How to Prepare for Your First Dance Performance or Showcase

Belly Dancing History

The Bella Diva dancers perform all over Denver, enriching our community with world dance and an introduction to new cultures. As a new Bella Diva dancer, you’ve taken the classes, rehearsed with the other dancers, and prepared for your first dance in front of an audience. The first time you perform on stage is a big moment. We want you to remember this time fondly and to be your best, most confident self when you step out on stage. To help out any first-time performers, we’ve devised a checklist on how to prepare for your first dance performance.  

Tips to Prepare for Your First Dance Performance

Follow these tips to prepare for your first dance performance, and you will have a smooth transition from practice and rehearsal to showcasing your talents on a stage in front of an audience.  

Mental Preparation

First Dance Performance
The Bella Diva dancers perform all over Denver, enriching our community with world dance and an introduction to new cultures.

To help learn the dance moves, visualize the performance and movements wherever you go. Have the music with you and listen to it repeatedly. Listen to it in the car, on walks, and while doing other activities. 


In addition to dance practices in the studio, you’ll need to practice the routine on your own as well. Practice until you know the routine so well that it’s nearly automatic. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be on stage and the fewer nerves you’ll have.

Practice in Costume

It’s not enough just to know the dance moves. You need to be comfortable on stage, which means being comfortable in your costume. Practicing repeatedly while wearing the costume that you’ll be wearing on stage can help with this.

Costumes are a big part of world dance performances, and they have a big presence. Practicing in your costume means you won’t get lost. You wear the costume; the costume doesn’t wear you.

Besides, the clothing is the shoes. World dances are performed with all types of footwear, from bare feet to heels. Make sure you practice in whatever shoes you’ll wear on stage, and not just for the dress rehearsals.

See the Stage Before the Performance 

Go to the venue and check it out. Get a sense of how big the audience will be and see what the stage looks like. If you can, stand on the stage and look out into the auditorium so that you won’t be overwhelmed when the lights go up for your performance. 

Make a List

Make a checklist of everything you’ll need on the day of the performance. This will help you to stay organized and prepared. By being prepared, you will have less to be concerned with and will be better able to focus on your performance. The checklist should include all parts of your costume, your makeup, and anything else you may need before, during, or after the performance. 

If you’re interested in world dance or dreamed of performing in front of an audience? Get started today by registering for one of our classes.

Bella Diva to Perform Outside for Kavod Senior Life

Bella Diva Dancers at Kavod

Dancers from Bella Diva Dance will visit Kavod Senior Life on Sunday, September 13th to perform for older adults living on campus. The celebration is both in honor of Grandparents’ Day as well as those residents with September birthdays.

“Social Dis-Dance” Will Entertain & Honor Older Adults

Social isolation and loneliness among older adults have become much of a concern during the time of COVID. While much of the world is slowly starting to go back to work and school and have socially distanced interactions with friends and family, our senior populations in assisted/long-term care facilities seem to have become the forgotten ones. Many of these facilities have been under quarantine for over 175 days, and families haven’t been able to see their loved ones other than by electronic devices or through a window if they are lucky.

Group and outside visitors are no longer allowed, measures needed to stop the virus among a population considered most at risk. That means there are no group exercise classes, arts and crafts, religious services, or visiting entertainers until now.

Kavod Denver
Kavod Senior Life

Inspired by the quarantined Italians who opened their balconies to sing to one another to fight loneliness, Bella Diva World Dance will bring their Social Dis-Dance showcase on the road to perform outside for the residents of Kavod Senior Living in Cherry Creek. For a population cut off from the rest of the world, they are bringing the world to them. Residents will be able to open their windows from their apartments to look out and hear music from around the globe accompanying 50 dancers performing Hula, Bollywood, Belly Dance, Afro-Caribbean, and Persian dance on the ground below. Pedestrians and passersby will also be able to stop and catch the show.

