Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQs")

about belly dancing


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Otherwise, click on any of the questions below to get your answer!
 


Where and when are your regular classes? Do I need to book? How much is each class?

Are your classes and/or workshops suitable for complete beginners and/or intermediate and advanced dancers?  Do I need to book in advance?  

Do you have a training video or DVD available; is there one for advanced dancers?

Are there any belly dance teachers or events in my area?

Are you available for live performances?

Do you perform at "Hen Parties"?

Do you give private tuition?

Where can I buy belly dancing costumes and accessories?

Do you have a catalogue of belly dancing costumes and accessories?

Do you have any BellyBabies classes running or scheduled at present?

Are there membership fees at any of your classes?

Can you hold a workshop in my area?

I didn't get to your workshop; can I have my money back?

Do you have any residential classes?

Do you allow men in classes?

Do you allow spectators (non-participating) in classes?

I'm a teacher of bellydance or related subjects; can I be listed on your website?

Do you provide formal teacher training qualifications?

Do you have a training video or DVD available; is there one for advanced dancers?


Do you perform at "Hen Parties"?

It's a lovely idea for a hen-party - I lead quite a few! My normal fee for a one-hour session is between 150 and 200 plus travel expenses (dependent upon location - I have to travel from Selwo, near Estepona). If you need me to provide the venue, then the fee is per dancer; between 20 and 40 per head, depending on numbers and on the studio location and cost. I need dates and numbers asap to be able to give you a firm quote; I tend to be booked up some way ahead! If I can't do the date you want, or it's outside your budget; I may be able to offer one of my top-trained students for between 80 and 150. Please contact me if you would like to discuss further. Alternatively, your group may be able to get to a scheduled workshop. These are usually in the Marbella/Estepona area (but occasionally elsewhere within Spain and the Middle East).  Most workshops are held on selected Saturday or Sunday afternoons and are 3 hours in length. They cover style and technique and teach a choreographed dance routine.  The cost is from 40 per head.  My workshops are suitable for dancers of all levels, beginner to advanced.  Booking and advance payment in full is essential; (bank transfer or PayPal; or cash at any of my classes).

For latest details of workshops and last minute changes to times/venues, please see the workshops page UK Workshops on this website.

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Are you available for live performances?

Yes - more information can be found on the Performances page.
My normal minimum charges for a professional performance vary between 200 and 500, plus travel expenses; but I would need to know the following to enable me to give you an accurate quote:

- Date and time of day;

- Venue (location, type, size; and whether an adequate sound system (with CD drive or connection for an iPod) is available);

- Elapsed time (maximum is normally 2 hours for cabaret work);

- Type of function;

- Audience type and size (I only perform to mixed or all female audiences);

- Any special requirements (for instance, teaching, as opposed to, or in addition to, performing).

If my fee range is outside of your budget, I can usually offer a top-trained student of mine for between 80 and 150 (plus expenses).

Please contact me to discuss further. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Do you give personal training?

Yes - both for individual dancers and for those that wish to become dance teachers - details are on this website on the Personal training page >>> Personal training with Jacqueline Chapman<<<
Please contact me to discuss further. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Where can I buy belly dancing costumes and accessories?

Sadly, there are very few shops catering specifically for belly dancers - shame! Many of the Chinese Bazzars sell a few hip-belts and the occasional costume. I am currently researching this in Spain and will post information here on any that I find.

Several teachers, myself included, do sell some costumes (online and/or at classes) as well as many other accessories. Please contact me Telephone numbers and e-mail address by email if you have specific requirements.

If you are in the UK, possible outlets are:
Forbidden Fruits Bazaar - Lutterworth, Leics; see www.forbiddenfruitsbazaar.com;

The Shimmy Shop - Haverfordwest, S. Wales; see www.baubo.co.uk;

There are some shops in London, like Torus and another in Carnaby Street, which sell stage clothes; some of which can be used as the basis of a costume, if you are good with a needle! Centrally, but more commonly around the suburbs, there are occasional middle-eastern art and craft shops, many of which sell the odd costume or hip-belt, but these are generally tourist rather than practitioner quality.

Finally, there are lots of bellydance costume shops on the Internet - but do be careful! Most are in third world countries; your money might be at risk; carriage is usually excluded from quoted prices and can be very expensive; and it can be even more expensive if the items delivered don't fit or are not as described and have to be sent back (usually at your cost and with no guarantee of a refund).

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Do you have a catalogue of belly dancing costumes and accessories?

Sadly, it is not practical for me to produce a catalogue. I supply costumes and accessories just as a service to dancers; and the volume of business would not justify the costs of production.  Even if it was financially viable, a catalogue would have limited value, because all of the items I sell are individually hand made, mainly in Egypt, Turkey or Morocco.  I always purchase for stock a wide selection of items each time I visit any of these countries; but it is very rarely that I actually get two items the same!  Also, of course, fashions in these countries change as rapidly as they do in Europe, so any catalogue would very quickly get out of date.

