An Extraordinary Community of Women with a Rich History
Reviews for Belly Dance! Studio
"Excellent class for both beginners and mid-levels! Detailed breakdown, easy to follow. Mid-levels can drill on particular moves at a slower pace. We also danced with a drum solo with all the moves learned today. "
"I have been here twice and both classes were taught by Tabitha. I used to take belly dance classes for a while back in NYC and always enjoyed its movement, sexiness and fun. I am so glad to find this studio close to my house and offers such fun and neighborhood based feel. All the girls here seem to have been long time members.
I had a lot of fun and Tabitha broke it down so all levels can enjoy the workout and the movement easily. I would love to come back to take more classes. It is always nice to feel sexy and work out at the same time!"
"The best studio in the east bay! Amazing instructors, very welcoming environment and fun classes"
"I've been going to Tabitha's class on Wednesday nights for a few months now. I like this studio, and I love the class. Price per class seems very reasonable. Teacher Tabitha is always encouraging, never singles anyone out, and simply makes me feel GOOD about dancing. I am a shy dancer, but this class is making me more confident about moving my body. Belly Dance! is giving me a wonderful dance tool-kit, and making my dance more joyful. Thanks!"
Belly Dance! Studio in Walnut Creek has been in existence for over 40 years. Originally owned and started by Sula Frick, then passed on to Leea in 1978. Today, the studio is run by Tabitha who is a professional dancer and also a lifetime student of the art of belly dancing. At the studio, there is a whole team of wonderful instructors who teach a variety of levels and styles. We encourage you to try as many as you can. Many of our students take multiple classes a week.
Our mission for the studio is to offer quality and diverse classes at an affordable price. Dance is a privilege and we know that women in other parts of the world do not always have this privilege. So we aim to make the studio accessible for all which includes scholarships for those who may need the financial aid. Please ask if this is something you are interested in. We are also aware that "Belly Dance" is an umbrella term for a dance that is very complicated in the Middle East and beyond. In this space we encourage you to express dance however you want while remaining respectful and aware of its roots in the Middle East, North Africa, Greece and Turkey.
Our classes are for all levels of dancers, and all bodies! If you are curious about belly dance, some of the benefits include exercise, emotional and spiritual wellness, cultural awareness, self expression, creativity and costuming. It is a great way to take time for yourself and join a welcoming community of women. If you already have dance experience and are looking for performance venues, troupe dancing opportunities, and instruction that will polish the experienced dancer, we have classes ranging in all levels of technique and performance preparation. Whether you want to get fit in one of our Bellydance! Fitness classes, or take a technique class in this beautiful art form, this is the place for you.
We currently offer classes 7 days a week with three different instructors. Please click the CLASSES link above to learn more.
What is Belly Dance?
"Belly Dance" is a term used to describe a style of dance used for joy and entertainment that originated in the MENHAT (Middle East, North Africa, Hellas Greece, and Turkey) and is now performed and enjoyed all over the world. Other names such as Raks Sharki and Danse Orientale translate to dance of the east, insinuating the mystic and exotic. And while popular costuming may be very revealing, and our perception may be very narrow on what this dance is, in fact, YES, this dance is for everyone! This dance is performed socially by women, men and children. There are many folkloric dances that have conservative and beautiful costuming, and these folkloric dances are the heart of modern day belly dance.
Belly Dancing in America, specifically in the Bay Area, has a unique history. While Egypt is seen today as the epicenter of modern day belly dancing, the first immigrants to come to the Bay Area and teach were very diverse is nationalities (mainly Romani, Turkish and Armenian to name a few) which shaped a new style of belly dance being performed by westerners known today as American Cabaret. The Cabaret routine (consisting of a fast opening with finger cymbals, a slow veil routine, another fast routine with cymbals, a sword balancing act, and either a drum solo finale or a very fast Turkish Karishlama) was a standard for performers from the 50's on, and is still alive today!
Belly Dance! Studio was one of the first studios established in the Bay Area, and the memorabilia and pictures in the studio can transport you to another place and time. To Learn more about the history of our studio, follow the link below.
Belly Dance Class FAQ
-Am I too _____ to belly dance?
No! Belly dancing is an art for all bodies and abilities, it is a dance that encourages healthy body image and femininity.
-What do I wear to class? Do I have to show my belly?
Please wear clothes that are comfortable to dance in and where the instructor can see your knees and feet. That is the only requirement. Showing your belly is optional but can also help build self esteem. A hip scarf is also encouraged.
-When and where are the performance opportunities?
We offer two types of performance opportunities. For beginning students, we have a “Community Service”, which is where students of the Belly Dance! studio perform at assisted living centers. This is a great way to practice what you’ve learned in class and also a way to make some people very happy! The other performance opportunity is called “Student Night”, which is held quarterly. These are usually held at the El Morocco Restaurant in Pleasant Hill and are either to your own recorded music or to a live Arabic band. Please inquire at the studio or contact us for more info.
-Do I have to perform?
Though we will always encourage students to perform, and offer monthly performance opportunities, it is never a requirement.
-Are there belly dancing troupe opportunities?
Yes! We have professional and student troupes. We will also be putting a choreography class on our schedule soon!
-Is Belly Dance appropriate for children?
The answer is yes. While the costuming many professional belly dancers wear may be very revealing, this is not what children wear. This dance is for joy and entertainment, and recreation and the costuming is up to the individual.
-I'm ready to take class! But which class is right for me?
The full class descriptions are on the Classes page, but there are some differences in the beginning levels. Lailas class on Tuesdays is ideal for the very, very beginner, or dancers who prefer a lower impact and gentle dance class. The Saturdays and Wednesday beginning classes are mixed level, and all are welcome. The Monday and Thursday intermediate classes have advanced finger cymbals or advanced technique so it is best to contact us before dropping in to see if this class is right for you.
Check out Tabatha performing while pregnant!
Tabithas Daughter Belly Dancing at her Talent Show