The guidelines below are specific to the program goals of our curriculum. The program takes into consideration individuals with different needs, limitations, goals and self-expectations. The length of time in each level is an approximate based on many teachers’ observations and experiences and is merely to give you an idea how long it may take to integrate the specific physical and mental skills in your dance as performing art. Therefore, one should measure his or her skill level based on the actual skills and knowledge acquired rather than the length of time spent in a class.
A beginner dancer (0 – 1 year experience) is discovering a variety of styles and cultures associated with Oriental dance. The beginner dancer seeks more experience, reinforcement and repetition in order to master the foundation material in the beginner syllabus including:
- Mechanics of proper form and technique with a focus on aesthetics as well as safety.
- Fundamental movement vocabulary of Middle Eastern dance styles
- Basic finger cymbal skills and basic veil maneuvers
- Movement combinations and transitions in beginner choreography
- Discovery of a variety of dance styles and cultures associated with Middle Eastern (Oriental) dance.
An intermediate dancer (Minimum 6 mos. – 1+ years progressive experience) has mastered the fundamental movement vocabulary of Middle Eastern dance styles and has integrated basic finger cymbal patterns with some step combinations. It is not uncommon for dancers to remain at this level for many years. There is a vast amount and variety of information that is accessible at this level and necessary to advance. An intermediate dancer is aware of and is exploring a variety of dance styles and concepts within the movement vocabulary of Middle Eastern/North African dance, including:
- Solid understanding of the foundational movement vocabulary found in a variety of Middle Eastern dance styles as they are practiced today in their countries of origin as well as abroad.
- Continues to polish and refine movement vocabulary and combinations
- Expands and embellishes basic movement vocabulary with accents, basic layering, level changes, dynamic combinations, and generates ideas for independent works
- Is aware of and explores a variety of Oriental, Folkloric and Fusion dance styles
- Working knowledge of Arabic Music and rhythms, origins/purpose, corresponding movements and finger cymbal techniques.
- Willing to expand repertoire of choreography and improvisational skills
An advanced dancer (Average 5+ years intensive progressive experience) has discovered a vision of her own dance style which she strives to fulfill; has developed a critical eye for detail in her own performance as well as others’; recognizes, anticipates and appreciates that the study of the dance is never complete. An advanced dancer who aspires to dance professionally must be knowledgeable of professional standards and ethics of the dance community.
- Polished and mastered fundamental movement vocabulary including use of veil and finger cymbals
- Expands and embellishes movement vocabulary with accents, complex layering, level changes, dynamic combinations and creates variations
- Applies and modifies class material independently to perform as a soloist with artistry, showmanship, and musicality
- Possesses a solid understanding of Middle Eastern music and rhythms, origins/purpose, corresponding movements and finger cymbal techniques
- Continually seeks technical sophistication and precision
- Explores and studies a diverse repertoire of stylistic and ethnic dance forms
- Creates sophisticated choreography and improvisational dances