Suhaila Level 4   •   Jamila Level 4  •   Level 4 Choreography Workshop  •   Live Music Workshop   •   L4 Teaching Path

Salimpour Level 4

Level 4 represents the most advanced performance skills and technical training in belly dance. Students increase their technical abilities while working on advanced skills in performance, emotion, creativity, history, culture, choreography, and more.  L4 certification is available in both the Suhaila and Jamila formats.  More information about both programs and prerequisites is below.

Suhaila Level 4

SL4 builds on concepts from SL3. As soon as you have mastered SL3 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:

  • Continue attending L2-4 workshops.
  • Attend Performance Prep, Live Music, and Choreography workshops.
  • Subscribe to Salimpour School Online.
  • Train with Cymbal Jams (audio training tools).
  • Train with Drill Randomizer:   Designed to help you experiment and improvise; you can make up random drills on the fly!  Found in online class account under “Bonus” tab.  (cert level specific)
  • Train with Drill Breaks and Drill Outs (audio training downloads).
  • Certify as JL2 certification (or higher).  SL3 and JL2 certifications are required to test for SL4 certification.
  • Learn the required SL4 certification choreographies as soon as you are SL2 certified; a full list of Suhaila format certification choreographies is listed below.  For most students, it typically takes a year or more of consistent work to master a choreography.
  • Learn the required Improv-Prep choreographies (list below) as soon as you are SL2 certified.  These solo choreographies help prepare you for performance and improvisation work in your performance catalogs, labs, and workshops.
  • Develop your Personal Education Catalog (instructions below).
  • Develop on your Personal Performance Catalog (click here).

SL4 Testing Steps

Once you are SL3 certified and feel you have a good working knowledge of the required technique, choreographies, and catalogs, you are ready to make the push towards SL4. The process involves the following steps.  Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a L5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and require feedback.

  • SL4 Technique Drills.  Submitted by October for evaluation and must be approved prior to the L4 workshop in January.  See below for instructions.
  • SL4 Certification Choreography.  Submitted in November and approved prior to the L4 workshop in January.  See instructions below.
  • Improv-Prep Choreography.  Submitted and approved prior to the L4 workshop in January. See instructions below.  All SL4 testers complete all four as part of SL4 pre-testing (or JL4 if already tested for SL4.)
  • L4 Catalog.  Submitted by December 1st prior to the L4 workshop in January for review into the evaluation process.  See Performance Catalog for content detail.
When you have completed Step 1, you attend a L4 Choreography Weeklong to 1) demonstrate your proficiency of the required certification choreographies and 2) show your personal choreography. Upon Suhaila’s approval, you may proceed in the Testing Chute.  Submit the following items on the first day of the L4 choreography weeklong that immediately predates your formal L4 testing date.

  • L4 Certification Registration with payment
  • Personal Choreography.
  • From the pre-testing submissions, prepare to demonstrate/perform:
    • Technique Drills
    • Improv-Prep Choreographies
    • Required Certification Choreographies
Participation in all activities and completion of all homework before and during weeklong with a resulting choreography approved by Suhaila to be used for L4 testing.  Approval of the personal choreography is required for the L4 testing chute.
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.
The final performance step is an improvisation performance to a live Arabic band.  Requirements and costuming will be discussed in detail in person at the Choreography and Live Music weeklongs.  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 testers and will not exceed $1,000/performer.
During the testing chute, you may have additional individually-assigned projects related to your catalogs, required choreography, and personal choreography to complete before final testing. You may need to coordinate with other students in your testing chute as well as studio TAs to work on the required material. 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 performance catalogs under the guidance of the Certification Coordinator or other high-certified staff; additional review and evaluation will require additional fees.  You may be required to attend a formal Tester’s Retreat (or the equivalent) prior to the final testing to help prepare and focus for the public performance exams.

SL4 Testing Resources & Instructions

Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a Level 5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and want feedback. SalimpourCertification@gmail.com

The Technique Drills (45 drills) must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of the required technique.  The Drills will be done solo and to the loop song “Stamina”.  Each drill must be verbally called out by the dancer and executed for 60 seconds.  When you feel you are ready for test evaluation, purchase a required 120 minute private lesson with an assigned L5 instructor for the test evaluation.

