Bellydance Exams 2016
It’s the mother of all New Year’s resolutions: taking a bellydance exam!
It might be the last thing you thought you’d find yourself thinking about but I’m offering all bellydance students – including you – the opportunty to take an exam in bellydance.
I know, it’s a scary thought, but we’ve seen students just like you flourish with a new kind of confidence after taking a bellydance exam.
This will be the 6th year that we’ve offered the chance for students to gain an IDTA bellydance certificate. Not only can it give you a real confidence boost but it’s great fun too!
After a record number of students took their exams last year, I’m happy to say that every students has passed her exam since we started – woo hoo!
This page will tell you everything you need to know so read on …
Take a look to see what students Gail, Sandy, Marina and Rosina have to say about it:
“Signing up for the first exam was a “why not” moment which turned out to be one of the most positive things I have done for my dancing. Not only did I get to work alongside dancers I had not met before but, at the end, a total stranger thought I was good enough. That vote of confidence has stayed with me ever since and allowed me to get more adventurous as time goes on” Gail Wilkinson, Silver and Gold Bar One Award holder 2014
“I’ll definitely be taking an exam!:)
My experience whilst doing the Silver award was extremely challenging but very rewarding. Working towards the goal of passing the exam really helped me get into a good practice routine and not only was it challenging but I had so much fun doing it!! Helen’s coaching sessions were extremely helpful and I’m so grateful that she offered her own time to help us achieve our goals. I will be taking an exam this year!!:) ” Marina Holiasmenos, Silver award 2014
“I find that the Coaching sessions with SMBA before the exams are very helpful as all the moves are drilled, it’s not just about learning the choreo, but Helen makes sure the posture and presentation of the piece comes across as well studied. The spread out lessons before the exam ensure that you can bring out your very best before the judge. I can’t wait to do the Gold one!!!!” Sandy Matzen, Silver award holder 2014
“I love a challenge and making myself go outside my comfort zone, doing my Bronze and Silver exams did exactly that, as in the past I have found exams difficult.Helen’s coaching methods make it really easy to learn and you don’t feel pressurised, she is always ready to advise if you are struggling. I am looking for to going for Gold this year.” Rosina Boden, Gold and Silver award holder 2012 and 2013
“Being part of a tribe of like-minded fellow dancers is the quickest (and most fun!) way to ramp up your dance level way faster than you would otherwise.” Helen Santa Maria, Principal of the Santa Maria Bellydance Academy
We’ve helped see all kinds of women through to passing their first bellydance exam for the last 4 years – you can join them too!
The Silver award holders (and a pregnant Helen!), 2013
Exams Q and A with Helen …
What does taking an exam involve?
It depends which level you’re going to take.
For Bronze Silver and Gold awards:
You will be coached by me a over the course of 4 workshop sessions on a routine that you will then perform to an examiner from the International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA). You will not have to choreograph anything or prepare anything else, just the routine that you’ve been taught. Helen will also set you specific video homework assignments to help you ramp up your dance level as you prepare for the exam.
We will take you through all the preparation step by step 🙂
For Gold Bar levels, please contact Helen for details. See below for details on levels.
Do I have to be a student at SMBA to join the Exam Program and take the exam?
Nope. Students from any school or class are welcome to join us. You can continue to attend your regular class and attend the Exam Program alongside it. It’s not unusual to meet students from different teachers here.
I don’t have a regular teacher, I’ve not attended classes for some time. Can I still join and take an exam?
Yes, you can still join even if you’ve had a break from regular classes as long as you have the required amount of bellydance experience (see below).
What level of exam should I take?
There are several levels of exam, which level is right for you depends on your level of experience:
Bronze: this is for you if you have learned a bellydance routine before and have been bellydancing for at least 3 months. If you’ve never taken a dance exam before then the Bronze level is a good place to start.
Silver: this is for you if you have been bellydancing for at least a year. You may take both the Silver Award and the Bronze Award if you haven’t already taken the Bronze and your level of experience is suitable. If you have plenty of dance experience but haven’t taken an exam before, Silver is a good place to start.
Gold: this is suitable for you if you have taken the Silver Award or have at least 2 or 3 years of continuous bellydance training. Sorry, all Gold workshop places are now sold out
Gold Bar One: this is suitable for you if you’ve taken your Gold award or you have at least 4 years of continuous bellydance training. However, we usually suggest you start at the Gold award level rather than take your first exam at Gold Bar level. Contact Helen for full details and requirements.
Gold Bar Two: this is suitable for you if you’ve taken your Gold Bar One Award. Contact Helen for full details and requirements.
Gold Bar Three: this is suitable for you if you’ve taken your Gold Bar Two Award. Contact Helen for full details and requirements.
I’m still not sure which level to take, can you help me?
Sure, I’d be happy to. Simply fill out the confidential application form as best you can, email it to email@example.com and I will let you know how you can move forward.
I think I’ll wait til next year, will you be running them again in 2017?
No, we won’t be running exams next year. There are a few other projects in the pipeline so it will be 2018 before the next exam sessions.
When will the exam be?
The exam will be on Sunday 8 May 2016 in Swallowfield Parish Hall, Swallowfield.
