Regular Weekly Classes...

Claire is currently returning to teaching after having a baby, but normally teaches classes at Low Fell (Gateshead), West Moor (North Tyneside) and Jesmond (Newcastle). She teaches a combination of technique and choreography in her classes, also encouraging her more experienced students to explore the dance through improvisation and solo and group work. Claire's choreographies are designed to both be fun and provide her students with an understanding of the different styles and nuances of Arabic music.

Whilst returning from Maternity Leave, Claire will be running a reduced programme of classes in Jesmond.
Find out more below.

Bellydance Class


Beginner Level Classes

Check back to find out about new classes in 2019


Improver Level Classes

Suitable for those who have been bellydancing for about a year or more, are comfortable with basic technique, but want to start to stretch themselves, and for more advanced dancers who want to feel a real benefit to their dancing by continuing to work on their technique.

This term we’ll be looking at some of the Egyptian dancers of the 1970s – expect big personalities and lots of fringing! We’ll be looking at the styles of some of the most famous dancers, how they continue to influence us and having some fun with a choreography inspired by them.

Jesmond, Newcastle – Thursdays 8:00pm-9:00pm
St Georges Church Hall, St Georges Close, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE2 2TF
Click here for map

9 week term, 27th September to 29th November 2018

***NB – CLASSES WILL NOT BE RUNNING ON 4th OCTOBER DUE TO LATE UNAVAILABILITY OF VENUE***


Higher Level Class

This class is aimed for people who have been bellydancing for several years and are at least at higher Improver or Intermediate Level.
Please contact Claire to discuss if the class would be suitable for you or to find out how to have your level assessed.

This term we’ll be continuing our mission to tighten that technique and look at Egyptian rhythms, whilst developing a tabla spectacular (!) together for the end of year hafla.

Jesmond, Newcastle – Thursdays 7:00pm-8:00pm
St Georges Church Hall, St Georges Close, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE2 2TF
Click here for map

9 week term, 27th September to 29th November 2018

***NB – CLASSES WILL NOT BE RUNNING ON 4th OCTOBER DUE TO LATE UNAVAILABILITY OF VENUE***

Claire Novis Bellydance

Book Classes

Jesmond classes cost £40.50 (£36.50 concessions) per 9 week term. A pay by class price of £6.00 (£5.50 concessions) is subject to availability and the classes going ahead – please contact Claire to confirm if you are intending to drop in so you don’t have a wasted journey!

Book for 9 Week Term:
Book for a Term

*Concession rates are available to those in full time education, unemployed, on income support, registered disabled or over 60 years old. You should provide evidence of your concession status on payment and make sure you have it with you for your first class.

Once your Paypal booking has been received, confirmation will be e-mailed to the address you provide at checkout. Please check your SPAM box if you have not received your confirmation within 48 hours of your order, but please do then contact Claire if you are continuing to have problems! Guardians of those aged under 18 should contact Claire to discuss suitability prior to booking.

FAQ - What you need to know about Bellydance Classes

Everyone tends to have a brain full of questions before starting to learn bellydance. It is only natural before starting a new activity or trusting yourself to a new teacher! Here are my responses to the most common questions I get asked. Hope these help set your mind at rest and hope to see you dancing soon!

Claire x

I'€™m terrified and haven'€™t done ANY dance before. Should I come to bellydance classes?
Please try not to be terrified. I remember exactly what it is like -€“ I had never been to a dance class before I started bellydancing, was PAINFULLY shy and completely terrified about making a fool of myself! The great news is that all of my classes are welcoming and friendly. Every one of my students has started out with that same nervous feeling, and I strive to make the classes as accessible and unthreatening as possible. Bellydance is also a great way to get into dance. The basics are really body friendly and suitable for everyone. You can then work as hard, or as gently, as you like to keep yourself challenged and enjoying the dance!

