Tribal Bellydance Classes with Stephanie Barto


Stephanie was the Midwest pioneer of American Tribal style bellydance. She began teaching in 1996 with a certification from Carolena Nerricio. director of FatChanceBellydance in San Francisco. Over her 15+ years as an instructor and troupe director of RMH, Stephanie has innovated a unique interpretation of tribal improv (ATS) and modern tribal fusion upon a solid foundation of basic bellydance movement vocabulary.

Class Attire and Equipment

Ideal student attire is a short exercise top or tank top worn with a skirt, pantaloons or yoga pants. For footwear, we recommend ballet slippers or jazz shoes, but it's also fine to just wear socks.

In general, please avoid wearing noisy adornments (such as coin belts or ankle bells) to class.

Class Fees

The cost for each session is $9. There is also the option to purchase a discount card good for 5 classes @ $40. The discount cards have no expiration date, and can be used for classes at Lin Shook Studio and Blue Cat Studio.

About Session Levels

Even if you have had previous Egyptian style or Tribal Bellydance training, we ask that you start out in the Beginner level class. This is because our format uses moves, stylizations and a group improvisational structure that are unique to our group. The Beginner level focuses on introducing and refining our basic vocabulary of moves, getting acquainted with Tribal stylizations, and exploring Middle Eastern folkloric rhythms. There is no need for pre-class registration for our classes, and there's no specific start/end type session schedule ... just show up and dance :-)

Attendance at the Tribal Improvisation class and Advanced levels are by teacher approval only. At the Intermediate and Advanced levels, we continue to refine and expand our vocabulary and explore more complex moves and combinations. We introduce basic finger cymbal technique, and learn to create dances within the group improvisation format. . Strategies for musical interpretation are also refined, and we work on creative choreographies, the use of props, and soloist skills.

For information on the above classes, contact Stephanie at 773-975-0242 or via e-mail at



All classes listed below are taught by RMH Director STEPHANIE BARTO unless otherwise noted.


4057 N. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL

Beginner Level/Tribal Bellydance Basics classes are every Tuesday night, 7:30-8:30pm
An introduction to the basic moves,posture and stylizations of tribal bellydance. Includes in-depth drilling of basic moves, as well as their use in the context of simple improvised dances. Ideal for dancers who are new to bellydance and interested to explore tribal style. Taught by Stephanie Barto.


Intermediate/Advanced Technique Drills is held every Tuesday night at 8:30pm-9:30pm.
Description:. This class will focus on form and structure using the vocabulary of Read My Hips moves as well as incorporating a variety of other dance movements. Basic elements will be drilled and layered and a new movement will be presented and drilled each week while building on and incorporating elements from prior weeks. We will work on correct posture, flexibility, body position, and strength. Taught by Amy Mate of Read My Hips.


NOTE: The classes listed above are held in the private studio of modern dance choreographer Lin Shook, director of Perceptual Motion Dance Co. The studio is at the intersection of Damen and Belle Plaine. The entrance is on the SIDE and towards the back of the building ... look for a brown gate, walk through to the next door and you're there :-).



Private lessons with Stephanie Barto are also available, and cost for an individual is $20 per hour. If you and some friends would like to do a semi-private group class together, the cost is just $5 per additional person. Please call or email me for scheduling and/or further details.



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