Frequently Asked Questions
Can I study in the program long distance?
Definitely! Most of the dancers in the certification program are located outside of California, and many are located outside of the U.S. Students can attend workshops to get the information they need to return home and train at their own pace. Several tools have been developed (Online Classes, Study Guides, Instructional DVDs, Audio Download Training Tools and CDs, etc.) to help long-distance certification participants.
“In person” training is still required through attendance at workshops. Many of the modules of study in later levels are presented and developed during workshops. The workshops also provide Jamila, Suhaila and the School instructors the opportunity to evaluate and provide valuable feedback to students.
Why start with Level Suhaila Level 1 and what will I learn?
I greatly enjoy teaching L1 workshops and working with students from all over the world; each workshop brings together a different mix of dancers, and it’s exciting to work with the unique energy created by that mix. Below are some of the commonly asked questions from dancers who are thinking about attending a L1 workshop.
What will I gain from coming to your workshops?
With dancers new to my format, I focus on strong technique and body posture as a fundamental base. All students, regardless of their level, can benefit from a strong base to serve as their foundation no matter from what instructor they take and no matter what stylization they choose. My format is based on a standard nomenclature of dance movements and concepts. These days that doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary, but when I began teaching my format in the early 1980s, this was a revolutionary idea. Things start to fall into place quite easily once you understand the basic elements of my format (posture, dance movement, specific muscular movement, timing, etc.)
How will learning your technique make me a better dancer?
Strong technique creates strong dancers. My students learn to maintain a strong and healthy body posture while executing dance movements muscularly, effectively, and efficiently. If your basic technique is strong, you have a base upon which to expand and have a greater ability to dance a variety of styles. You can also extend your dance years as you are training safely to prevent injury, for endurance and longevity.
I know they will be hard work so what is the best way to prepare?
I recommend that attendees research my format through my website and online classes (free trial available). For those who want to prepare more fully, you can find a list of helpful hints on my website in the Certification Section.
How do you keep going, teaching so many hours of workshops? Do you have a special nutrition advice?
Make sure to honor (and never neglect) your body: eat well, get enough sleep, drink water, keep moving, etc. We go through many different phases in our lives; and the variables are so different for every individual.
If there was one thing you would like any workshop attendee to use from all the information given, what would it be??
Follow an artistic path. Let’s face it: the truth is that belly dance standards in some areas are not very high, and many people seek out belly dance as a means to become an entertainer because of those low standards. It’s fine to want to entertain and perform in public. But follow an artistic path with this dance to stay integral in your intent with this art form.
How do I get certification?
Testing is provided at the Salimpour School and at certification series and workshops around the world. Online testing for L1 is also available. The Salimpour School’s online classes, publications, audio download training tools, and instructional CDs/DVDs were developed to assist students with home practice towards testing and maintaining proficiency in both formats.
How do I maintain my certification?
Certification in a Salimpour format is valid for two years and may be extended by either testing for a higher level or completing the requisite number of Continuing Education Credit’s (CECs) with a renewal fee. More information about maintaining certification status can be found here.
I am a professional dancer. Can I begin with Level 3?
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.
When can I get a teaching certificate?
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.
Why Get Certified?
- Train to be the best dancer you can be.
- Demonstrate your commitment to preserving the highest level of quality in your art.
- Empower yourself by reaching goals in a structured and creative environment.
- Learn in a supportive, encouraging environment.
- Take a proactive step to move forward and invest in your dance, personal, and/or professional development.
- Receive a sense of personal accomplishment and achievement.
- Learn about the dance with proper cultural understanding and placement.
- Join a worldwide community of supportive dancers.
- Learn body awareness and proper technique offered in a safe and structured format.
- Progress in creativity and emotional development within a supportive, positive learning environment.
- Build on knowledge gained in previous levels, as each subsequent level is part of a carefully crafted and consistent continuum of knowledge.
- Learn choreography, improvisational and teaching skills.
- Establish professional credentials and enhance your teaching resume.
- Receive intelligent material for class curriculum and learn how to develop curriculum.
- Develop as an artist, gaining the tools to anticipate and respond to change.
- Create a continual and lifetime path for learning new things and developing skills.
- Provide greater earning potential; the tremendous demand for Suhaila Salimpour format instruction is worldwide.
- Suhaila has trained many of the great popular belly dance teachers working today! Why not you?