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About Samirah



I grew up in Wormley, Hertfordshire, but now I reside in Bishops Stortford.  As long as I can remember I have always
Snake Arms
enjoyed dancing, I was often the first one on the dance floor at school disco's, family parties etc. I can remember teaching other children dance moves at an early age, and being quite popular at events with the younger children as they loved to dance with me, I have never been shy about dance :)
 
Samirah Dancing with Veil
It wasn't until 2003 that I became associated with Egyptian Dance, it happened quite by accident: My friend had noticed that there was an Egyptian dance class opening in Bishops Stortford on a Thursday night, she had always wanted to try it, but she didn't want to go alone, so she asked me. I was not really bothered about going, but thought it could be fun, and after 2 weeks my friend dropped out of the class and I carried on with my 7 year old daughter (who, by the way is an exquisite dancer now!)! The class was run by a lovely Greek lady who eventually became a good friend of mine, she had this vision to open the group on a voluntary basis to bring women and children of different nationalities and culture together through music and dance.  It was a wonderful idea, and well attended, but, as she was giving concessions to those on benefits and children, it did not bring in enough income to pay the professional teacher she had hired from London, and eventually the teacher left the class. We then managed to find another teacher from Cambridge who was Raqs Sharqi  trained, (Raqs Sharqi means eastern or oriental dance in Arabic, and the Raqs sharqi Society is based in London) but again the money was not enough to pay her the amount she needed. We then hired her daughter who was in her twenties,  she also moved on to persue her education and career. This left us again without a teacher, I decided to take on the group with my Greek friend, still on a voluntary basis.  I had been dancing for around 2 years by then, and had learnt the basic's (by now I loved the dance and couldn't get enough of it) we hired visiting teachers every now and then for a workshop, and it was working very well as a womans group as well as an Egyptian dance group.
 
Samirah Dancing in Karnak
In 2006 my Greek friend had family commitments and had to go to Greece for a while, and so I was left holding the fort.  I eventually came to the conclusion the only way this was going to work is if I take it on as a business (I also was ready to start a new job/career, as my children were getting that bit older) and so I attended a year long college course in exercise to music and became a fully qualified Exercise to Music Instructor YMCA Level 2 in 2006, this meant  that I now had the knowledge to give instruction in warm up exercises and stretches, and in choreography, and also adding a professional qualification to my belt! :)  I  attended workshops with the raqs sharqi society,  with several independent teachers and private tuition with a raqs sharqi trained teacher in Letchworth, and these are still ongoing.
 
In September 2006 I opened my new business 'Belly Belles' and it  has been going ever since.  My love for Egyptian belly dance and Egyptology is increasing all the time, and even more now that I have been to Luxor in Egypt. iN 2007 I also became a member of the Society of International Folk Dance, SIFD.
Four years on and I can say Egyptian Dance is not just a job for me it is my Life! I love every minute of it. I have met many lovely friends due to dancing, and have also danced at many interesting locations for lots of different people  I have danced at: Greek restaraunts, birthday parties, childrens parties, school P.E lesson, and after school clubs, Womens institute meetings, womens groups, charity events, Rosemary conely event, summer ball's, a Batmitzva, dancing in Care homes for the ederly and disabled, working with Adults and children with learning disabilties, hen nights as well as festivals, fetes and carnivals with some of my students, the list goes on, and each time I dance I meet new people who bring that extra special light into my life and my work!  I danced in London for the first time in 2009 at Planet Egypt Islington, what a wonderful experience and watched by around 30 of my students!
 
 In 2009 I arranged for myself and some of my students to go on a week long holiday to Luxor, here we had the time of our lives...visiting the tombs and temples of ancient Egypt as well as enjoying the hospitality of the local Egyptian people, (and lots dancing of course).  I have now danced in Egypt, and to be appreciated by the local people in Egypt was 'out of this world' for me, it made me very happy to see them enjoying my every move, I had some very complimentary comments made about my dancing from tourists and Egyptian people alike, even an offer of a job teaching the dance in one of the big hotels!  (if only....) :)

In 2014 Samirah was a finalist in the Creative Hertfordshire Awards

In 2015 Samirah attained a certificate in  A-Z OPT in Bellydance with Keti Sharif

In 2016 we celebrated 10 years of Belly Belles!

In 2017 Samirah attended the online seminar ' Traditional Arts of Egypt, Music, Moulids and folk Dances' by Keti Sharif.
Became a member of the Belly Dance Academy and attended an online teaching course with Sara Shrapnell.

To conclude I would say that belly dance can enhance your life in so many ways! why not give it a go!
 
Contact me for your first step to your belly dance experience!
 
Samirah :)
(by the way, Samirah means 'entertaining companion' in Arabic, and it is my dancing name, some of you may know me as Debbie)