About Our Classes
At DanceGardenLA we offer a variety of classes styles and levels in Bellydance, Tribal Fusion, Samba, Bollywood and more...
OPEN LEVEL CLASSES
Props in Oriental Dance with Helena Vlahos ~ MONDAYS (7:30pm-8:30pm)
All levels of dancers are welcome to join this exciting class. Each week legendary dancer, Helena Vlahos, will focus on at least 2 different props that are commonly used in Oriental Dance, including Zills (Finger Cymbals), Veil, Fans, Fan Veils, Cane and more. Students will learn how to dance effortlessly with each prop and will gain confidence playing rhythms and patterns while dancing with Zills. We will cover basic prop techniques and pair them with dance combinations as well as discuss the history and heritage of each prop and performance style. Please bring props if you have them. Additional props will be available to borrow or purchase at the studio.
Open Level Egyptian Style with Sabah ~ TUESDAYS (6:30pm-7:30pm)
Dance through Egypt with one of our Master Instructors: Sabah! Sabah will lead you through a gentle lengthening and conditioning warm up before guiding you through basic to complex technique and movements. Then, dancers follow along to a non-stop mix of energetic Pop and soulful Classics, with guidance on Egyptian Stylization and Flair. This class is great for dancers with advanced-beginner experience to professional level dancers.
Bollywood with Smita ~ TUESDAYS (7:30pm-8:30pm)
Learn to move your body to the heart thumping beats of Bollywood with Smita! No experience required for this open level Bollywood dance class. Explore the art and various styles of Bollywood, with a combination of a fun workout and easy to understand technique! Leave the studio dancing, with a Bollywood number under your belt!
Tribal Fusion with Heather Shoopman ~ WEDNESDAYS (8:00pm-9:00pm)
Each class will include themed fusion combos blending traditional tribal bellydance movements with other genres such as hip hop, modern, western, folk dances etc. Dancers will gain an understanding of how to find their own fusion voice. Get your quirky on in this workout for body & brain featuring a not so traditional playlist.
Tribal Bellydance Group Improvisation with Heather Shoopman ~ WEDNESDAYS (9:00pm-10:00pm)
This class will dive into Shoop’s own fusion blend as well as familiarize you with the very roots of tribal, group improvisation. We’ll play with flourishing the fundamentals and longer combos. Dancers will gain an understanding of group work: how to use cues, make agreements, create combos and formations. Bring your finger cymbals! This is a great class e to supplement Shoop’s monthly Tribal Ritual class.
Mixed-Level Technique with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (10:00am-11:00am)
Join DeVilla for an exploration of bellydance technique and choreography. In this class we will be working on refining our technique, posture, combinations, isolations and traveling. Perfect for the beginner or more advanced student who wishes to work on technique and layering.
Dance Ritual with Heather Shoopman ~ 2nd SATURDAY OF THE MONTH (4:30pm-5:45pm)
Join us on the 2nd Saturday of each month for an afternoon of learning and turning!
Drills in tribal basics + moves and combos reviewed along with origins & variations + group practice + slow, fast & zills!
Your facilitator, Heather Shoopman, has studied (in order of most to least) American Tribal Style® + Hot Pot + Gypsy Caravan and Black Sheep SGI. Her troupe, Heavy Metal Tribal, created a vocabulary inspired by these formats + their own experience in cabaret style bellydance + other tribal groups + square dance + various other quirkiness. Whether you are new to bellydance, new to group improvisation or an experienced tribal dancer looking for practice this will be valuable and most importantly, fun! Tribal Ritual is a sisterhood. We like to hang out and check in with each other for the first bit of class as we warm up. We sometimes get together outside of class for field trips, rehearsals or to perform. Some classes we stay after and watch videos. You are welcome to drop in and visit or decide to dive deeper with this awesome group of ladies.
Turns and Traveling for Bellydance with Sabah ~ SUNDAYS (10:00am-11:00am)
Tips, Tricks, Drills and no spills! Learn the secrets of traveling and turning across the stage from the former Artistic Director of the Bellydance Superstars and professional Ballerina, Sabah! In this class, Sabah will begin with a gentle warm-up to prepare your body for dance. She will then lead you through conditioning exercises and drills that will help you connect with your body and execute turns and traveling steps with grace. We will then put our new technique into practice with across the floor and short combos.
