But, I’m too fat/thin/young/old or unfit
You are never too old to start dancing! Dancers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. It’s common for classes to include young girls and women as old as 75, and of all fitness levels. Starting a new dance class is like starting any other program of physical activity: check with your doctor first and let the teacher know, especially if you have back and joint problems, are very overweight or unfit, or are pregnant.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement. Dance pants, gym pants, yoga pants or leggings are recommended for the bottom half so that the teacher can see what your legs and knees are doing. Avoid jeans and skirts. For the top half, t-shirts or singlets – you don’t have to bare your tummy!
Bare feet are fine, but bring along some socks, jiffies or ballet slippers for turns and for when it’s cold. Finally don’t forget to bring a bottle of water.
I’ve never danced a step in my life and I am so uncoordinated, can I do it?
Of course you can. Unlike ballet, belly dance movements are natural and not hard on your body. Most people feel that “life experience” actually makes a better belly dancer.
Our classes are structured so you learn at your own pace with people of the same skills levels. You’ll find dancing improves your co-ordination, posture, grace and flexibility.
Can I, or will I have to perform?
If you don’t want to perform, you will never be asked to. But if you want to perform, there are opportunities to do so at Hafla’s and other events. It’s a real treat to dress up and show your friends and family what you’ve learnt!
Do I have to show my belly?
No. Even when performing, many professional dancers keep their stomachs covered.
What if I (have to) miss a class?
Due to the course structure, we can not offer you an individual make-up class, nor credit for any missed classes. However, instructors go over the previous material at the beginning of each session as a refresher.
I want to learn faster! Are private classes available?
Yes, private classes can be arranged. They are a personalised way to speed up your learning, to address specific needs, or develop a choreography just for you. Rates for one student are $50 per hour (plus studio hire fees or travel charges where required). Classes can also be arranged for groups, such as hens’ parties and birthdays for adults and children.
What the Story with the Outfits? Do I Need A Special Costume
Costumes are often very elaborate with layer on layer of fabrics, jewellery, fringing, hair ornaments etc. At the other extreme, where the fusion has a strong contemporary influence, the costume can be simplified down to a sleek minimalist style. Costuming is derived from many “folkloric” and various traditional tribal costuming resources and is often composed of layers of large tiered skirts or 25 meter skirts, a short choli, over which a bra decorated with coins and textiles sits, a headdress or hair decorations, one or more hip scarves with yarn, tassels or fringe, and a heavy layering of antique looking silver jewellery. Dancers frequently “tattoo” their faces with kohl or kajal.
Dressing up his half the fun, but you do not need any special outfit for our classes. Outfits can be obtained later should you choose to perform with our group.