Mosaique Center for Cultural Arts

Belly Dance and Persian Dance in Sterling, VA

International Certification

Middle Eastern Dance, Music, and Cultural Studies Certification Program

1277961_759183690765839_497282273_oMosaique offers certification of dance studies through the CID, International Dance Council. Candidates must complete the training and curriculum requirements and become a member of the CID and renew annually ($80/year) to earn certification of each level, which validates your training and accomplishments. Students may choose Oriental or Persian concentration.

Level 1, Foundations and Experiences of the Dance, Music & Culture

Students become familiar with the fundamental movements and concepts of Middle Eastern dance forms as a performing art. Regional and performance styles including Egyptian Raqs Sharki (Oriental), Persian Classical as well as a variety of folkloric and social traditions provide the foundation of the movement vocabulary and aesthetic concepts.

Students are expected to become more proficient and confident in the basic movements and steps throughout the year.

Students are encouraged to attend student and professional performances in the community and network with other dancers.

While polishing technique and gaining a more detailed understanding of aesthetics, concepts such as music interpretation, cultural authenticity and performance dynamics are emphasized with increasing attention to detail.

Requirements: 150 training hours

  • Execute basic mechanics of proper form and technique with a focus on aesthetics as well as safety
  • Identify 3 to 5 common dance rhythms and/or dance styles and choose appropriate movements or combinations to interpret them
  • Perform a short sequence of combinations to a specific piece of music
  • Combine basic movements with smooth transitions to create combinations
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the basic movement vocabulary of Middle Eastern dance styles
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the basic concepts of popular props, primarily finger cymbals, veil and cane
  • Independently explore a variety of regional and performance styles
  • Utilize the appropriate vocabulary to identify and describe a variety of Middle Eastern dance styles, their origins/geographic locations, and cultural contexts
  • Perform a short dance sequence in front of an audience
Level 2, Expression and Artistry in the Dance, Music & Culture (Intermediate)
  • Identify the differences between inspired or interpretive belly dance and authentic cultural styles
  • Perform movements and combinations with increased accuracy and confidence

Students continue to polish, refine and expand their movement vocabulary and combinations of Middle Eastern dance styles. Musicality and interpretation, cultural information and performance dynamics are an integral component.

Students are expected to perform choreographed sequences that entail more subtlety and detailed cultural expression.

Students are expected to explore and practice dance improvisation as well as creating choreography.

There is a stronger emphasis on music as well as cultural and geographic literacy. With emphasis on honoring the cultural roots, students are encouraged to be innovative and creative within the cultural forms.

Students are expected to note differences and similarities in authentic regional styles of dance, music and costuming and explore cross-cultural influences.

Students will explore many topics and themes related to technique and stylistic variations. In addition, students will practice dance concepts from a variety of musical traditions and forms, such as taqasim, classic Egyptian songs, classical Persian, and folkloric flavors such as baladi, saidi, khaleejy and bandari.

Students are encouraged to begin specializing in a prop, instrument, musical form or style of dance.

Requirements: 150 training hours

  • Perform a variety of movements and combinations with Middle Eastern styling and aesthetics
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Middle Eastern music and rhythms, geographic locations, and corresponding costume styles
  • Independently explore, research and reflect on a variety of regional and performance styles
  • Create combinations and variations for music from at least two different regional forms
  • Apply knowledge of musical forms, rhythms and regional styles to expand repertoire of choreography and improvisational skills
  • Expand and embellish basic movement vocabulary with accents, basic layering, level changes, more dynamic combinations and smooth transitions
  • Demonstrate proficient skills in finger cymbal techniques, and use of props such as veil and cane
  • Generate ideas for independent works while exploring a variety of classical/Oriental, folkloric and fusion dance styles
  • Create sophisticated choreography and improvisational dances, and perform with artistry, showmanship, and musicality
  • Engage in intelligent discussions regarding style, artistry and cultural contexts as they relate to the dance, music and culture
  • Utilize the appropriate vocabulary to research and write about a diverse repertoire of stylistic and ethnic dance forms
  • Demonstrate ability to critique the performances of others and articulate clear responses to questions which may help others improve
  • Realize a vision of own dance style and persona and strive to fulfill it on a professional level
Level 3, Professionalism in the Dance, Music & Culture

Choose Performance or Teaching option. For Teacher-Training and Certification, visit


Students gain the confidence and ability to successfully pursue and practice their craft on a professional level when they are ready.

Students continue to polish and develop their technique while exploring dynamic combinations and more sophisticated choreography. They will further develop their performance skills and build a varied repertoire by participating in shows. As professional-level performers, they will be expected to vary and modify their performances to suit a variety of venues and audiences.

Students will explore the business side of the arts and entertainment industry with emphasis on local standards and practices. They will also research and explore opportunities they would like to pursue.

Requirements: 150 training hours

  • Demonstrate excellence and expertise in one or more areas, which may include props, instruments, musical forms or a specific style of dance
  • Promote Middle Eastern dance as a sophisticated art form to the general community
  • Project an image of self and colleagues as respected professionals and artists
  • Apply standards of good business practices when providing performance and consultation services to the public
  • Utilize the appropriate vocabulary, manners and customs to communicate with musicians and clients regarding the details of an event or performance toward mutual benefit and success
Teacher Certification (Link to external website)
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