CLASS with KATAYOUN
Among the region’s most experienced and respected instructors, Katayoun is especially known for her interpretations of folkloric style belly dance and the Persian dances of her Iranian heritage.
She aims to bring out the best in her students while taking into consideration their individual performance goals.
Students coming to Katayoun's classes for the first time should be prepared to work hard
and have fun!
What to wear: Form-fitting clothing for dance classes. Leather ballet slippers are highly recommended and may be required for
Ladies, fitted jazz or yoga pants/ leggings with sports bra and fitted top/t-shirt.
Gentlemen, shorts, jazz or yoga pants and fitted tank or t-shirt.
Adult Cultural Dance & Music Program
Offering the highest quality and most innovative instruction in the region, our adult dance program is ideal for women and men who begin dancing later in life. Each class offers a different focus. Whether your goal is to dance for fun and fitness, or to learn performance skills, we offer a variety of classes to fit your needs and interests.
Dance Drills & Skills! (formerly known as ShimmyFit)
This multi-level, low-impact dance program incorporates movements, music and cultural flavors of a variety of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern dance styles. Drawing inspiration from vast cultural sources, the format offers infinite variety! Each session offers new music, movements and flavors to explore! Learn proper dance technique in a fun, easy-to-follow format as you tone muscles, improve core control, flexibility, balance and coordination. Explore a diverse dance vocabulary including rhythmic hip movements, graceful body carriage, traveling steps and combinations. Each class builds on basic skills culminating in simple drill routines and fun choreographed sequences.
☺Low-impact, slow pace
With music ranging from Persian pop to Egyptian folkloric, students savor the intricate movements inspired by these intoxicating rhythms and melodies! A joint-friendly and slow-paced version of the format, this dance program is ideal for individuals with no prior dance or movement experience as well as those with injuries or physical limitations. A vast majority of movements from traditional Middle Eastern dances are inherently body-friendly. This class focuses specifically on the core strengthening steps and movements of traditional and contemporary dance styles.
♥High-intensity, fast pace
Drawing from folkloric, Oriental and Persian dance styles, this class offers a more intense version of the format, a combination of cardiovascular activity with core strengthening low-impact movements. Explore serpentine combinations, dynamic stepping patterns and intricate hip articulation in a fun fast-paced format. Dance shoes are highly recommended.
Egyptian Raqs Technique (belly dance): Beginner/Multi-level
The goal of these classes is to develop a strong foundation of movements for a variety of Egyptian dance styles. With a focus on proper posture, alignment, and technique, students explore variations and concepts of rhythmic hip accents, fluid body movements and graceful arms. Activities include fun drills, choreographed sequences and exploring musicality and self-expression. Students may also have the opportunity to learn choreography and performance skills. While designed for students with less than one year of dance experience, all levels of students will continue to improve their skills.
Persian Dance: Beginner/Multi-level
Persian dance is characterized by upper body fluidity, delicate hand and arm movements, along with expressive movements and energetic steps of modern dance styles associated with Iran, the country formerly known as Persia. While gaining flexibility, core balance, and improved posture, students learn about the dances, music and culture of Iranian dance aesthetics. From a foundation rooted in classical Persian dance technique, students explore the diverse flavors of social, folk and character dances. Ballet shoes highly recommended.
Intermediate/Advanced (minimum 1 year progressive training):
Expand your movement vocabulary, enhance your knowledge of Arab dance styles and improve your performance with a more diverse repertoire. The goal of this class is to develop solo and group performance skills through strong technique and understanding of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi and Raqs Balady. Fast-paced and challenging, this class explores in-depth technique, layering, level changes, and infinite variations. Students work on developing a performance repertoire to include Golden-Era classics, folkloric favorites and modern Cairo style for the stage. In addition to choreography, students are expected to participate in improvisational dance activities. Props such as veil, assaya (dance cane) and finger cymbals may be used. Performance is not a condition of enrollment and not all students enrolled will qualify for performance opportunities. Ballet shoes are highly recommended.
Intermediate/Advanced (minimum 1 year progressive training):
The goal of this class is to develop solo and group performance skills, learn intricate stage patterns, and become confident with spins. Students will work on technique, choreography and improvisational skills, as they practice a diverse repertoire of Iranian dance. Pace and content of class is challenging and fast-paced. Performance is not a condition of enrollment and not all students enrolled will qualify for performance opportunities. Ballet shoes are required.
Rhythm & Raqs Ensemble: Beginner/Multi-level
With a strong foundation in cultural context, students will explore the rhythms of dance, and learn techniques for playing Middle Eastern percussion instruments. While developing a repertoire of popular rhythms, students learn basic techniques for playing finger cymbals and doumbek or tabla, the Arabic drum. Other instruments may also be incorporated. From the perspective of dance and music as a community experience, students practice and enjoy playing and dancing as a performance ensemble. Students may compose and practice their own pieces and experiment with group improvisation. As students advance in their skills, they will explore techniques for ornamentation and experiment with musical forms, patterns and structures.
Children's Cultural Dance and Music Program
Children learn self-esteem and a love of learning in a challenging and fun non-competitive environment.
Classes are designed to teach students about the geography and culture of the dances as they develop discipline, creative thinking, coordination, balance and physical fitness. The skills and values they learn will last a lifetime!
Students learn universal dance skills through the cultural dance vocabulary of ethnic dance forms. With a focus on age-appropriate technique and concepts, they will explore the various flavors of music and “Raqs,” or dance. While exploring social interaction through music and dance as a community experience, students learn performance skills and explore story telling through creative movement and choreography.
As they progress in their skills, students may have the opportunity to participate in performances. Dance and music styles include: Persian-Iranian and Egyptian-Arab folk, classical, and social-popular dances.
Music & Movement (3-5)
This class exposes children to the flavors of ethnic music and dance vocabulary through stories, games and creative movement. The goal of this class is to develop listening skills, rhythm, coordination and appreciation for diverse cultures. The games and activities promote language development and stimulate creativity as they have fun moving with and making music.
Raqs Balady (8-12)
Characterized by spirited steps, expressive movements, and dynamic rhythms, Egyptian folkloric dances are an integral part of community celebrations. Children learn about dance collaboration and performance concepts while developing musical and cultural understanding.
Persian & Iranian
Upper body fluidity, intricate steps, and expressive movements are the hallmarks of Persian and Iranian dance styles. While classical Persian dances have lyrical precision, Iranian folk dances are spirited and rhythmic. Children learn the technique and flavors of these diverse dance styles through choreography and improvisation.
Egyptian Raqs (13-16)
Designed to cultivate a positive body image, cultural intelligence, and self-confidence, this class introduces students to the movements and music of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) and Balady (folkloric) dance. Students develop balance, flexibility, coordination, posture and alignment, as they learn modern and traditional steps and styling. They will apply these skills to learn technique, choreography and performance skills.
This class is a combination of Egyptian and Persian Dance styles. The class focuses on developing proficiency in the diverse movement vocabulary of ethnic dance forms. The goal of the class is to develop a performance repertoire through strong technique and understanding of a variety of cultural dance styles.