Home page linkCassandra School class page link.About Cassandra linkAbout Jawaahir Dance Company linkComing events calendarComing eventsAbout Middle Eastern Dance linkSpace Rental linkThe souk linkContact us link
The Cassandra School of Belly Dance masthead image.
Cassandra School class schedule button. Cassandra School class registration button. Cassandra School class locations button. Cassandra School class teacher's biographies button. Cassandra School class FAQs

 

 

The Cassandra School Classes FAQs

Melanie teaching level 1 class photo.
Melanie's Level 1 class

Cassandra teaching Technique Intensive class photo.
Technique Intensive class photo Jan Geisen

 

FAQ Contents

 

What is Belly Dance?
Is it a good workout?
What if I am not a dancer?
What if I am a dancer, do I need to take Level 1?
Am I too old/young to learn?
Will there be other women my size in the class?
I have an injury; can I still take the class?
What is a class like?
How long are the classes?
What do I wear?
Do I need shoes?
Do I need a hip scarf?
Do I need finger cymbals?
Do I have to wear a costume for class?

Do I have to perform?
Do we learn a choreography in class?
Do I take each level for one session?
Can I take more than one class per week?
What is the difference between Fundamentals
      and Level 1?
When can I start?
What if I missed the first three weeks but
      want to start now?
How much does it cost?
What if I pay for a session and miss a class
?
How do I register?
What if I don't like my teacher?
How do I find out if my class is cancelled?
What if I have more questions?

     
     
 

What is Belly Dance?

Belly Dance is a term for a beautiful feminine dance form from the Middle East. Its movements are thousands of years old and are based on traditional folk dances. Belly dance differs from Western dance forms by emphasizing the torso and using isolations to express the rhythmic and emotional qualities of Arabic music. Traditionally, it is an improvised solo dance — a dancer’s personal interpretation of the music. Attend Jawaahir’s performances and you will get a better feel of what the dance is about and its roots!

Is it a good workout?

Yes! The dance is a great total body workout that builds strength, is easy on your joints, and increases your flexibility. Belly dance is also a great emotional release because it is fun and creative!

What if I am not a dancer?

Our Fundamentals and Level 1 classes are geared for non-dancers. You will learn basic movements and then build upon them.

What if I am a dancer, do I need to take Level 1?

Yes. You may progress more quickly than a non-dancer, but you need to learn the basics, as they are the building blocks for more advanced technique. Again, belly dance uses the body in very different ways than other dance forms. You will also need to learn how to play finger cymbals.

Am I too old/young to learn?

Too old? Never! Our classes are filled with women of all ages, mostly 20s to 70s, and we do accept girls as young as 13. Classes are geared toward the adult learner, so girls younger than 13, due to shorter attention spans, must be accompanied by an adult.

Will there be other women my size in the class?

Yes, there will be women of all sizes in the classes. The beauty of this dance form is that it makes you feel wonderful in your own body, no matter its size or shape.

I have an injury; can I still take the class?

This depends on the type of injury and your doctor’s advice. Speak with your teacher about past injuries or body weaknesses so that she can give you alternative exercises or movements if necessary. Mostly you need to learn the difference between good and bad pain so that you don’t aggravate the condition. Some conditions can actually be improved through proper exercise. For example, lower back problems may be lessened by strengthening your abdominals. Learn to listen to and respect your body.

What is a class like?

The classes start with warm-up and conditioning exercises to help you prepare for the movements you will learn. Level 1 and above classes continue with instruction in dance movements mixed with finger cymbal instruction. The class closes with stretching and cool-down exercises. All of this is done to an array of fun Arabic musical selections.

How long are the classes?

The Cassandra School offers year-round classes in 10 week sessions. Beginner and Level 2 classes are 90 minutes long. Levels 3-5 and some special classes are 2 hours long.

What do I wear?

Wear workout or dance wear, something comfortable to move in that you don’t mind sweating into! See photo.

Do I need shoes?

We dance barefoot, so you don’t need special footwear. Some students do wear dance slippers or sandals, but that is a personal choice.

Do I need a hip scarf?

You are welcome to bring or purchase a hip scarf to accentuate the movements, but it isn’t necessary. We do have some hip scarves available for purchase should you develop a craving we call bead lust, the strong desire for something sparkly!

Do I need finger cymbals?

