100 Level: Fundamentals 1 and 2

Fundamentals, the 100 level of the Suhaila Institute, offers two courses and two certifications:

  • S101a:  Fundamentals 1:  Introduction to Suhaila Salimpour Format.
  • S102a:  Fundamentals 2:  Introduction to Jamila Salimpour Vocabulary.

What are Fundamentals 1 and 2 Introduction courses?

Fundamentals 1 and 2 courses are 5 to 6 week online courses designed to introduce dancers to the Salimpour Format. Students who attend these courses will learn the groundwork of belly dance technique but also get a sense of the overall certification program. The Fundamentals 1 and 2 online courses also prepare students for certification testing. At the end of a course, with approval, students may test for the respective certification level.  The Fundamental level courses include:

What’s the difference between the Suhaila Format and Jamila Vocabulary?  Do I have to do both?

At the lower levels, the Suhaila Salimpour Format is about learning physical technique, and the Jamila Salimpour Vocabulary (Jm-Vocab)  is about learning steps and sentiment. If one doesn’t start with the Suhaila format, they won’t have the physical technical training to execute the steps in the Jamila Vocabulary. If one doesn’t do the Jamila Vocabulary, they’re missing out on key historical and cultural elements of belly dance as a professional dance form with roots in the Middle East (regions of the eastern Mediterranean, western Asia, and North Africa).

How do I prepare for a Salimpour Fundamentals: Introduction course?

As Salimpour Fundamentals 1 and 2 are introductory courses, dancers require no previous experience with belly dance or the Salimpour Format.  Students may take these courses as independent training without testing, and they may take these courses as many times as they wish before choosing to test. However, we recommend the following:

  • For both Fundamentals 1 and 2
    • Before signing up for a 5 or 6 week Fundamentals course, we recommend dancers use the 3-day free trial of Online Classes to see if this training method is right for them.
    • Use the Training and Resources document.
    • Read the course curriculum above.
    • Visit the Certification Exams page which provides more detail about the exams available for an additional fee following completion of the courses.
  • For Fundamentals 1:  In advance of taking the Fundamentals 1 course, we recommend students take a minimum of three different Online Classes of each of the following topics in the Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1: Singles, 3/4s, Pelvic Locks, Squares, Circles, Vertical Figure 8s, Horizontal Figure 8s, Twists.
  • For Fundamentals 2:  We strongly recommend you have Salimpour Fundamentals 1 (S1) certification or experience, and have taken a minimum of three complete Level 1 Step Family series/classes for each of the Jamila Format 1 Step Families (Basic Egyptian, Arabic, Running Choo-Choo, Shimmy, Salaam, Taqsim, Spins, Head Movements) in advance of taking this course.


FAQs about the Online Learning Experience

Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about the Institute’s instructional and evaluation methodologies.

Definitions: Workshops, Courses, and Classes

  • Workshops are live, in-person events.
  • Courses are multi-week online programs offered through the Institute for distance learning.
  • Classes are offered individually or as part of series.  Usually in 45 to 90 minute increments, classes are available through the Salimpour School Online classes or licensed instructors.

Certification Exams

Certification testing is available through online courses, in-person workshops, and with Licensed Level 5 Instructors.  Certification testing is available for an additional fee following successful completion of a course or workshop.  Discuss testing possibilities with your instructor or contact the School for more information.  See also the Exams page for more detail.