Submissions and approval must be completed by October 1st prior to the L4 workshops you will attend in the Test Chute.

SL4 Technique Drills 20 May 2018

Video Filming Instruction 11-27-2017

Step 1.  Certification Choreography Approval.  Dancers planning to test into L4 must have all Certification Choreography approved prior to filming the performance show (step 2 below).  Pre-Approval is verification that dancers are performing the L4 choreography at the L4 skill level required prior to filming.  The approval process follows the Skype private lesson guidelines for choreography submissions.  Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a Level 5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and want feedback. SalimpourCertification@gmail.com.  Details can be found under Classes-Skype lessons-Choreography Evaluations.

Step 2.  Professional Performance Setting.  As part of the L4 pre-testing requirements, the SL4 Certification Choreography Set must be presented and filmed in a “theater like” professional performance setting.

  • The performance space should have lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of technique and good audio to hear finger cymbal patterns.  No restaurant performances, waiters walking through the set, audience distractions, etc.  Performers will wear the standard scrunchy-butt attire to allow for full movement and evaluation of technique.  Venues must be approved by Suhaila or the Certification Coordinator prior to filming.
    • Performance Space examples:
      • Dance Studio with stage set up (lighting)
      • Small theater (rented)
      • Hall set up for performance (lighting)
      • Dedicated stage (lighting)
  • The full set is to be recorded with no breaks, all songs back to back (as previously demonstrated at the Lesher Theater).  Only current testers of that format may perform in the recorded set.  In the case that some testers are located in other cities or countries, they may fly in to record the set together with all testers present or they can record their own set separately.  But ALL testers must submit their own  Certification Choreography Set video.  Submissions and approval must be completed by November 1st prior to the L4 workshops you will attend in the Test Chute.
  • Review the Video Filming Instructions for Technique Drills for additional video hints and uploading instructions.
  • These choreography submissions are separate and independent of the Personal Performance Catalogs.
  • See the Suhaila L4 Testing Resources & Instruction section; “Catalog Presentation & Appearance” & “Catalog Submission Process” further detail.

Step 3.  Choreography Verification.  During the L4 Choreography weeklong testers are required to demonstrate the entire Certification Choreography set for Suhaila to satisfy they are still working at a high level of knowledge, stamina and technique.  This choreography verification will be held after the workshop one evening; testers may wear regular dance clothes.

Choreography List (in performance order)

  • L2FCDS
  • Maddah
  • L3FCDS
  • Ali Gara
  • Yanna Yanna
  • Nebtiti
  • Enta Omri
  • Bongo Funk
  • Accessible
The four Improv-Prep Choreography sets must be approved as part of an SL4 dancer’s pre-testing requirements.  Learn the solo choreographies with improvised sections as noted in the list.  Evaluation is handled either via Skype privates where dancers submit video links to their performances or in person with designated SL5 instructors. Each set must be performed as a full set, but each set can be evaluated individually.  Restaurant venues are fine for these recordings, but movement must be seen clearly and finger cymbals heard clearly.  Read the Video Filming Instructions for technique drills for filming hints and uploading instructions.

The four sets must be submitted and approved before attendance at the L4 workshop held immediately before the final performance test.  All SL4 testers will complete all four as part of SL4 pre-testing; JL4 testers must complete all four sets if not already completed as part of their SL4 testing.  These choreography submissions are separate and independent of the Personal Performance Catalogs.  See the Suhaila L4 Testing Resources & Instruction section; “Catalog Presentation & Appearance” & “Catalog Submission Process” further detail.

