish to evaluate Fred Astaire, you might compile his dance work from one movie. Or, you might evaluate the dancing and choreography from West Side Story as one evaluation.)

Top Bellydancer (Recorded) Performances (15)
Select 15 of your favorite belly dancers from the past and present; include Tahia Carioca, Samia Gamal, Naima Akef, Nadia Gamal, Sohair Zaki, and Mona Said. Include at least 1 fusion (includes tribal) dancer, and include at least 3 modern “known” dancers. Compile performances so you have at least 30 minutes on each dancer (at least

Additional Bellydancer (Recorded) Performances (15)
Select 15 additional belly dancers of your choice to review. Performances should be at least 10 minutes.

Evaluation of Live (Non-Taped) Belly Dance Performances (15)
Performances should be at least 10 minutes.

Evaluation of Non-Dance Performers (5)
Select 5 performers (non-dance) you feel are “greats” in their fields (musician, singer, etc.), and prepare an evaluation on their work. Evaluate a segment of their work totaling at least 30 minutes. Adapt the evaluation form accordingly.

Prop Proficiency (minimum of 3 minutes each)
Students must provide demonstration of their proficiency with sword, cane and veil. Submit at least 3 minutes of footage for each of the three props. Footage may include filmed practice in a classroom without an audience, demonstration of a created or learned choreography of the prop, an actual performance with the prop either as a soloist or in a group, etc. *Suhaila choreographies may be included in this section.

Stylization Knowledge (minimum of 3 minutes each)
Students must demonstrate their knowledge of five separate dance stylizations (examples include khaleegi, Middle Eastern folk dances, American-Tribal-Style, etc.). Submit at least 3 minutes of footage of themselves for each of the five styles. Footage may include filmed practice in a classroom without an audience, a film of themselves explaining and demonstrating, or an actual solo or group choreography or improvisational performance. In your written catalog provide full credit/information on where you learned the stylization information. *Suhaila choreographies may be included in this section.

When Do I Start Working on My Catalog?
As soon as you are L2 certified and begin working on L3 material, start compiling your Performance Evaluation Catalog.

Continued Work on My Catalog
After you submit your Performance Evaluation Catalog, you are expected to continue work on your catalog by seeking out more performance opportunities (improvisational and choreography) for evaluation.

When do I Submit my Performance Evaluation Catalog?
You may submit your Performance Evaluation Catalog as soon as you are L3 certified. An approved catalog will be valid for two years. Should a student not test for L4 during that two year period, they would need to resubmit an updated version of the Catalog following the instructions posted at that time. See final deadlines under Submission Instructions below.

Submission Instructions
1. The Performance Evaluation Catalog should be submitted in a small three-hole-punch or two-hole punch binder/folder. Hole punch each page to insert in the binder/folder (do not use clear page protectors).
2. Print assignments on single-sided paper, leaving the back of pages clear for comments. (For every evaluation, type both the full question and answer for each performance.)
3. Number the pages and include your name on every page.
4. Organize your evaluations in the binder/folder by category.
5. List your required video footage in the order in which it appears on the single DVD.
6. The Performance Evaluation Catalog must be submitted in hardcopy. (Emailed or online viewing submissions of any portion of the Prerequisites Packet will not be accepted.)
7. Include the DVD of your required footage in the binder/folder. Label the single DVD with your full name, date, and content.

Performance Evaluation Questions

•Date of Evaluation: the date you prepared the evaluation
•Evaluation Category: for example, non-bellydance performance
•Performance Title(s):
•Viewing Source: explain source in detail (movie DVD, taped performance from PBS’ Great Performances, live improvisational performance at Dallas May 2010 workshop show
•Choreography or Improvisation:
•Live or Taped Music:
•Date of Performance: provide year of “actual” performance, not the airing date
•Venue: theater stage, movie set, etc.
•Performer Name(s) or Company Title:
•List Choreographer, Music, etc.:
•Length of performance(s):
•Performance Type: Choreographed Duet for Movie, choreography for four dancers, etc.
•Stylization and props (or dance form if non-belly dance):

Address each of the following concepts in detail, providing at least a paragraph on each concept.
•Use of space (direction, level, patterns)
•Body alignment
•Use or nonuse of technique
•Dynamics of movement quality
•Performer(s) stage presence
•Thematic material (if any)
•Pacing or evolution of the piece
•Visual and emotional impact
•Performer(s) stage presence
•Costuming
•Audience watching performance

Answer the following questions, providing at least a half page on each topic?
•Why did you select this performer or performance to review?
•Did you like or dislike the performance. Explain.
•What did you feel were the strengths of the performance?
•Did you notice any weaknesses or parts you did not understand?
•What do you feel the choreographer (or improvisationist) was trying to get across, and do you feel that goal was successful?
•What would you describe as the sentiment of the piece?
•What elements in the performance supported that sentiment?
•Did you feel the costume(s) did or did not support the piece?
•If you had a chance to ask the choreographer or artist any questions, what would you ask?
•Outline what you feel are the important elements another belly dancer might learn from watching this performance.

