Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
To attend regularly, a 10-week course costs $150. Half-term enrolment is available for $85 (5 classes), and classes may be attended casually for $20 each. Enrolments are not transferrable to other people or across terms, however it is possible to use your pass for both Bellydance and Zumba.
SPECIAL OFFER: Enrol in two courses simultaneously and get the second course for HALF PRICE! Do Zumba and Bellydance together as a great way to kickstart your exercise program. Or, for more experienced dancers, revisit the basics in the Fundamentals class while extending yourself in Beyond Beginners/Intermediate classes. (Full 10-week courses only)
How do I enrol?
Enrolment is only confirmed once you have paid the course fee. Here's the page on how to pay, as well as terms and conditions.
What should I wear/bring?
Wear comfortable, stretchy clothing that doesn't restrict your movement. Dance pants, gym pants, yoga pants or leggings are recommended for the bottom half so that the teacher can see what your legs and knees are doing. Avoid jeans and skirts. For the top half, t-shirts or singlets - you don't have to bare your tummy!
For bellydance, bare feet are fine, but bring along some socks, jiffies or ballet slippers for turns and for when it's cold. A colourful, jingly scarf for the hips can help you get in the mood and see how your hips are moving. If you have any other exotic accessories you'd like to wear, feel free to glam it up and become a goddess, gypsy or princess for class!
Zumba ® fitness classes involve slightly higher impact, so jazz sneakers are recommended. If you don't have any, good sneakers with non-marking soles will do. Make sure they aren't too grippy to stop you turning.
And whichever type of dance exercise you're doing, always bring a bottle of water.
But I'm too old/young/overweight/thin/unfit...
You're ready to start dancing just as you are! Dancers come in all ages, shapes and sizes. It's common for classes to include girls as young as 4 and as old as 75, and of all fitness levels.
If you haven't enjoyed traditional fitness activities, you may find a new passion for movement when it's accompanied by exotic music, colourful veils, and tinkling finger cymbals. Even if you're already physically fit, bellydance provides a new physical and mental challenge as you learn to move your body in new ways.
Zumba ® fitness is higher intensity than bellydance, but the way it's structured in our courses allows you to gradually increase the intensity level as the weeks pass and your fitness improves. The moves can also be modified for those who have injuries to look after.
Starting a new dance class is like starting any other program of physical activity: check with your doctor first and let the teacher know, especially if you have back and joint problems, are very overweight or unfit, or are pregnant.
I've never danced in my life. Can I do it?
Give it a try! The movements of bellydance are natural to women's bodies, and in many cultures girls grow up dancing, without ever taking classes. Bellydance moves are explained so that you understand them and your own body. Zumba ® fitness moves are so simple, you can pick them up just by watching and copying - but we break them down and explain them too. You'll find dancing improves your co-ordination, posture, grace and flexibility.
Can I, or will I have to perform?
If you want to perform, there are opportunities at the end of every second term for Fundamentals students. In the Beyond Beginners / Intermediate Bellydance classes, and in some Fundamentals classes, we'll work on choreographies for the Middle Eastern Dance Festival and other community events. It's a real treat to dress up and show your friends and family what you've learnt!
But if you don't want to perform, you will never be asked to. (Even if you take the choreography class.) In fact, even if you are keen, chances are it will take at least a couple of years of training before you're ready to begin performing solos even at student events, and you'll then need much more experience before you can think about turning professional. The focus at Inspire! Bellydance is on enjoying the learning process and the benefits that come with it, not preparing to perform.
What if I (have to) miss a class?
Well, good and bad news. Due to the 10-week course structure, we cannot offer you an individual make-up class, nor credit for any missed classes. However, you are welcome to catch up by coming along to classes at other times (at any location, provided there is space). By arrangement, you can also give a class credit to a friend, to introduce them to Belly Dancing or Zumba ® fitness!
Can men join the classes?
While men can and do bellydance, Inspire! Bellydance classes are open to women only, because many women feel more comfortable learning in an all-female environment. Men wishing to learn are welcome to contact Rachel about individual classes. Men are welcome (but sadly rare) in Zumba classes.
Can I bring my child(ren) with me??
Mothers are welcome to bring their daughters as young as 4 years old if they wish to participate. When enrolling with a paying adult, girls under 10 are only $25 for the term, while girls under 18 are half price when enrolling with a full fee paying adult. The adult is expected to take responsibility for their child and ensure class is not disrupted. Women aged 14 and over may enrol individually with parental permission (at full price).
Unfortunately, on-site childcare facilities are not available. However, if there is enough demand, it may be possible to arrange this in future at the Rozelle studio. Contact Rachel to express your interest.
Where are the classes held?
There are currently two venues for Zumba: Chatswood and Rozelle. Bellydance classes are held in those venues as well as Randwick, Epping, Roselands and Ashfield. We're hoping to start new bellydance classes soon in the Sydney CBD, Sutherland and Newcastle. The Where and When page has details.
Those locations don't suit me. Can you teach somewhere else?
If you have a group of people wanting to learn, contact us and we can arrange to come to you. Corporate lunchtime classes are a popular option - would other women at your workplace enjoy it? Or you can take a private class at a time and location that suit you.
When should I arrive?
Five to ten minutes before the scheduled class time. Give yourself a realistic amount of time for travel, parking, signing in and getting changed. It's important to participate in the warm-up to prepare your body for the rest of the class.
How long are the classes?
All classes are fifty-five minutes long, allowing five minutes' change-over between classes.
Do you teach hens' parties?
Absolutely! A bellydance class or performance is a great way to celebrate with the girls at a hens' party or kitchen tea. You will learn a series of moves that you can use later on the dance floor, and put them together into a short fun choreography. Hip scarves are provided. Plus, the bride-to-be receives a voucher for a free class.
How about parties for children?
Have an Arabian or Ancient Egyptian themed birthday party for your daughter or son! Suitable for ages 6 and up, children will be dressed up as Arabian princes/ses for up to an hour of dance class combined with some performance. Fun games are used to learn dance moves, accompanied by props such as veils (magic carpets) and (toy) swords. The children's understanding of Egypt is also enriched as they learn evocatively named moves like the Camel, the Snake, the Pyramid, Walk like an Egyptian, and Hot Desert Sand. Plus, the mother of the birthday girl/boy receives a voucher for a free class.
I want to learn faster! Are private classes available?
Yes, private classes can be arranged at any of our studio locations, or your own home. They are a personalised way to speed up your learning, to address specific needs, or develop a choreography just for you. Rates for one student are $65 per hour (plus studio hire fees or travel charges where required). Classes can also be arranged for groups, such as hens' parties and birthdays for adults and children.
I'd like to introduce someone else. Are gift vouchers available?
Yes, gift vouchers are available and make unique gifts for friends or partners. Give a voucher for a performance, a private class or a term of group classes. A free class voucher is given to every bride-to-be at hens' parties and kitchen teas. See the Vouchers page for details.
Where's that page about zills?
Here: Preparing your Zills. This is a guide I wrote for how to prepare and elasticise your zills (sagat, finger cymbals) before playing them. Enjoy!
How do I review Inspire Bellydance?
You can do a quick star rating or a longer review for us in one or both of two places:
• Our FB page https://www.facebook.com/inspirebellydance/
• Our Google page – for some reason it doesn’t work to link it, you have to Google search for either "Inspire Bellydance" or "Bellydancer Rachel", then a description comes up on the right hand side and you click “Submit a review”.
Thanks for helping other customers know what to expect!