Salimpour School Online Bellydance Classes

L3+ Raks Suhaila: 6 wks

Learn this choreography in six weeks with content for your improvisation performance development.  Includes Suhaila's Bridging the Gap series.  


Raks Suhaila is a "Suhaila Solo Improv-Prep" required choreography.  The choreography instruction is available separately in the PPV section for dancers with SL2+ certification.

About "Suhaila Solo Improv-Prep" Choreographies

  • Beginning in L2, Salimpour School students begin developing their Performance Catalogs which require a substantial amount of improvisational work to classic Arabic music.  Iconic works from Suhaila’s vast solo work were selected as improvisational preparation (improv-prep) pieces and documented in a set choreographic form.  These selections are required choreographies and are officially referred to as the required “Suhaila Solo” choreographies (although they are also called the “improv-prep” choreographies). 
  • By learning these pieces, students learn more about Arabic musical themes, phrasing, and cultural responses to the music (such as when to emote outwardly or inwardly.). While you bring your personal emotional intent to your dance, you also represent another culture whose music and dance requires study of the culture with context.  With more in-depth study and understanding of classical Arabic music and dancers, your dance and personal expression will improve.
  • While you develop your ear for listening to the music, develop your eyes for seeing the dance.  Studying the dance masters for musical interpretation, performance quality, and nuance is incredibly important.  Watch performances several times.  Revisit them regularly.  The more you learn as a dancer, the more you will find in the performances each time you return to view them. In addition to Suhaila, watch Nadia Gamal, Tahia Carioca, Naima Akef, Samia Gamal, Nagua Fouad, Mona El Said.  Other suggestions will be made throughout the assortment of training plans.

Note:  The training plan is 6 weeks, but the choreography subscription is available in 1 month increments.  The training plans were designed as a means to keep students training every week with a variety of classes following a traditional 8 week rotation of material.  You can do this training plan without learning the choreography, or you can learn the choreography without the full training plan.  You can adapt the training plans as needed.  Be creative.  Some approaches might be:

  • Purchase the choreography PPV for a second month so that you have the video available throughout the full training plan.
  • Purchase the choreography PPV for only one month, but double up the choreography assignments so they can be covered in one month.  
  • Learn the choreography all at once and then use the sections assigned per week as a guide for review.

Of course, the video has a lot of value.  Written choreography notes only tell a certain percentage of the story.  After you learn the sequencing, moves, and steps in a choregraphy, we recommend going back and relearning from the video again.  The second time, you notice even more!

Week 1   |   Week 2   |   Week 3   |   Week 4   |   Week 5   |   Week 6


Week 1

  • Hearing Music (and Tallies)
  • Raks Suhaila Performance Set
  • From the Blog
  • Video 1
  • SL3 Three Quarters
  • Basic Entrances and Exits

Week 2

  • Video 1
  • SL3 Squares and Pelvic Locks
  • Bridging the Gap 1
  • What Are We Seeing Anyway?
  • 100+ Compositions

Week 3

  • Video 2
  • SL3 Circles
  • Bridging the Gap 2
  • Music Lecture
  • Performance Sets and Instructions

Week 4

  • Video 3
  • SL3 Diamonds
  • Bridging the Gap 3
  • Debke Workshop
  • L4 Catalog Tutorial

Week 5

  • Video 3
  • SL3 Figure Eights
  • Bridging the Gap 4
  • Baladi Progression
  • Arabic Language & Literature 1 of 4

Week 6

  • Hearing Music (and Tallies)
  • Raks Suhaila Performance
  • Video 4
  • SL3 Twists
  • JL2.5 Jamhaila

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