Want to try a class before committing to an entire session? You can join us for a free no-obligation class anytime. Book a free 5-10 minute assessment with Joharah. She can dance with you and let you know what level you should be in. If you've never Bellydanced before we recommend Level I Bellydance Foundation. If you have some Bellydance experience we recommend our Foundation 1 course since vocabularies are different between teachers and schools. If you don't want to start at Level 1 it's best to book a free assessment so you know what level would be best for you. Click here to book an assessment. 



This is where it all begins! Foundation 1 is a comprehensive training intensive designed for students with absolutely no dance experience or for those with some bellydance background who wish to re-strengthen and reinforce their basic skills. You will be introduced to basic movements and isolations such as circles, figure eights, and hip accents, undulations, shimmies, arm and hand movement plus basic travelling steps along with simple patterns/combos to help you put everything together.  You will be exposed to plenty of Arabic music, particularly Egyptian style along with Arabic rhythms. You'll learn how to find the beat and keep the it as you dance right from the very first class.   

Students are encouraged to complete both, Foundation I and II, at least once before moving on to higher-level classes. Repeating these courses is encouraged to solidify what you learn, as these courses cover a lot of content; and a second or third round can often put all the puzzle pieces together if any were missing.

Even our more advanced students continue to take Foundation I & II as a means of keeping their basic skills fresh, sharp and refined.  Mastering the essentials is what provides students with the building blocks for future levels. You’ll dance more confidently and your body will be well prepared to take on more intricate and exciting hip and belly work, foot patterns, shimmies, layering and much more.  We start with the roots of the dance form and build from there. Practicing what you've learned at home is always encouraged!


After completing Foundation I at least once, students can move to the Foundation II level.  This is a curriculum designed to review the basic movements taught in Foundation I, and introduce you to even more movements, variations, layering, and travelling steps. You will become more familiar with Arabic music and with a number of its most common rhythms. You will continue to grow as you immerse yourself in Egyptian dance; you’ll notice an increase in conffidence, a higher degree of coordination, grace and fluidity, and the basics will begin to feel more second-nature to you.  We continually emphasize posture and body awareness, and work more with arms and hands and connectivity of movements. Foundation II is all about strengthening a strong basic bellydance vocabulary which forms the platform to advance into further Egyptian dance exploration. 


Students at Level III are comfortable moving past Foundation I & II, and are ready to explore different styles within Egyptian Bellydance. Students who have taken at least one Foundation II course can also re-take Foundation II simultaneously with one or more Level III courses for extra training if desired. Once you reach Bellydance Level III, you begin to broaden your skills into some of the many different styles of bellydance that exist in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East. Students sometimes maintain at this level for years because of the abundance of material there is to learn here. Students can choose from the following: 

Oriental Dance  
"Oriental" is the classical term used for Bellydance, also known as "Raqs Sharki" or "Dance of the East". "Bellydance" is a Western slang term which refers to the dance form.  In our Oriental Dance Technique classes, dancers will review, refine and work to strengthen their movement vocabulary with many combinations and drills with the goal of becoming more fluid and fluent with all movements and footwork in total relation to the music. Through drills and combinations, students will develop the muscular endurance and stamina to increase their ability to handle more sophisticated combinations and choreography.

Students are encouraged to augment their regular weekly classes with our Weekend Warrior workshops and specialty pop-up classes wherever possible to increase their proficiency in all areas.  Our broad-based curriculum literally teaches 100's of movements and variations that effect aspects of layering, undulations, shimmies, turns, travelling steps, transitions and much more.  

A variety of styles are explored: 

  • Oriental Entrance  
  • Veil Technique
  • Drum Solo 
  • Folklore within Oriental Routine
  • Baladi
  • Drum Solo
  • Taqsim & Improvisation
  • Classic  to Modern Oriental Styling
  • Legendary Composers and  Singers every Bellydancer should know  

Egyptian Folklore  
BellyUp’s Folklore class draws from the various Folkloric styles which are traditional dances throughout  Egypt and other Arab countries.  Every region has its own style of dance and rhythms.  We introduce students to the Folkloric music, rhythms, styles and costuming and movement vocabulary with this diverse variety of styles all of which have had a great influence on Modern Oriental bellydance as we know it today.  Joharah also brings in visiting Egyptian Master Instructors who specialize in Egyptian and Arab Folkloric technique to train BellyUp students.  

Egyptian styles explored:

  • Baladi  
  • Awalim 
  • Saidi/Assaya – dancing with the stick or cane which is from Upper Egypt actually Southern Egypt
  • Haggalah – this is a social ritual dance from Western Egypt
  • Ghawazee – the Gypsy style dance of Egypt
  • Shamadan – the candelabra dance (Awalim) 
  • Melaya Leff – from Alexandria in Northern Egypt – dancing with the wrap or shawl
  • Fallahi – the dance of the Egyptian farmers from the Delta region

Arabic Folklore Styles include:

  • Dabke (popular through the Levant regions – a fun and high energy line dance)
  • Khaleegi (beautiful hair dance from the Gulf region)


This level is designed to push dancers in a wide range of areas to increase endurance, balance, stamina, control and movement articulation, build clean performance lines and extensions, execute a variety of turns, alter energy levels and texturize with more sophisticated footwork and overall connection to the music. Increased emphasis on self-expression, musicality, stage projection and feeling at one with the music. Students will begin to develop improvisation abilities and their own personal style at this level.


