- Instruction

Home     Performances, Workshops, and Special Events      Bio      Zamani Flamenco Ensemble

Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer Book Series      Links      Contact       Zanbaka's Designs Online Bazaar


Zanbaka Offers Private, Semi-Private, and Group Dance Instruction in the Seattle Area.

See below for current class/workshop offerings, information, policies, and frequently asked questions.





Group Instruction

with Zanbaka


Technique, Conditioning, & Drills for Bellydance


-Sharpen staccato isolations and shimmies for drum solo technique

-Purify smooth and fluid isolations 

-Refine arm/hand movements and precision of turns

-Improve your body's synchronization with rhythm and tempo

- Clarify movement definition to expand your bellydance vocabulary




:::Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions, New Student Info, Class Etiquette and Policies:::

    With an emphasis on moving from the core muscles, Zanbaka's approach to belly dance offers students the vocabulary, skills, and freedom to pursue whatever style they prefer.  The Beginning Class is appropriate for those who have never taken a dance class in their life and for more experienced dancers who want to perfect the basics. 

 In addition to more advanced versions of the Beginning Class content, the Intermediate Class includes work with layering, traveling steps and combos/topics from a revolving array of bellydance styles: Folkloric, Orientale, Tribal Improv, Funky Modern, and World Fusion.

Please see Class Descriptions for more info.
To pre-register contact Zanbaka:
Ph. 206.326-0749


Specialty Classes

The following class offerings are open to Intermediate Level students and above. These are small classes (2-3 students) in the Capitol Hill area, so you must RSVP if you'd like to attend.

Intermediate/Advanced Technique & Combos: Mondays, 5:30-6:30pm
More drills, technique, and moving from the core. Explore layering, dozens of shimmy variations, and clarify isolation definition to expand your dance vocabulary. Please bring your Finger Cymbals, Veil, and knee-pads for Floorwork. Props (sword, basket, urn, candles) will also be used occasionally.

Zanbaka's Repertoire for Tribal Group Improvisation: Mondays, 6:30-7:30pm
Tribal Basics, Tribal Variations, Advanced Combos. Zanbaka's signature repertoire for Tribal Group Improvisation. A unique departure from the standards, her repertoire is based on the improvisational concepts of Gypsy Caravan and FatChanceBellyDance, infused with more elements of Middle Eastern Folkloric, Flamenco, West African, and East Indian Orissi Dance and is also taught from a right/left, even sided approach.

Orientale Dance Technique and Combos: Tuesdays, 5:00-6:00pm
Explore various facets of Orientale Dance, from the Seven Part Westernized Nightclub routine to Classical and Modern Egyptian nuances. Learn combos for Drum Solo, Taqsim, Folkloric elements, Floorwork, Veil, and short pieces to the great musical standards of the bellydance world. Please bring your Finger Cymbals.

World Fusion Bellydance: Tuesdays, 6:00-7:00pm
Blending tradition and innovation, expand your horizons with short pieces of Zanbaka's choreographies, influenced my a variety of genres: East Indian, Flamenco, North African, Turkish Rom, Tribal Fusion, Funky Modern, and more.

Barefoot Flamenco for Bellydancers: Sundays, 4:30-5:30pm
This is a great class for dancers who love Flamenco, but can't do footwork due to physical limitations. Technique for Hands, Arms, Upper Body, Turns, Low-Impact Foot Patterns, Hand Clapping (palmas), Castanets, and props Fan, Manton (Spanish Shawl), and Skirt maneuvers.



  About the Instructor...


Zanbaka's instruction focuses on a strong foundation in technique and a variety of belly dance genres ranging from traditional folkloric and oriental to more modern styles such as tribal and world fusion. Her vision of dance is a balance between the old and the new, tradition and innovation. Zanbaka is an accomplished soloist, choreographer, one of the founding members and principle dancers of Raqs Halim Dance Ensemble (1998-2005), as well as a dancer with Rubina Carmona’s La Peña Flamenca de Seattle (2001-Present).