My stock can be seen at classes and workshops or by appointment only. The detailed list of my "Middle Eastern Bazaar" can be found on my website. Please contact me if you have specific requirements.   Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Do you have any BellyBabies classes running or scheduled at present?

I do not have a dedicated Belly Babies session running or scheduled at the moment.  However, I have many pregnant women attending my normal classes and workshops successfully (see Details of Jacqueline Chapman's Belly Dancing classes in Spainclasses or UK Workshopsworkshops pages). If you are ever able to attend one of these, do let me know that you are pregnant, as I will give you extra care and slightly different movements, when necessary, during a class. I personally prefer the first 6 weeks to allow the foetus to embed firmly in the uterine wall, so you are very welcome from the 7th week onward at my classes.

If you attend a local belly dancing class (or undertake a home class using a video - details are on the Jacqueline Chapman's video - 'Belly Dancing' video page), aim for gentle, deep muscular control, concentrating on lifting the pelvic floor to strengthen your childbirth area.  I allow hip-lifts, not hip-drops; and no shimmying (except for shoulder shimmies). Visualize your unborn child - hug, massage and hold baby close to you with your abdominal muscles. Resist giving baby a shimmy jacuzzi-style!  Check with your doctor or midwife that it's OK for you to continue; and make sure your teacher is fully aware of your situation. Please contact me to discuss further. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Where and when are your regular classes? Do I need to book in advance?

I run regular classes in the Marbella/Estepona area. They are not necessarily run every week and there will be months when there are no scheduled classes, as I do travel frequently to other areas. It is advisable to book; as if there are no booked students for a particular class, then it may not run. Generally, the price is discounted if you book and pay in advance, from 12 to 10 per class/hour.

Full details, with current costs, of all my classes are shown on the Details of Jacqueline Chapman's Belly Dancing classes in the UKclasses page.

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Are there membership fees at any of your classes?

Currently, none of the venues I am planning to use for regular dance classes charge membership fees.

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Are your classes and/or workshops suitable for complete beginners and/or intermediate and advanced dancers? Do I need to book in advance?

I teach beginners, intermediate, advanced and professional levels for pleasure, performance and teaching.  I normally consider beginners to be up to 18 months and intermediate to be beyond that (with advanced being 5 years plus).  However, all dancers learn at their own rate - some achieve intermediate within 6 months, whilst others may never really achieve it.

Most classes and workshops are designed primarily for beginners, but are sectioned between beginners and intermediate/advanced dancers so that the latter receive advanced tuition appropriate to their experience level and requirements.

My speciality is choreography - and all of my workshops and residential courses culminate in the teaching of a unique, choreographed dance routine. The movements for the routine will be dependent upon and will be taught during the workshop or class in the sequence to master the dance. For beginners, each move is taught at the basic level, whereas intermediate or advanced dancers are taught the more complex and difficult variations on each move.  Aiming for authenticity, I stress posture, isolation, technique and interpretation of music genre.


Full details are on the classes page - Details of Jacqueline Chapman's Belly Dancing classes in the UK - and the workshops page - UK Workshops

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Can you hold a workshop in my area?

I can normally hold workshops on a Saturday or Sunday. My preferred format is 3 hours, usually from 2-5pm, but I can consider alternative arrangements. The main requirement is for a venue with a dance studio; i.e. a sprung wooden floor or specially surfaced dance floor and mirrors to the majority of one wall (preferably the longest wall, if the studio is rectangular). Minimum size depends on the number of students expected; I generally allow about 30-35 sq. feet (3-4 sq. metres) per student for a standard workshop; but I allow at least 50% more space if sticks or veils are required.

My charges depend on whether I arrange and pay for the venue; on the amount of travel time and cost involved; and on the number of students. Generally, including studio hire, the cost is a minimum of 25 per student; with a minimum of 20 students. A complimentary workshop place is normally given to the local organiser in return for enlisting workshop members, liasing with the venue, distributing posters, identifying suitable local news media in which to place listings, etc. Please contact me to discuss further. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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I didn't get to your workshop; can I have my money back?

Shame you didn't make the workshop! With regard to your request for a roll-over or part-refund - I sometimes have dancers on the waiting list who could have taken your place had you informed me.

The terms and conditions are stated clearly on the workshops page of this website and printed on your receipt :
"Payments are non-transferable, and non-refundable in the event of cancellation by the student."  
"However, in case of cancellation, IF YOUR PLACE IS FILLED, I will credit you with about half the cost of the workshop towards the next workshop, weekly classes, or payment towards a hip-belt or similar item."

I would love to help you out - and I may have been able to before the event - but cannot afterwards.  Many book and then are taken ill, or forget, or otherwise cannot make it.  I still have to pay the full studio rent and spend three weeks preparing the workshop even if no-one turns up on the day!

