“It’s what I’ve always wanted to do – to show the laughing,
the fun, the appetite,
all of it through dance.”
Hello: I’m Liz Newman. I teach Belly Bolly dance in south west Cornwall. I also run workshops and demos, and perform with my group ‘Seef Saffah’. I’ll introduce you to the group in a while.
I’ve been dancing since 1985 and teaching since 1996. I wish that I’d started dancing as a little girl, yet I’m making up for that now. Exploring Belly Bolly dance is the best ongoing adventure, and it would be fab if you joined us.
I came across Egyptian dance in my 30’s while living in Bristol. I went to a workshop run by Wendy Buonaventura and was smitten! With no previous dance experience, I just wanted to learn as much as possible. I joined Wendy’s regular classes and then Jacqui Jamal’s. Both teachers are luminaries in the dance world and I’m so grateful for their input. The faded picture shows me in Jacqui’s dance group at our first performance in 1987.
Moving to the end of Cornwall felt like being in a dance wasteland. So, I kept my dance training topped up by going to annual summer and Easter schools run by Wendy and Jacqui, and by the Raqs Sharqi Society as well as Majma and any workshops that I could find.
Twice I’ve been to Egypt on a week long ‘Baladi Cairo’ trip, organised by my friend, Terri Hardy. Here I was taught by Aida Noor, Randa Kamal, Medhat Fahmy, Dandesh and others: top dancers in Egypt. I’ve also been to Turkey with Karine Butchart. The latest week of learning was with Nawarra in Essaouira, Morocco; covering Turkish Romany, Hawaiian, Balkan, Nubian and, of course, Moroccan styles…what a treat.
I’m still learning…so much still to do!
As well as still going to workshops and courses, I organise two big Belly Bolly dance workshops locally, in spring and autumn. I invite top teachers from the UK and abroad to come here and run a weekend of dance focusing on their particular skills. These run for 4 hours each day over a weekend. So, what you gain is massive since there’s time to explore in depth and you break through previous limits. Take a look at the Workshop Gallery to see the range of styles that we have learned over the years: a truly Belly Bolly mix.
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as
many as six impossible things before breakfast”
the White Queen in ‘Alice’
There’s so much more to the world of Belly Bolly dancing than I can explain here! There are dancers and musicians, past and present; places; historical aspects; archaeology; events; customs and costumes… all sorts of tangents to follow.
So, I’ll tell you about these on my Extras page. Here, I’ll add articles and snippets as they come to mind, all linked in some way with Belly Bolly dance.
Click on the link below to take you there: