Enthusiatic Amateur ISO Skill!


New member
Hello all, Merry Christmas if you celebrate it.

I have loved the idea of bellydance for years but only recently found a class where I am.
Turns out they are going to cancel it, just my luck.

I am busy creating three costumes and practicing my basic moves (as well as working towards my eventual goal of proper choreographed performances)

Struggling with finding my dancer's persona, hence adopting a stage name. My husband says when I practice I look furious, so obviously can't do that onstage!

Anyway... hello


New member
Good to see you. Pity about your class. What country are you in? and where? maybe someone can help.

As a teacher I'd say, moves/technique first then transitions then interpretation leading to improvisation and choreography - then think about costumes! On the practical side, if you do find a group to dance with there is no guarantee your costumes will fit with theirs (even for my beginners I have some pretty rigid guidelines). If you enjoy the creative process that's fine - but be aware they maybe just an expense that may have been used to go to a workshop or book private lessons.


New member
Hi there, thanks for the advice :)
I'm enjoying the creative process and looking forward to doing small shows for friends and family and fun so not too worried about that.
I'm in Scotland, and there's not many bellydancers near me (that I know of) but some workshops coming up in Edinburgh which I can drive to so may well do that.
I have a young family, so dance will never be a priority financially speaking - but I'm keen to try anyway!


New member
How many classes did you manage to get then? As a rule of thumb, beginner with classmates and teacher performing to family - at least 6 months; first solo - 2 years of intensive study (and talent) and previous performance experience. A whole show on one's own is a step beyond that!


New member
Hi Xana!

As a beginner, it's really worth finding a regular or semi-regular class you can get to, if at all possible. There are a few directories of UK teachers which it's worth taking a look at if you haven't already:
NADA (Northern Arabic Dance Association) have a list of teachers on their site (the site isn't working for me at the moment so I can't find the exact page for you, but it's https://www.nada.uk.com/)
Mosaic Arabic Dance Network (MADN) also have a teacher directory: http://www.mosaicdance.org/teacher-directory/
Finally, the JWAAD teachers' association have a directory of their members (it's an organisation of bellydance teachers who have completed part or all of the accredited JWAAD teacher training diploma): http://thejta.org/JTA-Teacher-Search.php
Another option might be to arrange some private lessons with the teacher you are currently taking classes with?

As far as I'm aware, there's quite an active bellydance scene in Edinburgh, so there will certainly be plenty of events and workshops there you can travel to :) Depending on where you live, in future you could also look into travelling to the Jewel of Yorkshire festival which is an annual weekend bellydance festival in Saltaire. When I went, there were quite a lot of Scottish dancers there.

I really wouldn't worry about having a stage name at this point. Most dancers in the UK don't use them these days anyway (or use just their first name, or a nickname), and in any case what you call yourself only really becomes an issue if many years down the line you end up wanting to market yourself as a performer or teacher and need to decide on a business name.


Super Moderator
Welcome to the forum. I never bothered with a stage, your own name is fine if you feel it suits your dance personality:)


New member
Hi everyone and thanks for the advice and tips. I'll look into getting to regular workshops with my teacher in Dundee and as many others as I can afford in Edinburgh.

I have adapted my costume so I have something to practice in to help me get into the zone and also for practical purposes like seeing how my body moves in that type of clothing, that slits SO high are a bad idea when doing THIS move... etc etc

Kashmir I managed maybe 2 months of weekly classes and have been practicing daily at home with videos. I am confident that my technique has improved through the people in the videos explaining better than my real live teacher. She would just get us to try and copy her - while she is an excellent dancer, sometimes you need to explain what you are doing as well because it's hard for beginners to figure out!

But I'm sure you know this, as I gather you are a teacher yourself - is that right?

I have been filming my practice sessions so I can watch them back to work out what looks right and compare it to how I felt the movement and try and establish some idea of my favourite moves and what suits my bodyshape.


New member
Think I'm going to create a persona as Xana to help me get into the zone of dancing. I'd never be able to dance as myself, too shy. The shame on my family!


It's not so much creating a persona as it is recognizing and giving a name to something that already exists inside you. ;)


New member
I'd never be able to dance as myself, too shy.

I used to think that, too. Then after a while it felt weird dancing not as myself. Now I dance as myself but in fabulous mode. I'm still socially awkward in real life, but 7 years and counting of bellydance has made me a lot less shy, and I've also found that I am actually far less anxious about performing than I am about stuff like making small talk with strangers, because as a performer I have confidence in my own skill level :)