When I was looking for belly dance classes near me I found it very difficult at first. There are a lot of belly dance teachers and classes, and I didn’t want to choose the wrong classes or teacher who might put me off belly dance all together!
If you have tried the rest…
After trying some belly dance classes near me, they were ok but I was not making the progress I had expected and the class environment wasn’t very friendly. I watched a belly dance show at an event and saw these girls who were amazing dancers and looked very approachable. Speaking to one of them, I complimented her belly dancing. I told her I was going to belly dance classes near me but I was nowhere as good as her. I told her who I was learning from and she told me to try Melissa Belly Dance classes. She said since she started dance classes with her, her belly dance ability advanced quickly and that the way Melissa explains things just makes more sense.
During my lesson
I was talking to another student in my belly dance class and asked her if she had also heard of Melissa Belly Dance. She said yes, and that she also trained with her during the week in her belly dance drum solo class. This student in my class had technique and movements also better than mine. I decided to give Melissa a try. I went to her website; www.melissabellydance.com and found she had many different levels of belly dance and a wide variety of belly dance fusion classes. Her belly dance classes were near me so I signed up to take classes. Melissa Belly Dance is an amazing and generous belly dance teacher she has changed my life!
She is a trained safe professional with an infectious personality. Her belly dancing classes are full of energy with an expert approach not seen in the belly dancing industry. Melissa Belly Dance brings an expert approach to technique and stylisation that ranges throughout her many belly dancing and fusion classes every week. Who has the best belly dancing classes near me? Melissa Belly Dance does!
In addition to the weekly classes she offers access to the online videos of her privately recorded classes so you can practice at home when your not at class and it is free with her 12 week courses. No other belly dance classes offer this service, there’s more? Unbelievable!
Now I Have Found Melissa Belly Dance Classes
Now I have found Melissa Belly dance classes near me I could not be more happier! She has around 10 evening classes a week and some daytime classes also. Her dedicated studio is a private facility so no suffering from ogling eyes from strangers as you dance. The class environment is intimate and very friendly. The first class was welcoming. One class ended and mine began. The studio, best suited to a thoroughly enjoyable experience. With the lights and beautiful flooring, you are teleported to another world when I am there and I completely forget the outside world or any things that might be stressful. I put my coat and bag away and I find a space as does everyone else.
The Belly Dance Class Warm Up
We started with a belly dance class warm up. It is important to prepare your body for exercise and movement. Music is played from the studio HiFi at just the right volume. I remember feeling very relaxed and I accidentally giggled to myself in excitement. A woman next to me, Emma laughed with me and said, “Is this this your first class with Melissa?” I replied “Yes” and she said “Your in for a challenging treat lol” She was not wrong. I enjoyed the repetitive consistent rhythms to the warm up playlist selection Melissa had picked. She pays attention to every detail including what music and the order it is played to give you the very best and most enjoyable time. We completed the warm up with some shimmy exercises. This got my heart rate up and my muscles and joints ready to go.
The Belly Dance Class
In hindsight I feel like the perfect warm up I had was so that I wouldn’t notice how challenging Melissa’s belly dance classes are! 20 minutes into a 60 minute class and I was already sweating. She made good use of the room getting us to travel while learning technique. I was getting a good workout while learning some very technically accurate belly dance movements. Out of all the belly dance classes near me, Melissa’s explanations and ways to get you to learn how to correctly and safely do the moves were by far the best I had encountered.
As she moved around the room I could see her correcting students individually and addressing them by name. She knew all her students well. I tightened the hip scarf that had loosened around my hips. I had bought it from a belly dance Hafla near me when I first decided to get into belly dance. The belt, my favourite colour with gold coins attached made me feel like I was taking my learning seriously when I wore it. It was also a bit of fun, like my own super hero bat girl costume and I sprung into action when I wore it lol.
