About Our Classes
At DanceGardenLA we offer a variety of classes styles and levels in Bellydance, Tribal Fusion, Samba, Bollywood and more...
BEGINNING LEVEL CLASSES
Intro to Bellydance with Lauren (FREE to first-time students) ~ TUESDAYS (7:30pm-8:30pm)
Have you ever wanted to learn the art of bellydance? Join DGLA Co-Owner, Lauren Boldt, for this introductory-level class where we will discuss bellydance posture, basic movements, isolations, musicality, and basic combos. The first class is free for all new DGLA students.
Beginning Tribal Fusion with Sherri Wheatley ~ WEDNESDAYS (7:30pm-8:30pm)
Tribal/Transnational Fusion Fundamentals. Learn the foundational technique for this modern style of bellydance (or as some now refer to it as just: dance form). We focus on conditioning the muscles to be able to develop strength and flexibility always mindful of preexisting injuries or with the intention of remaining injury-free. We will also focus on developing a basic vocabulary of movement, breaking it down in a clear and concise way, and then spending some time drilling, building muscle memory, and connecting to our bodies and musicality. This class will also be incorporating simple zill work in each class—primarily triplets (galloping zills) as we get up to speed layering finger cymbals over movement. This class will also serve as an introduction to developing one’s own stage presence and unique “performance fingerprint.”
Back to Basics with Fahtiem ~ THURSDAYS (6:25pm-7:25pm)
A class for new and old. Exploring why we love belly dance-with technique and combos.
Bellydance Basics with Devilla ~ SATURDAYS (9:00am-10:00am)
In this class, you will learn the fundamentals of the beautiful and sensual art of Bellydance. With a focus on the essentials of body awareness, proper posture and solid technique DeVilla will guide you through all the serpentine figure 8's, circular movements, and graceful traveling steps to get you started and have you dancing on day one! High energy and loads of fun!
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.
Ballet for Any Body with Sabah ~ TUESDAYS (5:20pm-6:20pm)
Before Sabah fell in love with belly dance, her training and career was in the ballet world. Although she experienced many teachers both locally, nationally and abroad of particular methods such as Vaganova, Cecchetti, Balanchine and direct lineage from teachers such as Maria Tallchief, Wes Chapman and other principal dancers from American Ballet Theater, modern companies such as Momenta who focus on historical works of modern contemporaries such as Doris Humprey, and Chicago’s Multicultural Center (now home to Hiplet :) it is really the blend of styles to find what works best for any type of body - professional or hobbyist, that really caught Sabah’s attention.
This class focuses on the philosophy of adult ballet concepts but with an all encompassing approach. Whether you are new to ballet, have some experience or are a professional dancer, ballet can benefit your overall posture, balance, and flexibility plus add grace and refining qualities to your movement. With over 20 years of experience working with all levels of ballet from kids through beginner to advanced/professional adults, Sabah knows how to tailor each class to the needs and goals of her students and looks forward to sharing this with anybody interested.
Open Level Egyptian Style with Sabah ~ TUESDAYS (6:25pm-7:25pm)
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.
Pay What You Can - Bellydance Choreography with Lauren Boldt ~ WEDNESDAYS (5:20pm-6:20pm)
Join DGLA Co-Owner Lauren as she teaches a classic oriental choreography from Bellydance Evolution’s Alice In Wonderland. This is a four week session, and each week we will learn a new section of the choreography. Come to one, or come to all, this is a ‘pay what you can’ class. Suggested donation $5-$25
Organic Improvisation for Bellydance With Kamala Almanzar ~ WEDNESDAYS (6:25pm-7:25pm)
Improvisation is the most heartfelt, soulful form of Raks Sharki solo. It allows the dancer to be in the moment, expressing the music organically. But Improvisation can be daunting & intimidating. A dancer may feel vulnerable and not prepared to perform, but it is that vulnerability that can create a compelling performance that is uniquely you. A mistake can open the door to magic!
Drawing from years of experience onstage with live music, Kamala shares tips and techniques to give the dancer a framework to develop this skill.
During these challenging times, Kamala would like to invite students to feel like dancers again. She encourages you to wear a costume for this class. Directly after class she would like for you to record a short improvisational solo to post on social media, or to send to Kamala for positive constructive feedback. Here’s an opportunity to let out those pent up emotions with dance in its purest form!
The first class will concentrate on Baladi Progression. Kamala will send song titles for download prior to the class, as well as handouts.
