Come and Shimmy with Us!
No previous experience required – join us for an introduction to bellydance.
AGM 28 March 2018: Proposed New Constitution
Who Are We?
The University of Edinburgh Arabic Bellydance Society was initially established as the African and Arabic Dance Society in 1997 and is aimed at... all the shakers and shimmyers who can't stop wiggling or jiggling! The Society aims to promote bellydance for all levels of dancers by offering a range of classes and workshops at Edinburgh's most affordable prices. A range of different bellydance styles are taught, including oriental and shaabi. The ABS welcomes dancers of all ethnicities, shapes and sizes and is run by a dedicated committee that makes sure that everyone feels welcome. So come along and have a shimmy with us - we know you'll get hooked!
Classes and workshops are taught by professionals in the industry, such as Moyra and Celia, as well as guest teacher who come to teach us new styles and leave their mark on the ABS. Throughout the academic year, the society has weekly classes for both beginners and more advanced dancers. The Hafla is our annual dance show – this year, it has taken place in the Teviot Debating Hall (click for event link)!
Bellydance is amazing for both your physical and mental health, which is why we have, and will continue making it as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Want to get taught by a professional belly dancer for the best prices in Edinburgh? Well, here are our prices for 2017/18:
Student membership for the academic year: £6 (£4 if joining second semester)
Non-student membership for the academic year: £10 (£7 if joining second semester)
|Beginner sem. ticket
|Improver sem. ticket
From January-March 2018 we will have 10 weeks of classes for the society, but keep your eyes open for information about socials, practice classes and workshops! Members of ABS get special reduced prices, and semester tickets may only be purchased by members. If you are planning to go to more than a couple of classes, paying for membership will definitely save you money in the long run. This money could for example be used to purchase you a beautiful shimmy belt (just a suggestion...), which we will be selling throughout the year.
Buying a semester ticket (again for members only) will grant you access to all classes in semester one (but only one class per evening, that is you cannot attend both the beginner and improver class in one evening). For advanced dancers attending improvers classes who want to perfect their skills, or simply spend an hour enjoying the music and warming up with beginner dancing, we now offer a semester one combined ticket for £50! Having paid for this (and a membership), you will be allowed to attend all classes in semester one (both beginners' and improvers' in the same evening). Another benefit of buying a semester ticket (other than saving you money) is that you will not have to deal with remembering money for each class.
Should you have any questions concerning memberships and class pricing, do not hesitate to get in touch – contact details are on this webpage.
Beginners' classes will take place on Wednesday evenings in the Chaplaincy from 7 - 8:30pm.
Improvers' classes will take place on Thursday in the Pleasance – be sure to join our Facebook group and mailing list to get the latest information about class timings and locations (usually 8:30 - 10pm in Quaker Studio).
A free practice class training session, led by committee members will take place in Ochil (Pleasance) on Saturday afternoons. The room has lovely floor and mirrors, and the practice session is for class participants who wish to brush up on their technique or drill choreographies in a relaxed setting where we will be helping each other out!
Workshops will be advertised when they are taking place!
What clothes do I wear for classes? Do I have to wear a top showing my belly?
Just wear clothes that you feel comfortable in – belly dancing is a form of working out! There is no need to show your stomach unless you want to – most people wear a vest or t-shirt with leggings. As for shoes, barefoot usually works very well. After attending the taster or one class you will know what feels best for you.
I'm a guy. Can I still come?
Of course, we accept everyone and anyone! Just join us for a class and see whether you're into it.
Is it okay to join halfway through the year?
Absolutely! Just make sure you pick the right price plan for you to make the most out of the classes that are left.
Is any prior experience required?
You do not need to ever have danced before in your life to join us! In other words: no. If you have no prior experience, make sure you go to a beginners' class. To become the best you can be, join in the fun early in the year so you get lots of opportunities to practice and to learn. We have had plenty of people joining quite late who have truly bloomed as bellydancers!
Should I attend a beginners' class or an improvers' class?
If you have never done bellydancing, or only a little, definitely try out a begginers' class first. If you feel that you are following very well or even are getting bored, you can at any time try out an improvers' class. However, do not go straight for an improvers' class. These are for more advanced dancers, and priority will be given to their needs.
Even if you have done a little bit of bellydancing, it might be a good idea to try a begginers' class first – or why not our new combo class (for members only) where you get to go to the back-to-back beginners' and improvers' classes in one evening?
Can I pay in person, or does it have to be online?
We prefer you to pay for membership and semester tickets online, as this will then automatically show up in our system! However, you can pay in person. You will have to pay in person when you attend classes anyway (unless you have purchased a semester ticket).
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
More information and contact
Facebook: ABS Page
YouTube: Arabic Bellydance Society
You can view and download a copy of our Society Constitution by clicking here.