Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dance Teachers in Edinburgh

I've been speaking with a friend yesterday who told me she that she was studying with one teacher in Edinburgh for ages and for some reason that teacher never mentioned the whole time what an amazing, thriving dance community that Edinburgh has. It is a shame, because for me teaching is about opening your students eyes to all the world has to offer. And that means allowing them to spread their wings to discover the multitude of dance teachers, dance styles, and learning.

So here are the names of some teachers that I know, who teach Egyptian Dance, Middle Eastern Dance and Belly Dance around Edinburgh. They don't all have websites - but if you are interested and wanted to contact me through my website, I might be able to help. Happy Dancing.

Egyptian Dance - Raqs Sharqi style

This is the style of dance which I teach and perform, in keeping with the Raqs Sharqi Society style.

Lorne McCall (my teacher) is the only teacher in Scotland who has completed the Raqs Sharqi Society teacher training. She teaches at Dance for All Studios in Stockbridge, with Intermediate and Advanced classes on a Wednesday. She is also the only teacher I know who has sufficient ability and knowledge to teach those students who have several years dancing experience and I know many professional dancers who currently go or have been to her classes. Lorne is the teacher I always recommend to my own students.

Juliana Brustik (also my teacher) teaches workshops over 4 weekends a year in Edinburgh. She's great at teaching proper bodywork to support the foundations of the dance, and makes you think differently about improvisation and group choreograhy.

Belly Dance teachers

Belly Dancing Caroline teaches Modern Egyptian Style Belly Dance at Dance Base and at Edinburgh University
Elspeth Alexander teaches Modern Egyptian Style in Musselburgh - she has a lovely warm personality where the enthusiasm of her students says it all.
Fiona Grossart teaches Belly Dance for Mature women at Dance Base and teaches a number of community classes in different venues in Edinburgh
Hilary Thacker is a local trader who teaches a number of classes
Constantina Litsa, Greek belly dancer teaches in the Adult Education programme
Shelley Skipper teaches her own fusion style, and also offers mother and daughter classes
Susan Tonner teaches American Tribal Style (ATS) Belly Dance as part of the Adult Education Programme
Laura Monteith teaches Tribal Fusion Belly Dance at Edinburgh University

I know there are countless other teachers around, and I always seem to meet new ones I have never met before at Haflas. In any case, these are the teachers I would mention to beginners and those interested in learning about Egyptian Dance or Belly dance and exploring what each of these dance styles has to offer. And at least next time someone asks me about classes in Edinburgh - whether friend or student, I can say - "Have you looked at my Blog?"

Thanks to Shelley who posted something similar recently and made me think about writing this up.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Raqs Sharqi Society welcomes new Associate

I'm so excited!

Yesterday I got a letter from the Raqs Sharqi Society. They have accepted my application for Associate Membership of the Society.

The Rags Sharqi Society is an independent not for profit association that promotes, teaches and provides opportunities to study traditional and contemporary Egyptian Dance, in the UK and around the world. I have been taking lessons with teachers who are members of the society since it was first established 12 years ago. So I am really excited to now be accepted as a representative of the Society through my own teaching and performance work.

The Society promotes a particular style Egyptian Dance, that has emerged over the last 25 years. It's a little different to some of the other styles of Egyptian Dance and Middle Eastern Dance. It is based on the traditional roots of music and dances still found in some parts of Egypt today. But what makes this style different is the modern twist, that pays tribute to the ancient roots whilst finding a new contemporary interpretation, with a strength of discipline and performance adapted for stage equivalent to any of the contemporary dance arts.

That's a lot to live up to. My I only hope that through my work and the small contribution that it makes, I can help more people within the wider community discover the beauty and enjoyment of watching and learning this amazing dance.

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