Followed by early training in music, tap, ballet, and jazz, Zanbaka’s background and experience lies in fitness, movement, and a variety of dance genres (Flamenco, East Indian Orissi, West African Dance, and of course... Belly Dance).  Having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Washington, she possesses a passion for the language, history, music, and culture which inspire belly dance.  Through her belief that the best teachers are lifelong students themselves, when Zanbaka is not teaching, rehearsing, or working you can usually find her in a dance class. She has studied with a long list of renowned master instructors through private lessons, weeklong dance intensives, and seminars.         


With an emphasis on using core muscles to power isolations, she has an ability to breakdown movements into their basic components and offer alternative explanations/visualizations to suit a variety of learning styles. Known for her refinement exercises and drills, she uses a 'building blocks' approach to help students master the more challenging movements of belly dance while perfecting the basics. She stresses the importance of studying and mastering a fundamental groundwork of bellydance technique, rather than pigeonholing oneself into a particular style. In addition to the physical aspect of technique, knowledge is key. She feels students should strive to educate themselves on the background of traditional and contemporary bellydance styles, history, cultural issues, language, music, and performer ethics.


Zanbaka is recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest for her well-conceptualized performance pieces, researched fusion styles, and elaborate group and solo choreographies.  In addition to teaching numerous workshops locally and nationally, she is sought after as an instructor by absolute beginners who want a thorough foundation in technique to seasoned performers who want to challenge their limits.




Class/Workshop Offerings:

Workshop offerings encompass a wide variety of concepts and styles from Zanbaka’s diverse background and experience.  Any of these topics can be catered toward preferred presentation approach: short combinations/choreography (for solo improvisational or solo/group choreography) or cues in a tribal lead/follow format (for group improvisational dancers). All workshops include thorough warm-up, stretch, and cool down as well as work with technique, posture, isolations, strengthening, flexibility, form, and rhythm.


Drills, Technique, and Moving from the Core

Basics through Advanced

No matter what style you prefer, all dancers can agree that strength, control, endurance, and core strength will keep you dancing with an edge and keep your body feeling great for years to come. Refine staccato isolations and shimmies for drum solo technique, purify smooth and fluid isolations, and improve your body’s synchronization with rhythm and tempo. Extensive series of stretches, conditioning, drills, and technique exercises for head, shoulder, arm, hand, ribcage, abdominal, and hip isolations.


Musical Interpretation

Dancer's Block? Stuck in a rut with a new choreography project? Feel like you lose your focus once you take the stage for solo or group improvisation? Learn Zanbaka’s tried and true methods for choreographic or improv combo composition.  Tips for dance notation and dissecting a piece of new music via style, region of origination, rhythm, musical nuances and elements.


Improvisational Tribal Style

Tribal Basics, Tribal Variations, Advanced Combos. Zanbaka's signature repertoire for Tribal Group Improvisation. A unique departure from the standards, her repertoire is based on the improvisational concepts of Gypsy Caravan and FatChanceBellyDance, infused with more elements of Middle Eastern Folkloric, Flamenco, West African, and East Indian Orissi Dance and is also taught from a right/left, even sided approach.


Flamenco Fusion

Hands and Arms, Fan, Manton (Shawl), Skirt work, Flamenco inspired movements for Improvisational Tribal Style.


East Indian Fusion

Hands, Arms, and Poses, Footwork/Ankle Bells, East Indian inspired movements for Improvisational Tribal Style


North African Regional Dances and Modern Fusion

Working with 6/8 rhythms, Guedra, Tunisian, Shikhatt, Moroccan Castanets (Qarkabeb), Algerian Scarf Dance (with scarves [trad.] or streamer poi [mod.]), North African 6/8 movements for Improvisational Tribal Style


Turkish Regional Dances and Modern Fusion

working with ciftitelli and 9/8 rhythms, Turkish Rom, Fusion Skirt work, Turkish spoons, Turkish 9/8 movements for Improvisational Tribal Style.


Egyptian Regional Dances and Modern Fusion

Ghawazee, Saiidi, Raks al-Assaya (cane dance), Classical, Modern, working with various Arabic rhythms.



Veil, Double Veil, Candles, Balancing (Sword, Basket, Urn, Tray), working with props in group improvisation


Finger Cymbal Rhythms

Basic to Complex


Other Specialty

Drum Solo, Taqsim, Floorwork, Lebanese Debke


Choreography Commissions

For soloists & groups of all levels.