FAQ about Synergy Rhythm and Dance classes
Thanks for your interest in our classes! At Synergy RaD we offer two types of classes: Sessions and Drop-ins. Start at our schedule and class descriptions page. You could also check the full calendar that lists all classes and events. The instructor page has bios for all of our Synergy RaD instructors. And registration information is on our registration page.
You sure can! We have some students with prior training in ballet, jazz, salsa, and so on, and lots of students with no prior dance experience at all. All dancers are most welcome! The moves in bellydance originate in the torso, often drawing shapes with the ribs and hips. This dance comes naturally to most women, regardless of body type or dance background. In some cases, prior training helps a dancer learn movements quickly, but there are also substantive differences across dance styles which can be a challenge to experienced dancers. For instance, ballet students are taught to move very quickly across the floor, with large leaps and turns. On the other hand, bellydance generally incorporates smaller travelling steps, often coupled with hip shimmies.
Our classes are held in the Synergy Rhythm and Dance studio in Suite 216 on the second floor of the Attractive Alternative, located at 510 East Washington Street. There are 2 parking lots on Jefferson Street, and you may also park on the street. The most convenient entrance to the building is at the southeast corner of the Jefferson and McLean intersection, through the small parking lot there. Here is a map from Google Maps:
Our drop-in classes are ongoing, and are taught every week. You are welcome to come to class whenever your schedule allows, so drop-in classes do not require the same level of commitment that sessions do. You can choose to pay as you go, at $12 per class, or you can purchase a 5-class or 10-class card to take each class at a discount.
This information is for all Synergy RaD classes other than classes offered through Heartland Community Education. When we receive your payment, we will email you a registration confirmation. If you have not received this email, please contact us to make sure your registration got through. If you have registered for Beginning Bellydance through HCE, we suggest you contact them to confirm your registration.
Please wear clothing that allows you to move comfortably. The most common attire for bellydance includes dance or yoga pants, a tank top, and a hip scarf. Some students wear midriff tops, some wear skirts; most dance barefoot while others wear ballet slippers. A hip scarf is optional — it's great for accenting your hip movements and achieving even movement in shimmies. Please do not wear a baggy shirt for bellydance. Since most moves originate in the torso, our bellydance teachers need to be able to see how your body is moving in order to teach the dance.
Please note that street shoes are not allowed on the studio floor. If you want to wear shoes to dance, we recommend jazz shoes, dance sneakers, or ballet slippers.
All bellydance classes begin with a warm-up and end with stretching. Our dancing begins with torso movements and then incorporates traveling across the floor. If the class has a focus such as zills or veil, we also practice using those. We often work with short combinations before we cool down. It's a lot to pack into an hour, but we make it! If you'd like to learn a bit more, Rachel Hatch wrote a lovely story for TCStyle magazine about our level 2 class.
Synergy Rhythm and Dance presents a semi-annual Dance Showcase, one in late winter/early spring and the other in the fall. Students in levels 1 and 2 learn group choreographies, and each student may participate in the performance or not, as they choose. Level 2 and 3 students may also perform as individuals or in duets or trios. That said, nearly all students do perform, and have a great time doing it!
This is a great question, and the answer varies from person to person. There are 3 distinct types of Beginner (level 1) classes: veil, zills, and tribal style. To comfortably move into level 2 classes, a student needs to have the foundation of all three sessions. Level 2 classes are more intense than level 1, incorporating more complex dance technique. Level 2 students must be physically fit (that's about physical health, not body type), and ready to learn choreographies in each session. To clarify further, in order to dance in level 2, a student should have mastered the following: all basic torso shapes (circles and infinities), walking 3/4 shimmies, playing the modified gallop with zills while moving, basic veil, and tribal variations such as horizontal rib circles and hip taxims. Within Level 2 there are many types of sessions including: veil, zills, tribal fusion, drum solo, and folkloric. Every session is different, and students may choose to remain in level 2.
Level 3 is a special advanced technique class, and students may choose not to join level 3, but stay with level 2. The core body of students in level 3 are the Synergy Sirens, who participate in level 3 to keep their skills strong, learn new technique, and maintain consistent style. Level 3 is capped at 8 students including the Sirens, and remaining spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Prior to joining level 3, students should have completed at least one year of level 2 sessions with Synergy RaD. In addition, students should have strong performance quality, and have already mastered layering, level changes, traveling, 3/4 shimmies (basic, push-off, and Hagallahs, e.g.), playing zills while dancing, and intermediate veil technique. Students should also be athletically fit and able to learn floorwork and backbends.