AAMED Belly Dance Certification Program Descriptions

Belly Dance Program Group Classes

Beginner Belly Dance (Level 1)

This is where the fun begins! Learn all the essential techniques and rhythm-based combinations. Start learning about the music that births the movement.  Level 1 students will learn three types of dances in this class: a traditional Egyptian routine, a slow dance with a veil, and a drum solo. Basic finger cymbal strikes/patterns will also be covered in these classes.

The following requirements are covered in this class:

  • Belly Dance Essentials Series
  • Foundations of Rhythm Series
  • Classic Choreography
  • Veil Choreography
  • Drum Solo Choreography
  • Student Beginner Skills Assessment 1

Technique, Drills, and Zills (Levels 1-3)

This weekly class will introduce you to new techniques/steps and will take your technique to the next level. This is where we hone the basics, embellish, and layer all those great moves. Here we work on more complex finger cymbal patterns and practice dancing while playing at the same time. This a great multi-level class to keep your skills sharp!

The following requirements are covered in this class:

  • Student Beginner Skills Assessment 1
  • Student Intermediate Skills Assessment 2
  • Student Advanced Skills Assessment 3

Master Class (B) (Level 2-3)

At the heart of AAMED’s Level 2 & 3 curriculum, Master Class(es) covers 12 essential Middle Eastern dance topics, one each month. Each class may contain lectures, audio/visual demonstrations, technique breakdown, combinations, full choreography, or guided improvisation drills.

These classes are required by all enrolled AAMED participants to move through Levels 2 & 3.


Student Level 1 Certification

“Belly Dance Essentials” (Class Series)

Learn all of the AAMED Level 1 techniques in this 4-week series. This series covers posture, proper hand/arm positions, breathing, relaxation, upper body moves, lower body moves, basic shimmies, traveling steps, and basic finger cymbal strikes and patterns.

“Foundations of Rhythm” Series (Class Series)

Explore the intersection between music and movement with a series of 16 belly dance combinations based on popular MENAHT rhythms. Each lesson explores the cultural and historical significance, as well as stylization techniques, that will aid the dancer in establishing a firm foundation for understanding the cultural context of belly dance and related forms.

Dancing with Zills: Step-By-Step (Workshop)

Master the metal! This workshop takes the dancer step-by-step from simply playing the finger cymbals to dancing with finger cymbals with greater creativity, freedom, and ease. 

Musicality 101 for Belly Dancers (Workshop)

In this workshop, dancers learn how to listen to, analyze, and count belly dance music. These skills help dancers build a strong connection to the music they use for dance and will be an invaluable learning experience for those that wish to create their own choreography and become skilled improvisers.  

History & Geography of Egyptian Oriental Dance Workshop 

Take an educational journey with me, to mysterious lands and discover the origins and history of Egyptian Oriental dance. From ancient Egypt to modern Cairo, we will uncover the development of dance entertainment through time, unveiling the many influences, to reveal the important people and places that have shaped modern Egyptian Oriental dance today.

Dress for Success: Complete Belly Dance Costuming Workshop 

Know the ins and outs of belly dance costuming before you make a costume purchase or begin your own costume project. This workshop will discuss common costuming mistakes new dancers make, available costuming options, dressing for different dance styles, purchasing a costume that will fit you, costume alteration, caring for and storing your costumes, costume distractions, performance essentials, and much more.

Student Beginner Skills Assessment 1 (Exam)

In this exam, the student will be tested and graded on all beginner-level techniques, basic zill strikes, and simple zill patterns. Feedback will be provided, if necessary, to help you in any areas of needed improvement. Please visit the AAMED website to download a copy of the Level 1 assessment. Must have a grade of 75% or above to pass the exam.


Student Level 2 Certification

The Art & Business of Belly Dance Entertainment (Book) – Part 1

Learn the practical ins and outs of performing belly dance from creating your dance image to designing an entertaining belly dance performance set.

Master Class: Historical / Classical (Golden Era) Egyptian (Class Series)

Study the moods and movements of “Golden Era” classical Egyptian dancers that have inspired us for nearly a century. Classical Egyptian style is characterized as sweet, graceful, and flirty. We are going for a ride in the belly dance time machine and experiencing this pivotal period in our dance’s history when “baladi” first meets the casino stage and where we find western influence becoming a mainstay in Egyptian style.

