Teaching Summit Classes

Each day you will find 5 classes at the BDBA Teaching Summit designed to give you the tools and skills you need to be successful in teaching.   You have spent a LOT of time and money on your technique, now let’s delve into the skills that support that technique and make you a successful teacher.


Monday May 22- Business Skills for Teachers

How to Turn Your Dance Hobby into a Dance Business – DeAnna Freeman

Are you considering turning your dance hobby into a dance business?  DeAnna will share information about business structures, setting up a financial tracking system and preparing for taxes as you go.

Bridging into the Fitness World- Oreet Schwartz

Oreet will talk to us about entering the fitness world from the teacher’s perspective.  Topics will include:
How a belly dance fitness class is different from a traditional class
What belly dance teachers need in order to move into belly dance fitness
How lesson planning is different for a fitness class
How to position a belly dance fitness class in the age of Zumba and other dance fitness formats

Business Planning for Dancers- Terri Allred

Business planning is important for part time instructors and full time dance professionals.  Learn about how to create a simple business plan to help you define and achieve your belly dance business goals.

Running a Successful Dance Studio: Tips, Tricks and Tidbits for Success- Amity Alize

Thinking about starting your own Dance Studio, or looking for new ideas? Amity Alize will share over a decade of experience of running multiple dance studios in various formats and locations. We’ll discuss setup, marketing, hiring staff, and how to diversify services in order to round out your offerings!

Building Your Business- Moving to Multiple Classes per Week- Sara Shrapnell

 In this lesson I am going to explore how to build your business up by teaching more classes.  We are going to look at the changes you will need to make to your life, your classes and your planning in order to successfully teach multiple classes throughout each week.


Tuesday May 23- Getting the word out

How to Find Your Superpower and Tell the World About It with Terri Allred

Join Terri to learn how to find your unique superpower and develop strategies to share it with the world through targeted marketing.

Social Media for Belly Dancers with Sophia Ravenna

Social media can be overwhelming at times! Sophia Ravenna will help you identify your target market, figure out which networks they use the most, and what content you should be providing them.

Marketing Yourself to Event Promoters- Andrea Farese

Andrea Farese, producer of Belly Dance Masters, shares her unique insight into getting hired to teach and perform at large events.

Community Outreach on a Budget- Lisa Zahiya

Dance studios and classes exist within a variety of communities, including your city, your local fitness community, your local women’s community and the bellydance community. Create strong relationships in each of these is imperative to the having your business not just survive but thrive. There are many no and low cost ways to create community outreach.

Master Your Belly Dance Marketing with Žana 

Are you trying to build your bellydance business but the thought of marketing yourself stresses you out? Are you stuck with what social media channel to use? Don’t know the first thing about a sales funnel? Learn what it takes to market your bellydance business to go from hobbyist to pro, and how to do it all without burning out. By the end of this course, you’ll have learned the most important parts of social media, email and digital marketing, and how to market yourself authentically.


Wednesday May 24- Hard to Teach Topics

A Psychological Approach to Teaching Stage Presence- Lisa Allred

We will draw from sports psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy to explore the ways you can teach students to improve their stage presence through techniques that focus on the Mind, Body, and achieving a state of Flow.

Teaching Multilevel Classes-Katayoun Hutson

Teaching multi-level classes is one of the most-discussed topics on belly dance teacher forums. While most teachers realize the benefits of teaching multi-level classes, a practical approach of how to address multiple levels simultaneous seems overwhelming to even the experienced teacher. Katayoun will discuss the challenges of teaching multi-level classes and how to overcome them.

Teaching Improvisational Skills- Nadira Jamal

Many dancers are frustrated by improvisation, and it’s no wonder.  Teachers often throw them into the improv “deep end” by telling them to “just do it” in class.  Nadira Jamal, creator of the Improvisational Toolkit will help you learn how to start your students off in the “shallow end” successfully teaching improvisational skills that they can apply to their own dance journeys.

