Recently I had the absolute pleasure of teaching a belly dance class for a very special big birthday. The birthday 'girl' invited around 40 people to her house to celebrate this special occasion. I was hired as the entertainment to teach a belly dance class for 1 hour. I started with a quick warm up, technique and then a short, fun routine finished with a cool down. The host was kind enough to buy coin belts for all her guests to make them feel the part - a good idea for a thank you gift or favour. What a fantastic way to involve your guests and try something a bit different!
The guests were glamourous middle-aged females and made for a very lively, excitable group. It got me thinking what a great yet simple idea for a big birthday. Host a party at home, invite all your lady friends, serve drink and food and have a great time. It cuts out the fuss of finding a venue, confirming numbers to a restaurant or caterers and other restraints and costs that venues provide. It also gives an opportunity for the birthday 'girl' or 'boy' to relax and enjoy themselves.
I have always found that belly dancing at parties with no males and/or people you know at home helps relax inhibitions - as opposed to women that I approach at restaurants or in a wedding environment most of whom tend to shy away. Whether it's a henna, hen or birthday party, the moment you get women at home away from men and/or 'the community' it's refreshing and so much more enjoyable for them.
All in all, we had a great time, laughed lots and learned some cool moves too. Well done ladies!!!
I had the absolute pleasure of filming for something very special last week. I can't say what yet until next year February. I can't wait to share it with you all. Watch this space....
The annual free taster is BACK! These annual tasters are now in their 3rd year. Whether you’re a complete beginner or enthusiast taste the beautiful art of Belly Dance. Discover femininity, fitness and fun.
This free 30 minute taster will give you a taste of all things Belly Dance. Learn techniques that will make you change the way you feel about your body. If the gym's not for you, then this class definitely is!
Be prepared to unleash muscles you never thought existed, sweat and discover that your hips don't lie with an award-winning belly dance artist. Bring a friend and have even more fun or come alone and make friends with other class members.
Places are available by pre-booking only.
Booking is essential - places are given on a first come, first serve basis.
Level: Open to all, first timers/beginners/improvers.
Have you got questions? Don't be shy, ask Tevec
Taster Dates & Times
Monday 14th September 2015
19.30 – 20.00 - General BOOK YOUR PLACE
20.00 - 20.30 - Intermediate BOOK YOUR PLACE
Shogun Mixed Martial Arts Studio,
187A Baker Street, Enfield, EN1 3JT
With Wedding season upon us, I've been performing at many lovely hen parties and weddings. It's always a privilege to celebrate and share this special day with brides, grooms and their loved ones.
In Egypt, Turkey and many other Middle Eastern countries a belly dance performance has been a traditional part of the wedding celebration, with the dancer as the symbol for bringing good luck and blessings to the marriage union. Now this tradition is fast spreading in the UK and not just at Middle Eastern Weddings, I've performed at Asian, English and Eastern European too.
If you've received an invite to a wedding some of you may go out to buy a new outfit and choose what to wear as a guest - it's the same for belly dancers too. I have to choose costumes that will be appropriate for your special day. Something bright but not too much white as I don't want to upset the bride and something respectable so that it's tasteful and family friendly. In my recent trip to Istanbul, I found 'the one' a beautiful coral two-piece, beaded number that works well for weddings and hen parties alike. I've always been a sucker for embellishments and hand-crafted items. It must be my inner magpie coming out. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see what it looks like and pictures/videos of me performing.
I'll finish with saying Good Luck to all brides getting married this year. No doubt you'll look beautiful and special on your day. Before I gave up my job to dance full-time, I was (and still am) an event manager so, I've included some top tips for brides below. Good luck and enjoy your wedding day!
Top 4 tips for brides
I recently took a trip to Istanbul and had the pleasure of meeting and dancing with Nesrin Topkapi and Sema Yildiz. Two highly regarded and well respected Turkish dancers who began their careers in the 1970s.
It's not everyday that you get to work with and meet, what I regard to be - belly dance legends.
Why do I class these ladies as belly dance legends?
For me, they are my personal idols within belly dance. Both dancers have stood the test of time proving that that they are not a passing trend. Both Nesrin Topkapi and Sema Yildiz started their dancing careers at a time where belly dance was not shown on Turkish television to now inspiring and teaching the stars of today.
I connect with their dance on so many levels. I feel the emotion, beauty and grace within their dance as they effortlessly glide across the wooden floor. No frills belly dance, only clean footwork, hard work over the years, dance patterns and true ladylike personas.
