Suhaila & Jamila Salimpour format certification workshops
Maëlle is the ambassador of the Salimpour School of Dance in Belgium. Every year since 2011, Maëlle hosts Suhaila Salimpour in Belgium for certification as well as one-day workshops. Certification workshops last from 3 to 5 days. Certification is optional, which means that you can very well take part in the workshop without taking the exam.
Suhaila Salimpour teaches two formats:
The Jamila Salimpour format or vintage bellydance
Nick-named the mother of Belly Dance in America, Jamila's technique sowed the seeds for both American Cabaret and Tribal/Tribal Fusion. She was the first teacher to break down, and name the steps of what she called "la danse orientale". Have you heard of the 3/4 shimmy, mayas or figure eights? It is thanks to Jamila Salimpour that this terminology exists, and even Egyptian teachers use it. Jamila is also know for her finger cymbal teaching method based on numbers, and for the troupe and show that she created - Bal Anat - which you may have had the chance to see perform in Brussels in October 2016 or April 2018.
The Suhaila Salimpour format or modern bellydance
Suhaila Salimpour has blended the belly dance she had learnt from her mother with her knowledge of Eastern dances (ballet, jazz, street dance, etc. ) and she has designed a revolutionary bellydance technique, in which each movement is broken down into muscular contractions. As a result, one learns to isolate and coordinate the different parts of one's body with infinite possibilities.
Each format, Jamila & Suhaila, is organized in five levels. Level 1 workshops are open to all, but in order to be able to take part in a level 2 workshops, you must be level 1 certified into this format. In order to take part in a level 2 Jamila workshops, I must therefore be level 1 certified in the Jamila format (being level 1 certified in the Suhaila format would not be enough).
Check Suhaila's website for precise instructions on how to prepare for the workshops, as well as the content of the exam, according to the format and the level of the workshop.
- Suhaila Salimpour format certification
- Jamila Salimpour format certification
- Check the list of tools available to prepare yourself. They are very useful!
- Maëlle teachers weekly workshops that are designed at preparing you for the certification workshops. More information here.
- The price of the exam is NOT included in the workshop price and it has to be paid directly to the teacher - not the organiser -at the workshop. It's 250$ for the Suhaila level 1 exam, and 150$ for the Jamila level 1 exam. Level 2 exams are 250$.
- The exam is in English but you can bring a dictionary and use it.
- For level 1 workshops, the exam is taking place on the afternoon of the 3rd day of the workshop. For higher level workshops, the exam lasts the whole workshop. All exams have a practical and a written portion. As of level 2, students also have to demonstrate proficiency in specific choreographies which they must learn well in advance.
- You can always ask the teacher's honest opinion before deciding whether you should be taking the exam, to know if she deems you ready or not. Of course, this is a purely indicative opinion. Indeed, some students freak out during an exam, while others perform better under stress. The Salimpour School of Dance does not deliver certificates of attendance; it is a true exam, that you must pass to receive your certification.
Maintaining your certification
Getting certified is one thing, but maintaining it is another. Your certification is valid for two years from the date of recognition and can be extended by either 1) testing for the next level or 2) maintaining the required Continuing Education Credits (CECs) plus renewal fees. CECs of both formats are interchangeable, so Jamila CECs count for Suhaila certificaiton and vice-versa.
Concrete example: to keep your level 1 certification current, you must - within a two-year time frame - test for level 2 or take classes/workshops that give you a minimum of 20 CECs. Each workshop hour is worth 1 CEC, but watch out, hours only start counting after you have taken the exam. So if you take part in the Jamila level 1 workshop in Brussels October 28-30th and that you pass the exam, you have until October 30th 2020 to get your 20 CECs. So you could register for two years of on-line classes (10 CECs), take a full day workshop with Suhaila on April 22nd 2019 (6 CECs) and take a 4h workshop with Sabriye en 2020 (4 CECs). Or you take the Jamila level 2 workshop, which is worth 25 CECs. Remember that you also have to pay the renewal fees every two years (100$), unless you certify in the next level.