Teaching Certification Preparation:  Suhaila Level 5 & Jamila Level 5   •   Licensed Instructor Preparation   •   Certification Workshop Instructor Preparation   •   Advanced Certification

Teaching Certification Preparation

In Salimpour L5, dancers pursue Teaching 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, business, ethics, enrichment, creativity, and more.  Two types of L5 certification are available:  Suhaila Level 5 and Jamila Level 5.  Both levels follow the same steps.  Upon successful completion of a specific Level 5, teachers are eligible for additional training in that specific format to be licensed instructors for either weekly classes and/or certification workshops.  More information about all programs is below.

Suhaila Level 5

To begin SL5, students must have current SL4 certification and current JL2 certification (or higher).  With Suhaila Salimpour’s permission, a dancer may proceed through the following steps.

SL5 officially begins once a student submits:

  • A completed teaching training book.  See the link on this page for PDF instructions on preparing your teacher book.
  • A certification registration form with fee.  Contact the School’s Certification Coordinator for information about registration and payment.
After teacher books are evaluated and approved, Suhaila will develop a personalized plan for each dancer incorporating teaching training and apprenticeship as well as projects in business, performance, and more.  Suhaila and the student 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.)  In addition to teaching requirements, the following is an example of the typical project list assigned to each dancer.

  • Read about and discuss classroom presence and room management.
  • Research the details and monetary requirements of opening and operating a studio in your area (or alternate enterprise); develop a corresponding promotional package for new students and member retention.
  • Develop content for online classes (choreography, stylization, lecture, etc.).
  • Discuss and complete an assignment on the operation of a dance company.
  • Discuss and complete an assignment on Middle Eastern culture or music and/or belly dance history.
For SL5, students must demonstrate their ability to teach standard SL1 and Sl2 material.  As part of Step 2, Suhaila and the student develop a plan on how this material will be demonstrated:  live as part of TAing, on video via Skype privates, or a hybrid plan of live and video.

  • Live evaluation is conducted in live workshops or classes; the student serves as a Teaching Assistant (TA), apprenticing directly under Suhaila (or a specifically designated L5 instructor).  L5 students travel at their own expense to TA.  It is common for students to begin this work as early as SL3.  Live evaluations as part of TAing will be handled by the supervising instructor on site.
  • Video evaluation is handled through Skype privates with approved SL5 instructors.  (For Skype Privates, submit video of yourself teaching the material, in a class or alone.  Film yourself facing a mirror so that both your front and back can be seen clearly in the video image.)

The following list includes the minimal requirements; assignments may be waived or additional assignments made based on a student’s individual abilities and experience.

  • beginning SL1 warm-up (30-45 minutes)
  • standard SL2 warm-up (25-30 minutes)
  • primer (breakdown) of SL1 movements
  • primer (breakdown) of certain SL2 movements: pyramids and Vs
  • explanation of the Salimpour timing system and how to count it
  • explain the ¾ concept and how it fits into timing and counting.
  • basic finger cymbal introduction speech and breakdown of SL1 patterns

SL1 Moves:  sgls, 3/4 sgls, Pv Lks, 3/4 Pv Lks, int hip sq, int hip cir, int hip 1/2 cir, ext hip sq, ext hip cir, ext hip 1/2 cir, F8s (all), Tw, 3/4 Tw, und, Rc Lks, 3/4 Rc Lks, Rc slides, 3/4 Rc slides, Rc sq, Rc cir, arm waves.  Sl2 Moves:  Rc 1/2 cir, Pyr, Vs, Rc Pyr, Rc Vs, 3/4 F8s (all), Rc F8s (both), 3/4 Rc F8s (both).

Each teaching assignment and project will be evaluated, and feedback given to the student.  Note that in some cases, additional teaching hours or work may be required.
With permission, teachers may pursue additional training to serve as licensed instructors and offer School CECs (continuing educational credits) through their local classes and local workshops.  Licensed instructors contract with the School and pay a licensing fee to offer CECS, and they must maintain current L5 status.  Licensed instructors are also eligible on a event-by-event basis to contract and license general workshops that they teach to offer CECs to the attendees.  (Teachers may also train to teach certification workshops at which certification tests and CECs are given.  Such workshops must be approved and are covered by contract and licensing fees.)
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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Conceptual or Project CECs.  Dancers may be given general or individual assignments. Assignments and projects are designed to promote the continual development of the L5 dancer.

Jamila Level 5

To begin JL5, students must have current SL5 certification and current JL4 certification.  With Suhaila Salimpour’s permission, a dancer may proceed through the following steps.

SL5 officially begins once a student submits:

  • A completed teaching training book.  See the link on this page for PDF instructions on preparing your teacher book.
  • A certification registration form with fee.  Contact the School’s Certification Coordinator for information about registration and payment.
After teacher books are evaluated and approved, Suhaila will develop a personalized plan for each dancer incorporating teaching training and apprenticeship.  Suhaila and the student will develop a mutually agreed-upon timeline for completion of the work, typically less than 1 year.  (Failure to meet target 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)
For JL5, students must demonstrate their ability to teach standard JL1 and Jl2 material.  As part of Step 2, Suhaila and the student develop a plan on how this material will be demonstrated:  live as part of TAing, on video via Skype privates, or a hybrid plan of live and video.

  • Live evaluation is conducted in live workshops or classes; the student serves as a Teaching Assistant (TA), apprenticing directly under Suhaila (or a specifically designated L5 instructor).  L5 students travel at their own expense to TA.  It is common for students to begin this work as early as JL3.  Live evaluations as part of TAing will be handled by the supervising instructor on site.
  • Video evaluation is handled through Skype privates with approved JL5 instructors.  (For Skype Privates, submit video of yourself teaching the material, in a class or alone.  Film yourself facing a mirror so that both your front and back can be seen clearly in the video image.)