Shimmy Shaabi Shake with Nasila ~ SUNDAYS (12:30pm-1:30pm) (12-1 on 3rd Sunday of the month)
Join DGLA Veteran teacher, Nasila, in this fun, energetic hybrid class! Nasila leads dancers on a warm up accompanied by LIVE percussion from our drum class, and practice shimmies and rhythm combos. The second half of the class heats up with non-stop street style bellydance.
Dancers have the option to take the first half-hour of Donovan’s Percussion class for an additional $5!
BEGINNING LEVEL CLASSES
FREE Intro to Bellydance Class ~ 3rd SUNDAY OF THE MONTH (1:00pm-2:00pm)
Curious about the art of Bellydance and always wanted to take a class? Join us at this introductory-level session and learn basic bellydance movements, dance to middle eastern music and learn about the different styles and teachers we offer at DanceGardenLA. Free for first-time students, space is limited, so advanced registration is recommended.
Beginner & Beyond Beginner Oriental Dance with Helena Vlahos ~ MONDAYS (6:30pm-7:30pm)
Build or refine a strong foundation in bellydance with legendary performer and generous teacher, Helena Vlahos! In Beginner classes, Helena will introduce you to the fundamental movements of Belly Dance. You will learn to dance with proper posture, technique, and execution. Classes will focus on hip & ribcage movements, arm movements, traveling steps, shimmies and belly rolls & flutters. Not only will you learn to Belly Dance, but you will also improve muscle awareness, physical strength, and the mind-body connection. You will start to learn to identify Middle Eastern music and rhythms as well.
Whether you have little to no experience or just want to polish and revisit foundation moves this is the perfect class for you! Don’t be shy, come join the fun!
Tribal 101 with Heather Shoopman ~ WEDNESDAYS (7:00pm-8:00pm)
Dive into the fundamental movements of tribal style bellydance. Dancers will gain an understanding of the basic vocabulary as well as its origins and evolution. Drills in slow moves and fast moves with finger cymbals will be practiced. Awesome for the tribal curious and great work to supplement the monthly Tribal Ritual class.
Learn to Belly Dance with Laura Leyl ~ THURSDAYS (6:30pm-7:30pm) & SATURDAYS (12:30pm-1:30pm)
Join Laura for a fun, body-positive, and empowering introduction to the beautiful art of belly dance. Learn basic hip and chest isolations, arm positions, and traveling steps, and we will put them all together to be dancing in no time. Low impact and highly enjoyable, you will also be introduced to Middle Eastern music and culture as we practice this unique style of dance.
Beginning Samba with Irani ~ THURSDAYS (7:30pm-8:30pm)
Learn the exciting and dynamic art of Samba dance with Brazilian native, Irani DaSilva. You will learn the basics in Samba technique, musicality, improvisation and choreography from a master instructor whose credits include Shakira, Janelle Monai, and Nelly.
INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL CLASSES
Intermediate & Advanced Oriental Dance with Helena Vlahos ~ MONDAYS (8:30pm-9:30pm)
Join Legendary dancer, Helena Vlahos in an exploration of advanced combinations incorporating veil, and finger cymbals. While working at a faster pace, students will learn to seamlessly layer movements with shimmies and fundamentals learned in Beginner classes and will dance to more complex Middle Eastern Music. Helena focuses on advanced performance skills, showmanship, improvisation, musicality, and group choreographies which lead to performance opportunities.
Intermediate & Advanced Bellydance with Fahtiem ~ TUESDAYS (8:30pm-9:30pm)
Join Bellydance Legend, Fahtiem, in this fun and challenging, non-stop class. We begin with a stretching and conditioning warm up to open our hips and torso for dance followed by traveling combos across the floor. Then Fahtiem leads dancers in challenging combinations spiced with juicy hipwork and expressive arm movements set to inspired music. Dancers will leave this class feeling exhilarated, strong, and in love with Middle Eastern Dance!
