Gilded Serpent presents...

Munique Neith's Studio

What You're Missing If You're Not In Barcelona!

by Amanda Rose
posted March 11, 2009

Before I moved to Spain to finish off my secondary education, I researched the belly dance scene so that I might continue with my love of the dance while away from home. What I found was Munique Nieth. Though I was living in Sevilla, I decided to travel to Barcelona to study with her and Ashraf Hassan in November of 08.  What I ended up finding was a bellydancing oasis that could only truly be described as a dancer's dream come true. 

Until I was given the tour of Munique's studio, I had never witnessed a setup such as this one. Upon entering the front door, there is an entrance counter where you slide your own personal membership card. This card brings up your picture on a screen for the front desk to see, then you walk through the turnstyle (like you're at the metro). With their Munique Dance School card, students can also receive discounts at local stores and restaurants. Once you're through the turnstyle, you walk down a mirrored hall with Egyptian statues until you come to an enclosed glass boutique of DVD's featuring Munique, costumes, dancewear and props. 

In this 2 story complex, the decor is a spitting image of the Mena House in Egypt.

The main floor has the large dance studio and the lower level has two smaller, yet decent sized studios. Each room has hardwood floors, mirrored walls, and the continued gorgeous decor. One thing that struck me the most about this studio is that everything a belly dance student could want  is provided; in every room, baskets filled with veils, canes in the corner, zills in the bowl, anything any dancer might need. And I don't mean just a couple of each prop, I mean enough for an entire class or workshop to forget their props and everyone would still have what they needed. The main dance room has a huge platinum flat screen television on the wall used for references and practicing during classes. There is also a sitting area outside of the main dance studio with another flat screen tv, for more videos and discussion time. Each floor has its own changing area for the dancers, and the rooms are equipped with benches, stools, hooks, and lockers for all students to use. Munique has thought of everything, from needle and thread for broken hipscarves to band-aids, dance footies, or the plastic bags with her name and picture on them. 

Every week there are 71 dance classes taught, 19 personally by Munique in 5 different levels; Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, Professional, Tribal and children's classes.

The single most impressive thing about Munique's studio is that over 800 hundred students walk through her door regularly in a dance studio that only teaches Danza Oriental, and nothing else. This does not include dancers that take workshops or come to events, only dancers who regularly attend dance classes at the studio. This makes Munique's studio the largest Bellydance school in Spain, and possibly (I was affirmed in this when I went back out there just the last weekend it is the largest school in Europe so we might want to change this phrase) in Europe. 

What inspired me to write this article was not only the unbelievable setup that is presented in Barcelona, but the fact that I have never truly felt the warmth and compassion from any situation in the dance world that I have from Munique, her husband Albert and their studio. They were warm, receptive, and incredibly  gracious. Everything represented in the studio is touched by the care and thoughtfulness that they put into their work. From the snacks and water provided for the dancers during workshops to the bulletin board with pictures of the alumna and visiting dancers, everything is impeccably presented. Munique had said that she wants everyone that walks into her studio to feel like they are at home. I can say that I've ever been so far away from my real home, and felt so comfortable in someone elses. 

Munique is a professional instructor, performer and choreographer of Danza Oriental in Barcelona, Spain. Her husband Albert and her both run their new dance studio, along with the original studio Munique had started 5 years ago, which is also located in Barcelona. They held The 3rd Annual International Festival of Oriental Dance at their main location in Barcelona on the 6th, 7th and 8th of February 2009. Teaching was Momo Kadous, Zaza Hassan and Aziza Mor- Saidi (Brazil) in Barcelona for the first time. Also, master instructors Raqia Hassan (founder of the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival in Egypt) and  Dr. Mo Geddawi (co-founder of the Mahmoud Reda Troupe) along with Munique Neith will be running workshops throughout an extremely intensive weekend.

Click for larger photo

Names needed!

Front row, left to right: Jelila, Amaru, Gala, Carmen, Diana, Oria, Gemma, Teresa, ? , Amanda Rose
Back row: Belen, Edurne, Meira, Naia, Ana, Ashraf Hassan, Munique Neith, Isabel, Gemma, Maria, Eulalia 



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