Suhaila Salimpour Institute of Online Education

The Online Institute is the home of the prestigious Salimpour Certification Program.  Our well-rounded program provides instruction in technique, performance, teaching, music, history, and culture.  More information about the Institute is below.

To begin, all students certify in the Fundamentals 100 level.    CERTIFY TODAY

Available in three tiers as part of the Certification process.    LEARN MORE

Institute Mission

The Suhaila Salimpour Institute of Online Education was created to address the School’s growing worldwide student body, to present more content with increased consistency, to provide more personalized feedback for students, and to establish a more accessible home for the Salimpour certification program.   The Institute furthers the aims of the Salimpour School to graduate high quality performers and instructors, thereby raising the standard and status of belly dance worldwide; and to educate through a blend of modern and traditional dance, but always with authenticity in and awareness of Arabic music and the Arabic culture from where this dance originated.

Our Institute’s mission is to provide high quality belly dance education  and certification through online learning strategies.  The School continues to offer in-person classes and workshops; but all testing preparations and certification exams are handled through Institute online courses.*

  • We utilize effective technologies to provide accessible, effective learning and certification opportunities for those students who, because of time, geographic, or other constraints, are unable to attend in-person workshops and classes.
  • We ensure the quality of our distance learning instruction through effective course design and assessment.
  • We foster an environment which allows students, without the restrictions of time and place, to take ownership and responsibility of their education and course pacing to help them reach their desired goals.
  • We provide a quality, thorough education while taking into account each individual student’s learning style.
  • We provide personalized feedback throughout the program for student awareness and growth.
  • We foster a school culture based on a strong and effective partnership between our instructors and students.
  • We promote a strong community of worldwide dancers.

Institute Values

  • We value quality in education.  Our programs and methods are under constant scrutiny so we can provide the best content for our students.
  • We value honesty and integrity.  The Salimpour School and the Suhaila Salimpour Institute of Online Education were created and are maintained based on these core values.


The Process

The program is designed so that students can progress at their own pace using the education tools developed by Suhaila for the School:

  • Online Classes: Learn and study in your own home on your own schedule.  Subscribe to learn technique and get access to training plans.  Most choreography available through PPVs.
  • Manuals, Music, and Finger Cymbals:  See each Institute level for more information about the resources.

Sometimes you need guidance or help putting together a structure for your own training.  We have several options to help distance learners:

  • School Instructors:  Access a licensed instructor in your area or take video private lessons for feedback.
  • Certification Coordinator:  Contact the School for guidance and recommendations on how to train, study, and prepare.
  • Office and Advising Hours:  Contact the School to be notified when Suhaila posts her semesterly office and advising hours.

When you are ready, sign up for one of the 100 level courses.

Learn about the Institute Levels

Education Timeline for the 100-200 Levels

Optional certification testing available separately following testing preparation courses.

100 Level Fundamentals 1 and 2

Learn the basics of the Suhaila Salimpour Format and Jamila Salimpour Step Vocabulary.  This level is comprised of two certification exams and two short courses:

  • Fundamentals 1:  Suhaila Salimpour Format introduction six-week course.
  • Fundamentals 2:  Jamila Salimpour Step Vocabulary introduction five-week course.

200 Level Foundations 1 and 2

Develop and expand your Salimpour technique to prepare for layering, choreography, and performance.  This level is comprised of three 12-week courses:

  • Foundations 1:  Suhaila format technique, stamina, and choreography.  One optional version of this course guides students in how to study for the 200 level and the required version is an actual testing preparation course.
  • Foundations 2:  Jamila step vocabulary stylization, sentiment, and choreography.

Education Timeline for the 300-500 Levels

In the 300 level, optional certification testing is available separately following the testing preparation courses. For the 400-500 level, certification testing is handled during the course and/or through performance exams following the testing preparation courses.

300 Level Intermediate 1 and 2

Learn layering with the format and vocabulary while maintaining proper technique, stylizations, and sentiments using drills and choreography for practical assessment.  This level is comprised of five 12-week courses:

  • Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2
  • Performance Preparation 1 and 2 (to prepare for 400 level)
  • Teaching Assistant Foundations 1 (to prepare for 500 level)

400 Level Performance 1 and 2

Demonstrate your advanced technique, choreography and performance skills using drills and choreography for practical assessment.  This level is comprised of three 12-week courses:

  • Advanced Technique & Choreography Showcase performance exam
  • Recital Course with with performance exam
  • Teaching Assistant Foundations 2 (to prepare for 500 level)

500 Level Teaching 1 and 2

Hone and demonstrate your skills in teaching 100 and 200 level content.  This level is comprised of one 12-week certification testing course.

  • Teaching 1 & 2:  Suhaila Format and Salimpour Vocabulary  Fundamentals and Foundations content.

Coming Soon

We are preparing additional online programs to add to the Institute in the coming months and years.

  • Online Lesson Series for Smaller Groups
  • Online Short Courses
  • Peer-Led Study and Training Groups
  • Staging Instruction for Featured Choreographies
  • Courses for Collectives
  • Online Live Lectures
  • Salimpour School Online content filmed specifically for students training at home in small spaces