Belly Dance Class Isolations
Melissa proceeded to introduce some belly dance class isolations. Some of these belly dance isolations were not new to me and I had learned them in a previous class. This particular belly dance isolation always felt a bit uncomfortable and gave me a little pain when I would do it.
I began the belly dance isolation movement and felt some discomfort. Melissa, observing my technique came over and corrected my posture. She then gave me the simplest explanation of how to correctly execute the movement. Instantly the pain disappeared and I understood how I was supposed to perform that isolation. I had to concentrate on how to properly execute this isolation after learning wrong with a different teacher. It is not that the other teacher was wrong but she didn’t explain in a way for me to understand how to do it correctly and she didn’t correct my bad posture either.
And Just like magic
Melissa knew exactly what was wrong and how to fix it and she didn’t miss a beat. once she had me doing the belly dance isolation correctly and safely, she moved on to help another student. All the students really listen to Melissa, so much so that if they see you struggling with something they will demonstrate it or give you advice on how to do it better. Because Melissa teaches them the correct and safe way to do things right from the beginning your confident to take their advice.
The Belly dance class choreography is all original choreography made by Melissa. I have been to classes where teachers have taught class choreography they have watched on YouTube and stolen from other belly dancers! Melissa’s class choreography is all her own and changes every term.
I have been to classes where teachers have taught class choreography they have watched on YouTube and stolen from other belly dancers! Melissa’s class choreography is all her own and changes every term.
There is a belly dance show every 12 weeks to celebrate everybody’s commitment to class, what they have learned and to have a bit of fun. Honestly, I do not know how Melissa does it. It is always fresh, always mesmerising and she choreographs for 9 different classes?!? Some other dance schools do end of term belly dance shows but Melissa’s are themed with a story, props and voice overs. She has a medley of various music not just traditional belly dance music which keeps it interesting and very enjoyable. I did not recognise the choreography music.
I asked Melissa the name of the song and she said “This is a special selection made especially for me, you are very lucky.”
Melissa really does go above and beyond to deliver the best belly dance experience you could get. I hadn’t decided whether I was going to perform in the show yet, I am usually quite shy. It was obvious how excited some of her other students were as they learned the first parts to the choreography. I over heard them talking about performing in the previous show. I knew I had a few weeks to decide on whether i was was going to perform in this terms show and Melissa had said she was not going to work on placements for the show until a later class anyway.
Who would I invite to watch me I thought? It would be nice to get some positive attention. After all, I had already decided this was the perfect belly dance home for me. I knew I could advance fast if came every week. Too busy daydreaming I missed a step in the choreography. Too shy to stop the class and ask for Melissa to repeat what I had missed I watch the other students in the reflection of the mirrors that decorated the room, watching for what I had missed.
Belly Dance Cool Down
The belly dance class cool down came at just the right time! I was having a wonderful time and a very good workout. My muscles already felt more toned and I looked in the mirror and imagined what I would look like in a few months from now lol.
The class music changed to a slower paced eclectic mix of ambient sounds and exhaling drum patterns. I began to feel as though I was walking on air rising from the floor stretches to complete some standing stretches and tension releasing movements.
Already thinking about my next class and I was feeling really good about myself. I wasn’t going to ruin the feeling by going home and eating junk food. By the time I had used the restroom and put my coat on I was starving hungry. I was so happy that I had found this belly dance class near me. Thanking Melissa for a wonderful class, told her I would see her next week, said bye to Emma and was now faced with the all important decision of “what to eat?”
Melissa Belly Dance’s Studio is located in The Basement, Studio 339, 339 Euston Road, London, NW1 3AD, Very close to Warren St W1, and Great Portland St. Many Trains, London Underground tubes and bus connections. Its very easy to find.
Links: https://www.melissabellydance.com for evening belly dance and fusion classes. https://www.studio339.co.uk for daytime belly dance and fusion classes check out her dance calendar https://www.melissabellydance.com/calendar
article written by Leona Latouche