About Us

About Colorful Waves – the company

Colorful Waves provides bellydance performances and instruction. We host bellydance workshops and parties. We offer beautiful bellydance costumes and supplies. Located in Durham NC with shopping by appointment and available as a traveling vendor as well. Shahzaadee opened the original ‘Colorful Waves’ while living in Asheville, NC in the early 1990’s. Colorful Waves was originally a bellydance school, dance supply boutique, plus a beauty salon, all in one location. After moving to the Triangle area, Colorful waves became solely a bellydance oriented business.

About Colorful Waves – the performance group

Colorful Waves Bellydance Troupe (founded 1996) is Shahzaadee’s ever-morphing dance performance group. Unique in that, the members are selected each year by Shahzaadee based on talent, spirit of cooperation, eagerness to perform well, and availability. After intensive training, the troupe members present dance performances throughout the year that both challenges the dancers and delights audiences.


What is bellydance?

A whole body dance! An ancient form of dance that uses elaborate torso and hip movements instead of relying on the arms and legs for stylizing, as in other dance forms like tap, jazz and ballet. ‘Belly’ dances actually use the HIPS more than the belly. Westerners coined the term ‘bellydancing’ possibly because the belly appears to be moving and, due to one particular rhythm called ‘beledi’, also an Arabic word meaning country. This term is sometimes considered inadequate to describe what ‘bellydance’ as an art form is all about. This dance form is also called Middle Eastern dance, raks sharki, danse de venture, gypsy, Rom. Many of the movements are similar to or exactly like, those of other hip-focused dances such as hula and some Indian dances.

Where did bellydance come from?

Bellydance is so old, no one is exactly sure. It is still being performed in Egypt, Turkey as well as in America, Australia, Germany and countless other countries.

Who are bellydancers?

People of all ages, sizes, races, backgrounds and professions.

Do I need dance experience to start bellydancing?

No, everyone starts at the beginning. Other dance experience is helpful because you may have greater body awareness therefore, able to advance to the next level more quickly than someone who hasn’t danced before.

Which level of dance class should I choose?

Each person progresses in dance at a different pace, based on commitment to practice, natural rhythm, and many other factors. Please select the appropriate course level based on your current ABILITY. Dancers should start at and REMAIN at beginner level until all basic movements are understood and executed properly. This may take several courses. Many people take beginner courses for months. Intermediate level is intended for dancers who have intricate knowledge of how to move their bodies and some knowledge of musical rhythms needed for Middle Eastern dance. Advanced students should understand and perform full dances well and will be inspired with new combinations and choreography taught by Shahzaadee!

Can I take just one class to see if I enjoy it?

Most classes are run in four or eight-week sessions called courses. Occasionally you will see ‘drop-in students welcome in this course’ these are the only classes were coming once or even randomly is allowed.

What do I wear to bellydance class?

Wear comfortable clothing that fits close to the body. Leotards, or tank top and a flowing skirt are popular choices. Most yoga clothing works well. Bare feet or leather bottom, SOFT-shoe (modern dance sandal, ballet slipper or leather bottom house shoe). Don’t forget the hip scarf/belt! It is also a good idea to bring bottled water and a towel if you need one. Other props may be listed for the session you choose to attend.

How do I know when to tip my bellydancer?

Tipping is an authentic form of showing appreciation for a dancer, when you find yourself enjoying a performance. Tips given from the heart and as true encouragement to continue dancing are appreciated. When a dancer is finished with her planned presentation she may approach the crowd for tips. Tips can be accepted in a basket, small purse or in the edge of her hip belt. Sometimes money is tossed or ‘showered’ over a dancer by the tipper or, if guests are not allowed to approach the dancer, by an assistant. Keep in mind that it is not always appropriate to approach a dancer at staged events, and during choreographed sections of the show. Some venues or dancers, do not allow tipping at all. If it doesn’t seem clear when you should tip, body language is a very good indicator. Other gifts you can give your favorite bellydancer are quality attention, clapping along, ululation, calls of encouragement, applause, and your smile, all this shows support that any performer can appreciate.

Do men bellydance too?

Yes! In many countries where bellydance is popular, social dancing (as in clubs and at family events) includes several movements from ‘bellydance’. Men, women and children dance to celebrate life, of course stylizing is gender apparent. Men dance ‘like men’ and ladies ‘like ladies’. There can also be an element of mimic used by some male dancers, to present their dance exactly as a woman would. In history when women were banned from dancing in public, men dressed and danced as women because the dance was missed by the people. Plus dancing was the only way to create income for families who were dependent on their artistic talents of music and dance. Male bellydancers may choose to present a more masculine form of bellydance or they may chose to present themselves as a woman in dance stylizing and costume (drag).

Some benefits of bellydancing
-Increases mental and physical energy levels
-Aids in the abdominal muscular tone thus relieving lower back stress
-Increases metabolism
-Tones muscles
-Greater self confidence and self awareness
-Relieves stress
-Increases flexibility and range of motion
-Develops poise and grace
-Improve posture
-Massages internal organs
-Weight control when a sensible diet is followed
-Feeling of Empowerment
-Make new friends
-Wear beautiful costumes
-Balance and strength improves

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