Welcome to the Salimpour Home Studio!

Welcome to our local studio.  We look forward to seeing you on our dance floor soon.

Affectionately known as The Mothership, we are located at:

425 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, CA 94706

Ample parking is available on the streets in front and in back of the studio, and we are located about four blocks away from BART.  View the FAQs for more details.

Class Schedule

All students new to Suhaila’s format, whether brand new or advanced dancers, begin with Level 1. These classes teach students the needed skills and terminology to advance in this format. Classes include a thorough warmup to build strength and flexibility, detailed technique breakdowns, drills, and fun combinations. Bring your finger cymbals; cymbals also available at studio for purchase.

$15 drop in fee

Students build on the knowledge and skills from Level 1 by focusing on precision, efficiency and fluidity of movement. More layering is addressed through the addition of finger cymbals as well as more intricate arm and foot patterns. Classes include a thorough strength-building warm-up, drills and combinations. Level 2 classes are fun and challenging. Students require instructor approval to begin taking Level 2 classes. Bring your finger cymbals; cymbals also available at studio for purchase).

$15 drop in fee

All students new to Suhaila’s format, whether brand new or advanced dancers, begin with Level 1. These classes teach students the needed skills and terminology to advance in this format. Classes include a thorough warmup to build strength and flexibility, detailed technique breakdowns, drills, and fun combinations. Bring your finger cymbals; cymbals also available at studio for purchase.

$15 drop in fee

All students new to Jamila’s format, whether brand new or advanced dancers, begin with Level 1. These classes teach students the needed skills and terminology to advance in this format. Classes include a thorough warmup to build strength and flexibility, detailed technique breakdowns, drills, and fun combinations. Bring your finger cymbals; cymbals also available at studio for purchase.

$15 drop in fee

Students build on the knowledge and skills from Level 1 by focusing on precision, efficiency and fluidity of movement. More layering is addressed through the addition of finger cymbals as well as more intricate arm and foot patterns. Classes include a thorough strength-building warm-up, drills and combinations. Level 2 classes are fun and challenging. Students require instructor approval to begin taking Level 2 classes. Bring your finger cymbals; cymbals also available at studio for purchase).

$15 drop in fee

Experience the excitement of vintage Turkish Orientale style in this 5-week series. Turkish Orientale is known for its energy and external movements, as well as its use of rhythms in 9/8 time. In addition to exploring quintessential Turkish style movements, we’ll watch videos of famous Turkish dancers, discuss how this style influenced American cabaret style, and learn a short choreography. All levels welcome! Finger cymbals required.

$15 drop in fee

Yin Yoga is long held poses that gradually stretch and stress the fascia. This is a very centering and restoring practice- most people say that they feel like they had a full body massage after just 1 class! Nawal has designed this particular workshop for students of the Salimpour Bellydance method- you will focus on chronic lower body tightness, especially in the lower back, quads, glutes, and hip flexors.

Click here for $25 early bird registration (must register by July 24 to redeem). Or $30 at the door.

Learn a dramatic Turkish Orientale choreography complete with sultry floor work to the fiery “Ciftitelli” cut off of Didem’s “Dansin Melegi 2011” CD. Open to all levels, this dance piece incorporates the sharp isolations, lively spins and athletic flexibility of the passionate Turkish orientale stylization. Layering options will be included for those who would like an extra challenge. Be sure to bring knee pads for this energetic and fun class!

Click here for $25 early bird registration (must register by July 31 to redeem). Or $30 at the door.

In this Finger Cymbal Choreography, we will be exploring Jamhaila stylization to an upbeat Oriental piece of music (rather than the typical folkloric selections). The music and choreography is dynamic and applicable to a wide variety of performance situations. This choreography will develop your relationship with Jamhaila concepts, as well as cultivate your finger cymbal musicality. It is a great piece to have both in your training and performance repertoire.  Level 2 in both Suhaila and Jamila formats are strongly recommended.

Click here for $25 early bird registration (must register by Aug 3 to redeem). Or $30 at the door.

