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Photograph: Courtesy Cerys Misha Handschmancher

The best belly dancing classes in NYC

Take belly dancing classes at these studios in NYC to learn traditional moves or routines with a modern twist

By Jordi Lippe-McGraw

There’s no shortage of fitness classes in the city, but why not try belly dancing classes? If you’ve never been to dance classes before, they’re where you can sculpt some abs while learning traditional dance moves (or completely new mashup moves). And with belly dancing at the top dance studios in New York, you can learn the sultry steps that came long before the stuff of music videos.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to classes in NYC

Best belly dancing classes in NYC

Bellyqueen at 440 Studios
Photograph: Cerys Misha Handschumacher

1. Beginner – Combinations Class at Bellyqueen School of Dance

Sports and fitness Dance Noho

If you’re somewhere between a novice and a belly dancing vet, this class is perfect. You will learn combinations and drills that will teach you to be light on the feet and heavy on the hips, and the combos will link together classic belly dance moves to eventually create a full routine over time in the same class every week. The repetition keeps you improving, while the new moves mean no class will ever be boring.

Ailey Extension
Photograph: Courtesy Kyle Froman

2. SharQui Bellydance at Ailey Extension

Dance Modern Hell's Kitchen

This class is belly dancing with a twist. You’ll get all the benefits of learning authentic Egyptian-style belly dancing techniques with the added bonus of some serious fitness. The techniques work the entire body while also building core strength through strength and cardio moves. It’s not your typical dance class, but it will certainly check a cardio session off your to-do list and get your hips shaking.

Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Intermediate Belly Dance Class with Nourhan Sharif at You Should Be Dancing Studios

Dance Ballroom and Latin Midtown West

What better place to get a belly dancing lesson than from an internationally renowned teacher? Luckily, famed instructor Nourhan Sharif is located here in NYC and is known for her impeccable technique, musicality, Arab culture, costuming and stage presence. Want to learn those fancy moves? She will break them down into fun easy steps. To top it off, she starts the class with a butt-kicking warm-up of squats, planks and sit-ups.

Photograph: Courtesy Salit

4. Open Level Bellydance at Bellydance with Salit

Sports and fitness Dance Lower East Side

If you’re the type of person who typically commands the dance floor, be it swing dancing or pole dancing, then you’ll want to check out this class. Instructor Salit, who has been performing for many years, will teach you Egyptian-style belly dance moves and tantalizing combinations. You will also work on flexibility, toning, core strength, posture, flow and confidence. Then, at the end of class, all the moves are put together and you’re given a chance to perform the newly learned routine.

Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Hip Hop Belly Dance at Stepping Out Studios

Things to do Classes and workshops Flatiron

Take the seductive steps of traditional belly dancing and cross them with modern hip-hop dance classes, and you’ve got yourself some of the sexiest moves in the city. In this class, you’ll learn a fun dance routine while focusing on building sexy arms and lean legs. Not to mention the whole fusion experience is great for your hips, torso and abdominal articulation. You’ll be ready to rock out in any music video or take over any dance floor.

Belly dancer

6. Belly Dance at Belly Dance America

Great for beginners, classes here teach you the basic techniques of belly dance. There is a strong emphasis on basic Middle Eastern movements, muscle isolation, core strengthening and rhythm. It’s a totally judgment-free zone and geared toward those who are just starting to explore belly dancing. 265 W 37th St (212-768-4888,

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