Keep calm and dance!

How to keep up your belly dance practice despite social distancing.

In light of sensible precautions, including social distancing, I’m compiling a list of online belly dance resources to keep you busy while we wait this epidemic out. These recommendations are written with WVU belly dance ladies in mind but, I’m sure they apply to all. Each of the recommendations are of instructors I have personally taken workshops in person with. These are educated men and women who have devoted there lives to teaching others how to dance. Their movement vocabulary is very similar to my own, and any who have taken classes with me will find them familiar. 

Raqs Online

Raqs Online is an online streaming platform designed by
Sadie Marquardt, a belly dancer of international renown. I’ve taken numerous workshops from her in person, and have been a subscriber to Raqs Online since it’s launch. Sadie puts out new content every week, and has designed her courses to build upon each other. I love that there is a new challenge every time I log in. She really breaks down muscle involvement for each movement, explaining proper weight and posture. Sadie is the main contributor on this platform, but she has also brought in other dancers including Lebanese Simon has an intro to Dabke. Plus tere is strength training, yoga to round out your fitness routine, and Arabic lessons – it’s a lot to check out!

There is a free 7 day trial for any who wish to check it out, and she has a free class on YouTube, which I’ve provided here. Use the code RaqOn to get %50 off your first month!

Aziza Online

Aziza of Montreal launched her online live classes a few years ago, and I’ve even taken a few myself. Because this is a live class, Aziza is dancing with you, in the moment, and you with her! This is an amazing interactive experience! This is a great option if you have a steady internet connection, and need the class stimulus. 

I absolutely adore Aziza as a teacher. She is grace personified, both in person and online. Her mastery of the dance is second to none and she truly loves to teach and wants you to succeed. I’ve studied with Aziza more than any other single instructor (outside of my hometown Aziza in Birmingham, AL). 

I also have many of her practice DVDs which are always a great way to work up a sweat.

Datura Online

Rachel Brice’s Datura Online is one of the first online streaming belly dance video services (I think). Like Raqs Online it features videos that are focused on drilling a specific topic. Don’t be fooled by it’s tribal fusion front-runner, Datura online has content relevant to any dance style. I’ve taken classes with Rachel in person, and like all of my favorite instructors, she really knows how to break down movements, explaining the body mechanics needed to properly execute them.

 

Shahrzad's YouTube Channel

Shahrzad has recently started adding belly dance drills to her YouTube channel, and I encourage you to check out this free content. She also has an online class or video service, though I don’t have any personal experience with it.

She is an amazing dancer, living and working as a dancer in Cairo, Egypt. She has a wealth of knowledge to share, about the culture and evolution of this dance. 

 

Many belly dancers are small business owners, likely to be impacted by event cancellations – both public workshops and as hired entertainers. As a community now is the time to share the wealth we have and continue supporting our brothers and sisters in dance. Check out these dancers online stores, purchase videos, watch their performances, and stay inspired! I hope to see you all soon!

Disclaimer: These reviews were not solicited, and no payment was received.  

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