How To Run A Special Belly Dance Class Party
At the end of every term course or block of belly dancing classes that I teach I always try to make it a little bit extra special but without having to organise a big event or have outgoings by having to hire places that can be kept for another time through the year. Belly dance students love anything celebratory in my experience so if this is something you are interested in doing here are some of my tips and what I usually do.
Dress up -
Ask everyone to wear some belly dance costuming jewelry and makeup, anything glitzy and different to what they would wear at class but make it optional of course. Make sure you are all dressed up.
Nibbles and drinks -
If the hall or studio where you hire is okay with you bringing food and drink into your class this is a great little addition. My go to is always cake and tea herbal tea coffee or wine depending on permission from the hall. Check out the main video at the top to see the lovely cupcakes I had made for my class. In my other class one of my members is a bakery and a very good one at that she sells her cakes on stalls she to provided us with our fill of cakes.
Don't forget performance
You don't have to run an amazing hafla event (although that is definitely an option but can be stressful) keep the stress out of it and just offer students to dance at class in the form of a mini hafla or show. Don't forget you as the teacher should get up and perform to. This give your students an opportunity to see you perform. If you have been teaching choreography you could ask everyone who wants to to perform it or more than one. You could invite students to work on something themselves or to improvise if they have the confidence to buy remember always make it optional, don't force anyone into it.
Warm up and dance!
Maybe just organising your class differently so it's less formal teaching and more fun routines games and techniques. Add in a social prop or two so your students get to do something different and choose fitting music.
Change in Seasons and Festivities
If it is summer and warm why not take your class in the outdoors like on the beach or on grass or in the woods. You will have to think about what you will wear on your feet and be sure to tell your students. Maybe go and try it out yourself first. Also what about the winter nights, could you belly dance with candlelight? It can be false flame or real depending on permission from the studio. Christmas and Easter or special occasions you could get creative and add festivity into your classes. Just get creative.
A special workshop
Could you teach something that your students are not familiar with that you think they would enjoy? How about organising another teacher to come and teach you and your group something different or something more in depth. I often support others in the community and in return they support me and I ask other teachers to come and teach while I host. Drumming folkloric dance or something totally different.
A Day Out
If you are working on something specific that relates to art ect you could take a trip to the local museum or art gallery to see exhibition on ancient Egyptians or Greeks or anything else. In Merseyside we have an amazing event each year call Arabic Arts Festival and often they have dance. This is just a great way to watch performance learn and connect with others.
Visit a local hafla
If the time and date ect coincides with your class you could work on a choreography with your class and perform it at a local hafla. This not only gives students a night out and time to dance and connect with others but it also supports the local dance community.
Go For A Meal
Turkish,Greek, North African, Middle Eastern food is great food to choose and it gives people in your class who have never tried certain foods from the places where belly dance comes from an opportunity to try. You get to relax aswell. This year we had a class with cake and warm drinks and we practiced lots of fun dance routines dressed up, We have our Christmas get together at an proper English afternoon tea parlour which is decorated beautifully and we had a glass of wine to!.
I do think it's important to make your students feel special and to show them your appreciation by organising little things. I have been a students of lots of classes not just belly dance and by far the best ones where the ones where the teachers made an effort to organise additional social time that wasn't just a money making show. The little things meant alot.
So these are my tips on how to make your class extra special for special occasions or at the end of a term course or block of classes. This just allows space to celebrate with your students in a low-key way without having to go to extremes of organising a hafla show or event. Feel free to use my tip create your own or share what you do with me. If be happy to publish it here in this page and credit you. Just email me