Classes- what to expect

I think I’ve got most of the usual questions answered here – but feel free to contact me if you have any others!

What do I wear:

Whatever you are comfortable in will be fine…

  • yoga tops and pants seem to work well for folks these days
  • Loose T shirt and leggings or exercise pants are fine too
  • a short top and a full skirt (crinkle ones are great) can work when you start to feel more at ease in class
  • dance slippers/gymnastic slippers are fine if you don’t need arch support
  • your usual indoor exercise shoes if you do use arch supports
  • or plan to get barefoot
  • on your hips, you can wear a coin belt if you have one, but it’s not necessary for class

What else do I need to bring to class?

  • water bottle
  • fun attitude
  • Optional – props…


Most classes we will use veils as a prop, and for the beginning, I bring in a bag of ones to borrow. We will discuss at the first class what direction the session will take, but here are a list of the usual props we may cover:

  • Veil: 2.5m/3 yards of chiffon or other lightweight fabric is great for someone 1.68m/5’6″ to 1.8m/5’10”
  • Zills { see this article here}
  • Stick { usually a ½ inch dowel that is  about 3 ½ feet long}
  • Candles { usually a pair of candle holders that fit in the palm of each hand}

I haven’t done any exercise in a long time, is belly dancing okay for me?

Yes, provided you take your time and don’t push beyond your comfort level until you get the feel for the movements. I spend a fair amount of time trying to make sure my students are maintaining the correct form while dancing, so class will sometimes feel like it’s moving very slowly – that’s to ensure as much protection for your body as I can manage from the outside. You also need to make sure you are present and patting attention to your body and working with it to learn the moves at a comfortable pace, rather than move too quickly.  But with any movement, you are getting a workout, and when you have the correct form, I’ll push you to push yourself 😉

For any serious medical situations, I do suggest you discuss it with your physical care specialist – doctor, physiotherapist, etc.

What kind of belly dance do you teach?

I teach a blending of styles from different cultures, with strongest influences in egyptian and lebanese style.  A more in-depth description of my “Canadian Style” can be read here.

What kind of music do you use?

I like to mix things up with a combination of older arabic songs, newer pieces and some fusion music from a variety of sources. I will be providing a playlist for sessions here on the site.

I will be away for part of the session, can I make up missed classes?

Yes, if you are able to attend any of the other classes during that particular session, I am fine with you making up any missed classes to get the total number of the session in which you enrolled. You can discuss it with me in person or by email, to let me know you would like to do this. I may not be teaching the same routine in every class, but you will still get your same workout and chance to learn!

Do I have to perform?

No, performing is purely optional and the “class party” only takes place after the fall and spring sessions, the winter session has a stronger technical focus.  But if you do wish to perform the OCCP { Ottawa Centre Class Party} is an event I organize to showcase students of various teachers throughout the city in a healthy, non-judgemental, semi-professional atmosphere.

 Extra bits of info!
 ZILLS – Please take a moment to check out this article on zills – this is for both bellydance and bellywood.
Youtube – Mini lessons – just scroll down a bit once you hit my  Youtube page.
 Halyma’s Lessons on DVD. Yes. these exist for home practice.


If you have any other questions, please contact me 🙂


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