Belly Dance Boutique Classes for Fun and Exercise

Day time class Wednesdays 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Evening Classes: Tuesdays and Wednesdays 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Learn Belly dance steps, posture, body placement and axis of movement.

We learn dance movement and artistic interpretation, smoothness, definition, different speeds, linking steps that become the art of dance.

A fun and very creative exercise and dance class in allowing each student to connect with their own body and expressive potential.

Through dance movement you will improve cardio and coordination.

No prior dance experience necessary. All levels welcome. Open to beginners. Tuesdays 7:00 - 9:00 p.m and Wednesdays 1 pm – 2:30 pm, & 7:00 - 9:00 pm,

  Drop In $20/class or purchase a Dance Class Discount Card*

Discover a hidden dance studio in a garden oasis, right in Los Gatos.

(Look for the Lighted Obelisk at the end of the driveway.)

Entry gate off the driveway.  Automatic lighting and automatic gate "bell" activated in your presence.

(15651 Camino Del Cerro,  Los Gatos, CA 95032) at the corner of Edmund Drive in a quiet residential area - entry gate off the driveway - studio through the garden in the back.)

Wear yoga wear, dance wear, or workout wear.

Start any time - classes on-going.

*Dance Class Discount Card: 5 classes/$60 and 10 classes/$110 (408) 356-9473 for more information

Check this website for  dates without classes

Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11 and 12, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Boutique Belly Dance: What It Is and How It Works

Belly dance uses ballet movements - pliés, relevés, and arabesque don’t just look graceful, the ballet moves also lengthen and strengthen muscles and burn calories.

Ballet-inspired classes are a popular workout trend that incorporates moves from ballet, and movement to upbeat and beautiful Middle Eastern music.

Boutique Belly Dance classes are ballet-inspired fitness classes that offer classes dance movements that provide overall body  conditioning as well as targeted workouts for abs, thighs, or glutes.

You don’t need a full belly dance costume, or ballet slippers. Instead, dress in comfortable workout clothes and show up to the 120-minute classes prepared to dance the movements your teacher shows you.

Some classes also use silk veils, or incorporate floor work for other beautiful movements of Oriental Raqs Sharqi dance. Belly dance is a low-impact workout that focuses on proper alignment and performance posture.

The classes blend cardio, strength training, flexibility, balance and core conditioning in a total body workout that targets the entire body including: hips, glutes, abs, back, and arms.

Intensity Level: Medium

The emphasis on proper alignment, balance, and core engagement means the classes move at a moderate pace. You might not leave a boutique belly dance class drenched in sweat, but you’ll feel the burn after a class thanks to moves that target specific muscle groups.

Areas Targeted

Core: Yes. You'll do a combination of ballet positions and isolated moves and body undulations to target the abs as you perform with performance posture and core strength.  Body undulations are central to fluid and musically flowing movement in this dance genre. Upper torso shimmies and flowing figure 8 movements strengthen the core.

Arms: Yes. Classes include dance movement exercise through graceful fluid movement and dance with swirling veils: lateral arm raises, and triceps lifts to work the arm muscles. 

Legs: Yes. Expect to perform movements like pliés, dégagé, leg lifts/extensions, and other ballet-inspired moves like Arabesque that target the legs.  Belly dance movements create beautiful body lines and fluid total body movement.

Glutes: Yes. Targeted moves like glute locks and shimmies help tone the backside.  Many dance movements are performed with layered shimmies: e.g. undulations with shimmies, flowing movements with shimmies.

Back: Yes. Belly dance movement and workouts target the whole body including the back muscles, in relationship to your core.  The entire regime of belly dance requires the use of musculature in the back and torso to create sinuous undulations and movement that is unique and characteristic of belly dance.

Flexibility: Yes. Belly dance is a flowing dance genre and workout and will gently improve your flexibility and range of motion in your joints.  Contrary to most dance posture and hold with a regimented structure, belly dance requires controlled musculature and flexibility in joints.  Every body articulation requires flexibility including fingers, hands, and toes.

