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 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 how steps go together and build confidence. 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 give alternatives. This dance should not hurt but, muscles that may not have been used for a while can sometimes feel 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 a suitable alternative. You will 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. Skirts, scarves and jewellery can easily be found online or even in some shops or market stalls. Music can be downloaded or bought from Amazon, iTunes, and world music specialists.
Parties and performing
I have a performance group 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 am always on the look out for new opportunities so if you'd like to book Hawanim Al Gharb (Ladies of the West) to dance at your party or event, please do contact me. Look at the Gallery for photos of our latest performances.
I hold occasional haflas (dance parties)and workshops - sometimes with live drumming. These are a great way to make your dancing debut and put your new skills into practice. Partners and friends are welcome.