“We are so grateful to have the talented dancers from Bella Diva Dance come to perform for us. They have been one of our residents’ favorite groups in the past; their presence is even more meaningful now due to limited activity options related to COVID-19 restrictions.”

Connie Moore, Director of Life Enrichment for Kavod.

Artistic Director Caitlin Brozna-Smith says, “The global pandemic has been especially hard on our elderly population when it comes to the long-term effects of isolation and social distancing. At the heart of what it means to be human is the need to connect with others. I know enjoying dance and hearing music from different world cultures play a powerful part in being able to connect and learn about other life experiences through their stories. We want the Kavod community to know we love them and support them. They have not been forgotten and still matter!”

When? Sunday September 13th 2-4 PM
Where? Kavod Senior Living, 44 South Adams Street, Denver 80209

Join Our Virtual Khaleegy Master Class with Vita Saakova

Misconceptions About Belly Dancing

Don’t Miss Out on This Great Virtual Event!


Saturday, May 30, 2020 from 10 am – 12 pm


Zoom Event — private link will be shared prior to online registration

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn with a master instructor from Russia!

We are excited to announce our partnership with one of Russia’s most well-known belly dance choreographers and performers, Vita Saakova.

Khaleegy dance is a mixture of modern style and traditional folkloric dance from the Persian Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The name of the dance means “gulf” in Arabic, and women perform it at weddings and other social events. Over time it gained popularity among belly dancers!

What Students Will Learn in This Workshop

Vita Saakova
Enjoy and learn form Vita’s amazing skills.
  • History of Khaleegy dance and its identifying characteristics
  • Breakdown of the Khaleegy Rhythm
  • Influence of the Gulf lifestyle on the human body
  • Head and hair accents
  • Basic Khaleegy footwork
  • Differences between Khaleegy and other gulf dance styles
  • Five mini combinations

Workshop Details

Cost: $25.00

We’re taking online registrations only. All participants will have a Zoom private link for the workshop emailed before the class. We will be limiting the class size to 20 students for feedback and personal attention purposes.

About Vita

Vita is the director of the Gulshan Professional School of Belly Dance, where she has taught thousands of dancers over the years.

Vita Saakova’s dance is a mixture of technical precision, emotional conveyance, and exploration of feminine expression.

Vita started dancing when she was 13 years old. Her first dance was Gypsy/Roma, and eventually, she began performing with one of the most renowned Roma troops called “Romale.” Later on, she discovered Bollywood style, which she fell in love with instantly.

In 2001 she started her independent career as a teacher and opened her dance school in 2003. Until this day, she teaches different styles of belly dance, tribal fusion, Bollywood, Gypsy/Roma, Armenian, and Khaleegy.

Check out this video from Moscow International Oriental Dance Festival:

Semi-Annual Studio Showcase Is Happening Again!

Semi Annual Student Showcase 2019

Celebrate All Things World Dance at our Semi-Annual Studio Showcase at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre


Saturday, November 23rd from 7 pm to 9:30 pm


Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

119 Park Ave W, Denver 80205

It is time for our semi-annual student showcase, and we couldn’t be more excited! We are thrilled to showcase over 90 of our students who will be performing choreos from their weekly group classes. This includes Belly Dance, Brazilian Samba, Indian Bollywood, Classical Persian, BollyX Fitness, Tahitian, Hula A’uana, Afro-Caribe, GROOV3 Hip Hop, and our Kids’ World Dance & Bollywood classes!

Bella Divas Hula Dancers Student ShowcaseWorld Dance is in our DNA here at Bella Diva Dance. We love to celebrate cultural diversity through movement and are grateful to be able to celebrate that with you, with each class and each event, like our Semi-Annual Showcase. This event has a special place in our hearts since it’s all about showcasing the talent and growth of all our dedicated students.

This event kicks off the holiday season with lots of energy and love for world dance. It will be an evening celebrating all things international, intercultural, rejoicing in what brings us together through shared movement, expression, and storytelling.

If you love to dance, you won’t want to miss out on this great show! Join us this Saturday, November 23rd, because the night will be jammed-packed with high energy and great performances that we’ve put together with much love. We cannot wait for you to be part of this experience.

Doors will open at 6:30 PM. The show starts at 7:00 PM. There will be refreshments and snacks to keep you fueled, which will be sold in the lobby during Intermission.

Ticket Information

$15.00 General admission pre-sale
$10.00 Kids 10 & under and seniors
$20.00 at the door

You can purchase your tickets at the studio or online. Just be sure to get them before they run out! Let’s get together as a community on this wonderful night of dance.

Latin Style Salsa Workshop with Grace Ochs

hip hop and rhythm

Are You in for Some Salsa Dancing?

Salsa is a type of dance that originated in Cuba —Eastern Cuba, to be exact— although, contemporary salsa is said to have been developed in New York, as a mix of Afro Cuban folk dances combined with some Jazz.

This style of dance is made of a lot of different movements from a variety of other Afro-Cuban dances, such as Danzón, Rumba, Son and Cha-Cha-Cha. Salsa is full of flavor! It showcases a variety of movements, including spins, drops, lots of hip and arm movements. It has become wildly popular and is now danced in clubs all over the world.

Ballroom Salsa and Street Salsa are different, however. They have different techniques, costumes, and rhythm. Ballroom salsa is often showcased on TV, film, and even on stage, while street salsa is most commonly performed in social environments.

Ballroom dance coupleGet Your Salsa On!


Sunday, October 27, 2019, at 1 PM – 3 PM


Bella Diva World Dance

4309 E Mississippi Ave, Glendale, Colorado 80246

**$30.00 Pre-Registration and $40 at the door.


What makes a good dancer a great dancer? The difference is experience, poise, and technique! Join us for a ballroom dance workshop that will show you the method and secrets of great dancers. Ballroom dance training is excellent cross-training for any other dance style you may perform.

In this workshop, we will focus on the Latin technique as it relates to the salsa and will learn a dance routine that some students will be eligible to perform on stage. Join us for some fun technique and sexy moves!

This is the perfect class to polish your poise and attitude for the stage before the big Studio Showcase in November, and an excellent opportunity to enrich your dance repertoire. After all, there is no such thing as knowing too many dance styles, is there?

This class is limited to 20 students. Don’t take any chances and save your spot now!

Broadway Halloween Parade Saturday Oct 19th!

Join Us at the Annual Broadway Halloween Parade

The third Annual Broadway Halloween Parade hosted by the Broadway Merchants Association and City Council Lucky District 7 will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at 6:00 pm. This community-friendly event is held annually in the eclectic and funky Heart of Broadway.  Bella Diva Dance will be making their third appearance as “The Dancing Dead” performing “Thriller” down the parade route with Councilman “Lucky” Jolon Clark.

Stretching from 5th to Alameda along Broadway, the Broadway Halloween Parade features various spooky floats, bands, and marchers.

We encourage all attendees to join in the fun by wearing your favorite Halloween costume. At the end of the parade, all are asked to march in the street, to bring our Halloween bash to a close.
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Broadway Halloween Parade Saturday Oct 19th!

Watching the Parade

​Starting at 6 pm, the parade runs along Broadway for approximately .9 miles from 5th to Alameda. Viewing areas are available along the entire route on both the East and West sides of Broadway.  You’re encouraged to get there early to set up for a spook-tacular good time!

Broadway Halloween Parade

How to Get to the Parade

We highly recommend using alternative transportation as parking is very limited in this area! Rail lines C, D, E, F, and H all stop at the Alameda Light Rail station. As well, 0, 0L, 1, 3, 52, and P all serve the parade area.

Need some extra help? Use this great tool to find the best way to get to the parade via RTD.

Broadway Halloween Parade Home Page

Sponsoring the Broadway Halloween Parade is a great way to get your business in front of a diverse crowd. All funds raised for the parade will go directly into the production and promotion of the parade, including our street closure permit, marketing costs (website, poster, program), and other costs like sanitation and decorations.

Do You Want to Dance with Bella Diva?

Halloween is just around the corner, and what better time to work on your zombie walk than right now? If you’re a fan of Michael Jackson’s unique moves, this workshop is for you!
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Broadway Halloween Parade

Thriller Prep Classes


Sunday, October 13th, from 12:30-1:00 PM and Tuesday, October 15th from 5:45-6:45 PM


Bella Diva Dance Studio

Get in the Halloween mood and learn Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller choreography at Bella Diva World Dance studio, and then perform with us in the streets IN THE PARADE! Space is limited to 22 participants. Tuition is only $5.00/class. Join our Facebook event to keep to get updates about this workshop.

8 Week Kids Persian Dance Class Series

Special Kids Persian Dance Class

Bring Your Kids to Persian Dance at Bella Diva World Dance!

An Intro to Persian Dance

Persian dance showcases the luxurious and refined aesthetics of the Persian culture. Its inspiration comes from medieval Persian poetry, sacred elements, miniature artwork, among other things. Its movements include beautiful hand gestures, dazzling spins, and reflect the swirling of birds. Persian dance is intricately beautiful, delicate, and very meaningful. It is more about feeling than it is about movement.
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That is a very rhythmic and fluid form of dance and focuses most of the work in the hands and wrists. It is through a variety of expressions that a dancer can tell a story.

Kids Will Love It!

Young students will LOVE this unique dance experience, including delicate hand and arm movements, Classical Persian Dance foot patterns, and fun poses. Classical Persian Dance is a beautiful addition for ballet students looking to explore another complimentary style of dance. This is the ONLY Kids’ Persian Dance class offered in Colorado. It will be taught by Delsie Khadem-Ghaeini, who is a life long educator and dance instructor for the Colorado Children’s Noruz Foundation, and Bella Diva World Dance. She embodies the love of her Persian culture through dance and infuses that love and passion into every one of the classes she teaches.


From October 14th to December 9th, from 5pm to 6pm.

Instructor Delsie Khadem-Ghaein
Instructor Delsie Khadem-Ghaeini

Delsie is also a certified dancer and teacher in the Shahrzad Khorsandi Technique known as Contemporary Persian Ballet. Your little dancer will be learning all about Persian dance from one of the best in the business.

Students will finish their experience with a performance opportunity on December 11th during the Bella Diva Dance Teacher/Student Showcase.

This class series is appropriate for ages 7-12 years of age. We will not be holding class the week of Thanksgiving on Nov. 25th.

Go ahead and register your kids online now! Space is limited to 15 students. You don’t want to miss your spot!
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Traditional Hula ‘Auana Dance is coming to Bella Diva!

Join Our New Hula Dance Class

Starting Sunday October 6th at 3:00 PM, Bella Diva will be adding a traditional Hula dance class to the schedule, taught by newly hired Teaching Associate, Lei Viela-Crandall.

Hula Dance ClassMore than just a dance, more than just a way of life… Hula is life itself!

Today, this unique art form, deeply rooted in culture, has become a worldwide symbol of Hawaiian culture, and one that you can now experience every week at Bella Diva!

Class Schedule:

Sundays 3:00-4:00 PM, starting Sunday October 6th.

What Is Hula Auana?

Hula Auana is the modern style of hula, usually coming from a school of hula that has a genealogy, but with new choreography and music. Influenced by contemporary times but with old knowledge, this style of hula is accompanied by modern instruments such as the ukulele, guitar, steel guitar, bass or piano.

From our traditional Hula ‘Auana Class students will learn:

  • ʻAuana choreography, melodic, flowing accompanied by beautiful “mele” music.
  • Intricate footwork & delicate hands; mastering inuendo and subtlety.
  • The art of storytelling, connection to the music, celebrating history and stories of the Hawaiian people.
  • Graceful motions from head-to-toe; legs, arms & core engaged throughout.
  • A group experience meant to release tension and to connect with music and others in happiness while showcasing the light within.

