What are people saying about Alexandra?
"Alexandra is unique to the belly dance community because of her emphasis on proper technique and her concern for bettering the dance and personal life of each of her students. A dance class with Alexandra will leave you sweating and sore, but you'll want to come back and learn even more the next day!"
---Sarah Matalone, Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"Belly dance rocks. ADS offers a rigorous, serious dance program with a focus on cultural context, music theory, and development of technique. But the experience is tremendously fun. Alex is a excellent, experienced and dedicated teacher who encourages individual growth and fosters a very real sense of community and friendship. The opportunity to work at ADS is an experience that adds to the culture of Charlottesville; it is part of what makes C’ville a brilliant, diverse city wrapped in a small town."
"I began my bellydance education with Alexandra and as time goes by I realize how lucky I was. Her emphasis on clean technique, strength and safe training has provided me with a strong technical foundation that allows me to adapt to different teachers and dance styles as well as develop and maintain a personal dance vocabulary. Alexandra holds herself and her students to a high standard, expecting only the best. She encourages and educates her students, instilling in them a desire to excel and empowering them to do so. I left Alexandra's classes just over 3 years ago but her lessons continue to serve me well, driving me to seek out high quality instruction and surround myself with equally driven dancers. Thanks to Alexandra, I continue to push myself and grow as a dancer, expect only the best, and relish any challenge thrown at me."
---Mariza Matel, Founding Member, Barakaat Dance Company; ACSM Certified Personal Trainer; Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"Alex teaches proper dance positions and techniques to prevent injury and gives us a good workout from head to toe. Classes are both rigorous and fun. We have opportunities to perform in beautiful costumes with interesting music from all over the world. Belly Dance is for all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities."
---Imelda Carter, Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"Alex was supportive and encouraging from day one. She made me feel good about my progress, and has always created a very positive, warm and fun environment. I also found that practicing bellydance in such a supportive space gave me a huge boost in self-confidence.
"As I progressed, Alex began giving me more constructive criticism, but it never feels negative, and is always personalized. She really customizes her approach, almost on a day-to-day basis. She never offers more correction than I can handle, while still giving me enought that I know what to improve.
"Another benefit is the exercise and conditioining. I'm in better shape now than I was at 20. Alex places a huge emphasis on dancing safely and protecting muscles and joints. Her approach keeps me aware of posture and position, and that's how I've been able to dance with her for so long without exacerbating my previous injuries."
---Amanda Moore Pollard, Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"I started to bellydance 6 years ago with Alex at ACAC, with no prior dance training whatoever. I have grown both personally and as a dancer over the years, and have even been able to branch out into hoop dancing, Latin, and hip hop styles with the foundation I have learned with Alex. I am enjoying the opportunities to perform publicly, and I am looking forward to a broader range of classes, and more opportunities for performance and improvisation."
---Barbara Frost, Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 2 Certified
"I love the structure and rigor of the dance classes at ADS, and the way Alex manages to balance that with a supportive and positive environment. A lot of other dance styles and studios can be intimidating to an adult beginner, but at ADS the strength and flexibility training I've had in the past flow perfectly in the training style that Alex uses.
"I'm getting a complete dance curriculum, from music theory to the history and tradition of bellydance to the technical aspects of each complicated movement. There's so much support for the success of the individual dancer and such a great feeling of community among all the women who practice at ADS.
"I took bellydance with Alex before she had her own studio, and even after a four year hiatus, Alex remembered me by name and encouraged me to come to more advanced classes. It's that kind of interaction that makes you love dancing with Alex just as much as you love dancing at ADS."
---Rush Bailey, former gymnast; Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"Dancing with Alex has been a great physical and creative outlet for me. Now that she has her own studio, it's like our dance troupe has a real home!"
---Nicole Gugliucci, Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"Alex's classes are great! She is a gorgeous dancer, a gifted choreographer, and a really talented dance instructor. Her goal is to build a dance company focused on excellence while at the same time creating a safe, nurturing space to build community among the women who dance with her. I have been belly dancing a long time and I have been waiting for this kind of group."
---Dawn Dirks, assistant instructor at ADS; Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 1 Certified
"I met Alex in 2009 when she hosted a workshop for the world famous Suhaila Salimpour. Initiation into Suhaila's amazing format blew my mind and my entire concept of what I could accomplish as a dancer. I had never seen anything like it, and I wanted to continue my studies with like-minded dancers.
"So, when I found out that Alex held classes based on the Salimpour format, I immediately signed up. I had been dancing for 4 years, performed locally, and considered myself as an “advanced student.” However, I found myself in a strange plateau where I thought I was capable of more, but unable to progress any further. I would watch performances of talented out-of-town professional dancers and I just couldn’t figure how to connect to that next level.
"I clearly remember the first classes with Alex. “This isn’t too bad,” I thought to myself at the end of the first class. What I didn’t realize was that she had seen that I was well within my comfort zone. I was in for a huge surprise when I showed up for that second class! Suddenly I was being challenged and stretched in ways that my mind and body couldn’t immediately grasp. It was both incredibly humbling and deeply inspiring.
"The Alexandra Dance Studio has provided me with inspiration, a clear path for progression, and unparalleled support in my journey as a dancer. Alex has created a nurturing environment, while maintaining a strong work ethic. There is no room for complacency in this space! She fully shares her knowledge and love of the dance with all of her students.
"What I find most inspiring about Alexandra is that she continues to pursue her own development both as a dancer and an instructor. This keeps her in touch to how it feels to be a student and she has struck a wonderful balance of when to be supportive and when to practice tough love. Because she continues to grow, even though I have progressed to an “advanced” level in her program, I am continually expanding my horizons with new challenges that add depth and quality to my performances."
---Lisa Zatkin Moss, Jamila Salimpour Format Level 2 Certified and Suhaila Salimpour Format Level 2 Certified