  • Raks Jamila Set from Arabian Musicals V1: Raks Jamila, Guitar Solo (improv), L3FCDS
  • Maharjan Set from Arabian Musicals V2:  Maharjan; Keyboard Solo Track 2 (improv, same music as Chair/Veil); Elf Leyla; Unforeseen Drum Solo
  • Set El Hosen from Arabian Musicals V3
  • Raks Suhaila Set from Arabian Musicals V1: Raks Suhaila, Maddah (improv at start), Unveiled Drum
The Education Catalog is documentation of your dance training and study with teachers other than Suhaila or those teaching Salimpour format.  Students are encouraged to begin their logs as early as SL1 (or before), studying with a wide variety of teachers to learn stylizations, props, different teaching methods, etc.  Once you submit your Education Catalog, you are expected to continue your education with other teachers as part of your personal enrichment plan, documenting your new studies in your catalog.

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:

  • 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).
  • Minimum 30 hours with other belly dance instructors which must include:
    • At least five different instructors (at least two hours each)
    • At least three different stylizations (at least two hours each)
  • Minimum 12 hours of non-bellydance dance instruction (African, flamenco, ballet, etc.)

Submission Instructions

  • The Catalog should be submitted in an organized manner in a single PDF document.
  • Number the pages and use a font size no smaller than 12.
  • Submit your Catalog as outlined in the testing steps above.
  • See the Suhaila L4 Testing Resources & Instruction section; “Catalog Presentation & Appearance” & “Catalog Submission Process” further detail.

For Dancers pursuing JL4 Certification.  Note that as an active and highly certified member of the School, you are expected to obtain at least 15 hours every two years that meet the Education Catalog requirements. When testing for JL4, the Education Catalog is not part of the pre-testing requirements.  However, during your JL4 testing chute, be prepared to submit your catalog upon request representing at least 15 hours added in every two year period since your SL4 testing chute.

Important:  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.  Instructions available here:

http://www.salimpourschool.com/performance-catalogs/

Visit the Choreography Weeklong section below for more information about the required choreography.  For SL4 testers, the final version of the personal choreography must include stage placement and emotional intent as show in this example: MawoudExample2015.
Dancers submitting L4 catalogs are required to follow the guidelines and format of the example given in the video below.  The goal is to have all parts of the L4 catalog submissions housed in one easy to access location for review and navigation by multiple people.  Catalog videos must in mp4 format.  Platforms to use: DropBox (preferred), or Google Drive.

password:  catalog
The tutorial video is also available at SalimpourSchoolOnline.com under “Certification Required” in the Specialty dropdown menu.
L4 Catalog Required Sub-folders
  1. Table of Contents (PDF)
  2. Education Catalog document (PDF)
  3. Performance Catalog document (PDF)
  4. Improvisation Sets 100+ minutes (mp4 videos)
  5. Choreography Sets (mp4 videos)
  6. Prop Choreography (mp4 videos)
  7. Stylization Sets (mp4 videos)
  8. L4 Certification Show Gauntlet (mp4 video)
  9. Improv-Prep Choreography Sets (mp4 vides)
  10. Costume Options (jpg)
  11. Promo Photos & Bio (jpg & PDF)
  12. L4 Personal Chorography WIP
  1. Organize your L4 catalog following the “Catalog Presentation” video above.
  2. Submit your Pre-Review fee of $75.
  3. Submit a completed L4 catalog with the DropBox or GoogleDrive link by the December 1 prior to the Jan/Feb L4 workshop you are attending for the test chute.  Send the link to the Certification Coordinator for catalog formatting review. (SalimpourCertification@gmail.com)
  4. Once formatting is cleared for evaluation, the catalog is assigned to a L5 instructor, and evaluation fees will be billed upon completion of evaluation.  Evaluations take from 5 to 8 hours and are billed at $20 per hour directly with L5 instructor (with a maximum of $160 for evaluation, not including the initial $75 review fee).
  5. The choreography gauntlet evaluation fee for the L4 choreography show portion of the catalog is $95 (one private).  It is required that students be signed off an approved on all L4 gauntlet choreographies prior to their gauntlet show.
  6. Pay the L4 test fee ($450).
  7. Pay the L4 performance fee (for the band and theater; see above for more information).

