The hunt for a professional bellydance teacher in East London can be tricky, especially if you are completely new to the bellydance scene. It is, however, important to find the right class and the right teacher for you. Sometimes it may not be easy to find a professional bellydance teacher in East London within easy reach from where you live and whose teaching style is suited to your needs. You can look for ads on the internet, in the local papers or go and check leisure centres, cultural associations and gyms where they may have bellydance classes. Once you found bellydance classes you should decide: What exactly are you looking for? Well, that depends on what you wish to gain from the classes. Ask yourself if your ultimate goal is to perform professionally, to just have fun and learn a few moves, or to find a new way to work out or to just socialise.
In most areas, there are many different types of classes, but whatever your goals, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should make sure that a teacher has some credentials.
Join the class and see what your teacher is made of and ask yourself what is important to you in a teacher. Should she have had a lengthy performing career? Can the teacher teach you? Should she have a warm personality? With the ever growing popularity of bellydancing, many unskilled ‘teachers” call themselves the “professional teachers”. In this case there are several things to keep in mind:
Professional bellydance teacher should be a professional in the business, because her/his main task is not just to teach students how to bellydance, but also to support them and discover their potential, increase their self-esteem and bring bright colours in their lives.
Professional bellydance teacher must use an individual approach to each student, but at the same time work with the whole group. Professional bellydance teachers play a significant role in learning process as they not only teach the basic movements, but also they teach how to feel, hear and use the music and rhythms.
So you have found bellydance classes in East London, and you are ready to go and learn bellydancing, but suddenly have shaking hands as you walk into the class. You might even think if you should go through with it or turn around and go home. Do not worry; it can happen to anyone, who decided to try something new)) Once you are on the class, you will find out that bellydance attracts different people of all shapes, sizes, colours, and you may even find a man or two attending the class. Just remember that most of the other new students will also be hesitant just like you)) so relax and have fun.
Many new students are afraid that they will not be able to do some difficult movements but with a good, supportive teacher this fear will soon disappear. Because the teacher understands that the first class is the hardest one. Saeeda teaches group and private bellydance classes in East London for several years, she knows how to make your first lesson, so you enjoy it.
Keep in mind that bellydance is something new for your body, just relax and remember, it takes some time and some practice. There is one way to help alleviate some of the fears is to sign up for a class with a friend! Then, you can be awkward and nervous together, but you will be pleasantly surprised that you made the right choice to come to the class.
After some time, when you become more comfortable with the movements and with yourself, and perhaps you become the one which will support the new students by letting them know that everyone is nervous on their first class and not to worry because it will pass.
In this type of dancing, which to those who are curious and are surprised there are indeed Male Belly Dancing, has a curious history linked with culture, subjugation and the usual hate and prejudice we read a lot more often. Documentation on Male Belly Dancing, as it is, is scant and tedious to gather, as most are anecdotal and mainly from the present – yet we see ancient Egyptian tombs with paintings – samples here, showing people in those poses typically done in belly dancing (though we’re not sure if they’re actually male).
However, we can always start, theoretically speaking, that dancing itself must have started during unrecorded times when people – the old, young, men and women alike – gathered together to celebrate events and even the ordinary happenings in their lives. People then, as most of us nowadays, could have found means to express physically their joyfulness and other emotions, of which in dancing can be very well expressed in a more authentic manner. The celebrations, with concomitant festivities, must have been continued periodically, such that traditions from them were then developed in time.
These traditions, including that of male belly dancing, have continued to flourish for many, many more years that passed, that everybody in the community would participate in the dancing. We recognize here the origins of folk dancing, of which belly dancing has one its roots. And people from the Middle East, and Africa, where belly dancing is believed to have originated, apparently don’t see much problem from men doing belly dancing in modern times, as long as they’re doing it “folkloric” style.
And available documents show that men have been doing belly dancing, which can be gleaned from folk dancing, or what’s known as “raqs baladi” in Arabic. Male Belly Dancing is most particularly familiar, historically in Turkey. During the long history of the Ottoman Empire, “rakkas” or male belly dancers supplied the need for Ottoman men to watch something visually artistic and pleasing – as women were generally not around during social and entertainment life. Rakkas maybe either “kocek (or kocheks)” or “tavsan oglan,” most of which, even to-date, maybe seen performing during Ramadan.