Class FAQs

Wear clothing appropriate for dance class, such as dance pants, jogging pants, leotards and tights with sports bras, tank tops and t-shirts. A light hip scarf is fine (no beads or coins please).
Bare feet, although ballet shoes and light jazz shoes may be used (but not required).
You’ll need finger cymbals, which are available at our studio. You might also bring a yoga mat for the warm-up and a water bottle.
You can join L1 classes at any time. Technique classes have an eight week rotation. Must have prior approval from Suhaila Salimpour School of Belly Dance Instructor to participate in a Level 2 classes or above.
Ample parking on street in front of studio and on street behind studio. Please do not park in neighboring parking lots for the dentist office and bank as they will tow.
The studio is located about 4 blocks away from the BART El Cerrito Plaza station; visit www.bart.gov for more information. An AC Transit bus stop (http://www.actransit.org, 510-817-1717) is located in front of the studio (Bus Lines 72, 72M, 800).
Unless otherwise noted, classes are $15 drop-in rate.
• Arrive early to be on time. No admittance ten minutes after start time.
• Water is allowed in the studio in closed-top containers only.
• No chewing gum or food allowed in the studio.
• Dress appropriately for exercise. No coin belts or beaded belts allowed.
• Dance shoes are allowed but must be used for dance only, no street shoes.
• Turn off your cell phone so it does not ring or buzz during class.
• Personal items must remain in the cubbies during class.
• If you need to leave early, tell the teacher before class.
• No talking during class.
• Bring a yoga mat and/or sweat towel if you need one.
Private lessons are also available with our highly qualified teaching staff.

With a L5 instructor: $95/hr for nonmembers, $85/hr for certification program members
With a L4 instructor: $85/hr for nonmembers, $75/hr for certification program members
With L3 or approved instructor: $75/hr for nonmembers, $65 for certification program members

Add $5 for each additional person per hour.

For members of the Salimpour Certification Programs, students may earn:

  • 1 CEC for Salimpour technique weekly classes, regardless of length (includes 2 hour classes)
  • 1 CEC per hour (Salimpour technique class 3 hours or longer)
  • 2 CECS for private lessons on certification material and certification choreographies

See the “About Certification” page for more information.  Click here.

Eight Week Rotation

SL1-3: Singles
Dance Movement: Plie
SL1-3: Three Quarters
Dance Movement: Tendu
SL1-3: Pelvic Locks
Dance Movement: Dégagé
SL1-2: Squares
SL3: Squares, Pyramids, & Vs
Dance Movement: Rond de Jambe
SL1-3: Circles
Dance Movement: Battement
SL1: Figure Eights U-D, D-U
SL2: Pyramids & Vs
SL3: Diamonds, Hexagons, & Octagons
Dance Movement: Passe
SL1: Figure Eights F-B, B-F
SL2-3: Figure Eights
Dance Movement: Arabesque
SL1-3: Twists
Dance Movement: Turns
Suhaila Salimpour
Suhaila SalimpourOwner, Director, Choreographer, Master Teacher
Suhaila Salimpour is the creator, founder and head instructor of Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance. Schooled from an early age in jazz, tap and ballet, Suhaila began integrating her extensive classical training with the Middle Eastern dance passed on by her mother. Suhaila Salimpour has been teaching over 35 years and has revolutionized belly dance as an instructor, choreographer, and performer.
Jamila Salimpour
Jamila SalimpourLegacy Founder, Grande Dame of Belly Dance
Teaching since 1949, Jamila Salimpour is the “mother of tribal bellydance” in America. She was the first one to solidify a format of belly dance terminology that is still in use today. Her format is taught and applied to dancer movements worldwide. Jamila has been an influential figure in belly dance for over 60 years.
Sabriye
Sabriye
Sabriye Tekbilek is a performer and instructor of Middle Eastern dance whose stage presence and technique have been shaped by a lifetime of international performance and study. She is currently a Suhaila Level 5 and Jamila Level 5 certified dancer.
Abigail
Abigail
Bio coming soon. Abby is currently Suhaila Level 5 and Jamila Level 5 certified.
Lisa
Lisa
Bio coming soon. Lisa is currently Suhaila Level 4 and Jamila Level 2 certified.
Parya
Parya
Bio coming soon. Parya is currently Suhaila Level 3 and Jamila Level 3 certified and a member of the Suhaila Dance Company.
Gina
Gina
Gina has been teaching and performing middle-eastern dance since the age of three and is a second generation belly dancer. Her technique both combines fusion and classical styles, and she has performed on national and international stages throughout her career. Gina is currently certified Suhaila Level 5 and Jamila Level 2