Jamila Level 4

JL4 builds on concepts from JL3. As soon as you have mastered JL3 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:

  • Continue attending L2-4 workshops.
  • Attend Performance Prep, Live Music, and Choreography workshops.
  • Subscribe to Salimpour School Online.
  • Train with Cymbal Jams (audio training tools).
  • Train with Drill Randomizer:   Designed to help you experiment and improvise; you can make up random drills on the fly!  Found in online class account under “Bonus” tab.  (cert level specific)
  • Train with Drill Breaks and Drill Outs (audio training downloads).
  • Certify as SL4 certification (or higher).  JL3 and SL4 certifications are required to test for JL4 certification.
  • Learn the required JL4 certification choreographies as soon as you are JL2 certified; a full list of Jamila format certification choreographies is below.  For most students, it typically takes a year or more of consistent work to master a choreography.
  • Learn the required Improv-Prep choreographies (see SL4) if you have not already completed them as part of SL4 certification requirements.
  • Continue developing your Personal Education Catalog (instructions below and in SL4 section).
  • Develop on your Personal Performance Catalog (see below or in SL4 section).

JL4 Testing Steps

Once you are JL3 and SL4 certified and feel you have a good working knowledge of the required Jamila format technique, choreographies, and catalogs, you are ready to make the push towards JL4. The process involves the following steps.  Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a L5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and require feedback.

  • JL4 Technique Drills.  Submitted by October for evaluation and must be approved prior to the L4 workshop in January.  See below for instructions.
  • JL4 Certification Choreography.  Submitted in November and approved prior to the L4 workshop in January.  See instructions below.
  • Improv-Prep Choreography.  Submitted and approved prior to the L4 workshop in January. L4 testers complete all four as part of SL4 pre-testing (or JL4 pre-testing if this step was not part of your SL4 certification testing process.)
  • L4 Catalog.  Submitted by December 1st prior to the L4 workshop in January for review into the evaluation process.  See Performance Catalog for content detail.
When you have completed Step 1, you attend a L4 Choreography Weeklong to 1) demonstrate your proficiency of the required certification choreographies and 2) show your personal choreography. Upon Suhaila’s approval, you may proceed in the Testing Chute.  Submit the following items on the first day of the L4 choreography weeklong that immediately predates your formal L4 testing date.

  • L4 Certification Registration with payment
  • Personal Choreography.
  • From the pre-testing submissions, prepare to demonstrate/perform:
    • Technique Drills
    • Improv-Prep Choreographies
    • Required Certification Choreographies
Participation in all activities and completion of all homework before and during weeklong with a resulting choreography approved by Suhaila to be used for L4 testing.  Approval of the personal choreography is required for the L4 testing chute.
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.
The final performance step is an improvisation performance to a live Arabic band.  Requirements and costuming will be discussed in detail in person at the Choreography and Live Music weeklongs.  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 testers and will not exceed $1,000/performer.
During the testing chute, you may have additional individually-assigned projects related to your catalogs, required choreography, and personal choreography to complete before final testing. You may need to coordinate with other students in your testing chute as well as studio TAs to work on the required material. 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 performance catalogs under the guidance of the Certification Coordinator or other high-certified staff; additional review and evaluation will require additional fees.  You may be required to attend a formal Tester’s Retreat (or the equivalent) prior to the final testing to help prepare and focus for the public performance exams.

JL4 Testing Resources & Instructions

Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a Level 5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and want feedback. SalimpourCertification@gmail.com

The Drill section must be filmed in a space with lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of the required JL4 technique.  The Drills will be done solo from a list of specific drills composed for JL4 technique.  Each drill must executed correctly and with clear JL4 skill articulation.  When you feel you are ready for test evaluation you will then purchase a required 120 minute private lesson with an assigned L5 instructor for the test evaluation.  Submissions must be completed and approved prior official participating in the JL4 testing Chute.

JL4 Technique Drills for Testers 11-27-2017

Video Filming Instructions 11-27-2017

Step 1.  Certification Choreography Approval.  Dancers planning to test into L4 must have all Certification Choreography approved prior to filming the performance show (step 2 below).  Pre-Approval is verification that dancers are performing the L4 choreography at the L4 skill level required prior to filming.  The approval process follows the Skype private lesson guidelines for choreography submissions.  Students wishing to test must contact the School to be assigned a Level 5-certified instructor if they are planning to test or working on material for testing in the future and want feedback. SalimpourCertification@gmail.com.  Details can be found under Classes-Skype lessons-Choreography Evaluations.

