Black Cat Belly Dance - Belly dance instruction & performance by Shannon Bishop
2019 Summer Class Schedule

Shannon Bishop offers a wide range of Egyptian dance classes, at locations across the area, through her dance school, Black Cat Belly Dance.  Feel free to contact her if you are unsure as to which class is right for you.  And for the most up-to-date class information, please join the Black Cat Belly Dance Facebook group.

Belly dancing has historically been a dance of celebration that brings communities of people together, and that is how Shannon approaches her dance classes.  They are fun and non-competitive, and each student is able to grow at her own pace.  In addition to teaching dance fundamentals, Shannon also provides a foundation in the history and culture of the dance, as well as skills in developing stage presence, dance musicality, prop work and improvisation and choreography technique.  An in-depth study of Arabic music and music theory, as well as basic Arabic language skills for music, is also covered in advanced level classes.

Drop in to a Level One class at any time!
A new session starts August 21

Questions about which class is right for you?  Contact Shannon at:

                             Level 2: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi                       5:15 to 6:15      
                             Black Cat Studio

                             Level 2: Egyptian Folklore                              6:15 to 7:15       
                                    Black Cat Studio               

Wednesday       Drop-ins welcome! 
                           August 21 to September 25: Belly Dance Basics Session 
                          Join Shannon when she returns from Egypt for an all-new 6-                                      session of belly dance, with music and moves straight from                                      Cairo!  Regular class rates and discounts will apply!

                             Level 1: Introduction to Egyptian Dance      5:30 to 6:30 
                             Egyptian Style Raqs Sharqi (belly dance) and Egyptian Folklore 
                             Movement Arts Studio - 140 Kelly Alley, State College
                             Drop-ins are welcome for this class!

Class Descriptions

Level 1: Introduction to Belly Dance:  In this introductory class, you will learn the core movements of belly dance, including shimmies, undulations, hip circles and more.  Using both fast and slow movements, we will connect the moves into creative combinations…and you will be dancing in your first class!  Each session of this class will focus on the history and stylizations of belly dance, comparing & contrasting Egyptian style with other styles of belly dance, and exploring the cultural roots of the dance and music.  No experience is necessary to join this class!

Level 2: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi: In this class you will learn the hallmarks of Egyptian style Raqs Sharqi (belly dance).  We will study the history and music of Egyptian style, as well as the core techniques and combinations.  This class will also cover each part of a traditional Egyptian style belly dance show, including choreographed and improvisational sections.  Famous Egyptian dancers and musicians will be highlighted, as well as an in-depth study of Middle Eastern rhythms and musicality.  The prerequisite for this class is a minimum of two Level 1 sessions.

Level 2: Egyptian Folklore: This class is for the student who would like to build upon the skills learned in Level 1.  Intermediate level techniques, short combinations and full choreographies will be taught.  Students will learn about the dance regions of Egypt and the folkloric dances from each region that are an important part of every belly dancer's repertoire.  Emphasis will be placed on the culture and history of each dance, as well as the music and costuming for each dance.  The prerequisite for this class is a minimum of two Level 1 sessions.

Level 3: Advanced Performance Preparation:  This class is for the advanced belly dance student who has a working knowledge of the vocabulary of Egyptian style belly dance.  It is geared toward putting all previous techniques together as a preparation for performance.  Attendance in this class is currently by invitation only.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear?
Most students wear comfortable, yoga-type clothing.   It’s best to wear clothing that is fitted and not too baggy to allow yourself to clearly see the movements.  Many students dance in their bare feet or in dance slippers (no outdoor shoes are allowed in Movement Arts Studio or Black Cat Studio).  Students can also wear hip scarves, which help to define hip movements.  Shannon often has these available for sale!

What is the cost?
At Black Cat Studio and Movement Arts Studio, each class is $15.  With the purchase of 4 or more classes at one time, a reduced rate of $11 per class is available.  Class purchases are good for three months.

How can I pay?
Cash, checks and credit/debit cards can be taken for all classes.  Checks can be made out to Black Cat Belly Dance.
Where is Black Cat Studio?
Black Cat Studio is Shannon's home studio, located in the borough of State College, within easy walking distance of downtown State College and the Penn State University campus.
Can I perform?
Black Cat Belly Dance offers student performance opportunities for dancers at the intermediate level or higher, based on teacher recommendation.  Remember that dance is a journey, and that every dancer progresses at his or her own pace.  Shannon encourages all students to dance first and foremost for the love of the dance!

Am I the right age/shape/size for belly dance?
Belly dance is a fun form of exercise that is appropriate for women (and men!) of any age, shape or size!  Unlike many other forms of dance, when done properly belly dance can be very good for your body and it does not require a specific body type.  All are welcome!

Private Lessons

Shannon also offers private and semi-private lessons at Black Cat Studio.  The rate for private lessons is $65 per hour.  Lessons can be shared at an additional rate of $10 per hour, per additional person.  Private lessons are a great way to make up missed material, or to really boost your dancing to the next level!

Contact Shannon at: (814) 883-1131 or
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