"Sarah is a passionate artist who cares deeply about her students progress and the dance community more than her own success. I admire her great integrity and determination to learn this art form. Sarah has a truly kind heart.
-Yasmina Ramzy, Arabesque Canada, Toronto
“I have only good things to say about her: Sarah is an excellent, talented dancer and a serious and apt student, teacher and scholar of Middle Eastern dance. I consider her a respected colleague.”
-Morocco (C. V. Dinicu) President of Casbah Dance Company, New York, NY.
"Sarah Mayne's dancing has BOTH beauty and mystique, conveying a calming effortlessness that can entrance a room of spectators. The master Middle Eastern belly dance Instructor and Director of the dance troupe ‘Delkash Dancers’ moves her hips to the beat of the drum. Her dancing is flirty, sassy, compelling, and ALWAYS feminine!"
As part of our adult summer reading program "Novel Destinations" the Alvah N. Belding Memorial Library contracted with Sarah Mayne, to take us to the Middle East for an evening. We couldn't have been more pleased! She THRILLED us with her fabulous dancing and delighted us with her humor. She inspired us with her teaching, getting us up on our feet and giving us a chance to learn the basics of this timeless art form. The consummate PROFESSIONAL, she provided us with a most wonderful experience!
- Deb Richardson, Asst. to Director, Alvah N. Library, Belding, MI.
"So much fun!! Very relaxed and no pressure. We had a blast!"
- Hannah Myers Participant in Bachelorette Party Event
"As part of my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids scheduled a class for everyone to learn a few basic belly dance moves, and it was so much fun! None of us had ever done something like it before, and we all had a good time trying to learn together. Our instructor was very kind and helpful with questions but ultimately realized that we were there to have a good time, so she didn't force those free spirits to perfect the moves. I would strongly recommend scheduling a class with a close group of girlfriends! You will all have fun!"
-Heather Morrison, Grand Rapids, MI. September, 2016
"I am loving this studio. My sister got us a Groupon for a Intro to BellyDance Class. I ended up getting the 3 month unlimited package. Now I should say I am 44, totally out of shape and have never taken a dance class in my life. I am now signed up for Intro to Belly Dance, Tic Toc Pop & Lock, Aerial Yoga and Hula Hoop. I am having a blast and feel great. Thank you BDGR for your passion and your patience."
- Mette McGoffin, Grand Rapids, MI.
“I am so glad I happened to find BellyDance Grand Rapids’ website. I was looking for an outlet where I could learn and do something I enjoyed for myself, something that would resonate within me. I am a 55 year old woman whose life’s events have finally brought me to a point of self-reflection and finding my way; a point of where it is ok to focus and think about me and what I want in life.
I’ve spent many years of sacrifice, pain, mistakes, fear, stress, rejection, low self-esteem and lacking confidence. The last few years I’ve been on a journey of finding out who I truly am, learning to flow, finding my spiritual path, and seeing what is in me and what I’m capable of giving. When I saw the website and read some of the testimonials I knew this was a group of women that would welcome me in and where I could learn, grow and express my internal passions. Expressions that are sensual, but tasteful, graceful and artistic and very fulfilling to me. I’m new to BellyDance GR and am in the 2nd level class now. The instructors are fantastic – very good teachers, welcoming, talented and sooooo encouraging!”
-Daidre, Grand Rapids, MI. February, 2016
"Love the bellydance classes! Fantastic instructors! So much fun! Thank you Living Social for featuring this business!"
“I’ve been searching for an exercise class that was fun, ever changing, but with a very flexible schedule. I started attending with the “Month Unlimited” with Groupon. The classes were not only varied, they were FUN and with multiple wonderful teachers.
When the month was up I knew that going once a week would not be enough for me! I made the decision to join the Annual Unlimited RakStars and I was very happy to be able to not have to count my days.
With all of those positives, the thing that I love best is the atmosphere! It’s relaxing and fun -- but it is also very supportive, with teachers and students alike offering words of encouragement.”
-Kim Jobin, Grand Rapids, MI. 12 Month VIP Unlimited RakStar since Nov. 2013
I have always been impressed with the dedication Sarah Mayne has given her students and its an honor to see them perform.. great studio! Great performers and instructors.. place to go!
