Next week (April 3, 2012) we won’t be holding our usual Thursday night classes, Belly Dance Boot Camp and Belly Dance Party Jam. We’ll miss you gals, but we have a good reason!

We won’t be holding classes that night because Jules and I are going to be spending the evening driving down to Fort Pierce for a 3 day level 1 intensive with Suhaila Salimpour! At the end of a gruelling 15 hours of training (and at least 1 nice party!), we’re also both planning to test for level 1 certification.

Being so far from Suhaila’s home studio in California, we’ve been studying with her online classes. (If you think you might be interested in learning more about those, you can check them out at

The way in which we teach belly dance technique at our studio here in Gainesville is heavily inspired by Suhaila Salimpour’s format, so pursuing further study and certification in her format makes sense for us. Our philosophy is that cultivating strong underlying dance technique is very important in any dance form, for a few reasons. Strong technique provides a dancer with a solid vocabulary of individual movements, an understanding of the body mechanics to execute them, and a framework to learn new movements. Once this vocabulary and skill set is established, a dancer will hopefully find it easier than they otherwise would to learn new dance material – whether that be in the form of specific movements, dance stylizations, or choreography and combinations.

The skill of being well-equipped to learn new things is valuable in many fields, and I think that dance is no different. This is important to us because we are fusion dancers, and strive to have the broadest movement vocabulary possible, drawing from many different styles of dance, in order to interpret and express the music to our audience.

To learn more about Suhaila Salimpour, check out her website ( and her blog (

Hope to see you on the dance floor!