The Koceks, who would usually wear women’s garb, and with long, flowing hair were described as: “young boys who were sensuous, attractive, effeminate, and carefully trained in music and dance. Their dancing was sexually provocative and impersonated female dancers. It incorporated ladylike walking, finger snapping (a special two-handed finger snap), slow belly movements, suggestive gestures, acrobatics, and playing wooden clappers called campara or, in later times, metal cymbals called zills. The boys danced as long as they stayed good looking and could hide their beards. The dancing boys were an acceptable substitute for the prohibited women dancers.” They faded into relative obscurity after they were officially banned in 1856.
The tavsan oglan (“rabbit boy”) usually have “charming little hats” and “tight pants,” who historians note might have come from the islands in the Aegean and Marmara regions. Most worked as bartenders, too, in meyhanes (traditional restaurants serving hors d’oeuvres – meze, and Turkish beverage – raki).
The presence of these male belly dancers during those historical periods reflect Turkish society then, when men and women were strictly segregated, and where men dominated all aspects of life. Even celebrations, including those in weddings then, have separate functions for men and women, thus these male belly dancers easily supplied what was lacking and missed.
Turkish Male Belly Dancing also had its counterparts in Egypt, where they were around until around mid 19th century. W.E. Lane’s book “Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians” and Gustave Flaubert’s “Travels in Egypt” describe these dancers extensi
Tahia Carioca was an Egyptian belly dancer and film actress. Born in the Egyptian town of Ismaïlia to Mohamed Kareem, Tahiya was discouraged from performing as a dancer by her family. Due to family differences that could not be settled with her father and brothers, she moved to Cairo to stay with an old neighbour, Suad Mahasen, a night club owner and an artist.
Tahiya had asked several times for employment in Suad’s nightclub but Suad refused to employ her due to the disreputability of working at a night club. However, many of Suad’s associates and friends became acquainted with Tahiya through various visits to Suad’s home. They all advised Suad to add her to one of the shows as a chorus girl but still she refused. Soon, Tahiya was mentioned to Badia Masabni, the owner of Casino Opera, one of the most prominent nightclubs of the time. Badia offered a position in her troupe to Tahiya. Tahiya accepted and was given the stage name Tahiya Mohamed. She soon began gaining popularity as a solo dancer and as she became more experienced she learned a popular Samba dance from Brasil at the time called the Carioca. After that she became known as Tahiya Karioca. Tahiya began starring in movies during what is dubbed as the Egyptian film industries “Golden Age”. Tahia Carioca was a talented dancer, singer, and actor.
Belly dancing has become more and more popular as it has been shown to the entire world through videos and travelling dancers. It seems that everyone wants to learn this exotic dance style. If you would like to see where belly dancing originated you should check out the dancers of Cairo Egypt. From the days of the Pharaohs, it has evolved into the art form we see today Belly Dancing in Modern Egypt.
The world has changed since belly dancing first appeared in Cairo. It was once an important part of Egyptian culture. Today, modern times have made it difficult to find authentic Egyptian belly dancing, but if you look you can still find places where the dance is as authentic as it was centuries ago. If you are planning a trip to Egypt then you should make it a point to find an authentic show.
It might be usual for you to ask your taxi driver or an employee of your hotel. They will most likely send you to Al Haram Street. Here you will find dancers that may not be Egyptian but they are very skilled dancers and can put on quite a show. There has been a great many foreign dancers who have come to Egypt in recent years.
There has been a significant crackdown on the laws regarding shows in Egypt. This explains the amount of foreign dancers who have travelled to Egypt. The dancers from the country have been discouraged by the laws that tell them what kind of costumes they are allowed to wear during their performance.
If you want to find more places in Cairo for an authentic experience you may have to pay a bit more. Five star hotels will typically offer the experience for their guests. The most famous belly dancers in the country will perform at these luxurious hotels. Don’t forget to book the show well in advance and make sure you inquire about the dress code.
The hotels and nightclubs are not the only place to experience an authentic belly dancing show. Check out the ships that offer a night of dinner and entertainment for tourists in Cairo. You will find that it might be a little expensive but it is a good deal for the money. Usually the dinner consists of a sumptuous buffet and the entertainment is outstanding
Whichever way you find to watch some authentic Egyptian dancing you will be sure to enjoy your wonderful night. Take the time to experience this unique and entertaining event.