(This page is a quick overview to get you started. Check out my more detailed article here.)
I have seen interest in belly dance ebb and flow like a fad for years until about 15 years ago when Shakira and the traveling Belly Dance Superstars brought the dance more out in the forefront and mainstream than it was before. The interest seems to have stuck around more and classes and videos for belly dance have been easier to find ever since.
I believe a beginner should start with a live class first to get the basics and a firm grounding before attempting to follow a video. (This video by Delilah of Seattle would be an excellent first video to check out.) Check with local Parks and Rec, Community Colleges, Y’s or private studios.
There are some great mini classes on YouTube or many DVD’s to choose from now as well.
I also recommend trying out various teachers to find what style fits you best. Old school cabaret Egyptian or tribal style. Sometimes it’s not the dance that may not fit you, but the teacher isn’t clear or the personalities clash. Every teacher is different and has something to offer. I have always told my students that if you have the time and money, take all the classes you can.
Here is a directory to search your area for teachers—> http://www.shira.net/directory.htm
Look for retreats, camps, competitions or festivals. These events offer workshops and intensives on a variety of subjects related to belly dance from technique focus to musicality to building your own costuming.
Questions or comments are welcome! Thank you!