LEarn to bellydance
with Zahida Palma
If we were to describe Zahida's classes with one word that should be energetic!. From the very first class you will be dancing as well as enjoying the inclusive and warm environment created in the studio.
Zahida's dance lessons are engaging, fun, and very practical.
With almost 20 years of teaching experience and thousands of students under her belt, Zahida will help you develop your confidence as well as your self-expression through dance, no matter your background.
Classes include a complete warm up, based on Body Awareness techniques, drills, sequences, movement breakdowns and expression exercises.
Keeping it simple and challenging at the same time, there is no time to get bored. You'll find a wide range of bellydance styles, from Egyptian to Turkish, from tribal fusion to modern styles, with some creative licenses that will make you learn something new in every lesson.
Zahida is currently a dancer of the groundbreaking bellydance company, Company of Dreams - having toured the UK with them in 2018 - and a teacher of the Belly Dance for Joy project, bringing free bellydance lessons to women in vulnerable moments of their lives.
Zahida's bellydance lessons will spring clean your soul and polish up your body.
Beginners and Intermediate classes at central CROYDON
Beginners: Every Tuesday at 6pm
Intermediate: Every Tuesday at 7pm
£8 for one hour or £12 for two hours
Just pay as you go!
Project B. 3 to 7 Middle Street.
Croydon CR0 1RE
What to expect from a class?
No group is the same. Every day is different and every class is unique.
However, Zahida's lessons usually include:
- Body Awareness and pilates based warming up.
- Technique focused exercises. Traveling and movements in bellydance.
- Movement, steps and choreography fit to the level.
- Body language, expression exercises and explanations.
- Interpretation of different music styles (improvisations, arabic pop, bellydance classics, drum solos, etc)
- Choreography adapted to your level.
- Props training from intermediate levels (veil, candles, isis wings, canes, silk fans, etc).
- Stretching and cooling down.
for those who want to get deeper in certain aspects of their dance, a monthly workshop on different topics. at the Heart of camden town
ARMS and HANDS for BELLY DANCE - ELEGANCE, PRECISION and EXPRESSION
September 19th. Thursday.
18:15 to 20:45
Learn once and for all how to properly get your arms and hands in motion.
If you'd like to:
- Make your arms dance with you and not against you.
- Feel free when it comes to improvise.
- Feel that you are truly expressing your emotions.
- Gain confidence and clarity for your arms and hands movements.
Then this workshop is for you.
Exercises to improve your awareness, technique, posture,
With a very solid technique foundation and a very deep expression focus, you'll get all you need to improve your arm movement. You'll bring home material to keep on practising for months.
FREE YOUR HIP - EFFICIENCY, UNDERSTANDING and SUCCULENCE
October 24th. Thursday.
18:15 to 20:45
A workshop to explore the possibilities of your hip movement. From the most fluid to the sharpest movement.
You'll bring home a clear understanding of your hip movement potential as well as a good idea on the best way to explore it. Technical explanations along with many, many, many practical exercises.
Expect all the twists, hip drops, shimmies, vibrations and hagalas in the world.
Minimum level required: 1 year of belly dance practise.
COORDINATION AND BODY CONTROL. - ISOLATIONS, LAYERS and CREATIVITY
November the 28th. Thursday.
18:15 to 20:45
Test your abilities, develop your brain and muscular memory.
All the exercises presented in this workshop will lead you to a better control of your body.
Body isolations, dissociations, some turns and a lot of joy.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Suitable for all levels but recommended for intermediate dancers.
The Academy Dance Studios
15 Pratt Mews. Camden Town.
London NW1 0AD
3 workshops: £60
2 workshops: £45
1 workshop: £25
Private party workshops
the cherry on the cake for your upcoming event. From Hen Parties to Corporate Team Building. From Therapy Groups to Birthday Parties. At LONDON
When it comes to organize and event, one of the main goals should be to make it unforgettable.
Zahida's tailored, joyful and upbeat workshops will bring that special thing to your special event. A belly dance workshop is a really good way to make bonds within a group, to open your ears to a different kind of music and dance, to have all the fun.
If you are organizing or run a...
- Hen/Bachelorette Party
- Cultural event
- Surprise party
- Women's empowering or therapy group
- Corporate Team Building events
...then a Private Party Workshop is your best bet.
Contact us to let us know the day, time, place and reason for the event. Zahida will check her availability and will get back to you as soon as possible.
You name it, we dance it.
One 2 One
Lessons tailored to your needs. Improve your posture and get to know your body. Very limited availability.
Sometimes a group class is not the best place for you and this is why there is also the possibility to book one to one lessons.
You are free to set your goals, to go faster or slower, to work on a particular topic or to develop your training in general.
Apart from belly dance, Zahida also teaches Body Awareness and Pilates. If you are looking for a correct posture, or if you would like to develop your general technique and fitness level, this classes are for you.
Private lessons can be taught face to face -central London area- or online via skype.
Availability for private classes is very limited, due to the nature of them and the high demand.
Contact Zahida explaining your requirements and desired starting date and she will get back to you as soon as possible with her availability.
the DANCEPANDEMIC ONLINE SCHOOL
Zahida's expertise on your screen. anywhere, anytime.
The DancePandemic online school is already a success in its Spanish version and there are plans to launch the English version in 2020.
Click here to find out all about the Online School, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter if you don't want to miss out.
Frequent Asked Questions
Have you got a question? click to check out Zahida's answers!
WHY ONLY two levels?
To level bellydance students is not that easy. In my opinion there are basically two levels, let alone professional trainings:
- Beginners: Those who have never danced before.
- The rest: Those who know the basics and are in their way to improve. When you are not a beginner anymore -when you already know the basics- your level depends on your commitment, natural talent and time dedicated to rehearse.