Master Class: Raqs al Assaya / Saidi, (April) (Class Series)

Learn the Egyptian folkloric dance that has been adapted from Tahtib, a stick-wielding martial art, from the Said region of Upper Egypt. Raqs al Assaya, meaning “dance of the stick or cane”, is an earthy, lively style often accompanied by Saidi music playing the distinctive Saidi rhythm on large Tabl Beledi drums and high-pitched Mizmars.

Master Class: Advanced Drum Solo (Class Series)

Everyone loves the exciting drum solo! Learn to show off your hard-earned technique with a badass drum solo. Learn the elements of belly dance drum solos, as well as how to dance and improvise to them through drum loop drills and choreography.

Master Class: Advanced Veil / Slow (Class Series)

Float like a butterfly, as students learn the art of silk manipulation with beautiful veil work and slow dramatic body movement. This class will focus on veil technique, sensual movement, improvising within a flow, and choreography.

Choreography Project (Workshop/Project)

Create your own dynamic belly dance choreography! Whether you have done this before or you are creating your first, this class will offer you new ways to be creative. These semi-private classes run for six weeks. You will discover important aspects of creating creative choreographies from inception to completion. Learn how to listen to music to gain inspiration, stage dynamics, use of space and shape, and much more. All you need is an open mind, some time set aside to work on your choreography every week, and a song you want to use. Students may focus on making combinations or a full choreography.

Master Class: Turkish Oriental & Romani (Class Series)

Learn about Egyptian style’s sister from another mister. Turkish dance is known for its liveliness and sensuality, having roots in the Middle East, as well as a strong Romani tradition, giving this version of Oriental dance a unique flavor not found elsewhere. We will delve into Roma movement and see how it weaves into the Turkish dance tapestry.

Master Class: Regional Social Dances (Class Series)

Social Dances are circle dances from the MENAHT region with exciting steps, kicks, and hops. Commonly done at weddings and celebratory events, these dances embody the spirit of the people from the regions they originate. You will learn the basic – advanced steps, so you can join any circle dance confidently.

Student Intermediate Skills Assessment 2 (Exam)

In this exam, the student will be tested and graded on all intermediate techniques and zill patterns. Feedback will be provided, if necessary, to help you in any areas of needed improvement. Must have a grade of 75% or above to pass the exam.


Student Level 3 Certification

The Art & Business of Belly Dance Entertainment (Book) – Part 2

Take your performances to a professional quality level. Get all the pro tips and tricks for dancing in different types of venues. Learn how to customize for various audiences and types of gigs. Learn how to successfully market yourself as a professional performer and start getting paid for your passion. 

Rhythm Identification Course for Belly Dancers w/ Exam (Online Course)

This an online course with accompanying MP3s for you to listen to and learn to identify 20 of the most common rhythms used in Oriental dance music. The Rhythm Identification Course includes descriptions of each rhythm, as well as diagrams showing the structure of each rhythm. 

Master Class: Taqsim / Maqam (Class Series)

Become one with the music, as you listen to the oud soloist play their taqsim in a particular maqam. Taqsims are improvised melodic solos. A maqam is an Arabic musical mode, much like a scale in western music that gives a certain feeling when the listener hears it. Learn how to identify the most common maqamat and how to dance to taqsims.

Master Class: Baladi Progression (Class Series)

Baladi is the very soul of Egypt and nothing shows off the Egyptian spirit better than a baladi progression. Explore the structure of traditional baladi progression music. You will practice dancing to the different sections of the typical baladi progression, with improvisation drills, technique, and choreography.

Master Class: Modern Egyptian (Class Series)

Smooth technicality can be used to describe the evolution of modern belly dance. Get your fill of quick turns, eye-catching accents, and bold dramatic movement from Cairo’s hottest Egyptian performers, as we practice with the latest Shaabi and Mahraganat music.

Master Class: Egyptian Folkloric (Class Series)

Survey the folkloric (and “fakeloric”) movement of Egypt. We will explore the different regions of Egypt through dance movement including Bedouin, Nubian, Melaya Leff, Fellahin, and Ghawazee. Learn about important people, like Mahmoud Reda, who have shaped how we represent Egyptian folkloric dance.

