Thursday, December 23, 2010

Suhaila Salimpour Level II - The Right Stuff

When I try to explain the Suhaila Salimpour Bellydance Format to non-dancers, I usually say "it's like boot camp...with bellydance." I don't think that's too far off the mark, either. To dancers, especially dancers who've been around a while, there are varying opinions on the subject. Needless to say, I'm firmly enamored of the format and what Suhaila has much so I often joke, "Yes, I drank the koolaid...and I want more..."

I certified level I in 2009. At the time, level I was all I hoped for...I didn't really see myself pursuing anything more in the format. I felt I was too old, had too many health problems, was working full time and going to school - it just wasn't possible.

So naturally, here I am - striving for Level II in August, 2011. Living out of state from "The Mothership" as Suhaila's studio is fondly called, means I study via online classes, audio training - downloads of up to 30 minute drills I practice on my ipod - and with a close friend who also pursues the dream of Level II.

Sometimes I wonder, what was I thinking? I'm 46, obese, arthritic...I work full time, go to school part time, teach dance part time...I'm a parent to two teenagers...what possibly makes me think I can really DO this? But then, I keep on. Will I make level II in 2011? I honestly don't know. I'll go to the workshop for the CEC's and the experience, and decide at the end if I'm testing.

In the meantime, that means I have eight months to prepare. I've been working on level I classes about a month - because level II classes were frankly too fast and too hard (the warm up, OMG!) after not taking online classes for several months. January is my begin date for Level II classes. You know....on top of 8 credits college, working full time, teaching dance 3-4 nights a week, and 2 nights troupe practice a week...mmmmm. sure. You betcha.

Stay tuned. I'll be talking about training for Level II, the ups and the downs of it, in future posts.

You know, if the warm up doesn't kill me....


  1. Good for you! My dance instructor has taught some Suhaila dances for class. Holy cow, are those things tough! I can just imagine how much work goes into one of her courses.

    Can you pause the online courses? If so, I'm so there. :P

  2. Holy cow! a comment! Thank you - you made my day!

    The suhaila online classes are the BOMB - and yes, you can pause them! You can get a glimpse of the possibilities by subscribing to her 3-day free trial, doesn't cost a penny! But my advice, do so when you have at least a full day or two to really play with it, try the classes out etc. It's HARD, but it's so, so worth it!