Drop-in £10 or block booking available:
Suitable for all, beginners welcome:
Bellydancing is considered to be the oldest known dance and may well have been danced in a very similar form in the early days of Ancient Egypt. It was traditionally danced by women for other women as part of family celebrations, fertility rites or marriage ceremonies.
Despite the name, it’s not just about the belly but there is much less emphasis on moving the legs than in most familiar dance forms. Bellydancing was traditionally danced by everybody rather than by professional dancers performing for an audience and is suitable for all ages, shapes and sizes.
It doesn’t require that you be young or athletic to dance it well, but it will demand some types of movement and coordination that may be completely new to you (think of shimmies or belly rolls!). It is low impact exercise, really good for lower back, bellies and core muscles and is a huge amount of fun to learn. It is a very joyful dance, a celebration of womanhood and a beautiful way of rediscovering the strength and beauty of our feminine energy.
The class is running as a drop in class and is suitable for absolute beginners or improvers wanting to refresh the basics. It will teach some basic technique, ideas about musical interpretation and enough time to practice what you’ve learned or just lose yourself in the dance.
We dance either in bare feet or ballet or jazz shoes that haven’t been worn outside. Hip belts will be provided as they help you find the correct hip movements. Please wear something comfortable you can move in and you don’t have to show your belly in class unless you want to! Come try out something new and fabulous for 2016, I’ll look forward to seeing you in class.
Ellen O’Farrell (Feldenkrais Guild, Yoga Alliance):
As well as the Feldenkrais I now teach an Egyptian Bellydance class for beginners at Yoga for Harmony. This dance has fascinated me since I first saw it as a child growing up in North Africa. I was lucky enough to learn the basics there and I still vividly remember my first performance aged 10. I have studied Egyptian style and some fusion styles and done most of my training with the Rachel Bennett School of Bellydance here in the UK. I now teach some of their beginner and improver classes as well as continuing my own studies.
Bellydance encourages a style of movement that is flowing, circular and feminine and quite a contrast to most yoga forms. It encourages grace and an earthy sense of groundedness. Most importantly it brings me a huge amount of joy that I love to share either by teaching or performing this ancient and beautiful dance form.