As a part of their Level 4 requirements, each dancer creates their own personal choreography to a composition meeting the music genre or theme for that particular testing group. During their choreographic development, Suhaila works with the students on intention and an authentic connection physically and emotionally to the work and music. In this challenging performance section, the dancers perform the required choreographies and their own personal choreographies nonstop in one set, demonstrating the highest physical and technique demands in Suhaila’s certification program.
The performers will improvise to a live Arabic Band with classical Arabic music. The dancers will not know their performance music until they are on stage, and each ends with a drum solo. Each dancer is told to bring double veil, cane, sword, and finger cymbals. Right before a dancer goes on stage, she will be told if she will require one or more of the props for particular portions of her performance. The interaction between dancer and musician is crucial in this section of the performance test.
Gloria Lanuza, performer, director, teacher and choreographer has trained and performed with her extended family of accomplished professional artists since childhood. Throughout her life Gloria has devoted many years to studies in world, classical, concert and commercial dance, music and other performing arts disciplines. Ms. Lanuza has been training with the Salimpour School of Belly Dance since the Summer of 2014, and appreciates the depth with which this art form is approached. Gloria has 20 years of professional free-lance work as a featured performance artist, educator and champion competitor in concert, film and commercial platforms around the world. Ms. Lanuza currently performs internationally with her company and other professional endeavors, and also teaches for Tony Plana’s Musical Theatre community outreach program, Broadway Bound. Whether performing as a soloist or with others, Ms. Lanuza’s mission is to establish and demonstrate integrity through profound respect and understanding of the world cultures and genres represented. Gloria believes that a well crafted performing arts and education experience can open people’s minds and hearts to inspire profound and positive dialogues.
Rachel is an accomplished and award winning performer and instructor from Portland OR, and now based in San Diego CA. She holds such titles as “BellyDancer of the Universe”, “Entertainer of the Year” & “BellyDance USA”. Currently a Suhaila L5 Certified Licensed instructor, Rachel is enjoying the process and pursuit of Jamila Level-4. Rachel has been a student of the Salimpour School since 1999 and is also the Salimpour School Certification Coordinator.
Suhaila Salimpour is a highly-acclaimed belly dance performer, teacher, and choreographer. As a teenager, she began integrating the Middle Eastern dance passed on to her from her mother, Jamila Salimpour, with her own extensive training in ballet, jazz, tap, and American street styles. After working as a professional belly dance performer in the Middle East for over 10 years, she established her school and certification program in the United States in the late 1990s. She has choreographed hundreds of dances, from the classic to the avant garde, and was nominated for an Isadora Duncan award for solo performance in 2005. Her methods and approach to teaching belly dance is a true artistic breakthrough: a revolutionary technique that has elevated belly dance practice and performance. Her technique and methods are now used by dancers in all stylizations, and the Salimpour School is one of the most respected and influential schools of belly dance in the world.
Suhaila took over teaching for the Salimpour School in the 1980s. Soon after, she launched her revolutionary technique based on an understanding of the body and how it moves from within. The ability to break down physical movements intelligently, before executing and layering them, creates the mind-body link that is an essential base. Students build a strong foundation by learning specifics of body posture, dance technique, isolation of muscle groups, movement identification, coordination, grace and presence, finger cymbals, rhythm identification, music awareness, improvisation, performance, choreography, culture, and dance history.
The Salimpour School has educated belly dancers since 1949, beginning first with Jamila’s format. Jamila structured her format on step families, and she integrated history, culture, music, and finger cymbals; students thoroughly learn the steps and historical stylization while learning to expand the work.