Step 2.  Professional Performance Setting.  As part of the L4 pre-testing requirements, the SL4 Certification Choreography Set must be presented and filmed in a “theater like” professional performance setting.

  • The performance space should have lighting bright enough for clear video evaluation of technique and good audio to hear finger cymbal patterns.  No restaurant performances, waiters walking through the set, audience distractions, etc.  Performers will wear the standard scrunchy-butt attire to allow for full movement and evaluation of technique.  Venues must be approved by Suhaila or the Certification Coordinator prior to filming.
    • Performance Space examples:
      • Dance Studio with stage set up (lighting)
      • Small theater (rented)
      • Hall set up for performance (lighting)
      • Dedicated stage (lighting)
  • The full set is to be recorded with no breaks, all songs back to back (as previously demonstrated at the Lesher Theater).  Only current testers of that format may perform in the recorded set.  In the case that some testers are located in other cities or countries, they may fly in to record the set together with all testers present or they can record their own set separately.  But ALL testers must submit their own  Certification Choreography Set video.  Submissions and approval must be completed by November 1st prior to the L4 workshops you will attend in the Test Chute.
  • Review the Video Filming Instructions for Technique Drills for additional video hints and uploading instructions.
  • These choreography submissions are separate and independent of the Personal Performance Catalogs.
  • See the Suhaila L4 Testing Resources & Instruction section; “Catalog Presentation & Appearance” & “Catalog Submission Process” further detail.

Step 3.  Choreography Verification.  During the L4 Choreography weeklong testers are required to demonstrate the entire Certification Choreography set for Suhaila to satisfy they are still working at a high level of knowledge, stamina and technique.  This choreography verification will be held after the workshop one evening; testers may wear regular dance clothes.

Choreography List (in performance order)

  • El Samer
  • Shams El Shamouseh
  • L3FCD
  • Sallam Allay
  • Cane Dance
  • Khatwit Habibi
  • Sword (Standing or Bal Anat)
  • Zay El Hawa
  • Hayati
If you did not complete this section for your SL4 certification, you must complete it for JL4.  See the SL4 section for more details.
For Dancers pursuing JL4 Certification.  Note that as an active and highly certified member of the School, you are expected to obtain at least 15 hours every two years that meet the Education Catalog requirements. When testing for JL4, the Education Catalog is not part of the pre-testing requirements.  However, during your JL4 testing chute, be prepared to submit your catalog upon request representing at least 15 hours added in every two year period since your SL4 testing chute.

See the Suhaila L4 Testing Resources & Instruction section; “Catalog Presentation & Appearance” & “Catalog Submission Process” further detail.

Important:  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.  Instructions available here:

http://www.salimpourschool.com/performance-catalogs/

Visit the Choreography Weeklong section below for more information about the required choreography; information with the workshop homework about preparing a choreography for the Jamila format including technical level.  More information about choreography development is provided in the workshop.  For JL4 testers, the final version of the personal choreography must include stage placement and emotional intent as show in this example: MawoudExample2015.
For JL4, follow the instructions provided in the SL4 section.
For JL4, follow the instructions provided in the SL4 section.

L4 Training Plan Information for Both Formats

Review carefully the Training Plan section on the Salimpour Level 3 page.  Remember that a dancer’s development and training can take years, and most students spend two years (or more) on each higher level in each format.  Below are example L4 training plans focused on testing that require 11 and 14 hour weeks.  You may have more or fewer hours a week; simply adjust accordingly and work with the Certification Coordinator to ensure you have the best plan specific to you and your goals.

  • L4 Training Plan:  Preparing to Get Ready (example  with 11 hrs per week). This plan is about preparing to get ready to be in the testing zone.    L4 11hr Pre-Chute example
  • L3 Training Plan:  Final Push Towards Testing (example with 14 hrs per week). This plan is about being in the testing zone.   L4 14hr Test Chute example
  • L3_L4_TrainingList:  use with L4 information above to include in your Training Plan

Level 4 has two required workshops:  Choreography and Live Music.

