Ma*Shuqa Method

 Instruction for Oriental Dance


Ma*Shuqa's method of teaching Oriental Dance (belly dance, Middle Eastern dance, Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, Greek tsiftitelli dance, French danse du ventre, German bauch Tanz) with influences including Persian, Lebanese, Armenian, and Turkish blends instruction in technique and performance and utilizes a self-discovery format combined with structured and scaffolded instruction to learn and reveal your own unique personal movement style. 


Ma*Shuqa’s approach to teaching reflects her educational background in curriculum and instruction (EdD ABD) and she provides Scaffolded Instruction as a framework for structured learning. Ma*Shuqa teaches dancers the elements supporting dance (music, rhythms, movement styling) and provides a method to develop a basic approach to movement and Oriental Dance.


During instruction Ma*Shuqa brings to light elements of movement that each dancer can reflect upon to understand her body type and physical movement style awareness upon which to develop her dance style. You will learn movement combinations with instructions to create your unique dance movement.


Using the symbol of the (*) asterisk as a structure – you learn how to create beautiful movements that become performance combinations as you understand dance creation and how to match movement quality to the musicality of music. Students learn basic movements with the options of changing styling: height, direction, timing, dance attitude, and layering simultaneous movement of shimmies and undulations while dancing.


The Ma*Shuqa Method includes instruction and awareness of personal movement preference that determines individual dance style: core stabilization, core strength, and body posture, dance stance and weight shifting and transitions, footfall style, dance movement preferences for torso, arms, and hands, movement tempo preference, and the 80:20 body undulation style variation. 


Instruction includes Middle Eastern rhythms, melodic modes, musicality and maqamat modes (scales), and the unique signatures of leitmotifs and corresponding styling in dance movement. Bring finger cymbals to learn how to coordinate cymbal playing with dance movements.  Ma*Shuqa Method promotes improvisational dance that mirrors the musicality in the music and reflects the uniquely individual personal movement styling of each dancer.


Come take a class or workshop with Ma*Shuqa and experience "the professional difference, elegance of style" from an instructor who can share her expertise from over 50 years of teaching and performance of the art of Oriental Dance (Belly Dance).  

Want to learn to dance like Shakira?  Come enjoy belly dance moves.


Weekly Classes  Drop in fee $20.  Discount Dance Card 5 classes $60, 10 classes $110.


Tuesdays  and Wednesdays 7:00–8:30 pm All levels with challenging instruction for advanced students


Wednesdays  1:00–2:30 pm  All Levels with challenging instruction for advanced students



2022 Dates with no Saturday class:  July  30 August 6, August 13, August 20, September 10, September 24, November 12, 2022


Studio Location:

Ma*Shuqa’s Hidden Garden Oasis Dance Studio

 15651 Camino Del Cerro, Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 356-9473

 Student Recommendation: "Ajanae"

The highlight of my week is escaping the rush of Silicon Valley to go to Ma*Shuqa’s School of Belly Dance, a beautiful private dance studio tucked away from prying eyes; a serene retreat with greenhouse ceiling and walls that look out on a verdant garden with Egyptian papyrus, tall California redwood trees, and tropical plants. Ma*Shuqa Mira Murjan’s Hidden Garden Oasis dance studio offers me respite from the world – a safe and beautiful learning environment. Dance is my love and passion; I am not a professional dancer but after studying with Ma*Shuqa for a couple of years I am comfortable saying that I’m an advanced dancer. I love that Ma*Shuqa’s classes are all levels—from the person just seeking to embrace a new experience of their femininity, body aesthetic and enjoyment to the professional polishing a competition routine—Ma*Shuqa is a local treasure with international recognition in the belly dance world. As a dancer, the Ma*Shuqa Method, which includes many handouts and deeply researched explanations, has taken my understanding of the context, culture, and expression of belly dance beyond the superficial “shake your hips” of YouTube instruction. Her method is an intentional way to develop elegance of style, high standards for improvised performance with live music and a unique dance signature styling. The Ma*Shuqa method encourages and enables dancers to perform improvised dance that matches Middle Eastern musicality and makes beautifully accomplished and musical dancers who are all individually unique. I’ve learned to dance in a way that mirrors the music so closely, that I almost feel like the music is living inside of me. Ma*Shuqa has an incredible music collection and plays new music every class—I am always filled with joy when my dance matches the musicality of the music. Beyond preparing for performance (which I do occasionally) the weekly class is always an opportunity to experience the surprising, satisfying and singular experience of moving to unknown music as if being compelled by an unknown force—it is truly magical—and the way that learned to understand music from Ma*Shuqa allows me to have this experience. I’ve studied with many teachers, and the hallmark of studying with Ma*Shuqa is becoming profoundly versed in musical interpretation. In every class we listen to new music to define, assess, and identify the many elements of music; then create beautiful dance movement to match the elements of musicality in the music. I love studying with Ma*Shuqa, it is one of my top priorities. Hope to see you in class!