What is the Teaching Path?
Belly dance is a performing art, and someone holding an SSBD Teaching Certificate must understand and teach performance skills to their students. As an alternative to the classic performance approach, the Teaching Path option was developed.

How do I apply?
Submit a formal written request with your reason for wishing to pursue the L4 Teaching Path. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and submission of a request in no way guarantees approval. Requests will only be accepted from students with SSBD L2 certification or higher.

How does the L4 Teaching Path differ?
The Teaching Path allows participants to approach the study of performance as an observer rather than as the actual performer (much like someone studies art but doesn’t become a great painter or sculptor themselves) and to approach advanced technique from a teaching standpoint (as versus performance). Below are the main differences. In addition to the elements below, Teaching Path participants will be given individual assignments (based on their skill and experience) as needed to prepare them for teaching improvisation and performance elements.

Performance Evaluation Catalog
Instead of a Personal Performance Catalog, L4 participants submit a very detailed evaluation catalog. More details provided in the PDF: PerformanceEvaluationCatalog10Sep2011

Advanced Certification Choreographies
•You create a teaching and technique guide (one for each of the seven required certification choreographies) outlining your detailed approach to teaching choreography along with safe training guides and lessons to assist students with learning the more difficult elements. For instance, you outline how to safely train a student to do splits (timeline for doing such, exercises, cautions, etc.)
•Participants must demonstrate their ability to teach each advanced choreography. In the year in which they wish to test, students should be prepared to teach the choreographies in the applicable L4 Workshop.
•Participants may still be required to perform the certification choreographies, but in a modified form.

Improvisation & Performance Skills
Each participant will be given individual assignments addressing what skills and experience are lacking to prepare for teaching improvisation and performance.

Suhaila Level 5

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
•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 L4 certification 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
Submit 1) Teacher Book following the provided guidelines; 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. At a minimum, participants will be required to:

•TA two weeklongs with Suhaila.
•Teach two weeks of all technique classes (L1-L3, Dance Movement and Folkloric Fusion) at Suhaila’s studio (does not need to be consecutive).

Step 3: Personalized Plan Assignment
Suhaila will develop a personalized project plan for each student incorporating all L5 elements and culminating in one Final Project.

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).

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 five separate sections, one for each class (Levels 1-3, Dance Movement and Folkloric Fusion) using Suhaila format nomenclature.

Suhaila Level 1 Section
1. Document the standard introduction, warm-up, and cool down used in Suhaila’s studio for Suhaila 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. Prepare two eight-week rotations of classes using the Salimpour School Suhaila format eight week rotation.
•For each class, write the focus: movement, posture, etc.
•Document the 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.

Suhaila Level 2 Section
Use the same instructions as outlined for the Suhaila Level 1 section (two 8-week rotations). For the second rotation of combinations, use a different stylization each class.

Suhaila Level 3 Section
Use the same instructions as outlined for the Suhaila Level 1 section (two 8-week rotations).

Folkloric Fusion Section
Use the same instructions as outlined for the Suhaila Level 1 section (16 classes).

Dance Movement Section
Use the same instructions as outlined for the Suhaila Level 1 section (two 8-week rotations). Include list of possible exercises and “across the floor” work that relates directly to move of week. Combinations should feature a different stylization or dance genre each week.

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 JL5 Dancers
When creating your SL5 book, revise your JL5 book. There will be new sections, 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.

What is Level 5?
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
•Business topic(s)
•Educational project(s)
•Creative project(s)
•Teaching ethics
•Personal enrichment plan development
•Final Project

Teaching Apprenticeship & Skills
•TA workshops & classes under the supervision of Suhaila or authorized staff
•Teach technique classes
•Learn 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 extensive 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, choreographer and/or manager.

Business & Educational Topics
•Research the details and monetary requirements of opening and operating a studio in your area (or alternate belly dance business enterprise) and develop a corresponding promotional package
•Discuss teacher ethics and responsibilities
•Business reading assignments and/or projects
•Discuss and complete an assignment on the operation of a dance company/troupe
•Discuss and complete an assignment on Middle Eastern culture and/or belly dance history

Final Project
•Complete a final project with a strong creative and emotional context component (which may or may not overlap with other projects)

Maintaining Level 5 Certification
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.

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