Students must test for SL4 first by following all the SL4 testing requirements including attendance at the Choreography and Live Music Workshops.  After successful completion of SL4 certification, if students wish to test for JL4 certification, they follow all the JL4 testing requirements including attendance (again) at the Choreography and Live Music workshops with a focus on Jamila format, music, and stylizations.  Information about both workshops is below including pre-workshop assignments.

Register here

L4 Choreography Workshop

The Choreography workshop focus on advanced technique and choreography development for students in both the Suhaila and Jamila formats.  Content includes:

  • Choreography development.
  • Stage placement, energy, and emotional intent.
  • Performance of a personally prepared choreography segment.
  • Additional concepts and topics.

Prerequisites.  To attend a Choreography workshop, students must have attended at least one SL3 workshop or be currently SL3 certified.   Note that students must successfully complete SL4 first before undergoing JL4 certification; SL4 certification is a prerequisite for JL4 certification.

Pre-Workshop Assignments.  Read the list below, but also read the entire L4 section carefully for details about preparation, expectations, and more.  All participants are expected to complete the same advanced homework; no exceptions; if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the office.  You are recommended to begin work on the assignments at least three months in advance of the workshop.

How to Prepare for a Choreography Weeklong

  • Complete the pre-workshop assignments.
  • This homework is to be repeated and updated anew each time a student takes a Choreography workshop.
  • To achieve the precision and quality of movement required for the choreographies, continue your advanced drill work.
  • Learn the required certification choreographies.
  • Plan for homework during the workshop. Each night you will be given homework on choreography, improvisation, creativity, research, etc..
  • 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.
  • Review the “About Workshops” page that includes general information for all workshops including Common Questions, Workshop Preparation, What to Bring, Studio Rules, etc.

Choreography Pre-Workshop Assignments

Choreography Weeklong Pre-Workshop Assignments and What to Bring

  • Personal Choreography Homework
    • New L4 weeklong attendees will develop a choreography during the workshop and do NOT prepare a choreography in advance.  Students may attend several L4 weeklongs before receiving approval from Suhaila to prepare a choreography in advance.
    • With Suhaila’s permission, a student prepares a personal choreography in advance, following the directions (see below) for the personal choreography including submitting video in advance for review prior to the workshop.
    • For students approved to prepare a choreography in advance (including L4 Testers):  Completed personal choreography (see below) typed and committed to memory.  All participants must film their choreography segments and submit a link to their videos to the Certification Coordinator by Jan. 10th  See instructions further below.
  • Additional Homework
    • Stylization exercise homework in your dance journal as outlined below.
    • Grid work exercises to be submitted separately from dance journal as outlined below.
    • Learn the Improv-Prep choreography sets as assigned by year:  2018 Raks Jamila; 2019 Maharjan Set; 2020 Set El Hosen; 2012 Raks Suhaila Set.  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.
    • 3-4 emotional preparation songs/compositions.
  • Additional items to bring:
    • Costume for choreography segment performance at end of workshop. (Black scrunchy or yoga pant and simple top.)
    • Your dance art book.
    • Finger cymbals, veil, ballet or jazz shoes, hand towel, refillable water bottle, and deodorant to reapply as necessary.
    • 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.
    • Review “About Workshops” page.

Notes.  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.

Your choreography segment should be filmed and a link to your segment emailed to the Certification Coordinator no later than Jan 10.  Suhaila will review the compiled grouping and give individual feedback on music selections and choreography so students can make adjustments prior to the workshop.  Complete the following steps in creating the choreography segment.

  • Create at least two continuous minutes of choreography.
  • Bring the music on CD, queued to play at the start of the choreography segment.
  • 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.
  • Commit the choreography to memory.
  • Submit the choreography typed in Salimpour nomenclature (submitted separately from your dance journal).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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.