-Aziza A Poggi, Grand Rapids, MI.
"The level one bellydance class was outstanding.. The instructor, Sarah Mayne, tailored the class to make sure everyone was able to find a particular strength! Very enjoyable for any age!!! "
- Laura DeVos, Rockford, MI.
"The Classes were SO much fun! And the instructor was very nice and friendly. I will definitely be going back there in the future."
- Kristen Brandsen
"Really had a great time at my first class. Instructor is very friendly, encouraging and energetic. She loves what she does. She made all us newbies feel great even as we danced with all left feet."
- Judy Verkade Van Dam
12 Month VIP Unlimited Member since March, 2015
"I made a promise to myself at my last birthday that I would push myself out of my comfort zone this year before I turn 50 in January. Doing yoga, making better food choices etc, so when I saw the Groupon for belly dancing my inner little girl (who always wanted to be in dance class) said “Try it!” After my initial few classes, I was in love! The studio is warm and safe without judgments. Sarah and the other instructors are encouraging and supportive. In my profession (practice mgr for plastic surgeon) it is so focused on outward appearance and can be very intimidating. BDGR is an atmosphere of embracing your body regardless of its imperfections. Everyone is unique and wonderful in their own way.
I have a history of a ruptured disk and back surgery 12 yrs ago and a broken shoulder with 4 internal metal rods and 2 surgeries 2 yrs ago. So for me to use my body and to see what it is capable of doing has been empowering. I have set a goal for myself to be in a performance before the year is done.
I chose to become a member because I knew that if I did the unlimited auto-membership I would be committed to attend and won’t be as apt to make excuses not to go. And I am totally worth it! It is so fun to say and own that “I am going to dance class!”
-- JoeLynne, Grand Rapids, MI. 12 Month VIP Unlimited RakStar since Nov. 2013
"BellyDanceGR is a Fabulous group of women, beautiful dancers, and beautifully produced shows!"
- Carrie Susemihl, Kalamazoo, MI.
"I have been bellydancing for 13 years now and never have I felt so welcomed, supported and accepted by a community of dancers. A warm community of dancers that leave you sweating, smiling and best of all with a fabulous shimmy. I am hooked!!"
- Valarie Sanford, Grand Rapids MI. Owner of Hennabelly 12 Month VIP Unlimited RakStar since Jan. 2014
"I randomly began taking BellyDance classes at a dance studio near Central Michigan, before moving to Grand Rapids in 2015. I was interested in learning more, so I visited BellyDanceGR during an open house. I was hooked from the very first dance. I was fascinated, intrigued, LOVED the music and the movement, and I loved that I was offered a chance to learn "from the ground up" here. I signed up for level 1 right then and there. I quickly realized despite my timidness to dance amongst others, that there is no room for insecurities. Everyone was so welcoming, inviting, dancers of all levels, and we all danced around, with, and for each other as well as ourselves. There is laughter, love, friendship. And above all, ZERO judgement. I continued the ladder to level 2, and then started performing student pieces (completely voluntary) and it was the best decision I could have made. That is when I became a VIP Rakstar, unlimited classes, unlimited learning, unlimited dancing and free spirit. This dance is an art form unlike anything else I have encountered, and it has completely changed my life in 2 very short years. I was inspired to audition for one of the performance troupes, and upon being accepted I continue my journey in dance, fitness, social growth, and personal growth. I love every second of it!"
-Erica Baumann, Grand Rapids, MI.
"Dancing is the most sacred aspect of my mental health. It is one of the few activities to captivate my mind and body simultaneously; allowing me to focus only on the experience that exists immediately in front of me and within me. The intersection of physical, emotional, and cognitive functions produces a sense of internal balance and renewed energy that I have found only while dancing."
"Naimah has captured the essence of India in her dance presentation. Full of passion and life, as if she was native born! A joy to experience!"
-Ruby Jazayre, South Bend, Indiana
"My first introduction to belly dance was a semester of it in college. Afterwards I knew I wanted to keep dancing. A couple of years later I found belly dance GR and I had the courage to sign up for a class. I have been dancing every week since. After finishing the 2nd level class. I knew I wanted to take my classes. It only made sense to become a VIP member where I was able to take more classes and preform in my first show were I did two group dances in front of a packed crowd. My experience has been nothing but positive. I have made a new family that makes me feel connected and supported. I have since grown in confidence with each show I have performed in."