Mixed Level Combos & Choreography with Nasila ~ THURSDAYS (5:20pm-6:20pm)
Nasila will lead dancers through a series of combinations each week, combining them into choreographies for use in solo or group performance. From Classic Raqs sharqi to modern street shaabi, fine-tune your musicality and add to your dance vocabulary while working on memory, technique, and connection to Arabic music & culture.
Yoga for Floorwork with Laura Leyl ~ THURSDAYS (6:25pm-7:25pm)
Are you intrigued by belly dance floorwork and don’t know where to begin? Do you want to rise to the athletic challenge that floorwork represents? Practice yoga sequences designed to prepare and strengthen your body for bellydance floorwork. Learn the correct muscle engagement to dance beautiful backbends, dramatic floor transitions, and luscious hip work. Receive the benefits of a regular yoga practice, including increased flexibility and stress reduction. Expect an intermediate level Vinyasa Flow class, modifications for beginners will be provided.
Bollywood with Smita ~ THURSDAYS (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!
Samba for Every Body with Irani ~ THURSDAYS (8:35pm-9:35pm)
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.
Mixed-Level Technique with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (10:05am-11:05am)
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.
Deep Dive: Bellydance Technique with Laura Leyl ~ SATURDAYS (12:50pm-1:50pm)
Join Laura Leyl, in this focused technique class.
Each month, Laura dives deep into a different topic. Explore the nuances of bellydance technique, as Laura provides customized warmups, cultural context, drills, and combinations. We are diving into anatomy during the month of May. Laura will highlight a different muscle group each week. Activate those muscles and bring your dancing to the next level!
May 9: Back - Dreamy arms!
May 16: Quads - Consistent shimmies!
May 23: Feet - Travel like a Queen!
May 30: Hamstrings - Powerful accents!
June 6: Glutes - Powerful accents!
June 13: Obliques - Precise hip work!
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 (10:05am-11:05am)
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.
Barre Fitness with Sabah ~ SUNDAYS (9:00am-10:00am)
Transitioning from a touring professional dancer to mother of two, Sabah branched out to study many styles of Barre Fitness. This type of workout is great for dancers as it combines dance movements, pilates concepts, yoga and strength training together for a well rounded workout. Barre Fitness focuses on high reps of small range movements to target and tone, and lengthen muscles for that “dancer’s body” look. Sabah began her training in the early 2000s with such methods as Floor Barre (Homer Bryant style), The Lotte Berk Method, Dailey Method, Barre Method, Cardio Barre and Full Circle Fitness and Social Club. She trained most extensively in the Dailey Method Certification as their anatomy and orthopedic focus was perfect to experience both before, during and after both pregnancies and beyond.
Shimmy Shaabi Shake with Nasila ~ SUNDAYS (12:45pm-1:45pm)
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 $10!
INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED LEVEL CLASSES
Intermediate/Advanced Oriental Dance with Helena Vlahos ~ MONDAYS (8:35pm-9:35pm)
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 (8:35pm-9:35pm)
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 Tribal Fusion with Sherri Wheatley ~ WEDNESDAYS (8:35pm-9:35pm)
One of the defining characteristics of Tribal/Transnational Fusion bellydance is the contrast between slow gooey movements and sharp contrasting percussive movements in the form of pops, locks, and tics. Often the sharp movements are used as “punctuation” at the end of a long, milked out sentence or to accent a hit in the music. As both paces of movement require an extreme amount of muscle control, this ongoing class will feature specific drills and technique training. We then move on to short combinations expanding on our drills to include level and space orientation changes as well as more advanced layering and short choreographies. As with all of Sherri’s more intermediate classes, we will also focus on the theatricality of movement and experimenting with breaks in the 4th wall as well as experimenting with stage presence and presence motivation. This class will also regularly feature simple zill work---primarily triplets and beledi, but at times more varied patterns as well.
Mixed/Advanced Drills & Combinations with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (11:10am-12:10pm)
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!
AmCab Intermediate Choreography with Laura Leyl ~ SATURDAYS (1:55pm-2:55pm)
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 (11:10am-12:10pm)
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 (12:15pm-1:15pm)
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.
Sekhment’s Garden Choreography & Rehearsal Class with DeVilla ~ SATURDAYS (12:15pm-12:45pm)
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.
This Rehearsal Class is done in a 6-week series and costs $60. VIP Members receive 25% off the cost. Check our schedule page for details.