Teaching Associate Lei Viela-CrandallAbout Lei’s Background

  • Raised on Oʻahu’s eastside, graduated from Kamehameha Kapālama schools.
  • Danced for Maelia Lobenstein-Carter of (hālau) “Ka Pā Hula O Kauanoe O Waʻahila”.
  • Competed in the Merrie Monarch Festival (2006 & 2007).
  • Danced hula beginning at age 5, mother danced for the same hālau growing up
  • Years of experience in traditional hula (kahiko) and modern hula (ʻauana)
  • Performed on cruise ships and at torch-lighting ceremonies in Waikiki

History of Hula in Hawaii

In ancient Hawaii, a time when a written language did not exist, hula and its chants played an important role in keeping history, genealogy, mythology and culture alive. With each movement – a hand gesture, step of foot, swaying of hips – a story would unfold. Through the hula, the Native Hawaiians were connected with their land and their gods.

Before the arrival of Western missionaries, the hula was danced for protocol and social enjoyment. The songs and chants of the hula preserved Hawaii’s history and culture. Many believe hula was born on the island of Molokai, but other legends tell of hula originating on Kauai. For many years following the arrival of missionaries, hula dance as well as the Hawaiian language and music were suppressed. Hula, specifically, was even outlawed. It wasn’t until King David Kalakaua came to the throne in 1874 that Hawaiian cultural traditions were restored. Public performances of hula flourished and by the early 1900s, the hula started to evolve with modern times.

Hula DancersHula Terminology

Kahiko: ancient, long ago.

Auana: to wander, drift, go from place to place.

Halau Hula: Hula School

Kumu Hula: Hula Teacher

Hoomakaukau: To prepare, make ready.
Often used by the kumu hula (hula teacher) before the hula performance has begun to signal the halau to get ready.

Ae: yes; to say yes.
The halau’s response to the kumu hula, letting him/her know they are ready to begin.

Pa: a sound; to sound; beat; signal to begin a dance

Haina: the two or more last verses of a song.
You may hear this term used by the halau in the middle of the performance. This means the halau is nearing the end of the song, the end of the story.

Viva Brazil Gala Night: An Iconic Evening of Dance Performances

Viva Brazil Gala Night

We invite you to be part of the Viva Brazil Gala Night!

What’s the Viva Brazil Gala Night?

It is a meet and greet with the visiting artists from Brazil who will be part of this year’s Viva Brazil Festival. There will be dancing to live music, performances, food, and dress to impress. Tickets are selling fast, and we guarantee you, you don’t want to miss this great event!

Luciana Da Silva
Luciana Da Silva

Be amazed at this iconic evening of dance performances! Meet our Brazilian artists —Thai Rodrigues, Pablo Guerreiro from Rio de Janeiro, Tania Santiago and Velly da Bahia from Bahia, Luciana da Silva, as well as our local talents —Axe Brazil Dance Company, Bella Diva World Dance and guest artist Lorin Hansen.

Dance to live music of Pagode Na Pedra (members of Ginga), one of the most accomplished Brazilian bands in Colorado and DJ Manny Manolis will play an exciting array of Brazilian tunes.

Be a VIP

Treat yourself to delicious authentic Brazilian food and a drink by purchasing tickets for only $40. Limited quantities are available, so reserve now.

Silent Auction

Beautiful traditional headdresses from Indigenous tribe Fulni-O and other exquisite items will be auctioned.

This festival is about faith in all its forms. It takes trust on a deeper level to achieve anything in life. We are celebrating faith, art, and culture to create a better world for all of us. We want you to be part of it!

Part of the proceeds from all the Viva Brazil Festival events will be donated for the construction of a soccer field for the children of Brazilian Indigenous tribe Fulni-O. Buy your tickets now before they’re gone!