-Allison, Grand Rapids, MI.
“Sarah is not only a beautiful dancer, but also a gifted instructor. She is warm, engaging, encouraging and inspirational. Her classes are focused and fun regardless of your individual ability level. She is kind, talented, and passionate about her art as both a stunning bellydancer herself and as an exceptional dance instructor. It has been a privilege, as well as unbelievably fun, to be her student.”
-Sylvia Frattallone, Financial Advisor, Ada, MI.
"BellyDanceGR (BDGR) is your one-stop shop for learning and enjoying the beautiful art form of belly dance. Sarah Mayne, founder, has created a magical mecca for dancers from both near and far, incorporating classes, workshops, and shows for students, professionals and fans of this mystical, sensual style of movement. She recently opened the delightfully intimate Ambrosia Theatre, conveniently located at the same East Hills neighborhood address of 959 Lake Drive, Grand Rapids, MI as her dance studio, offering a stunning showcase for performances of a variety of favorite of art forms. Whether you are just a curious beginner, a advanced professional or somewhere in between, there is a perfect place for you at Bellydance Grand Rapids."
-Barbara Lynn, Wyoming, MI.
Bellydance Grand Rapids is a fun place to learn the art of bellydance. Sarah & Na'imah are great teachers. I highly recommend this studio!!!!
- Adrianne Warber, Grand Rapids, MI.
An amazing place to learn the beautiful dances of the Middle East. In this Oasis you'll find fabulous teachers that will inspire and challenge you. It's a place of inner peace and joy you'll never want to leave.
- Shelly Pike Dodge, Muskegon, MI.
"I've taken several classes on improvisational dancing before, but I must say that no one ever explained "improv" to me the way Na'imah did. This was by far the best and easiest to understand improv class I have ever taken. Thank you to Naimah and BellyDanceGR!"
Conny Castoreno, President, Indiana State Association Middle Eastern Teachers and Educators
"In the 2 years I've been studying at BellyDanceGR, I've learned to accept & love my body! I learned self-discipline -- which has carried to other aspects of my life -- and developed my love of Middle Eastern music, food and clothing. This experience empowered me to go forth into a new life adventure with confidence. I HIGHLY recommend BellyDanceGR and their gifted dancers & instructors -- who bring every facet of the dance into lessons and encourage students to reach beyond their current view of themselves and find new potential for their success! This experience should not be missed!"
-Kristen McGuire, Caledonia, MI.
I have been a student at BellyDanceGR for over 4 years now, and the beautiful choreographies I've learned, and the Instructors ability to adopt teaching styles to a wide range of student’s needs is truly amazing! Since studying with BellyDanceGR, I've become a more confident dancer and I've expanded my knowledge and skills to a level I never thought I would be able to attain. The graceful poise, ability to translate complex moves into understandable instruction, and wonderful sense of humor, is what make classes the highlight of my week! I am so looking forward to my next semester!
- Carla McCarthy, Reliability Manager, Grand Rapids, MI
"BDGR is a fabulous studio! They care so much about impacting the community in a positive way and offering women a safe place to express themselves. If you haven't tried it yet- you should! Thank you BDGR for being amazing!"
- Heather Roscoe-Meppelink Member since 2008
I am attracted to the freedom and the femininity in Middle Eastern Dance. Although movements can be very specific and isolated, it is not rigid. As a physical therapist I find it to be very healthy for our culture to learn to move this way. I am also fascinated with the intricacy that the body can acquire.
- Natalie K. Howard, Grand Rapids, MI.
"Dear Na'Imah, Thanks for a great workshop last weekend! I knew nothing about classic Indian dance prior to the Indianapolis workshop and discovered I like it! Maybe I can pursue after my kids are older and not joined at my hip! The workshop was also a reminder to me that Bollywood is fun! Thanks!!"
Josephine Lilla, Indianapolis, IN.
"It is great fun to work with Sarah! Her Knowledge of the musical structure and rhythms, sensitivity and humor make music and dance a single expression."
-Kathy Roberts, Ensemble Al-Asdeka, Grand Rapids, MI.
