100 Level: Fundamentals 1 and 2

Fundamentals, the 100 level of the Suhaila Institute, offers two courses and two certifications:

  • S101a:  Fundamentals 1:  Introduction to Suhaila Salimpour Format.
  • S102a:  Fundamentals 2:  Introduction to Salimpour Vocabulary.

What are Fundamentals 1 and 2 Introduction courses?

Fundamentals 1 and 2 courses are 5 to 6 week online courses designed to introduce dancers to the Salimpour Format. Students who attend these courses will learn the groundwork of belly dance technique but also get a sense of the overall certification program. The Fundamentals 1 and 2 online courses also prepare students for certification testing. At the end of a course, with approval, students may test for the respective certification level.  

What’s the difference between the Suhaila Format and Salimpour Vocabulary?  Do I have to do both?

At the lower levels, the Suhaila Salimpour Format is about learning physical technique, and the Salimpour Vocabulary (Jm-Vocab)  is about learning steps and sentiment. If one doesn’t start with the Suhaila format, they won’t have the physical technical training to execute the steps in the Vocabulary. If one doesn’t do the Vocabulary, they’re missing out on key historical and cultural elements of belly dance as a professional dance form with roots in the Middle East (regions of the eastern Mediterranean, western Asia, and North Africa).

How do I prepare for a Salimpour Fundamentals: Introduction course?

As Salimpour Fundamentals 1 and 2 are introductory courses, dancers require no previous experience with belly dance or the Salimpour Format.  Students may take these courses as independent training without testing, and they may take these courses as many times as they wish before choosing to test. However, we recommend the following:

  • Read the Information section on this page where you can find links to important content.
  • Before signing up for a 5 or 6 week Fundamentals course, we recommend dancers use the 7-day free trial of Online Classes.  
  • For Fundamentals 1, subscribe for two months to take the eight week Core 1 “Start Here” Training Plan.
  • For Fundamentals 2, subscribe to access the Vocabulary training classes. 



Learn more about Fundamentals in the 100 Level of the SSIOE General Information booklet.

  • Workshops are live, in-person events.
  • Courses are multi-week online programs offered through the Institute for distance learning.
  • Classes are offered individually or as part of series.  Usually in 45 to 90 minute increments, classes are available through the Salimpour School Online classes or licensed instructors.

Certification testing is available for an additional fee following successful completion of a course or workshop.  Discuss testing possibilities with your instructor or contact the School for more information.  See also the Exams page for more detail.