- I aim to help each student who studies with me to become an entertaining, beautiful and skilled dancer with a high level of cultural sensitivity and knowledge. I am passionate in elevating the public image of Middle Eastern Dance and keeping its great cultural traditions alive.
- I teach the dance within its cultural and ethnographic context.
- Rather than just teaching a jumbled set of moves, I try to offer stepping stones for creating polished performances from the most simple improvisation to the most complex choreography.
- I work hard to create a body positive, non-competitive environment. I strive to create a friendly and nurturing class environment. Student feedback is offered in a positive, tactful and sensitive manner.
- I welcome and actively seek feedback from my students.
- Euphoria, joy, fun and a feeling of confidence and sense of accomplishment are a natural side effect of my classes!
- In the Middle East dancing is used for celebration and to nurture a sense of community between friends and family. I strongly support this sense of community.
- I want my students to get to know each other and to cheer for each other. It is wonderful to watch each person progress at her own pace and become a beautiful dancer in her own right.
- I have been trained primarily in Egyptian styles of Middle Eastern Dance. I’ve supplemented this with a great deal of study and research in ethnic and folkloric dances from all over the Middle East and North Africa as well as in emerging styles such as Tribal Fusion. See the Teacher page for more details.
- My teaching reflects the common foundation moves and technique found in all of the Middle Eastern Dance styles. However, I do lean heavily towards Egyptian-style technique, especially as my students become more advanced. Props that I’m trained in include sagat (finger cymbals), rectangular and circular veil, isis wings, candles, assaya (cane) and sayf (sword). Other areas I consider my particular dance strengths include Egyptian musical interpretation, drum solos, sagat and veil. I also teach floor work.
- In order to develop well rounded dancers I teach a mix of improvisation and choreography.
- My classes are based on the Ausdance safe dance foundation and include a warm up, technique drills, a focus topic and associated activity, combinations or choreography, then cool down. My classes include very detailed handouts. Optional homework activities are provided for each class. I also link to inspiring videos.
- I build some flexibility into my class structure to allow me to respond to the needs of the group. If there is something you would like to learn please ask!!
- I try to focus on enabling my students to move beyond just doing a series of unconnected isolated movements. In class we work on polishing the movements, developing flow, using the whole body, making smooth transitions, feeling the music, and connecting emotionally. We also look at stage presence, performance skills and stagecraft.
- I put a lot of time into developing my teaching skills. I am constantly seeking new ways to break things down and teach concepts and ideas. I also continually attend workshops and further my own dance education in order to have more to offer my students. I welcome feedback from students.
- To supplement my Middle Eastern Dance education I’ve also studied other dance forms, anatomy, kinesiology and body mechanics, yoga, Pilates and weight training. I have studied dance teaching at QUT. These additional studies have allowed me to assist my students in finding proper body alignment, and help them in learning exercises to stretch and strengthen their bodies to improve their fitness and ability to excel in Middle Eastern Dance.
- I have also studied Middle Eastern history, music, art, culture and language at both vocational and tertiary levels. I am continuing to pursue my studies in these areas, with plans to travel to the Middle East to study these dances in their countries of origin.
- I try to help my students understand cultural context to fully appreciate the richness of this dance form and to avoid embarrassing faux pas.