Class Descriptions

Belly Dance

THIS is why we are all here! Our Belly Dance curriculum is rooted in the traditional, folkloric, and classical Egyptian style of belly dance. We believe there are core movements, isolations, steps, phrasing, and musicality that are at the heart of the Art of Belly Dance. Our students begin by training in these foundational principles - then, we can explore with a variety of. music, costuming, and stylized moves in various genres.

FREE Intro Class (3rd Fridays)

3rd Fridays, 6pm w/Johanna

Come check out the Studio with a dance class open to the community. Evey Body Welcome! Explore cultural dance moves, supportive environment, and good vibes! All levels welcome. We'll start with posture, and work on our belly dance isolations, simple footwork around the room, and have a great time!

Please pre-register to save your spot, we have limited space. All ages welcome, please, no shoes on the dance floor.

Beginner Belly Dance

  • Mon, 7:45pm @ the Centre SPB w/Johanna
  • Tues, 6pm @ Hip Ex w/Karen

Start your belly dance journey here, no matter what style you are moving towards.

This series comes in three parts that can be taken in any order. Each series focuses on specific concepts fundamental to the art form. All introduce technique and isolations, improvisation as well as combinations. No experience necessary.

Roots: Foundational rhythms and footwork to ground yourself into your body and the music through the earth

Flow: Tapping into the energy of air and water to synthesize movements

Flair: Exploring how emotions are energy in motion and aid in storytelling - moving with meaning!

Many take each twice for the full experience, they are always different!

Check out our BEGINNER'S WELCOME GUIDE, and our Beginner's Info Page too.

Belly Dance: Basics

  • Thurs, 6pm w/Kimberly
  • Sat, 11am w/Johanna

After the Beginner Courses, you're ready for more! This mixed-level class is where you begin to refine your technique, learn longer combinations, and can bring your questions and challenges.

Recommended to bring finger cymbals (zills) to every class as we develop our rhythm and timing too. Great for all styles of belly dance.

Belly Dance: Drills & Combos

Mon, 6pm w/Johanna

In this class, you will take the next step into your belly dance journey! Recommended for dancers with some experience, we move faster through footwork and combinations, discuss musical interpretation, and sometimes use props.

Open to anyone curious about how to improve their technique, isolations, and willing to go deeper with their dance.

Bring finger cymbals (zills) & a veil to every class.

Belly Dance: Shimmies

Tues, 7:15pm w/Karen

Come have fun with the most notorious of belly dance moves - the Shimmy! Is it a twerk? Is it a shake? What do we need to do to get a stronger, easier, more powerful shimmy? This is a well crafted drills class that focuses on building strength and precision in your movements so you can gain the control that you need to dance your best shimmy! It's a matter of isolation, relaxation, and form that creates the right recipe. All skill levels welcome, you'll find this will improve all aspects of your belly dance! Plus it's a whole lot of fun...

Hip Stars Dance Troupe

The Hip Stars are the performing belly dance troupe of Hip Expressions! We hold auditions a few times a year, and are open to all dancers. Interested in performing? More info here!

Group Improvisational Belly Dance (Tribal Style)

Hip Expressions is happy to be hosting three styles of Tribal (group) belly dance, Djinn Zoo (our local dialect), Global Caravan, and FatChanceBellyDance. Come see the joy of dancing together as as family, stemming from the origins of the dance as a community event. These styles draw movements from belly dance, Flamenco, Indian, trance, and many other styles of dance from around the world.

Through cues and vocabulary, dance together fluidly and beautifully to any music! Learn how to communicate with your dance partners, develop spatial awareness and start creating dance, together.

Djinn Zoo

  • Class - Mon, 7:15pm w/Marcy
  • Troupe - Mon, 8pm w/Marcy

We'll be learning the vocabulary particular to the Djinn Zoo dancers, built from Loud Zoo Style developed by Johanna in the early 2000's inspired by Global Caravan, FatChanceBellyDance, and others.

This class is a requirement for dancers interested in joining our performing Troupe, Djinn Zoo. Keep practicing, you can join, too! Belly Dance is for every body!

Global Caravan

  • Beginner - Sun, 2:15pm w/Jen
  • Intermediate - Sun, 1pm w/Jen

Hip Expressions is proud to host Caravan Project - St Pete! We are building towards a performing troupe as dancers work their way through Level 1 and now Level 2 curriculum.


Classes currently on hold.

Yoga & Belly Dance

Yoga provides a perfect accompaniment to belly dance - aligning us to our center, building balance and strength. When you are constantly wiggling out of alignment - it's good to know where to come 'home' to!

Of course, you don't have to be a dancer to reap the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of a yoga practice.

