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.
  • Take a proactive step to move forward in your dance development.
  • Receive a sense of personal accomplishment and achievement.
  • Invest in your personal and/or professional development.
  • 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.

For the Instructor & Professional

  • 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.

How to Get Certified

Certification programs are available in the Suhaila Salimpour and Jamila Salimpour Belly Dance Formats.  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.  Testing is provided at the Salimpour School and at certification series and workshops around the world.  Online testing for L1 is also available.

Certifications remain 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.

Certification is valid for TWO years from date of recognition and can be extended by either 1) testing for the next level or 2) maintaining the required Continuing Education Credits (CECs) plus renewal fees as outlined below.

Every 2 Years


Every 2 Years


Every 2 Years


Every 2 Years


Every 2 Years


Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

CEC Values

  • 1 CEC: Salimpour School weekly technique classes, regardless of length (including classes from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours)
  • 1 CEC: one hour of approved Salimpour format workshop time
  • 2 CECs: one hour private with approved Salimpour instructor on certification material or certification choreography (One on one only, not for groups).
  • 1 CEC: choreography clean-up classes scheduled as part of a specific workshop are worth 1 CEC each (regardless of length). Participants attending the related workshop are not eligible to submit CECs for the choreography clean-up classes scheduled for that specific workshop.
  • 5 CECs:  One full year of online classes.  Must be a continuous 12 months without interruption.
  • SL1 and JL1 Online Class Certification Training and Testing courses are worth 8 CECs.
  • Visit our Resources Page for a list of past workshops and CECs.

How to Submit CECs

  • All certification members need an account (free or paid) at Salimpour School Online. This account will serve as your School account, where you can access your certification records.
  • Once your account is created, visit the Certification section of your account located in the drop down menu under your name. In that section you can submit CECs for approval, review your certification status, renew your certification, etc.

School Information

The Mission of the Salimpour School is to offer students of belly dance the opportunity to study in a safe, structured, and academic environment, setting a strong foundation for a future in dance. Students are taught belly dance using a systematic format and nomenclature. The format is offered in five levels and additional professional training. Each level requires standards of completion using an organized examination process called “certification”. The format includes breakdown of movement, strengthening, and cardio, as well as performance skills, choreography skills (performance and creation), and musical education. The format is designed to produce dance educators and performance professionals. This program is the first of its kind, and no other program for belly dance equals the level of comprehensive education provided by the Salimpour School.

Depth: The Salimpour format covers every aspect of bellydance: movement technique; posture and alignment; musicality which includes basic musical concepts like timing, Middle Eastern rhythms and maqamat (scales), knowledge of classical Arabic compositions, and playing finger cymbals while dancing; choreography and improvisational performance skills; history of Arabic poetry, music, culture, and history of bellydance; choreography skills (performance and creation); and teaching dance. Suhaila program includes development of creativity skills and personal expression. Also included are performance opportunities and engagements for performance practice.

Students are given a two year period to test for the next level; or their current level may be maintained and renewed for another two years by registration/fee and earning Continued Education Credits (CECs) as required by the specific level. Students must undertake responsibility for independent study and work; progress is monitored through workshop attendance, completion of assigned study modules, various other assignments, and testing. Attendance at studio classes and the completion of online classes is accounted. Students involved in professional (advanced) study work directly with the Director on their projects in a student/ mentorship capacity as well. Students have the option to remain at a certain level indefinitely by renewing their certification through paying the renewal tuition and earning the required CECs for that level.
Admission Procedure: Students are admitted entry to the Salimpour School after passing the Associates Level 1 Entrance Exam. To pass exams students must receive a 70% or higher on all three components: 1) theory/written, 2) practical (which may include drilling/movement execution, stamina, finger cymbals), and 3) (if applicable) choreography. Evaluation of each student is based on these three criteria.

Retention: Students are given a two year period to test for the next level; or their current level may be maintained and renewed for another two years by registration/fee and earning Continued Education Credits (CECs) as required by the specific level. Students may take examinations with prior notification of intent from the student and approval by the Director or teaching staff. To participate in the Professional Level courses students must complete all five levels in one of the two formats.

Students are solely responsible for their own tuition, fees, housing, meals, and medical expenses.

The Salimpour School offers a hybrid education that combines independent study with regular assigned classes and mentorship. The program offered by the School is designed so that the student may move through the levels of the program in two year intervals that can be preempted by early testing or renewed with Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for an additional two years, with time restrictions placed on certain aspects of the program (for example, two years from exam date, or modules to be completed in six months, etc). In this, the entire program is accessible to individuals who wish to study independently, and from a distance. Part- and full-time local students move through the program more quickly and are given more opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities organized by the school to serve the local community. Advanced curricula include a significant component of independent study with guidance from a mentor.
The Salimpour School program is based on two-year “semesters” that allow long distance students to study at reasonable pace. With that, each task, assignment, module, and credit earned can be done to fit into the student’s schedule, but also must be completed within the amount of time set by the School. Students are expected to complete work within the time frame allotted for each task. If a student fails to complete the tasks assigned to them or earn the required CECs in the time allowed (due to family emergencies, personal health problems, or accidents), then they need to communicate their inability to complete the task. If they communicate in advance, we are happy to discuss alternate options for them. If students have complaints about the School, its task, or procedures, we ask them to communicate directly with us at suhailainternational@gmail.com to discuss a solution to the issue.
Students pay fees to attend intensive multi-day workshops. Additional expenses include Online Classes, Master Classes, Studio Classes, Performance Materials Fees, and (optional) performance ensemble dues as required by level. Other fees may apply.

Students pay renewal fees (tuition) and submit CECs (Continuing Education Credits) to maintain or extend a level.

Tuition payments for workshops and all other expenses are nonrefundable.

In the case of medical or family emergencies, workshop payment transfers may be considered case by case, in advance up to 90 days before the workshop, with a doctor’s note and a $100 transfer fee. Transfer requests within 90 days before the workshop will not be considered under any circumstance.

Please contact the staff at suhailainternational@gmail.com for workshop payment transfer requests.