“Sarah works tirelessly to bring the art of Middle Eastern dance to West MI. Her commitment to authenticity and respect of the art form are admirable. She promotes a cooperative, non-competitive atmosphere -- where dancers are encouraged to achieve their personal best. Her productions are engaging, inspiring, and breath taking. For anyone seeking instruction, performers, or consultation in the art of Middle Eastern dance, I highly recommend Sarah Mayne and BellyDanceGR!!!”
-Adrianne Marzette, Elementary Teacher, Grand Rapids, MI.
“I've had the great opportunity to photograph Sarah Mayne & the Dancers of BellyDanceGR several times, and can say without a doubt that the level of talent, technique, and creativity shown in their performances is inspiring. Not only is Sarah's passion for the art of dance shown in her performances, but it shines through in her professionalism and quality business practices. Every experience I have with them is mesmerizing and powerful, and I am always excited to work with Sarah!”
-Jill Kingsbury, Jill Kingsbury Photography, Grand Rapids, MI.
“Sarah Mayne's productions (BellyDanceGR) are wonderful! She has such a great personality and makes her students feel at ease while at the same time encourages them to levels of beauty and grace beyond what they thought they could achieve. Do yourself a favor, try a belly dance lesson with BellyDanceGR. You'll have a blast, get a good workout in and learn a new (old) art.”
-James Cantrell, Owner, Firefly Homes, Grand Rapids, MI.
"I've taken Bellydance since I was 16, from a number of local studios, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I found BellyDanceGR and I love it here! It’s such a welcoming atmosphere, and there are TRIBAL classes -- not to mention the opportunity to perform.What a dream come true -- I couldn't be happier! BellyDance gives me a positive self-image and makes me feel good, like a goddess! I've made many friends in the classes I've taken, and every week I am guaranteed to laugh, learn, and have a great time!"
-Brandy Andresen, EMS Ambulance Driver, Grand Rapids, MI.
“I’ve only been coming to BellyDanceGR for 4 weeks – and I am HOOKED! The teaching style is gentle, humorous & fun! Each session (while personally challenging) is a delight to be part of. I've discovered a never-before-experienced fondness for my own body. I LIKE feeling that I'm sexy & free to move - when parts of me shake, it’s okay and RIGHT! Wow, what a new concept!! The personal connection I am feeling with my body & the ability to just let go - that feeling alone will keep me coming back.”
As part of the Kalamazoo BellyDance community, I came in contact with BellyDanceGR by osmosis. I've seen Performances, and now I've had the utmost pleasure of becoming friends with the BDGR dancers -- I love Sarah Mayne & Naimah!!!! Both women have both been supportive, wonderful role models! I'm 100% comfortable dancing around them - and sometimes I get a little self-conscious around better dancers... The thing I like most about BellyDance is the friends I have made, though seeing that I can be beautiful dancing even though I view myself as a larger woman is a mighty close second.
- Amy Crabtree Campbell, Kalamazoo MI.
"I believe Sarah Mayne is the FIRST instructor to be listed when talking about learning this dance! She shows caring to her students, along with an abundance of knowledge, patience and willingness to do or take on what needs to be done. She provides a SAFE atmosphere where her gentle direction assists me with my self-esteem. Being a student since 2007 and attending EVERY session has been a great help in my path to be the best that I can be. My support of BDGR is a direct reflection of my growth as a dancer!"
-Shirley Lawrence, Grand Haven, MI.
BellyDanceGR is a real treasure for the greater Grand Rapids area! Sarah Mayne is a truly Professional Dancer, Coach & Choreographer -- her performances are top quality!! As a promoter of West Coast Swing, Hustle, and Bachata in Grand Rapids and a partner in eDance Dance Productions, I've had the pleasure of working with Sarah to promote dancing as a whole in GR. She and her dancers have showcased at eDance swing events, bringing the elegance of Middle Eastern dance into the swing community. Sarah is a wonderful artist to work with; organized, creative, and very attuned to her audiences.
As a BellyDanceGR student, I can say that ALL the teachers are skilled, excellent & the atmosphere very friendly. While providing professional-level instruction, BDGR instructors do not lose sight of the recreational, fun aspects of dance. Regardless of their dance goals, all students are welcomed and made to feel comfortable.