We teach all students how to play finger cymbals, or zils, starting at our beginner level and continuing through all levels. The Cassandra School does provide zils you can use during our beginner classes. We sell them and encourage you to purchase your own so that you can practice on your own.

Do I have to wear a costume for class?

No. This is a good workout — it would be too hard on the fine fabrics of a costume.

Do I have to perform?

No. As you develop as a student you may choose to perform or not. Many students take classes just for their own pleasure. If you do wish to develop performance skills, there will be student opportunities that your teacher will let you know about. Whether you wish to perform or not, attending performances is very educational.

Do we learn a choreography in class?

This will depend on the teacher. Traditionally the dance was and still is improvised, so a choreography or dance combinations are only tools to help you learn how the dance works with the music. The fun creative part comes when you learn to dance your own dance, as you feel it!

Do I take each level for one session?

Like most dance schools programs, students remain at a level for about a year before moving to the next level. So usually a beginner student has studied for 0-1 years, Level 2 for 1-2 years, Level 3 for 2-4 years, etc. There is a lot of material to learn and master at each level which the next level will build upon. All this depends on your ability and, oh yes, how much you practice. Your teacher is your best guide and will tell you when you have mastered a level and are ready for the next.

Can I take more than one class per week?

Of course, and it will help you learn faster!

What's the difference between Fundamentals and Level 1?

As a brand new student, you can start with either class. Both the classes start at the same place, but Fundamentals moves just a little bit faster because you're not playing finger cymbals. Taking Fundamentals first just gives you a little head start on the regular Level 1 classes.

Most of our students stay in Level 1 for about a year. At the end of the 10 weeks of Level 1 you're much farther along than at the end of the 5 weeks of Fundamentals.

When can I start?

Beginning dancers can join a Fundamentals class at any time.

If you choose not to take Fundamentals, we recommend beginning dancers start Level 1 within the first 3 weeks of a session because the class is progressive. We want you to have fun and not get frustrated by not understanding the movements and isolations, and zil patterns, that have been taught and are being built upon.

What if I missed the first three weeks but want to start now?

If you can’t wait for the next session, call the office to see whether we have an opportunity for you to join a class already in session. No guarantees, but we’ll try to accommodate your enthusiasm.

How much does it cost?

All 90 minute classes are $16 per class or $140 for the 10 week session. All two hour classes are $18 per class or $160 for the 10 week session.

What if I pay for a session and miss a class?

We do not carry over missed classes from one session to the next. If you pay for a session you must make up missed classes during the session. If you are in Level 1 you may attend any other Level 1 class by simply showing up and telling the instructor you are doing a make-up. Students in Level 2 and above may attend any class at their level or a level close to their level.

How do I register?

There are three ways to register for class:

  • Register online through PayPal here.
  • Register by mail using the registration form on the class flyer you received.
    (If you didn’t receive one, give us a call at 612-872-6050 and we’ll send you one.)
  • Register at your first class. We accept cash, check (written in blue or black ink), and Visa or Master Card.

What if I don't like my teacher?

Every teacher has a different style, and we completely understand if your teacher is not right for you. If that happens, feel free to switch to a different class.

How do I find out if my class is cancelled?

Classes are occasionally cancelled when blizzard conditions make it unsafe to move around town. The decision to cancel classes is made at 3:30pm weekdays and 11:00am Saturday.

There are three ways to find out if classes are cancelled; phone, website, and email reminder.

  • Phone Jawaahir at 612-872-6050 after 3:30pm weekdays/11am Saturday and ask, or if you get the recording, select option 1, and listen for a cancellation message.
  • Website, Calendar, and look at the entry for your class. If class is cancelled, we will add CLASS CANCELLED to the class title for that day. This will be added after 3:30pm weekdays/11am Sat.
  • Email reminder: Go to Calendar, double click on your class to open the details window, and in the upper right corner select Reminder. Put in your email address and CalendarWiz will automatically send you an email reminder every time your class meets. If class is cancelled, the class title will include CLASS CANCELLED. Be sure and set the reminder time to be after 3:30pm for weekday classes and 11am for Saturday classes. (Note from web maven: The reminder email is still being tested. Suggest you set up reminder a week or two in advance to be sure it works. You should get a reminder prior to every class meeting until you cancel. Email jawaahirweb@charter.net if you have any problems.)

What if I have more questions?

We'd be happy to answer them. Just give us a call at 612-872-6050.




Jawaahir Dance Company & The Cassandra School - 3010 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406    612-872-6050    | Contact Us |