I began belly dancing in 1996 whilst studying for a Degree and working to get myself through college.  I wanted to do something that was just for me, to release stress from work and study.  Little did I know then what an impact belly dance would have on my life.

I discovered a route to fitness that was fun and energising, how to improve my posture and how to move gracefully and fluidly.  I made new friends of all ages and backgrounds and found the art form a great boost to my self-esteem.  Classes then were few in this country and I looked forward eagerly to each session.

I was moved by the welcoming atmosphere within the class and soon discovered how to be happier with my self and my body.

Over the years I continued to listen to a huge range of Middle Eastern music both classic and modern, and with greater understanding of the range of instruments and rhythms, my dance improved.

In 2003 I began teaching the dance, in the hope that I could promote this life improving art form to others.  I began teaching beginner’s classes and soon after opened an improver’s class for those who wanted to progress, many either becoming teachers and performers.  I became a qualified Exercise to Music instructor

The dance continues to fill my soul with the joy of life and freedom of expression.  I am forever learning and enjoy attending workshops with top dancers in their field, both classic and modern in styles, in the UK and abroad.

A word of recommendation from Amel Tafsout

This year (2014) I was honoured to be invited to teach at the Funoon Morocan  Dance Camp.  I was lucky enough to have world renowned expert and teacher of  North African Dance Amel Tafsout attend my workshop.  This is what she had to say....


Hi Shirley, Here is the reviews about your teaching:

 "In her veil workshop Shirley showed patience, gentleness and professionalism. She definitely has a great knowledge and experience in her veil technique.

She succeeded to share her passion about the veil to the participants and help them not only with the veil technique but also how to make of it part of their body. She also helped them to use the double veil in such an easy beautiful way that no one was in a panic; in the opposite everyone had the feeling that it can be done.

I highly recommend to everyone to invite Shirley to teach Veil and double veil and I wish her all the success she deserves"

 

Teachers

Over the years I had many inspiring teachers including:


Karine Buchart
Jan Metherel
Natalia
Layla Abjar

I have also attended workshops with outstanding dancers and teachers including:


Ansuya
USA
Sonia
USA
Petit Jamilla
USA
Sharon Kilhari
USA
Moria
USA
Jillina
USA
Suhaila Salimpour
USA
Tamalyn Dallal
USA
Robyn Friend
USA


Samantha Emanuel UK
Maria D'Silva UK
Michelle Pender
UK
Serena Ramzy
UK
Hillary Thacker
UK
Yasmin Azar
UK
Raheesha
USA -UK
Shona Hagan
UK
Beverly Smith
UK
Melanie Norman
UK
Tracey Jones
UK
Carmen Jones
UK
Caroline Afiffi
UK


Khaled
Egypt
Launa of Cairo
Egypt
Yasmina of Cairo
Egypt
Nawarra
Morroco - UK
Galit Mersand
Israel - UK
Amel Tafsout
Algeria - USA
Medea Medhavi
Iran - UK


Caroline Evanoff
Australia


Leila Jouvana
Germany




Qualifications


YMCA Exercise to Music Fitness Instructor – Coleg Gwent

Post Graduate Certificate in Education – University of Wales Newport

BA hons Fine Art – University of Wales Cardiff

City and Guilds Interior Decorative Effects – Coleg Gwent



Styles that I teach 

I generally teach Oriental style belly dance or Modern Egyptian, Shaabi, Moroccan Chaabi, Saiidi, Nubian, Khalegee  and Fusion styles.

In classes we study all the shimmies, isolation techniques, layering techniques, camels, slides, pops, locks and various undulations.   We learn group and solo choreographies, occasionally with sticks, Wings of Isis, single and double veil.