All About Belly Dance

Shannon Bishop,
Black Cat Belly Dance

The dance, culture, music, and costumes of Middle Eastern Dance with Shannon Bishop

  • The moves: shimmies, circles, drops, and more!
  • The history: its roots in Egypt and the arrival in America
  • The music: the instruments, rhythms, and sometimes romantic, sometimes crazy lyrics!
  • The classic belly dance show, as well as some of the folkloric dances of Egypt
  • How to put together a gorgeous costume that makes the dance come alive!

Have you ever wanted to try a belly dance class…but weren’t sure where to start?  Are you interested in learning about another culture? Have you ever wondered what makes belly dance so exotic…and different than Western dance?  If so, this intensive is for you!  Shannon will be teaching everything you ever wanted to know about Egyptian style belly dance – the steps, the history, the costumes, the music, the cultural relevance and much, much more!  This intensive is great for those with or without dance experience, for those who are new to belly dance or those who want to take their dance to the next level, for men or women, and participants of all ages, shapes and sizes.  Optional Showcase Performance concludes the sessions. For all levels. Ages 13 & up. Intimate setting, space limited.

Friday, June 21  Registration & check-in; select classes from the Festival line-up; catch Shannon’s show at The Greek

Saturday, June 22  9am Registration & Check-in (for those arriving on Saturday)

10-11am History and culture of Arabic dance, exploring the Golden Age of Egyptian dance through today. Contrary to popular belief, belly dance as we know it today is less than 100 years old!  Learn about the most famous dancers of Egypt, from the era of black and white cinema, to the cabarets of the 60’s and 70’s, to the modern day stars.  We will also explore what makes Egyptian belly dance unique…and different from belly dance in the US!

11am-Noon Understanding Arabic music – the classics, the entrance piece, the crazy street music and more!The beauty, depth and variety of Arabic music is unparalleled.  In this class we will explore common Arabic rhythms, classic love songs, audience favorites and modern Shaabi-style street music…and how to put them together to create a great show!

1pm-3pm Dance Technique for Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (belly dance). Learn the shimmies, undulations and hip work that are unique to belly dance!Belly dance is the fun, social dance of the Middle East, and in this two hour class, you will learn what makes it different from Western dance styles…and you will have a blast doing it!

3pm-4pmCostuming for Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) and folkloric dance Belly dance costumes are some of the most glamorous dance costumes in the world!  In this class, you will learn what types of costumes go with what type of music and performance, the differences between Raqs Sharqi and folkloric costumes, where to buy the best (and most affordable) pieces and how to achieve a perfect, stage-worthy fit!

Sunday, June 23

10am-noon Introduction to the folkloric dances of Egypt – the steps, the costuming, the history and more!Professional belly dancers know more than just how to belly dance  – they know the rhythms, music and dance steps from every dance region of Egypt.  This class will provide an overview of the most well know Egyptian folk dances, how to incorporate them into a full show…and may even include a folkloric choreography! (Props will be provided.)

2-4pm Egyptian Style Belly Dance Choreography In this final workshop, we will put everything together to create a dynamic belly dance choreography to an upbeat and fun Egyptian song. Participants will have the (optional) opportunity to perform the choreography as a group in the festival showcase!”

4:30-5:30pm Stage and performance makeup.No performance is complete without makeup!  This class will cover how to create the perfect performance face, including the differences between performance and stage makeup.  From eyelashes to contouring, we will cover it all!  Participants will be provided with a list of makeup items to bring to the workshop.

6pm Showcase (optional)

Shannon Bishop is the owner of Black Cat Belly Dance and has been teaching and performing Middle Eastern Dance since 2006, specializing in Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) and the folkloric dances of Egypt.  You can see her performing just about every Friday night here in State College at The Greek restaurant, and at festivals, weddings and special events across the East Coast.  She is a regular event producer, workshop instructor and guest choreographer for Middle Eastern dance.  She studies and performs regularly in Egypt, and leads music and dance tours there at least once a year.

Price: $179 for the intensive, includes a $35 Class Pass to use throughout the Festival. Early-bird special- register by Friday, May 10-$149. Hotel packages available. Register Now!