I fell in love with belly dance when a friend dragged me along to a class in college. After shimmying, circling, and twisting for an hour to fun, fascinating music, I was hooked. I love exercising my body and brain to express joy through dance. The variety in belly dance is endless – music, styles, props, costumes … it’s impossible to be bored.
I am part of the grassroots belly dance scene in Northern Ireland. I teach dance classes in South Belfast at Accidental Theatre. I enjoy performing for local belly dance events, organising informal performance opportunities, and attending local and international workshops when I can.
As a teacher, I specialise in helping learners to understand how movement and music fit together to interpret Middle Eastern music through belly dance. I have Level 3 qualifications in Education and Training (City and Guilds), Understanding Belly Dance Music (JWAAD Training), and Safe Delivery of Belly Dance Classes (JWAAD Training), plus the Preparation for the Healthy Dance Certificate (Safe in Dance International). I am a member of People Dancing (the foundation for community dance).
Looking for local belly dance classes in Belfast or Northern Ireland? In addition to my class, try Belly Dance Academy Belfast in South Belfast, Sangam Arts in East Belfast, or Belly Dance Tyrone in Dungannon.
I try to highlight resources from indigenous Middle Eastern dancers and musicians in my blog pages, to amplify voices from the cultural home of belly dance. Please get in touch if you have more resources to suggest or share. It is difficult to find online or written dance training material from Middle Eastern dancers. There are few who manage to break the Arabic-English language barrier. I’ve listed some who do below.
Dandash (master Egyptian belly dancer) regularly hosts online Zoom workshops: https://dandashstore.com/
Zara Abdel (British-Egyptian dancer in Cairo) regularly features workshops and haflas with Egyptian dancers via Zoom: https://www.zaraszouk.com/zara-workshop
Farida Fahmy (Reda folklore troupe founding member) has a selection of written articles in English: http://www.faridafahmy.com/articles.html
Shining Peacekeeper hosts a website with learning materials from Khyria Mazin (traditional ghawazee dancer): https://www.banatmazin.com/
Sahra Kent hosts an archive of research videos of traditional Egyptian dance: https://archive.journeythroughegypt.com/
Katie Sahar has a list of dancers teaching online of Middle Eastern/North African origin (note these have not been vetted for accuracy): https://www.katiesahar.com/menaht-dancers-of-origin