Ahlam Academy is the only program in the Houston area offering complete courses in Oriental Dance (belly dance) from beginner to professional dancer, and the only program that offers teacher training.
All our teachers are highly trained, friendly, and professional. Their sole mission is to help you grow as a dancer and individual in a truly supportive and positive environment.
We have all levels of classes at various times during the week, so our students are able to enjoy our classes when it’s most convenient for them.
If you wish to learn more traditional/authentic styles of Oriental Dance (belly dance) and related styles, we proudly focus on culturally-sourced dance forms from the countries/cultures of origin.
- Live classes with qualified instructors are always best! While videos can be a wonderful resource, nothing can replace a real teacher giving you specific guidance and feedback to help you truly master the art.
- Until you begin live classes, take our complimentary “Beginning Your Belly Dance Journey” online course.
A. No one knows its exact origin…Some say the Roma brought elements of the dance from India and others say it has roots in ancient religion or ritual practices. We have no historical evidence of the later. We know ancient cultures danced, but the few images we have, still do not explain “how” they danced. We do know that modern Egyptian belly dance grew from the dance style of Cairo’s street performers, known as the Ghawazee. Now, in the 21st century, we have “Raqs Sharqi” (The Dance of the East), what we know today as belly dance. Turkish belly dance also has roots in Egyptian dance. Turkish dance was undoubtedly influenced while the Ottoman Empire occupied Egypt. However, the Turkish style also has elements of Turkish Romani dance, rather than the African or Arab influenced Egyptian style.
We suggest you wear yoga (exercise) pants and a fitted t-shirt, but anything that you normally workout in will do. You may dance barefoot or wear some kind of dance slipper. No street/tennis shoes. You may also wear a hip scarf, though hip scarves are not required, they are a fun part of learning belly dance. We have some to borrow during class until you get your own.
Unfortunately in Houston, there isn’t one reliable source to buy authentic hip scarves that fit everyone. Harwin stores do have some but they are usually on the smaller side. We suggest that you buy online from an online belly dance specialty store or an online retailer like Amazon.
Be sure to look for any measurements and compare them to your own.
You can also take look here at our Amazon Shop.
Belly dance is a great way to burn calories, tone muscles, and gain flexibility. Unfortunately, it is physically impossible to spot reduce areas of fat on the body. The body loses fat from all over our body – never from one area alone. In order to lose that tummy, you will need to reduce fat all over the body, by eating high-quality natural foods, watching the size of your meal portions, and burning off excess fat stored in the body.
Well, it depends on you and how dedicated you are to learning and practicing the disciplines involved in this dance form. The more classes you take, the more you practice and learn, the greater your chances of growing quickly. Learning from experienced, knowledgeable teacher(s) with a clear, concise program, like Ahlam Academy, helps a great deal too.
Uhm, No…. Despite what Hollywood portrays, belly dance is not about seduction. Though the moves can be sensuous at times, they can also express all human emotions and expressions. Belly dance is traditionally a folk dance done by regular folks, just like you and me, at family events and on special occasions. It’s done simply to dance and have fun, but Hollywood seems to make everything about sex, and belly dance is no exception. If you want to learn to dance sexy for your partner, we recommend finding another dance/workout class that focuses on that purpose, since this is not the purpose of our classes.