What should I wear?
Please wear comfortable clothing (eg workout trousers, leggings, loose skirt) and a top that isn't so baggy that I can't see what you are doing under it! You can bare your belly if you like, but most people do not. It is entirely up to you! I would ask you not to wear jeans though - they will limit what you can achieve!
Please be prepared to dance barefoot, unless there's a specific reason you can't. If you want, bring a hip belt or scarf to help accentuate your movements -€“ I have a limited number available to borrow.

I'm a complete beginner - which class is right for me?
Any of my Open Level classes will be suitable for you. You can join at any time, but you are probably better off if you can join within the first few weeks of term, to make sure you get a chance to learn the basics before we move on to more complicated material! If you fancy coming to see if you enjoy the classes later on in the term, you are still more than welcome, but please do not be put off if you feel a little frazzled! It will just take you a little time to catch up.

When do Classes run?
Classes run during term time only, usually with a week or two buffer at the beginning and end of the school term, to allow for people's lives to settle a little bit before classes begin! Classes do not usually run during half term holidays, or on bank holidays.
Check the class listings above for the dates for this term, and make a note of any dates that the venue is not available so you do not have a wasted trip!

Are your classes suitable for Under 18s? If not, why not?
My regular classes are suitable for those aged 14 years and over. The guardians of students under 18 must, however, contact me to discuss the classes before they attend.
Whilst I don't believe bellydancing as an activity is necessarily inappropriate for younger children, my regular classes are just not structured for or aimed at children. Appropriately delivered bellydance tasters, parties and workshops can be great fun for children though!

I am nervous that my health condition or personal circumstances will stop me from being able to dance. Can I come to classes?
I try to make my classes as accessible, open and welcoming to all as possible. And the great thing is that bellydancing is a great, low impact way of getting active that can be beneficial to many people with many different circumstances!
Please feel free to speak to me confidentially if you have any concerns or if there is anything I should be aware of that may impact on your ability to take part in classes. We can then assess options and identify what further advice, such as from your GP, you may need to seek. I also ask all new students to fill in a form to help identify any health issues that I need to be aware of as your teacher. The information provided is treated confidentially, and is not shared with any third parties.

I have been dancing for a while -€“ which class is right for me?
I currently run three levels of class -€“ Open Level, Improver and Higher level classes. Guidelines for the length of time you're likely to need to have been dancing before attending these classes are listed against each of the classes above.
Obviously, though, which class is right for you will be dependent on a lot of different things. These can include how long you have been dancing for, how regularly you've been dancing and practicing in your own time, whether you have done any other forms of dancing before, your natural pace of learning, health issues and who your previous teacher was.
Please contact me to discuss your dance experience, and we can discuss what classes would be best for you. I will suggest a class or two for you to try.
Please do not be disheartened if I suggest a lower level class than you're expecting. Different teachers have different styles, and therefore, sometimes when changing teacher it can be a good idea to go to a few lower level classes to get a feel for their teaching style and core technique. Sometimes I also get asked by people who are 'natural'€ self-taught bellydancers what level class they need to come to. Often, they will also find a few classes at open level beneficial to learn the 'skill'€ of being taught specific moves rather than improvising (often beautifully!). It is always possible to move up a class if the first was too basic for you!

I am unable to make your classes. How else can I learn to bellydance?
If my classes don't fit your hectic schedule, check out www.faridadance.com for details of other classes in the North East or check out www.thejta.org for details of JWAAD qualified teachers around the UK and further afield.
I also teach private lessons and would be happy to talk to you about options if you are interested.

Will it always be you teaching the class every week?
I try to teach my classes myself wherever possible. On some unavoidable occasions, however, I may not be able to teach a class. Wherever possible, I will arrange for another appropriately experienced belly dance teacher to cover such classes to ensure that you can keep on dancing!
If for any reason I have to cancel an advertised class at short notice, I will post this on my Facebook Page (Claire Bellydances) as soon as possible. Following me on these is the best way to find out of any looming issues. I will also attempt to e-mail and text any student who has been to that particular class within the previous two weeks -€“ Please make sure that I have your up to date e-mail address and mobile number! If you haven't been to class for a few weeks, I suggest you check back the class dates on this page and look at Facebook before turning up, just to make sure you do not have a wasted journey!