Being Authentic- Alia Thabit

We’ve all watched student dancers clump through their shows, openly counting, faces scrunched up in concentration—to the utter boredom of the guests.

Belly dance is all about the feeling in the moment, dancing differently every time, and bringing joy. To do these things, dancers need an authentic connection to the music, themselves, and their guests. How do we teach our students to do this?

The problem is perfectionism. Students are so afraid of making mistakes that they have no space left over to actually engage with the music, the movement, or the guests. The antidote to fear is competence, which brings confidence. Confidence lets us own the moment.

Teachers empower authenticity through building student confidence. We develop student creation, provide practice performance opportunities, and model our own authenticity.

The Critique Contract: Giving and Receiving the Feedback You Need- Janet Taylor and Cat Ellen

Feedback on our dancing is important, but can be scary to give and receive! Learn time-tested methods for giving and receiving helpful, compassionate critique that allows everyone to improve AND stay friends.

Teaching Grace- Rosa Noreen

What is grace, and how can you possibly teach it? Join this class to learn how to effectively communicate the elements of grace to your students. We’ll discuss the external and visible aspects, as well as the internal motivations of this seemingly elusive quality that is so desirable in dance.

Thursday May 25- Building and Maintaining Community 

How to Retain Students with Jenn Kasper

Jenn runs a successful dance studio in Missouri with students who register time and time again for her classes.  She will share practical tips on how to build a community and retain students.

Navigating a Sea of Personalities in Class- Terri Allred

Sometimes the hardest part of teaching isn’t developing curriculums or explaining movements.  Rather, it is managing student’s expectations, moods, and personalities.  We will discuss typical problems and how to address them.

Home Sweet Studio: Creating a successful community around a studio that feels like home with Lacey Sanchez  

Lacey started her studio in Orlando, Fl in 2006 and has been going strong ever since! However running a successful school and studio has not been easy! Building a community around a dance form that most people have never heard of can be even harder! Join Lacey as she discusses how to build a strong sense of family and community as well as successful business all while maintaining your goals and sanity!

How to Keep Your Classes Fresh- Katayoun Hutson

Are you in a teaching rut? Getting bored with your own self? Feeling uninspired in your current teaching situation? It’s time to dig out. Get ready to dig deep. Katayoun will discuss habits, attitudes and behaviors that help you see the signs and tips to help you combat the funk.

Using Online Tools to for Local Dance Communities- Sophia Ravenna

How can you harness Facebook and other social media to grow your local belly dance community? We’ll discuss groups, event pages, calendars and more ideas that can help facilitate communication, support, and collaboration.

Friday May 26- Ethics, Activism, Self- Care and Charitable Giving

Activism through Dance-Lisa Zahiya

Dancer has a strong history of being used as a platform and vehicle for social activism. In bellydance, we walk a fine line between the art of being an entertainer and expressing opinions through creative performance. We will explore appropriate ways to express opinions and support causes through dance, teaching and more.

How to Avoid or Deal with Burn Out- Lisa Allred

Burn-out can often happen when you move from doing what you love (e.g., dancing) to being in business doing what you love (e.g., teaching, producing, etc.)  Lisa will explore some ways to avoid burn out and keep your passion for dance alive.

Dealing with Sexual Harassment at Dance Events and in our Community- Terri and Lisa Allred

Dancers are all too familiar with sexual harassment by members of the public or even folks associated with dance events.  We will define sexual harassment and offer tips for teachers to keep their classroom and events harassment free.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment with Katayoun

There are many factors to why some studios and teachers are more successful than others. One factor could be the kind of environment they create with their words, actions and their essence, or that undefinable “vibe.” Katayoun will share strategies on how to make your classroom a welcoming and secure space for your current AND future students.

Ethical concerns for Teachers- Terri Allred

Teachers face a plethora of ethical dilemmas including issues of cultural appropriation, dual relationships and differing values among students.  Learn how to define your ethical and community framework and address ethical concerns in teaching belly dance.