  • Egyptian
  • Lebanese
  • Folkloric (Mahmoud Reda)
  • Khaleegy
  • Turkish
  • Persian

Prepare to demonstrate the above phrase in each of the above 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.

Select two of the required L4 choreographies.  For both: 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 (Mawoud2015).

Choreography Workshop Resources

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.

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”.
Register here

Live Music Workshop

The Live Music Workshop provides students an opportunity to apply their performance skills to working with a Live Arabic band.  The following information is covered in a Live Music workshop:

  • Improvisation skills for entrances, exits, the body of the compositions, and drum solos.
  • Training and/or performance time with Middle Eastern musicians to practice improvisation skills.
  • Performance labs and opportunities.
    Additional concepts and topics.

Prerequisites.  To attend a Live Music workshop, students must have attended at least one SL3 workshop or be currently SL3 certified.   Note that students must successfully complete SL4 first before undergoing JL4 certification; SL4 certification is a prerequisite for JL4 certification.

Format Focus.  For SL4 certification, students focus on classical Middle Eastern music and modern costuming.  For JL4 certification, students focus on specific time periods of Middle Eastern music and related costuming; this is demonstrated and discussed in more detail at the workshops.

How to Prepare for a Live Music Workshop

  • Complete the pre-workshop assignments (list below).
  • Prepare using the Performance Preparation Resources listed below.
  • Allow yourself a few months to work through the Resources list and complete the pre-workshop assignments.
  • This homework is to be repeated and updated anew each time a student takes a Choreography 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.
  • Maintain your technique and continue work on Improv-Prep and certification choreographies.
  • Students should have previous knowledge of and basic experience with Salimpour Gridwork.  Gridwork information is introduced and explained in SL2 workshop and further developed in L2+ workshops and master classes.
  • Plan for homework during the workshop.
  • For many higher level workshops, the instructors run over the allotted teaching time.
  • Special offerings and potential field trips may be included. Please plan accordingly and allow for maximum flexibility in your timing to take advantage of unique events and opportunities.
  • Review the “About Workshops” page that includes general information for all workshops including Common Questions, Workshop Preparation, What to Bring, Studio Rules, etc.

Live Music Pre-Workshop Assignments

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

  • Read the “How to Prepare for a Performance Prep” workshop above.
  • Use the workshop preparation resources listed on this page.
    • Document your research from these resources and bring to the workshop.
    • Use your dance art book to document your experiments with veil, poses, make-up, and more.  Bring your dance at book with at least 10 pages of new material.
    • Be prepared to turn in your art book:  1) bookmarking the new material, and 2) include an overview of what new material has been added.
  • 4 Entrances.
    • Experiment with entrances and exits per the  “Basic Entrances and Exits” video.
    • Document (type in nomenclature) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book.
  • 4 Veil Drops.
    • Experiment with several ways to remove your veil and set it aside.  Create basic but professional methods that promote confidence; limit your veil tricks.
    • Document (type in nomenclature) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book.
  • 4 Finale Poses.
    • Experiment with several different final poses coming out of a finale spin.
    • Document (type in nomenclature) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book.
  • 4 Veil Pick-ups.
    • Experiment with different ways to pick up your veil as you exit the stage.
    • Document (type in nomenclature) and commit to memory your best four choices to turn in separately from your art book.
  • 3-5 Make-up Looks.
    • Experiment with different make-up looks; you will try these out (and experiment further) during the workshop and performance labs.
    • Prepare 3-5 full make-up looks for yourself for stage; take photos of yourself from different angles with the make-up.  Select your best 3-5 make-up looks and turn in your photos (at least 3 photos of each look) separately from your art book. Each photo should be separate so it can be mixed and matched with different hair styles and costumes.
  • 3-5 Hair styles.
    • Experiment with different hair styles; you will try these out (and experiment further) during the workshop and performance labs.
    • Prepare 3-5 hair styles for yourself for stage; take photos of yourself from different angles with the hair styles.  Select your best 3-5 hair styles and turn in your photos (at least 3 photos of each look) separately from your art book.  Each photo should be separate so it can be mixed and matched with different make-up looks and costumes.
  • 3+ Costumes.
    • Bring three complete performance costumes with jewelry, veil, heels, etc. on the first morning and as required throughout the workshop.
    • Bring pictures and/or sketches of 3-6 additional complete performance costume options to turn in separately from your art book. Each photo should be separate so it can be mixed and matched with different hair styles and make-up looks.
  • Arrival Outfits.
    • Bring your actual 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. Although you are required to only bring 1 outfit to be used each night before the performance lab, you are encouraged to bring more.
    • Bring photos of 3-4 additional arrival outfits to submit separately from your art book.
  • Learn the Improv-Prep choreography set as assigned by year.
  • Additional preparation and items to bring:
    • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes.
    • Bring dance heels, cymbals, and veil.
    • Have access to a computer / printer for any homework.

