How Did I Earn
My Certification to Teach Middle Eastern (belly) Dance?
In the Spring of
2008 I celebrated 20 years of teaching continuous weekly belly
dance classes. To mark this professional career milestone I
applied for teaching certification by the National
Association for Teacher Certification in Middle Eastern
Their Review Board
studied the teaching material I had developed, including a video
demonstrating my performance abilities, teaching methodology and
student development, before awarding me the certification.
This type of certification
differs greatly from the "weekend workshop certification"
programs that have become popular. The NATCMED certification
is based on real results evident from:
- videos of my students
performing my choreographed dances
- videos of my
performances, both choreographed and improvised
- a review of my teaching
materials, i.e.: handout and choreography notes
- my structured class
syllabus for each level
It was gratifying to me to
pass this review and become one of the few such certified
teachers of Middle Eastern Dance in the country.
Comments from judges on
the Review Board:
"Your personal performance
style is very authentic and would be classified as (what I
know to be) “Classical Egyptian”.... This was by far my
favorite and the most impressive. It made me very happy to see
the understated elegance in your expression and performance of
Raks Sharqi. I totally loved your solo and wish I could have
been there to see it live. It was clean, crisp and right on."
"All of your students exhibited good stage presence and I felt
they had a nice grasp of stage dynamics as well.... After
reviewing your application and DVD, I personally feel you are
more than qualified to hold teacher certification."
"Your portfolio is highly impressive and your dancing and
demeanor are professional. I am recommending that you be
certified. Congratulations! Between the DVD and the written
information you sent, you demonstrate a great deal of
knowledge of Middle Eastern Dance in its various forms. From
Raks Sharqi to Tribal Fusion to zills, veils, sword and cane
it is obvious that you know your material very well and that
you have an excellent ability to communicate this to your
"I was impressed by the detail in your teaching syllabus. It
was clear cut, easy to follow and quite balanced in levels of
difficulty for your students. I was also happy to see a
"studio policy" sheet as well as student/class rules. The sign
of a good teacher and business woman is a set of rules and
policies. Your paperwork certainly covers everything necessary
for a teacher to run the business as well as teach."