Yoga: Align & Shine

Sat, 9:30 - 10:45am

Hip Expressions is overjoyed to host Dr. Michael Ward! An incredible yogi and teacher, you'll find Johanna in his class almost every week.

In these Hatha yoga classes, Michael focuses on building a sustainable, grounded practice. This series is appropriate for beginners and practitioners since new principles of alignment may be introduced. Poses will be explained from the ground-up. We'll stay connected to the breath through a heart-centered theme that connects to the entire class. This is not a flow class since these prerequisites are foundational to any flow class.

Michael's class uses the structure of the five alignment and action principles that are common to every yoga pose, while focusing on setting a strong foundation of support and stability in order to expand our bodies and minds.

Those with physical limitations and who seek to utilize Hatha yoga as a physical therapy means of treatment are encouraged to attend.

Class will use yoga mats, blocks, blankets and straps also available.


Dr. Michael Ward is extensively trained in therapeutic uses of Hatha yoga while holding a class atmosphere that’s heart-centered and fun. Michael’s journey in yoga began in 2001 and shortly after he discovered his primary influence: Anusara® yoga where he later was certified. A chiropractor, massage therapist, and yogi, his knowledge combined with his gentle and humorous encouragement make him a fantastic instructor!


Wed, 10:30 - 11:45am

This is Johanna's morning class where she addresses all the asymmetries we fall into as bodies living in our modern society.

This class utilizes traditional yoga poses, classic core work, and dance isolations, to release tension and restore balance. Discover how it feels to be in your body, with your unique challenges and opportunities to deepen your connection to yourself.

We'll navigate on and off centerline with body isolations. Always returning to our center of alignment... in our body, mind, and heart. We'll be dancing in our poses throughout the entire class - from the inside out!

No experience - yoga or dance - necessary. Movement limitations welcome, we have modifications for everything! Communicate your physical challenges, and we'll address how to navigate them towards greater joy and ease.

Class will use yoga mats, blocks, blankets and straps also available.


Johanna has unique insight into our human body's needs - not only from years of training in massage therapy & yoga, but primarily from her own life as a professional dancer, diagnosis with scoliosis from a young age, and several disk herniations in her neck and back. Come see how the possibilities are really limitless with just a little directed self-care!


Fri, 11:30 - 12:45pm

This class is Carolina's special blend of belly dance and yoga - BelYoga!

Let your yoga bring you strength and flexibility, allow your dance to bring you joy and flow!

Our yoga practice together will create balanced joint space, and stability to prepare us for dancing. You'll be amazed how the movements come easier, once your body and heart are aligned.

This class starts on the mat, and ends up dancing. We often work through the chakras and elements, exploring these spiritual principles in our practice.

Bring a mat or borrow one of ours; bring a hip scarf for the dancing! Enjoy both your yoga and youu dance more as we take elements of each to create more joyful, free lives.

All levels welcome.


Flamenco is a very expressive and mesmerizing dance form, grounded in the richness of bodily expression. This dance has roots in the Folkloric musical tradition of the Roma people of Andalusia, and other parts of Southern Spain. The cultural exchange between the native Spaniards, Moors, and Sephardic Jews all contributed to the forms we dance today.

Our classic Flamenco is taught by Vanessa Cerallo, professional Flamenco dancer and performer.

Flamenco: Intro

This course runs a few times a year - January and August, and is the pre-requisite for the Beginner Course. Please note this is not a drop-in class, but a series and not included in Membership.

This series is welcome to all levels and no experience is required. All you need to bring is a passion for learning, and a pair of Flamenco shoes (character shoes would work as well in this Intro class).

You will become familiar with the basic posture, basic floreos (hand movements), palmas sordas and abiertas, basic braceos (arm movements), ranging from primera to quinta, and simple Golpe (footwork), including plantas and talcon. Other fundamentals covered include pitos (finger snapping), and palmas (hand clapping). Lastly, one of the most critical elements is understanding the rhythms (Compas).

Flamenco: Beginner

We begin where Flamenco: Intro leaves off, and dive more deeply into Flamenco. A strong foundation in Intro is necessary. Basic posture will be reinforced, floreos (hand movements), palmas sordas and abiertas, braceos (arm movements), ranging from primera to quinta, and Golpe (footwork), including plantas and talcon.

We'll be studying one of the fundamentals of Flamenco, Sevillanas. Whether you've done it before, or are brand new, this class will engage your mind and body, to uplift your spirit!

Instructor's permission required, several previous Flamenco: Intro courses recommended.

Flamenco: Intermediate

These classes & series are for students who have attended several of Vanessa's previous courses, have Flamenco experience, and have gotten permission from the instructor.