Performance Preparation Resources

For your performance catalogs and workshops, the following Resources are available:

  • Study the 100+ Compositions list of music all belly dancers should know.
  • Research the great dancers (Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef, Samia Gamal, Nadia Gamal, Nagwa Fouad, Mona Said, etc.) by watching as much performance as possible.
  • Watch (and watch and rewatch and then watch again and again) Suhaila’s Published Video catalog: http://www.salimpourschool.com/video/
  • Study Suhaila’s drum solos (her solo work and drum solo choreographies), familiarizing yourself with the structure and rhythms.

Available free to regular Online Class subscribers.

  • Hearing Music and Using Tallies (requires SL1 certification) taught by Suhaila
  • Basic Entrances and Exits” video for improvised performances.  Review and know this material solid; it was filmed to assist students in preparing their personal performance catalogs, preparing for performance labs at weeklongs, and preparing to attend either the Performance Prep or Live Music workshops.  Look in the Specialty drop-down menu for “certification required” videos.
  • Improvisation Techniques 2 class series.  Look in the specialty drop-down menu for “certification required” videos.  Focused on traditional entrances for both Suhaila and Jamila formats.
  • Baladi Progression Master Class taught by Sabriye (also a PPV)
  • Performance Skills taught by Sabriye
  • Professionalism Lecture taught by Sabriye
  • Debke Stylization and Cane taught by Sabriye (also a PPV)
  • Arabic Language and Literature four-lecture series by Dr. Siddiq
  • DML2 Heels and Veil Classes (four) taught by Sabriye
  • FF on Baladi, Drum Solos, Exit (2 classes) taught by Sabriye (use search feature)
  • Taqsim Master Class taught by Sabriye
  • Improvisation taught by Sabriye
  • Music Lecture from Live Music, Sabriye (requires SL2 certification)
  • Veil Wraps and Transitions L2 Dance Movement class taught by Yvonne (for Jamila stylization using veils while playing finger cymbals)

Online Class PPVs

  • Ear for Rhythms 1 and 2 by Issam
  • Beginning Drum Technique and Rhythms by Ziad
  • Rhythms 1 and 2 by Leyla and Roland
  • Stage Make-up Tutorial
  • Makeup Smokey Eye
  • Makeup Enta Omri Look

Performance

  • Improv Prep Choreograhies (use Improv Prep filter in OC PPV section to locate)
  • Certification choreographies for both formats
Video Links:

 

Spotify Play List

L4 Teaching Path

The Teaching Path was developed as an alternative to the classic performance approach for L4 testing.  On a case-by-case basis, Suhaila will evaluate students’ requests to participate in a modified version of the SL4 and/or JL4 certification performance paths. In general, the performance requirements are modified while significantly stronger evaluation and teaching components are added.  Approved students will work directly with Suhaila to develop a personalized course of study and assignments.

A Performance Evaluation 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.

Prepare written evaluations of the required viewed performances, using the provided evaluation criteria. The entire catalog must be submitted at one time. 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 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.
  • 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.

Technique Proficiency

  • 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.

Submission Instructions.  Submit the catalog as single PDF document with numbers pages organized with a contents page.  View the Personal Performance Catalog instructions on submitting your video footage.

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 from 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.

Curriculum Notice

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.