Belly Dancing Classes

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Belly Dance Class with Childcare?

Dec 2012

Looking for a class where I can learn some Belly Dance techniques & have my 4 year old child looked after at the same time...any suggestions? Mom looking for artistic workout

Holly Shaw is a fabulous belly dance teacher with classes in Berkeley and Oakland, and she offers onsite childcare. Her website is Susan

I love my belly dance class! Our teacher, Holly Shaw, is a beautiful dancer who creates a joyful atmosphere in which to learn a spirited, flowing dance style. Her class also includes conditioning and guided breathing meditation. I leave feeling both refreshed and energized...and the class includes child care! I take her class at the Garden Gate Creativity Center, 2911 Claremont Ave in Berkeley, but Holly also teaches in Oakland. See her web site: Holly C.

Prenatal belly dancing??

Jan 2009

I am six months pregnant, and recently was told that belly dancing is good for pregnant women to keep their abdominal muscles loose and strong(has anyone else heard this?). --I'm looking for recommendations for where to take belly dancing classes/lessons, ideally with someone who has experience with pregnancy and dance. Any other suggestions regarding dance classes and pregnancy would be appreciated. thanks!

I've heard, too, that belly dancing is good for prenatal exercise. And it sure sounds like fun! In the past, the Nurture Center in Lafayette ( has offered prenatal belly dance classes -- maybe they'd have a lead for you. JP

I did belly dance during my pregnancy, up to the week before I delivered, but I had been doing belly dance for 5 years at that point. While I think it is great pre-natal exercise, I am hesitant to recommend *beginning* at 6 months pregnant. How is your fitness level in general? Have you been active through the pregnancy? Any other dance experience? Belly dancing is pretty low impact, but you're going to have a baby sitting on your bladder, and your growing belly will throw off your balance.

All those caveats having been made, if you still feel it's something you want to pursue, I can recommend a class though Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda taught by Wendy Allen of Fat Chance Belly Dance. It's the same format I took during my pregnancy and Wendy is a solid instructor. Carrie

BirthWays offers pre and post natal belly dancing. To find out more info, you can go to and click on classes. Rebecca

I really enjoyed the prenatal belly dance class I took with Jen Miriam Kantor (puppets [at] I didn't start until 37 weeks, but got in three or four classes. I had fun and thought the exercises and moves were very good for that stage of pregnancy and for labor. Loren

Contact Miriam Peretz in Berkeley. She's a fabulous dancer and teacher, mom to a 2 year-old, danced through her pregnancy, and has been teaching pre- and post-natal belly dance. anon

Jen Miriam Kantor teaches prenatal and post-natal belly dance in Berkeley. I haven't been to the classes, but she was my doula and was amazing! Here's a link with more information: Good luck!

Mom in Oakland wants to explore belly dancing

Oct 2006

I am a reasonably fit mother of two interested in exploring belly dancing. Any recommendations for the Oakland area? Karen

There are several different styles of belly dancing that you will see in the bay area. The 2 main ones being egyptian style and tribal style. Egyptian style is the traditional style you think of originating from the middle east. Tribal style originated here in the Bay and it is more of an egyptian/gypsy fusion style with many different influences of dance (flamenco, bhangra, turkish roman, even hip hop, etc.) Usually done in a group lead and follow and the music is anywhere from asian underground, electronica, hip hop to more traditional music. Two of my favorite tribal style teachers in the east bay are Jill Parker of Ultra Gypsy ( She has classes in Berkeley and SF. And Frederique of Belly Groove ( Fred has classes in Rockridge and Temescal. Both are beautiful dancers. It is a great form of exercise and expression, you will become addicted! Have fun!

Belly dancer for 6 year old's birthday party

April 2006

I'm looking for recommendations for a belly dance instructor who is willing to teach a class for a 6 year old's birthday party. Thanks. Theresa

I attended a party last fall [for a 4 and 6 year old], and they had hired a wonderful belly dancer that had all the kids dancing, along with many of the moms! The kids didn't want to let her go. She brought her own music and even had veils for the girls to dance with. She was dressed in a beautiful, colorful gypsy costume which was tasteful and appropriate for a child's party. I highly recommend her. I got her contact information which follows:

  Name:  Nahara  email: naharadancer[at] phone:  (415) 257-5042 


Pre-natal belly dancing class

March 2005

I know I've seen a flyer for pre-natal bellydancing, but I can't remember where I saw it. Can any one refer me to a *specifically* prenatal belly-dance class? I've checked the archives, but didn't see anything for this, just general bellydance. I really want to take a class in this, as I have heard that this is what belly dance originally developed for! Thanks for any help you can give me. Longing to Shake My Pregnant Belly

I belly danced through my entire pregnancy (I performed at a belly dance festival at 6 months along and kept taking classes up until my baby was born). It was great conditioning--posture is really important in belly dance, and it helped me avoid back problems in pregnancy (no waddling for me). So good for you!

That said, I don't know of any pregnancy-specific classes, and I hope someone can point you in the right direction, since that is what you are interested in. However, if you have been active and aren't too far along in your pregnancy, you could probably take regular classes with no difficulty. I would, however, choose an instructor who emphasizes posture and body mechanics. I take classes at Fat Chance Belly Dance (in SF) and couldn't be more pleased. Good luck! Carrie

Where to take belly dancing classes?

Oct 2004

Where can I take belly dancing lessons or classes? Seems like a fun and great way to get exercise. Karen