I'm sorry to disappoint you. If you wish to book the next workshop UK Workshops please do so asap as it's going quickly!

Keep dancing & enjoying..........

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Do you have any residential classes?

I am planning to run residential belly dance vacations in the Andalucia area - long weekends; 5-days; 1 week and 2 weeks. When these are up and running, you will find details on the International workshops page.

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Do you allow men in classes?

I can teach men and have done so many times for films etc. The belly dance movements for men are similar but different to women's and, ideally, they should be taught separately for this reason. Occasionally, I do have male professional dancers attending one of my classes to learn new choreography or routines for their professional performances.  Also, sometimes, I have an Arabic male drummer at my classes or workshops. Regular classes are normally all female. I know that some students, particularly the beginners, are uncomfortable with a man in the class. A further complication is that changing facilities are limited at all class venues - and many of the ladies get changed in the studio - so the presence of a man can be a problem.

Being a middle-eastern dance form, a number of the students are Muslim; and therefore unable to share a dance studio with a man. For all these reasons then, except when there is a male drummer, I always have to ask my students before I can let a man join in as a dancer and, if anyone objects, then it would not be possible.
 If this is critical to you (one way or the other) please telephone me on the day before the class or workshop and I may be able to give you an indication of the likely situation. Please note that I do not regard formerly male transexuals as being male and, provided that I am completely satisfied that they are genuine, they are very welcome in my classes as women.

There are some male teachers around and obviously it would be much less of a problem to have a man in their classes; I can provide you with their details on request. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Do you allow spectators (non-participating) in classes?

I'm afraid not.  Most of my classes cater particularly for beginners; and new dancers are generally slightly nervous.  They certainly don't want an audience until they have improved considerably!  Occasionally, I organise "Showcase" evenings, where students from my classes put on a performance and I demonstrate what takes place in a class.  Tickets go on sale a few weeks beforehand.

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Are there any belly dance teachers in my country or area?

To search for a teacher in your area, see my Geographic Teachers Listing Teacher details in geographic sequence    The majority are within the UK, but there are quite a few details of teachers outside of the UK.   If you know the name of a teacher you are looking for, see my Alphabetic Teachers Listing. Teacher details in name sequence
Alternatively, you could try one of the international belly dance sites listed on my Links page Links to related sites on the web

Not all teachers have elected to be included on my Listings, but I do have additional information on teachers so, if you cannot find what you're looking for, please contact me to discuss further. Telephone numbers and e-mail address Contact information

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Do you provide formal teacher training qualifications?

There is no nationally or internationally recognised accreditation or certification for belly dancers or belly dance teachers; but a number of teachers do run courses specifically to train teachers; and some of these are run at educational establishments.  I have not personally attended any of these, so I cannot give a personal recommendation on the quality of either the courses or the teachers; and you would be advised to read the small print to satisfy yourself that the accreditation or certification has some value.  You may be better off considering a generic, but recognised, vocational qualification to teach dancing generally.

I do train several teachers myself, and many teachers attend my classes and workshops on a regular basis. A number of the teachers on my teachers register run courses to train teachers - see my Teacher details in geographic sequenceGeographic Teachers Listing. You might also obtain contacts on the Mosaic website - http://www.mosaicdance.org and on the NADA website - http://www.nada.uk.com

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Do you have a training video or DVD available; is there one for advanced dancers?

Currently, I have only one training video available for purchase.  The DVD has been designed specifically to meet the needs of a beginner or improver, learning at home. There is a talk, warm-up exercises, posture, belly dance movements and, finally, a choreographed dance to learn. It is designed espacially for beginners, but my speciality is choreography so, even if you are an experienced dancer and know some or all of the movements, the dance routine itself will be new to you.

It can be purchased at classes or by mail order (payment by bank transfer; PayPal account; or by credit card via PayPal).  Details are on the video pageJacqueline Chapman's video - 'Belly Dancing'.

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I'm a teacher of bellydance or related subjects; can I be listed on your website?

Yes!  Please go to the teacher listing page - Teacher details form - fill in the form and click on "Submit" to send me your details. Once you are listed, it is CRITICAL that you update your entry if your email address changes. I check these regularly, to ensure the currency of the information, and I delete any teachers whose email addresses are no longer answered or available!!

It is not a condition for inclusion, but I would appreciate a reciprocal mention on your website, if and when you have one. A simple mention of my website address, with something like "Jacqueline Chapman, classes in the Costa del Sol", is quite sufficient but, if you would like to include a proper link with a button, the html code is included below for you to copy and paste. Just use your html editor to insert this wherever you choose on your site.  Alternatively, you can go to www.baileoriental.es/linkinfo.html and copy and paste from there.

<A HREF="http://www.baileoriental.es">

Keep dancing and enjoying!

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