Today we are used to watching belly dancers on YouTube with millions of views. We don't even need to go to class or watch dancers live in person anymore to get to know them or learn from them. Both Nesrin and Sema abla come from an era before YouTube and online classes. A time where dancers were mainly self taught (both of whom are), where you would go to the source to find belly dance music and recordings of your performance were few and far between. It's hard to imagine that now, right?
Listening to their stories and knowledge is so admirable. Many of the moves we do today are inspired by Sema Yildiz and Nesrin Topkapi and we don't even realise it. Floor work, arm patterns and travelling steps have in some way influenced today's belly dance.
I am honoured to have had the chance to indulge in their knowledge and incorporate this into both my teaching and performing.
I truly hope that I get the chance to meet with them again, Insallah.
Watch videos of Nesrin Topkapi
Watch videos of Sema Yildiz
During my recent trip to Istanbul, I had the absolute pleasure of learning from Nesrin Topkapi, one of my all time favourite dancers from not just belly dance but all types of dance.
A graceful, charismatic and inspirational dancer. Nesrin Topkapi was the first belly dancer to appear on Turkish television dancing on New Years eve shows in the early 1980s.
Today she trains and choreographs for theatre show dancers getting them ready for stage. Nesrin Topkapi has stood the test of time and is self taught like most dancers of her generation. She is a very clever dancer with a natural eye on the little details. Her approach and delivery when teaching is superb, it's lovely to see that she hasn't lost her energy and passion for the dance.
I am a true fan of this wonderful artist. Watch the video of Nesrin Topkapi below.
After my recent trip to Istanbul, I felt I should post about the teachers I've been learning with.
The first is Sema Yildiz, a belly dancer and artist in the truest sense of the word. As the Daughter of a farmer, she began dancing at a very young age and with her Turkish Romany origins now has a strong Romany Gypsy student following.
Over the years, Sema Yildiz has influenced and trained many of the dancers in Istanbul today including Didem. Sema dances like a lady with a youthful charm and has a great wealth of knowledge. After I had spent time with her she was off to teach workshops and perform in Canada which proves that she has an ever growing international following from all over the world. This Summer you can take workshops with her in Greece.
Here is a rare piece of footage of Sema Yildiz dancing in 1976. You have to remember this is a era before YouTube, dance congresses and weekly classes so much of what you see is self taught. Enjoy! :)
Hello lovely readers,
This week is a special week for women. Last week we had International Women's Day and this Sunday is Mothers Day in the UK.
What a wonderful week for women to celebrate and express their femininity. As women we are strong and soft at the same time and have the extraordinary gift to give birth to life.
To celebrate here is an interview with Marian and Claire, Mother and Daughter who have been coming to my belly dance classes since September 2013. They live in the borough of Enfield and are both Mothers. They encourage and dedicate 1 hour per week to belly dance and to each other. How lovely is that?!
I really admire their dedication to coming to class together every week, it's lovely to see Mother and Daughter enjoying an activity as a unit and taking time away from everyone else in order to indulge in a skill they now share in common. With Mothers Day coming up, I thought who better than to interview Marian and Claire. Their answers are fantastic!
Happy new year to all!
I hope you enjoyed the Christmas and New Year festive period, and that you got a chance to catch up with family, friends and rest.
Last year flew past so quickly and here we are safely landing in 2015.
How many of you have made New Years resolutions? If so, have you kept to it?
Change is all about priorities. Sometimes the intention is there but it can be a struggle to prioritise that change as it may be out of our comfort zone or we're not use to the routine yet. If you don't make your goal a priority, then it won't work out.
For the past few years I haven't made New Years resolutions, instead if I want to change something I'll act upon it anytime of year and work to stick to it. It is tough but discipline and the desire to succeed will help you through, which is why you have to really want it. Once it becomes routine after a couple of weeks you be on auto-pilot and it will be a breeze. The first couple of weeks are always the hardest whatever your want to change.
Don't give up, stick with it. As I always say anything worth having it's always hard.
I wish you all a happy, healthy and memorable 2015. Let's make it a great one!!
I am extremely pleased to announce that I will be performing as a Principal Dancer in the Fringe Theatre Production of Phantasmagoria, part of the BlackBoxFestival.
An other worldly experience through theatre dance and sound. The Darkstar Dance company take you on a journey to the glamorous side of spook and macabre showcasing a collection of dark, magical stories with a Tales of the unexpected feel. These multi-talented ladies open up a world of shadow dance to tell their stories of ghostly creep. With the styling of a gothic folies bergere, these mysterious sirens are beautiful, alluring and ultimately not to be trusted. Join us for a darker style of belly dance.
To book tickets visit: http://www.etceteratheatre.com/details.php?show_id=1953
Award-winning Turkish Oriental and Theatrical Fusion performer and teacher.