The following list includes the minimal requirements; assignments may be waived or additional assignments made based on a student’s individual abilities and experience.  Jamila-call-outs and teaching in circle format are recommended, but not necessarily required for all portions of class.

  • beginning JL1 warm-up (20 minutes)
  • standard JL2 warm-up (15 minutes)
  • primer (breakdown) of all Jamila step families and steps
  • introductory speech about each step family (5-10 minutes each)
  • lecture about the history of the Salimpour School and both formats and how they are related and connected (include typed transcript of lecture)
Each teaching assignment will be evaluated, and feedback given to the student.  Note that in some cases, additional teaching hours may be required.
With permission, teachers may pursue additional training to serve as licensed instructors and offer School CECs (continuing educational credits) through their local classes and local workshops.  Licensed instructors contract with the School and pay a licensing fee to offer CECS, and they must maintain current L5 status.  Licensed instructors are also eligible on a event-by-event basis to contract and license general workshops that they teach to offer CECs to the attendees.  (Teachers may also train to teach certification workshops at which certification tests and CECs are given.  Such workshops must be approved and are covered by contract and licensing fees.)
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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Conceptual or Project CECs.  Dancers may be given general or individual assignments. Assignments and projects are designed to promote the continual development of the L5 dancer.
Teacher Book PDF Instructions

Licensed Instructor Preparation

After achieving either SL5 or JL5 certification, dancers are eligible to continue training in that specific format for licensing of their local classes and master classes. Licensed instructors contract with the Salimpour School to provide CECs to their local students.  For more information about the licensing program, contact the School’s Certification Coordinator.

Evaluation of potential licensed instructors is handled by Suhaila either in person through the TA program or through Skype privates.  (Note that Suhaila may require that some students go through pre-screening with L5 instructors first.)  Suhaila’s evaluation will include instructor presence, room management, student development, voice project, breath control, and more.  The minimum training requirements to prepare for licensing are listed below for each format.

SL5 Licensing Preparation

Demonstrate live (or by video) yourself teaching the following material.  If using video, make sure you can be seen clearly;  if you are filming yourself alone (without a class), film in a room with a mirror so that your front and back can be seen clearly in the video.

  • 2 SL1 classes including warm-up, drills, combo, and cool down.
  • 12 SL1 combos.  All SL1 moves must be represented in at least one combo. Each combo should be 48-64 counts long (six to eight measures of eight counts each).
  • 2 SL2 classes including warmup, drills, combo, and cool down.
  • 12 SL2 combos.  All SL2 moves must be represented in at least one combo. Each combo should be 48-64 counts long (six to eight measures of eight counts each).
  • 1 choreography:  select Elf Leyla or En Rah.
  • 1 drum solo:  Syncopations with finger cymbals

JL5 Licensing Preparation

Demonstrate live (or by video) yourself teaching the following material.  If using video, you must film yourself teaching to a live class of at least 6 students; make sure your movement can be seen clearly in the video and that your voice can be heard.

  • Breakdown, teach, and integrate the JL1 mother steps (BsE, BsE-BWk, BsE-Wk-w/Pvt, BsE-w/Full-Sp)
  • 4 classes as you teach them to your local students (2 classes focused on JL1 and 2 classes focused on JL2)
  • choreography 1:  Ismaouni with finger cymbals
  • choreography 2:  Zay El Hawa

Certification Workshop Instructor Preparation

Certification Workshop Instructors train to teach specific workshops at which certification material is presented and certification testing is offered.  Such workshops have required content and structure and represent a high level of Salimpour technique ability and understanding.  To begin training to be a Certification Workshop Instructor, dancers must have current L5 certification in the applicable format and have successfully completed the Instructor Licensing requirements for that format (but do not have to be currently licensed as such).

With Suhaila’s permission, the training instructors first work with the Certification Coordinator to get information on the specific workshop and what is required.  General requirements for each format is below.  This material is evaluated by Suhaila either in person or via video Skype privates.

SL5 Certification Workshop Licensing

Demonstrate live (or by video) yourself teaching the following material.  Additional instructions will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

  • Assigned teaching segments for specific workshop to be taught.
  • Lectures and introductory speeches included in specific workshop.
  • Dance movement breakdown and instructor as required for specific workshop.
  • Breakdown and instruction of choreography(s) required for specific workshop level.
  • Additional material as required for specific workshop.
  • Explanation and personal testimonial of recommended training tools used for specific workshop level.

JL5 Certification Workshop Licensing

Demonstrate live (or by video) yourself teaching the following material using Jamila call-outs in circle format.  Additional instructions will be provided on a case-by-case basis.

  • Introduction and breakdown of Arabic Family plus integration with JL1 mother steps
  • Introduction and breakdown of all Pivot-Shift-Step steps and all Syncopated-Pivot-Shift-Step steps plus integration with JL1 mother steps
  • Full JL1 step review (40+ minutes)
  • Introduction and breakdown of Salaam Family and integration with Basic Egyptian Family
  • Introduction and breakdown of Debke Family and integration with Basic Egyptian Family
  • Full JL2 step review (60+ minutes)
  • Lectures and introductory speeches included in specific workshop.
  • Breakdown and instruction of choreography(s) required for specific workshop level.
  • Additional material as required for specific workshop.
  • Explanation and personal testimonial of recommended training tools used for specific workshop level.

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
  • Developing Dancers
  • Master Instructor