Tickets $25 day of the show at the door


Thursday, October 3rd, from 7 pm to 11 pm

Museo de las Americas
Museo de las Americas


Museo De Las Americas

861 Santa Fe Dr.

Denver, CO 80204

For more information, check out the website for Viva Brazil Festival, reach out to Luciana at [email protected] or call 720-699-7820.


Bella Diva Samba Dancers
Bella Diva Samba Dancers

Bella Diva Welcomes Miss Rachael’s Dance to Our Studio!

Dance Classes for Girls

Starting this fall, our studio will be one of the two Denver home studios for Miss Rachael’s Dance. Their mission is to provide young dancers with quality, structured dance education and appreciation for the arts in a supportive and enthusiastic environment. Dance class is not just dancing, but teaching children valuable life lessons, a positive self image, confidence and respect.

Their dance programming offers a large variety of dance classes for all skill levels including Ballet, Tap, Combo, Jazz and Hip Hop ages 2-7 and also 7+. Their experienced instructors are passionate about helping each dancer achieve their highest potential, while also having as much fun as possible. They have two Denver locations: Baker Studio – 75 S Cherokee St Denver 80223 and us —Glendale Studio – 4309 E Mississippi Ave Glendale 80246 ????


A Program We LOVE!

Miss Rachael’s Dance

DANCE + Classes Beginning October 2019 ages 3-5

DANCE+ gives you 2 hours of time to run errands, fit in a workout or relax while your child has an hour dance combo class followed by crafts, interactive story time and creative movement. This unique class is taught by their highly trained staff. Please have your child bring tap and ballet shoes, a water bottle and light snack. Children must be potty trained. Monthly tuition of $150 covers four classes. The dancers have the option to also participate in our December and May recital if enrolled monthly. Drop in rate available for $40. Please register online 24 hrs before the class for a drop in.

Rachael Harding
Miss Rachael Harding

About Miss Rachael:

An accomplished dancer, choreographer and instructor, Rachael Harding has been teaching dance and master classes to students at schools around the world. She uses her knowledge, unending passion, and extensive experience to inspire young people to follow their dreams and provides each dancer with the tools to achieve those dreams.

As a young girl in northern California, Rachael began dancing at the age of three and competing at age 10. Her passion for the art led her to an MFA in dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a BFA in dance and BS in Business Management from the University of Arizona. Rachael has since spent the last 10 years teaching and choreographing countless numbers of students at our studio, and working as the Artistic Director since August 2012.  In addition to teaching, choreographing and performing, Rachael also teaches a dance history course at Red Rocks Community College.

Miss Rachael's Dance School Teachers
Miss Rachael’s Dance Teachers

Her dance credits include some of the most prestigious companies, productions, and choreographers working in the dance field, coming together to form an expansive, impressive resume. Her past master classes have graced the stages of schools around the world, including Denver School of the Arts, Loughborough University (UK), University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Arizona, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School. She has also choreographed productions for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Aspen Dance Connection, and a production of Rusalka with Opera Colorado.

Rachael was a member of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and served as Assistant Rehearsal Director in her final season with the company. She toured the United States as a solo dancer with Imani Winds in Josephine Baker: A Life of Le Jazz Hotand performed in Nixon in China, The Pearl Fishers, and Rusalka with Opera Colorado.

Miss Rachael’s Class Schedule at our studio:

Miss Rachael's Dance School at Bella Diva
Miss Rachael’s Dance at Bella Diva

4:30-5:15 Ballet

3:30-4:30 | 3-4 yr Ballet/Tap Combo
3:30-4:30 | 4-5 yr Ballet/Tap Combo
4:30-5:30 | 5-7 yr Ballet/Tap Combo
4:30-5:30 | 5-7 yr Ballet/Tap Combo

9:15-10:00 | 2-3 yr combo
10:00-11:00 | 3-4 yr combo
12:00-1:00 | 3-4 yr combo
1:00-2:00 | 4-5 yr combo
1:00-3:00 | DANCE + (ages 3-5)
4:00-4:45 | 2-3 yr combo


Join Miss Rachael's Dance School at Bella Diva