following are teachers who have been particularly influential in my
dance development, and I owe all of them, as well as all my other
teachers over the years, an enormous debt of thanks.
Afra was my first
teacher & she was the one who first encouraged me to take my dance
training seriously & to develop myself. She promoted the Art of
Improvisation in her classes, which is a great contribution to the
dance world- we need more dancers with good improvisation skills. She
also encouraged me to start teaching, for which I will be eternally
grateful, as teaching is one of the joys of my life.
Liza was my second
great influence & she could always draw something out of me even on
days when I wasn’t feeling very inspired. A teacher of the Hilal School
of Raqs Sharqi (now the Raqs Sharqi Society), she did a great deal to
foster strong technique, & self-expression.
I first got to know Jo when I wanted to train as a teacher. She &
Maggie had just set up their Teacher Training Intensive & I started
to go to a load of their workshops. Jo's invaluable advice encouraged
me to extend my horizons and to let my natural exuberance and enjoyment
of the dance show through.
I got to know Maggie when I enrolled for the first Teacher Training
Intensive that she & Jo were organising. Maggie opened a whole new
world of Technique to me & also encouraged me to think a lot more
about the authenticity of the moves I was using.
Leila has been an inspiration both on the technical level and also as a
performer. She has a supreme understanding of the demands that Stage
Shareen el Safy
I take as many workshops with this charismatic teacher as I can. Her
theory on posture makes such good sense, and it makes it so much easier
to dance in the modern Egyptian style. I credit Shareen with
being the first teacher who led me to my own dance style.
I love Raqia's modern style and take as many workshops with her as I
can, for that authentic Egyptian joie-de-vivre, as well as her strong
technique. I credit Raqia as the teacher, along with Shareen, who
helped me find my own dance style.
For an exhaustive
list of teachers I have worked with, click here.
These seven teachers are simply those who I believe have had the
greatest influence on me as a Dancer, to date.