Aerobic: Some might argue that the beautiful moves of belly dance are too slow to give you an aerobic workout.  Yet, fluidity and flow in belly dance requires control and this dance offers exercise conditioning from controlled use of musculature and isometric conditioning. Or, you're in a class that includes dance moves to high energy Turkish music that gets your heart rate going from fast and energetic Turkish style dance.

Strength: Yes. Some belly dance classes use weights and resistance bands, and others use your body weight to strengthen and tone.  In my belly dance boutique classes, you will gradually increase your strength and flexibility from your dance workouts.

Sport: No. It’s not a sport and it is not competitive. Boutique Belly Dance classes are a combination of: ballet-type movement, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Middle Eastern dance including: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, and dancing with different styling to match Turkish, Armenian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Greek music.

Low-Impact: Yes. There is no jumping or bouncing in bellydance classes, so the workout is easy on the joints.  Many dancers enjoy the increased range of motion and flexibility as a result of this low-impact form of dance exercise.

What Else Should I Know?

Cost:  Drop into a class – no ongoing continuing commitment required. However, prepayment for a Dance Class Card provides discounts for multiple classes.  Dance Class cards never expire and may be shared with friends attending classes together.

Good for beginners? Yes. Belly Dance Boutique classes are good for beginners who want to try a new workout, revitalize their workout regimen, and feel good and feel feminine.

Outdoors: No. Classes are held in a beautiful boutique studio specially designed for belly dance.  See a gallery of Ma*Shuqa’s studio images at:

At home: Yes. There are instructional notes provided and DVDs for sale of bellydance-inspired workouts that can be done at home.  In fact, Ma*Shuqa encourages students to dance at home and enjoy the power and beauty of this dance to empower and enhance your lives through joy and physical conditioning and wellbeing.

Equipment required? Yes. Belly dancing is a performing art, thus you will want to purchase: finger cymbals, silk veils, dance shoes, music, and perhaps even costuming. You may need to buy some of those things for at-home workouts.  Finger Cymbals and some costuming is available for sale at the studio.  Students who wish to perform at Dancer Nights sponsored by Ma*Shuqa receive coaching for performance costuming and resource lists for obtaining performance wear.

Is It Good for Me If I Have a Health Condition? Belly dance exercises and movement are often gentle on the joints and can be an excellent choice if you have arthritis or joint problems. You’ll also build stronger muscles, which gives more support to your joints and lessens pain.

But certain moves can put added stress on your joints. For example, floor dancing may not feel good on your knees, but is an optional level and aspect of this dance Ask your instructor how to adapt moves that don’t feel good, and to show you good form.

Experience the Joy of Learning…participate in an adventure of learning without homework or exams.

Your learning experience will be academically comprehensive, engaging, insightful, and inspirational from this instructor who has “been there and done that” – broad experience and educational preparation from – graduate studies in higher education curriculum, university teaching, and teaching and real-life experience dancing abroad.

She is a gifted instructor—and yes, an entertainer too. Everyone who has ever experienced the sheer joy of learning from one great teacher knows what we mean.

Discover your own artistic ability
The ability to see as an artist brings a new dimension to self-expression through dance and elevates your skill level and technique, as you develop a deeper appreciate of the art and dance genre.

The art of beautiful dance performance is eminently learnable. The ability to draw both accurately and expressively does not depend on innate talent. The skill of learning dance as a performance art is eminently learnable with these in-depth lessons that build a complete, integrated set of skills, drawing on a step-by-step structure with the Ma*Shuqa Method scaffold and learning system. She illustrates the subject matter with live demonstrations of key principles using her Ma*Shuqa Method notation and learning system.

Ma*Shuqa's teaching demonstrates that you can learn to apply fundamental principles of dance to develop your own dance artistry. Through her classes you will come to understand how to represent the musicality in dance movement. 
Ma*Shuqa's teaching offers a rich resource, offering a comprehensive series of lessons that make the skills of dancing directly accessible and applicable drawing on your own ability to provide a rewarding feeling from dance that will last for a lifetime.  

Master the art of moving and improve your physical fitness and mental well-being.
Science shows that dance is good medicine and good exercise for health maintenance and happiness. People can improve their health, strength, balance, concentration, and mental well-being as they have fun while dancing. Best of all, you can enjoy all these benefits yourself, regardless of your current level of fitness.

