The Best Free Resources from the Salimpour School
The Salimpour School offers a broad collection of free resources, available to anyone! We want to make sure that you have the tools you need to become an educated, well-rounded, and knowledgeable dancers, in both body and mind.
Use these videos, articles, and training tools to supplement your practice, dig deeper into the history of the school and belly dance, and connect with other dancers in the program.
Here are some of the best free resources that you have access to right now.
Jamila Salimpour’s articles
We’re sure you’ve heard how Jamila Salimpour’s format changed how so many of us learn and perform belly dance. But do you know how she did it?
Even if you haven’t started certification with us, we hope that everyone reads these two articles:
- Speech for the International Conference on Middle Eastern Dance, 1997
- “From Many Tribes” – The origins of Bal Anat
Training Plan guidance
We believe that done is better than perfect, and to get your work done, you need to have a plan. And that plan needs to be specific.
Our training plan guides help you figure out exactly how much time you have to train, what your goals are for the short- and long-term, and give you easy to fill templates to make your goals a reality.
Start with our Time Priority Assessment. It will help you see the blocks of time that you have to train, as well as where else you might be using your time and attention.
Then check out the instructions for how to write a training plan. In this document you’ll find guidance on what kinds of goals to set, and a few strategies to help you figure out what you want to accomplish.
Next, download the template and create your own. Remember that this plan doesn’t have to be all-encompassing. It could be a plan to help you learn just one choreography. Or maybe it only focuses on the next 6 weeks.
If you never figure out your destination, how are you going to get there?
We know that standardizing belly dance language is a bit of a controversial topic. But we can also tell you that it works!
Our nomenclature and terminology guides are all available to download, as well as guides on how to use them.
And even if you’re not in the Salimpour program, you might recognize a lot of the step and movement names in both the Jamila and Suhaila formats, like “Maya” or “Basic Egyptian,” or even “Rib Cage Lock” and “Interior Hip Square.”
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the nomenclature, you’ll be able to follow along with our Twitter and Instagram drills.
Suhaila’s performance video catalog
A few years ago, we posted all of Suhaila’s commercial performance videos online for free on our Vimeo channel. To help contextualize these recordings, we’ve also included in-depth articles to guide you as you view them. They highlight certain innovations, artistic decisions, and choreographic choices, as well as broader cultural and political events that influenced each piece.
Watch the full collection on our website, complete with contextual essays. Just click on the Plus + sign under each video.
And there are even more performances on our YouTube channel.
Music Recommendations and Playlists
Music is perhaps the most important element of belly dance practice and performance. Accomplished dancers have an intimate and deep understanding of classic and contemporary Arabic music so that they can fully physicalize the sentiment and meaning of any song that they perform to.
But if you’re new to Arabic music, even the idea of getting familiar with the repertoire might seem overwhelming.
We have several listening recommendations and lists to help you on your way, including:
- Suhaila’s Recommended Composers and Singers: Under “Music”. Choose an artist, look them up on YouTube or Spotify and start listening.
- 100+ Compositions Every Belly Dancer Should Know: Under “Music”. This list might seem daunting, but even if you just listen to one song a day, you’ll get through the whole list before you know it.
- Performance Sets: Under “Salimpour School Performance Sets”. These collections are meant specifically for belly dance performance and improvisation. Listen for how the musicians transition between rhythms and songs.
Studying dance happens as much outside of the studio as it does in the studio… and that means nourishing your mind!
To help supplement and round out your training, we’ve made a list of recommended reading, including books on dance technique, creativity, Middle Eastern history and culture, performance and theater, music (Euro-American and Arabic), and dance composition.
And while most of these books and readings aren’t available for free themselves, we hope that the list will inspire you to start digging deeper into your studies.
Check out the list on our Resources page by scrolling down.
You might have noticed that we reorganized our YouTube channel. If you haven’t, go and check out our playlist of repertoire performances. These videos include recordings of the Suhaila Dance Company, Bal Anat, and the Repertoire Ensemble performing works choreographed by Suhaila and guest instructors.
This playlist is a fantastic resource for our Salimpour Collectives who are learning these choreographies.
Salimpour Global Community Facebook Group
We’re proud to be a truly global community, with students on 6 continents. We come together for workshops, intensives, and performances, but then have to go back home when it’s all over.So, to help you connect and stay connected with other dancers in the school, as well as our Level 5 instructors, and Suhaila herself, we’ve created a special Facebook group. Feel free to ask questions, post your performances, and share your success stories. You have to have an active Facebook account to join.
Click here to join the community.
We hope that these tools keep you inspired and growing, no matter your level or experience. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, just do a little bit every day. Growth will happen! Remember you can always reach out to our Certification Coordinator if you have any questions about the program, your training, or certification. Just email email@example.com
We hope to dance with you soon!