Advanced and Pro-Level dancers, including performers from BellyUp's Ala Nar Dance Ensemble, move up to this level. These students are looking for more challenges, study bellydance at a more serious level, and strive to develop and grow their own personal style. These classes are fast-paced and dynamic. Combinations and choreographies require a high level of technique, stanima, and musicality.  Students need at least two years of bellydance training before joining this class.


Joharah of BellyUp has trained thousands of beginner to professional dance students over BellyUp’s 10 years as a leading specialty Egyptian dance studio.  She has brought BellyUp’s dance ensemble “Ala Nar” to first place victory for two consecutive years at the Star Bellydancer of Canada Competition.  BellyUp’s teaching approach is known for breaking down moves in a clear accessible way so that even the most daunting of moves can be understood.  There is considerable emphasis in every class with how each movement and step corresponds with the music and the rhythms inside the music. Students looking for a high standard of technique, correction and feedback to boost their progress can expect lots of that in her classes.  BellyUp students possess a broad vocabulary of movement and new students can expect challenge and plenty of exciting growth, development and even performance opportunities. But above and beyond technique, this dance form is nothing without the feeling, the expression, the nuance and the attitude. Students are encouraged to express, let go, have fun, find their unique voice within their dance. 

BellyUp offers progressive curriculum in the Egyptian Bellydance style from Oriental to Folklore.  We teach literally 100’s of movements and variations as part of our curriculum which is truly the heart and soul of BellyUp's overall training program.  Our Technique Classes are known for their no-nonsense and well-organized approach to training dancers from total beginner to professional and competition level. Every class involves a vigorous dancer-specific warm-up and review of movements from the previous class to refresh muscle memory. The class then learns new moves, steps and concepts  with emphasis on connectivity and musicality so that dancers move beyond the realm of just drilling with a sense of flow in relation to the music.  Partial to full choreographies are also taught in some of the classes each session. Posture, body awareness, and breathwork is continually emphasized as students spend time working across the floor to develop precision with both turns, travelling steps and their transitions. Our classes teach Oriental dance as an art form but also for those who just want to have fun, get fit, and feel feminine!  Students can expect to tone and sculpt, strengthen their core and get a great workout in addition to learning a great deal about the history and culture behind the dance. Classwear is typically leggings or yoga pants, tank top with a hip scarf and we dance in bare feet, ballet slippers or dance sneakers. We also carry a full line of Sharifwear which is training wear designed with the Bellydancer in mind. 

Our sessions are typically 12 weeks in length, sometimes 8 or 10 weeks. These are intensive courses not crash courses designed to teach the art of Egyptian dance. Interested in a shorter session?  Just talk to us at the front desk and we're happy to acccomodate as best we can. 

Throughout the year, we offer students a wide range of Specialty Workshops that concentrate on essential aspects of your dance journey. Designed to enlighten and deepen the student’s understanding and skill level on specialized topics such as Musicality, Performance, Improvisation, Rhythm training, Travelling Steps, Turns, Arabesques, Shimmies, Arms and Hands, various Props, Taqsim, Drum Solo, Baladi, Saidi, Melaya, Veil, performance skills and much more. Great for our both weekly students and those who can only come to train on periodically on weekends. 

During each session we'll often run special pop-up classes on a variety of topics that you can join in on to experience a new style or different technique. Pop-Ups are open to everyone at a drop-in rate or as part of your class package. We notify all students in advance of Pop-Up classes and topics when they are coming up. 

BellyUp has been hosting the A-List of Egyptian Master Teachers for over 10 years. Weekend Intensives are held throughout the year – we literally bring the heart of Egyptian Bellydance to our students several times a year. Watch out for news on the upcoming workshops coming to our new Burlington location. 

Most of our classes are open for drop-ins. We recommend notifying us if you are planning to drop-in.  You can pay at the studio when you arrive.

​​​​​​​How fast you advance in the dance form is based on several things: the more classes you take and how much you practice in between classes plays a big role in how fast you will progress. Building muscle memory and training the body to move in a very different way is what it is all about at any level. Beginner students often like to repeat the Foundation I and Foundation II  courses multiple times  in order to master a solid foundation before moving on to increasingly challenging levels. We realize that everyone learns differently and at a different pace and there is no pressure to advance which is why we encourage everyone to learn at their own pace and enjoy the journey and experience.  Alternatively if you have a goal in mind, always speak to your teacher for recommendations on how you can progress faster and we have the progressive curriculum of class levels to help assist in your growth and development.