There are no official level standards and they solely depend on the teacher who is teaching and the student's previous experience. I have found many classes advertised as advanced level which were far from challenging for me, as well as the opposite has happened. In my opinion the best thing you can do is trying out a class, and deciding by experience if the level and teaching method suits you.
What should I wear for a bellydance class?
Comfortable clothes and bare feet -socks are more than welcome. That's all.
You can wear a hip scarf if you like. Hip scarves are helpful for some students to make them body aware, and of course if they have coins attached, they are super funny to wear and move!.
Apart from the above, all you need to bring to class is your own body.
Why the classes run on a weekly basis and not in a X weeks course basis?
Dance training is a long term commitment. Discipline doesn't necessarily have to be hard, you can have all the fun while you learn. I don't find realistic that a 6 or 10 weeks course will put you on the next level and I choose to encourage discipline and commitment over "fast" results.
Even when you just want to take a class and have some fun with your friends, you'll have to keep on practising and receiving classes if you want to evolve. Learning how to belly dance -or any other dance style- requires time and determination.
However, the beginners lessons are open for all and it's also ok just to pop up to spend a good evening.
Is there an age limit?
Nope. It doesn't matter how young or old you are, my classes are open for everyone.
If you are under 16 it's a legal requirement that an come to class with you.
If you are over 100, let's celebrate it!
I am pregnant, can I join the classes?
If you have never dance before, starting dancing classes while pregnant might not be the best option.
Bellydance is usually a really good exercise for pregnancy, it has good a reputation on helping women before, during and after pregnancy.
In any case the last word is on your doctor and midwife, please consult them before joining the class.
I am overweight, can i dance?
Look, I suffered severe bulling at school for exactly that reasons, and she has become an advocate for body acceptance and body positivity.
I really don't mind how fat, thin, tall or short you are. You have a soul, and you have a body, hence, you can dance.
I wrote a blog post about the topic--> How to be a good dancer even if you don't look like one.
Do I need to book in advance?
It depends. For the drop in classes there is no need.
For obvious reasons, for the one to one lessons and workshops you have to book in advance.
I can't make every class, is it a problem?
Not at all. The weekly classes are a drop in, pay as you go. You don't have to worry if you can't come every week.
There is an obvious advantage if you do so -coming every week- but you'll be able to follow the classes if you just pop up from time to time.
Zahida adapts every class to the group making every class different and unique.
Also, there is always a place for new people at the beginners class, so if you are on the fence, come over and try one!
Have you got a refund policy?
Due to the nature of the lessons and the running costs we operate under a NO refund policy.
Please make sure you can attend to class before your purchasing.
Also, have a look at hour drop in lessons 😉
I can Find My Answer!
Feel free to drop us a line using the contact form. We are always happy to help you decide what is the best option for you.
If you can't find your answer here, contact us, we are on the other side to help.
ZAHIDA's PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Certified Pilates teacher in 2011, Zahida started her way in dance in contemporary dance when she was only 12 years old.
From the 2000 and for 5 years she received belly dance group and private lessons from her first teacher in Madrid. Requested and mentored by her teacher, she started teaching belly dance in 2001 in different cultural hubs and associations.
From 2005 and from that year onwards, as an independent professional, Zahida teaches workshops and seminars belly dance related. She has worked for universities, dance schools, councils and cultural centres.
It is said that her classes are full of joy and creativity, and that everywhere she teaches she creates an inclusive, close and welcoming environment.
Always evolving, Zahida has learnt from different sources. So back in 2009 she was part of a very successful production directed by Cristiane Azem -Galata. Amongst more than 50 dancers and with 4 dates sold out, Zahida danced in the amazing and yet inexistent Teatro de Madrid. She was also a dancer in Luna de Oriente Dance Company and Tres patas pa un banco Circus Company.
Between 2010 and 2014 she was an eager learner from her favourite teacher, Sonia Sampayo. With Sonia, Zahida studied african dance, turns and balance, veil, stage presence and body awareness. Sonia's lessons were a turning point in how Zahida were going to understand movement from then onwards.
Still in Madrid, she learnt Gothic and Tribal Fusion with Morgana for 5 years, african dance from alboury Dabo (Senegal) and belly dance from Gloria Alba.
When Zahida moved to London in 2014 she kept learning ballet with Franziska Rosenzweig (Holistic Ballet) and african dance with Yaye Dib Sabar and Aida Diop.
But without any doubt Zahida's most important accomplishment is to be invited to be a dancer of Company of Dreams, in the beginning of 2017, directed by Charlotte Deshorger.
Company of Dreams is the first dance company related with Belly Dance taking part on the program of prestigious theatres in United Kingdom.
In 2018 she toured the UK with Company of Dreams, reaching cities like Bristol, Manchester and Telford.
Also thanks to Company of Dreams, Zahida has got the chance to bring her Belly Dance classes to women in very difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives. Rape, domestic abuse, prison, trafficking and slavery are very violent experiences with a big impact in the sufferers. Thanks to the belly dance classes the healing process for these women is hopefully being softer and kinder.
Through this project -Belly Dance for Joy- Zahida has worked, and still works, for very important organizations in United Kingdom such as Migrant Help UK, Women's Aid and Hestia, amongst others. If you would like to know more about this project and donate to help us reaching more and more women, you can follow this link.
Zahida studied a Biology degree at Uni until the third course, leaving it because she started dancing full time.
As a self taught she constantly learns, specially from Tom Myers -Anatomy Trains- and Blandine Calais -Anatomy for the movement methods.
If you are keen to try a change in the way you understand and experience your body while you enjoy on the way, you can start right here.