I STRONGLY feel Middle Eastern dance is an excellent complement to Yoga. It is a dance form that strengthens mind and body, building focus, toning muscles, and strengthening confidence. I leave each class feeling taller, stronger, and beautiful. While Middle Eastern dance is fantastic cross-training for Ballroom Dancing, Swing, Yoga, and a myriad of other disciplines, try it first because it is just a great thing to do!
-Clare Freeman Research & Writing Specialist, Office of the Federal Public Defender, W. MI.
In 2005 I ventured to see Sarah Mayne perform at Oyster Bar in Grand Haven. The silk veil had such grace and eloquence! From that evening's performance I imagined a new goal. Someday I hoped to be able to fill a room with the beauty of dance... Effortless, Weightless, Graceful, Eloquent dance. It seems as though the world of bellydance is a small one, and we influence each other more often than we know!
-Lisa Lanae Edwards Lohman, Muskegon MI.
I have been studying Middle Eastern Dance on and off since 1998, taking lessons with various instructors and have danced with a few performance troupes. As part of the Summer Boot Camp Classes at Bellydance Grand Rapids, I really enjoyed the classes with Michee and Sarah the most!
- Cindy Lee, Grand Rapids, MI.
"I always wanted to try Bellydancing; however my fear kept getting in the way. And then, one day I discovered Naimah's website and said to myself, there's no time like the present and the rest is history! What an experience, what fun! Na'imah's energy, presence, humor, and of course her dancing and teaching skills are awesome. Belly dancing allows me to connect with my body in an affirming way I have never experienced before. I can't stop smiling when I'm in class!"
- Debra Berry, Grand Rapids, MI
"BDGR is my HOME! I receive Quality Direction and I'm given the chance to expand my performing experience. I only wish I would have begun my belly dance journey with Sarah! Not only does she teach the dance - she teaches the history, how to use props, Middle Eastern rhythms, styles of dance and costuming and a lot MORE! She expresses her Enthusiasm in teaching and watching her students grow. Sarah is very open to questions and suggestions which makes her approachable. She shares many choreographies (which for a beginner performer can be crucial). What keeps me coming back? It's a bundle of love, devotion, generosity, skill, friendship, knowledge and I could fill this page with adjectives and still not say enough!"
-Cindy Feister, Muskegon, Michigan
“Sarah is incredible at what she does. Few people are able to convey as much emotion in their art form as she regularly exhibits. From concept to implementation, I can highly recommend her.”
-Nicholas Datema, Grand Rapids, MI.
"Sarah Mayne is responsible for two of the most PROFOUNDLY moving dances I've EVER witnessed!
The fusion of human form, fabric, and thrumming sound was unbelievable. I have NEVER seen such marvelous choreography for Isis wings in my life, and Sarah and her students executed it with stunning synchronization! Waves and echoing spirals of light dominated the stage as they flexed their wings, evoking a special kind of divinity.
The second performance was a solo by Sarah Mayne, which reminded me of all the things I like BEST about her individual style: she moves like no other woman alive, blending a soft enjoyment in her art with an animalistic grace. Midway through the performance, I squeezed my mother's hand, and she squeezed back; we were in awe of what we were seeing. Later that night, I was floored to learn that the performance had been completely improvised!"
-Christine Marfia, Grand Rapids, MI.
"I have seen many performers over the years, but Na’imah is one of the few that can send goose bumps racing up my arms evoking an emotional response that leaves me captivated and enraptured. Fearless and always seemingly flawless, Na’imah is a proven and successful risk taker on the stage. With impeccable skill and well-conceived choreographies that are always true to tradition but extremely creative and entertaining, she leaves us wanting more at the end of every performance.
Anyone who knows me knows I do not give compliments freely and reserve them for those who really blow me away. As a performer myself, I am always honored to share the stage with her. She is professional, approachable and amazing fun. A wealth of knowledge, she is always open to educating new dancers and welcoming them to the stage. Na’imah is really and truly one of my most favorite performers."
-Linda Sarantis (Asima), Saginaw Bay, MI. Director of MeZnoTiK Tribal BellyDance
Want to share your memorable experience at a performance, workshop or class?