My classes start with a full warm-up, focusing on good posture and freeing up the muscles we use in the dance. We may then have a general ‘bop’ to recap on what we learned previously or spend time refining our technique. We often work in pairs or small groups as this is a valuable way to learn from each other, and to make new friends.
I emphasise good technique as I believe this provides a firm grounding from which students are then free to explore their own response to the music and other dancers. Whilst Egyptian dance is usually improvised, I often teach choreographies to help learn which steps go together and build confidence in the movements. Most students find the classes and their fellow dancers really supportive and welcoming, creating a safe environment in which to flourish.
Please do let me know if you have any health or joint problems, so I can warn you when to take it easy. This dance shouldn’t hurt but, sometimes muscles that haven’t been used for a while can occasionally feel a bit sore the next day. Please check with your own doctor or health practitioner if you have any concerns. Download my guide to classes here:What to expect.
What to wear
It feels good to wear a long full skirt but, to begin with loose yoga pants are ideal. You’ll also need a shawl or scarf to wear around your hips. Click here to view or download instructions for how to make a circular skirt: Skirt pattern. We dance barefoot but you can wear soft ballet slippers if you prefer. Sometimes I bring along a selection of scarves, skirts, and jewellery to buy: you might find it hard to resist!
Parties and performing
I have a performance group which is open to all students other than absolute beginners. Performing is exciting but you do need to be able to commit to rehearsals and practice at home. I’m always on the look out for new opportunities so, if you'd like to book ‘Banat Al Gharb’ (Daughters of the West) to dance at your party or event, please do contact me. Look at the Gallery for photos of our latest performances - or follow us on Facebook Banat Al Gharb fan page.
I hold occasional haflas (dance parties)and workshops - sometimes with live drumming too. These are a great way to make your dancing debut and put your new skills into practice. Partners and friends are welcome.