Master Class: Khaleeji/Gulf Styles (Class Series)

The word “Khaleeji” refers to the Arabian Gulf region but is also more commonly known as the “hair dance” Raqs al Nasha’at, to Oriental dancers. Traditionally, this dance was performed in a long, ornately decorated thobe called a nasha’al. Students will learn regional movement, as well as country-specific stylization.

Master Class: Balancing / Floorwork (Class Series)

From swords and tea trays to Shamadans, dance entertainers from around the Middle East and North Africa have been balancing something on their heads, historically, for at least the last century. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to pull off a great balancing act with exciting dance props that audiences love including sword, Moroccan Tea Tray (w/ Sheikhat style), and Egyptian Shamadan. In August, we will also explore movement to slow-tempo Chiftitelli music.

Improvisation Personalized Project Plan (Private Coaching/Project)

Imagine being able to perform without having to prepare something beforehand. Wouldn’t it be great, if you could just put on your favorite music and just dance? Well, let’s take the improvisation skills that you already have and get you stage-ready. 

This project will include a set of 5 mini-private lessons, 4 performance assignments, and 4 written critiques of your performances with personalized feedback and practical advice to help you dance with complete freedom!

Choreography Personalized Project Plan (Private Coaching/Project)

Now, it’s time to become the dancer you always wanted to be. Do you ever wonder what separates a good dancer from a great one? What is that elusive mixture of technique and showpersonship that leaves a lasting impression on audiences? What do some dancers have that others do not? Find out the answers to these questions and more as we explore the characteristics great dancers share through customized advice, drills, and practice, to help develop those same qualities in you.

This project will include a set of 5 mini-private lessons, 4 performance assignments, and 4 written critiques of your performances with personalized feedback and practical advice to help you be your best!

Student Advanced Skills Assessment 3 (Exam)

In this exam, the student will be tested and graded on all advanced techniques and zill patterns. Feedback will be provided, if necessary, to help you in any areas of needed improvement. Must have a grade of 75% or above to pass the exam.


Belly Dance Teacher Training Certification 

Suggested Prerequisites:

  • At least 2 years of belly dance education
  • belly dance performance experience
  • belly dance choreography creation experience
  • belly dance improvisation experience
  • understanding of belly dance music including rhythms

Teaching Belly Dance I: 

Learn to share your passion for Egyptian Oriental Dance with others! Teaching Belly Dance I is an essential course for anyone wanting to teach belly dancing. You will learn what it takes to become a great teacher, anatomy for belly dance, curriculum design, fundamentals of movement, providing a sensory-rich learning environment, pacing, music selection tips, a sample warm-up routine and so much more.

In this course you will learn:

  • What it takes to be a good and successful teacher
  • How to teach movements/steps safely and effectively
  • Designing a curriculum to keep your students motivated & engaged
  • Creating a fun class experience

“Teaching Technique & Choreography” Skills Assessment & Practical Demonstration Evaluation

This exam is made up of two parts. Part I is the same as the SL1 Skills Assessment, except the student will demonstrate each item by performing the movement and teaching about it (to the exam administrator) simultaneously. Must have a grade of 75% or above to pass the exam and move on to Part II. In Part II of the exam, the student will teach a LIVE “Level 1 Skills Assessment Review” class. Evaluation and helpful feedback for improvement will be provided by the exam administrator.

Personalized Teaching Mentorship Plan

Each Teacher Program candidate comes with their own set of assets and challenges. The administrator will evaluate each candidate’s dance, knowledge, and teaching history to customize a “Mentorship Plan” to help develop the new teacher. Students will be required to complete all of the customized assignments to complete their AAMED Teacher Training Certification.

Teaching Belly Dance II

Knowing how to teach is not enough to be a successful teacher. Surprise! You are now a business owner. So, let’s pick up where we left off in “Teaching Belly Dance I” and delve into the business side of teaching belly dance. In this course, you will learn about customer service, student retention, marketing, and much more.

In this course, you will learn:

  • Teaching skills
  • Curriculum creation
  • Anatomy/kinesiology for belly dancing
  • Marketing basics teachers
  • How to run a successful teaching program
  • Finding the right studio space to teach your classes
  • Dance instructor legal/business concerns
  • Dealing with “challenging” student personalities
  • Growing your student base