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About Us

Strength. Grace. Joy.

"We are an International Dance Arts Academy with a mission to connect cultures through music and movement. Shimmy USA (formerly BellyDance Grand Rapids) was created in 2006 by Artistic director, Sarah Mayne, to be a non-competitive dance arts community, with a deep appreciation and respect for Arab dance. We also provide a space for Ethnic Cultures of all types to teach their native dance and have supported West African, Hawaiian, Tahitian, Bharatanatyam, Chinese, Flamenco and Salsa in addition to Raqs Sharqi.
Come and explore with us."
-Sarah Mayne


"Working Hard at Recovery? Take Time Out to BELLY DANCE…"

January, 2017

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"Empowering Women Through Dance"

August, 2013 

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"BellyDanceGR: From happy accident to Grand Rapids’ center for world dance"

March, 2018

Classes We Offer
Classes we Offer
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Raqs Sharqi (Oriental Dance)

BellyDance is a slang term for the artform known as "Raqs Sharqi" which is Arabic for "dance of the east" or “dance of the Orient”, also referred to as "Orientale" dance or "dance Orientale". Raqs Sharqi is rooted in Folklore and has many different expressions, both modern and historical. Our expert instructors will help students discover the importance of differentiating these rich and beautiful styles as they progress through their courses at Shimmy. Egyptian style is a luxurious combination of release, power, strength through subtilty, exhilaration and flow. Students will be gently guided through a wide range of foundational Arabian movements such as the famous shimmies (there are hundreds), layered intricate hip work, undulations, circles and infinity hips, accents, graceful hand, wrist and arm work, along with increasing your balance, stamina, coordination and memory.

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