What You Need for Class

When you come to class, be sure to bring:

Clothing you can move in

Don’t wear anything tight or restrictive (like jeans) or baggy (like over-sized tee shirts or loose sweat pants).   In order to correct you, I need to be able to see the lines of your body and the placement of your feet and knees.

Most people wear workout clothes:  yoga pants, fitted tee shirts, tank tops, etc.   You’re welcome to wear a choli (crop top), but bare midriffs are optional.

Here’s a good example:

Class Photo

Dance Shoes or Clean Bare Feet

You can take class barefoot, or you can wear dance shoes.  Ballet slippers, half-soles, modern dance shoes, ghillies, or hermes sandals are fine. Dance sneakers are also fine as long as they have a “spin spot”.

Please do not wear anything with a heel, or wear street shoes (sneakers, etc.) in the studio.


The studio does not have a water fountain.  The studio owner often provides a jug of water and cups, but they may not be available every week.   Be sure to bring some water to drink, or a cup that you can refill at the sink.

Finger Cymbals

We will play finger cymbals (“zils”) in every semester, so bring these to class every week.

It’s important that you buy high-quality zils that are sized and weighted for students, and have two slots for the elastic (not one hole).

My favorite models are: Saroyan Nefertiti, Saroyan Small Grecian, Saroyan Contemporary in Light Gauge, and Turquoise Size A. I have a limited number of Turquoise Size As in stock. If you’d like a set, see me in class.

DO NOT BUY CHEAP ZILS – you can’t learn to play properly on cymbals that don’t have a good sound. Zils with one hole (instead of two slots) are extremely hard to control.

Something to Tie Around Your Hips

(Optional, but highly recommended)

I highly recommend bringing a coin hip scarf or fringed shawl to tie around your hips.  (You can see a few styles in the photo above.)  It will help you feel the movements, but more importantly, it will help me see your hips more clearly so I can correct you better.

I’ll have some coin scarves available for sale in class for $15, but feel free to shop elsewhere.   Thrift shops and the accessories section of clothing stores often have fringed scarves that work really well.  If you know how to sew, you can also make your own fringed scarf out of a triangular shawl and chainette fringe.

A Notebook and Pencil

(optional, but recommended)

So you can take notes about what we learned, homework, etc.  You can take notes on the back of an envelope if you forget, but I recommend keeping a dedicated dance journal.  It makes review easier, and also keeps a record of your progress.

Level 2 and 3 Students Will Also Need:

A Veil – Level 3 always, Level 2 sometimes

Level 3 students should bring a veil to class every week. Level 2 students will use veils only in some semesters.

Please choose a three yard rectangular with no trim. I recommend silk, but lightweight polyester chiffon is fine if you already have one.

I will have undyed (luminous white) silk veils for sale in class. You can use them as they are, or dye them if you prefer a colored or patterned veil.

You’re welcome to shop on your own, but be sure to follow the guidelines above. Do not buy a semi-circular veil, or a veil with trim on the edges. These can be very nice, but require different technique.

Taller dancers with a larger “wingspan” may choose a 3.5 or 4-yard veil, but these tend to be overwhelming for average-height and petite dancers.

If you need advice on what to buy, please contact me.

A Dance Cane – some semesters

In some semesters, we will work on Saidi, an Egyptian folkloric style danced with a cane (assaya).

I will often place a group order, but if you prefer to shop on your own, be sure to buy a lightweight foil-wrapped cane. There are other models available (wooden or bamboo canes, canes decorated with sequins, etc.), but these are usually too heavy when you’re learning. Dahlal.com and BellyDance.com are good sources.

Alternatively, you can create a perfectly good practice cane out of a hardware store dowel. Buy a 3/4″ diameter wooden dowel (1/2″ is okay too), and cut it down to about the height of your hipbone. Sand the cut ends. You may also want to sand the rest for comfort.

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