Will I be on my own on the exam?
If you are taking the bronze or Silver award you will dance the routine with at least 2 other candidates. For Gold and above you will be on your own. (Apart from the examiner of course!)
When do I have to decide by? What’s the closing date to sign up for the coaching sessions?
- The closing date for Bronze Silver and Gold sign ups is Monday 14 March 2016.
- The closing date for Gold Bar sign ups is Thursday 24th March.
However, we generally find that students who are decisive about taking a leap forward in their dancing progress faster than those who aren’t. If you want to see your dancing quickly upgraded then you’re ready to sign up.
Where and when will the Exam program Coaching sessions be?
All workshops will be held the Halls at Tilehurst Methodist Church, School Rd, Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire, UK.
By car: Parking is on the opposite side of the road behind the coop, it’s £1 to park for 2 hours.
By bus: The Hall is on the 17 bus route and the stop for 33 bus is not far away either.
By train: It’s just over a 20 minute walk from Tilehurst Railway Station.
Saturday 19 March 2016
Gold: 2.30-4.00pm Sold out
Saturday 9 April 2016
Gold: 2.30-4.00pm Sold out
Saturday 23 April 2016
Gold: 2.30-4.00pm Sold out
Technique and Conditioning Workshop
Saturday 16 April 11.00am-1.00pm
Silver award students after a workshop! 2013
When will I get my certificate?
You will be presented with your certificate at the annual ‘BellyQueen Award Presentation and Showcase’ event on Sunday 12 June. You will also be invited to perform the routine you’ve learned with the group – cool hey?! There are also solo spots available to showcase your solo work if you’re at that stage.
How do I sign up to join the exam program?
How much will the Exam program cost?
All of the fees, coaching sessions then exam fee, are outlined below. You are encouraged to make every effort to make all of the coaching sessions. Not only is it important that you use the sessions to get coaching from Helen and learn the routines, it’s vital for your confidence too. Be ready to do what it takes to come to the sessions! It’s my mission to push you as a dancer and help you become the very best you can be 🙂
Having said that, you can still take the exam if you have to miss a session.
You will have access to notes and video tutorials to support your learning, this will also help if you have to miss any of the sessions. I’m afraid we can’t refund or discount missed sessions. But rest assured you will receive a video footage and tutorials to study from.
Coaching Program and exam fees:
Includes all coaching sessions and access to home study materials. Sorry, Gold has now sold out.
- Bronze, Silver and
- Gold Bar One, Two and Three:
£45 Initial deposit then £55 with your first video submission (total £100)
*NB if you are undertaking both Bronze and Silver, please make separate transactions. Please note that by paying for an exam program you understand that payments are non-refundable regardless of student circumstances, eg. illness, injury, holiday, pregnancy, financial circumstances. Unfortunately we can’t refund or discount for missed sessions, however you will receive a whole ton of video footage and tutorials to study from.
Please also note the exam fees which will be due one week before exam (by Sunday 1 May 2016):
- Bronze, Silver and Gold: £22
- Gold Bar: £28
*NB if you are undertaking Bronze and Silver, please make separate transactions.Please note that payments are non-refundable regardless of student circumstances, eg. illness, injury, holiday, pregnancy, financial circumstances. It may be possible to transfer fees at our discretion.
Do I have to attend all the sessions? and do I still have to pay for sessions that I can’t make?
We encourage you to make every effort to make all of the coaching sessions. Not only is it important that you use the sessions to get coaching and learn the routines, it’s vital for your confidence too. Although if you do have to miss a session you can still take the exam.
I’m afraid we can’t refund or discount missed sessions. But rest assured you will receive a whole ton of video footage and tutorials to study from.
Please note that you don’t have to pay the exam fee if you don’t take the exam.
What if I attend the Program and don’t want to take the exam?
No problem, if you decide that you’d rather not take the exam then you don’t have to take the exam. We won’t pressure you and will honour your decision. You won’t have to pay the exam fee if you decide not to take the exam.
Will you be running exams again later in the year?
We only run exam sessions once a year, usually in the Spring. The next opportunity to join our Exam Programs won’t be until at least 2017.
Can you briefly remind me again which level I should take?
- learned a bellydance routine before
- been bellydancing for at least 3 months
- you’ve never taken a dance exam before
- you’ve been bellydancing for at least a year
- possibly already got your bronze award
- you can take both the Silver Award and the Bronze Award if you haven’t already taken the Bronze and your level of experience is suitable
- you’ve already gained your Silver award
- you are an advanced dancer
Gold Bar One: you’ve taken your Gold award
Gold Bar Two: you’ve taken your Gold Bar One Award
Gold Bar Three: you’ve taken your Gold Bar Two Award
I’d like to join the exam program but still I have a few more questions? Can I contact you?
Sure. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take it from there.
I’m ready and I want to join! How do I sign up to join the Exam Program?
If you’ve not taken an exam with us before, simply fill out this confidential exam application form, email it to email@example.com after making your payment via PayPal above. If you’ve already taken an exam with us, click on the payment button above to book your pace. I look forward to having you on board!
Thanks for taking the time to read about the SMBA Exam Program.
Ps. Don’t forget to check out all the BellyQueen details here!