Dance classes teach: harmony and balance, including energy exercises, a superior workout using and toning all of your muscles, posture and core strengthening exercises for a stronger and healthier back, beautiful arm and hand exercises and flowing movements developing physical flow and balance.  Ma*Shuqa has refined an approach to teaching dance from her over 43 years of dancing and teaching classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and Europe - distilling her step-by-step Ma*Shuqa Method system that works the best for all dancers.

What Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan Says:

Belly dance boutique fitness is ideal if you’re just getting into exercise. The classes will improve your balance, build strength, make you more flexible, burn calories, and improve stability through a stronger core.  Most women agree that they feel more energized, graceful, strong, empowered, happy, and satisfied when engaging in this dance, form of exercise, and art form.

Belly dancing is both a beautiful art form and dance and at the same time challenging for all women. These moves are a lot harder than they look and can help anyone take their fitness to the next level.  As you get more comfortable and fit, you can ramp up the intensity by taking more classes and adding more challenging moves. If you have more experience and are looking for something new to challenge yourself, private coaching classes can do the trick.

Who is Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan? – (Translates: Beloved Sweetheart of Treasure) says, “We must do what we love and share our talent, passion and joy with others.” 

Ma*Shuqa is known internationally as the “elegant” performer with a unique style of dancing which blends the music and dance into a compelling art form.

Ma*Shuqa worked overseas in with Turkish bands and Greek bands. She overcame the challenge of the language barrier and developed shows together through the medium of rhythm and cymbal playing, and humming the music.  Ma*Shuqa teaches a unique Ma*Shuqa Method approach for dancing and playing cymbals in performance to live music. She was also an early adopter of shamadan dancing, and performed with a real candelabrum in Europe. She was the first dancer to dance with Isis Wings with Isis Wings that she created – and is known for her performances with Isis Wings.  Her Egyptian styling is a result of study with Mahmoud Reda and performances in Cairo.

Ma*Shuqa has been performing for 43 years and teaching and coaching 42 years.  She extensively researches the music and dance and has authored many articles on rhythms, musicality, maqams, and the essence of Arabic music Tarab. “Taqsim and Tarab: Movement and Musicality”. She has authored an article series on the subject of “The Professional Difference – Elegance of Style” which defines professionalism in this dance genre and provides guidelines and direction for developing professional dance quality in Raqs Sharqi performers. She has coached many award winning dancers in competitions in the U.S. and abroad.

BA Psychology, Social Service, MPH Public Health Education, MBA, EdD ABD With an academic background and graduate studies in education and instruction, and in health education, Ma*Shuqa has the expertise to discern quality performance and has been invited to judge many dance competitions in the U.S. and in Europe. Juggling dual careers for over 35 years in dance and professional management, administration, and business development coaching, she retired from business after her cancer diagnosis. She is an ovarian cancer survivor and overcoming personal life challenges now coaches women with health issues and challenges of life changes.  Her goal in teaching this dance is to offer women an opportunity to learn this beautiful art and dance form, while becoming healthier and happier as a result of movement, dance, and exercise.

Ma*Shuqa is known for instructing dancers in the Art of Bellydance, which Ma*Shuqa does with mastery in her performances and coaching based on sound educational principles and her Ma*Shuqa Method instruction and structure.Ma*Shuqa began dancing in 1973 and immersed herself in the dance genre.She reached international fame as a master teacher and starred in many Gala shows.Ma*Shuqa melds her professional background in instructional design and teaching experience with her passion for creating dancers with depth of performance and uniquely special dance styles that touch the hearts and souls of audiences.Ma*Shuqa is world renown as the first performer with Isis Wings – creating and dancing with them 30 years ago.She developed Ma*Shuqa Method which provides dancers a unique structure for creating their own signature performances and dancing with finger cymbals (sagaats) that capture the musicality of Middle Eastern music and presenting dance that captures the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide.

Ma*Shuqa's "Hidden Garden Oasis Dance Studio" - entrance gate off driveway. Look for the "Lighted Obelisk with the white light"on the fence at the end of the driveway.