Intermediate/Advanced Samba with Irani ~ THURSDAYS (8:30pm-9:30pm)
Challenge yourself in this intermediate/advanced Samba class with Brazilian native, Irani DaSilva. You will learn the basics in Samba technique, musicality, improvisation and choreography from a master instructor whose credits include Shakira, Janelle Monai, and Nelly.
Mixed/Advanced Drills & Combinations with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (11:00am-12:00pm)
Join DeVilla in this intermediate to advanced level class with a focus on advanced drills, strength training, floor work, hip work, zills, props and combinations to help get you moving and performance ready. Get ready to shimmy!
Sekhment’s Garden Choreography & Rehearsal Class with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (12:00pm-12:30pm)
For dedicated student dancers and budding performers, join Devilla for this 30-minute add-on session as she develops choreography based on combos from her prior technique and Drills & Combos classes. Students are required to take at least 6 DGLA classes per month to participate. Whether you are wanting to explore dancing with group formations or ready to hit the stage with your troupe-mates, this class is for you.
AmCab Intermediate Choreography with Laura Leyl ~ SATURDAYS (1:30pm-2:30pm)
Learn dynamic choreography that incorporates the five parts of the classic American Cabaret routine. Discover basic Arabic and Turkish rhythms and learn how to play finger cymbals (zills/sagat). Float across the stage with a dreamy, lyrical veil moves. Gain core strength and flexibility with floor work. Shimmy your way through a sassy drum solo, and experience a vivacious 9/8 Turkish finale. This class is oriented toward performance, with several opportunities available throughout the year.
Intermediate/Advanced Bellydance Choreography with Kamala Almanzar ~ SUNDAYS (11:00am-12:00pm)
Join this fun and exciting choreography class with one of bellydance’s most innovative choreographers. Kamala's famous choreographies are developed over several weeks in class, where students are also taught advanced level technique and movements within the context of the choreography. This intermediate/advanced class is for students with dance experience. Past choreographies include Oriental, Shaabi, Raqs Assaya, Drum Solo, and Fusion. Students are invited to perform in events throughout the year.
Arabic Percussion with Donavon ~ SUNDAYS (12:00pm-1:00pm) (Except for 3rd Sunday of the month)
Come have fun and play the Doumbek (Arabic goblet drum), riqq (Arabic ’tambourine’), tar (frame drum), and segat (finger cymbals/zills)!
In this class, you will learn the foundations of Arabic and North African percussion including:
Rhythms used, plus their names and structures.
Advanced variations on the standard rhythms
Structure of a drum solo
Playing with music, for dancers and for dancing with drum
The various techniques, fingering and playing styles used (Arabic classical, Arabic Pop and Turkish)
Exercises for flexibility, dexterity, and speed
Classes are open to beginners, advanced players, dancers & fans and class structure is designed to lead you through many levels of learning. For absolute beginners, it is suggested to take a private or come to the 1st class each month. Bring your own drum, or borrow one of ours with advanced notices.
Intro to Arabic Percussion with Donavon ~ 3rd SUNDAY OF THE MONTH (4:45pm-5:45pm)
Monthly Rotation, check class schedule for exact date.
Bring your frame drum, dumbek, or just your hands (we will provide the drum) and get an introductory lesson in Arabic Percussion.
Learn the various tones you can create and begin to play basic 2 and 4 beat rhythms.
Intermediate / Advanced Arabic Percussion with Donavon ~ 3rd SUNDAY OF THE MONTH (4:45pm-5:45pm)
Monthly Rotation, check class schedule for exact date.
For the experienced percussionist, learn advanced technique, complex rhythms and soloing patterns on dumbek, frame drum, and/or zills.
Community Drum Circle with Donavon ~ 3rd SUNDAY OF THE MONTH (4:45pm-5:45pm)
Monthly Rotation, check class schedule for exact date.
Bring your favorite percussion instrument or just your hands and get ready to party! Donavon leads the group on a rhythmic journey as we get deep into grooves and find our voices in the drum.