Whatever title you choose to know it by, Oriental, Middle Eastern, or Belly dance (be it Egyptian, Lebanese, Greek, Turkish, Western, or any other style) provides wonderful physical benefits as a low-impact workout that gently targets and strengthens muscles through natural body movements. It is so much fun you won't even notice it's exercise.
Though Jehane takes the study of dance seriously, it's imperative to her that students also find the classes fun and enjoyable. Dancers of all ages, shapes, sizes and levels of experience are celebrated in her classes and she makes every effort to ensure that all students are challenged, not bored, and never overwhelmed. She has had students from pre-teens to ladies in their 70's who've had shoulder and knee replacements, and finds new ways to keep everyone interested and engaged. Jehane’s aim is to provide a fun environment to help students learn grace and improve self-confidence through dance.
Read some comments about Jehane’s teaching.
Beginners will learn proper posture, safe warm-up, and basic introductory movements
in addition to cool-down and safe stretching techniques. A breakdown of movements
with individual correction helps students learn and perfect the steps which are
then practised with repetition and variations. Students are then gradually introduced
to varied combinations of the moves that they have learned, which will lead in
to improvisational dancing. These moves may then be put into a routine to help
with the practise of smooth transitions from one move to the next. Levels with
some experience will incorporate additional movements, layering of more than
one move, and the addition of various props (veil, cane, tambourine, cymbals).
Even experienced dancers can benefit from a beginner class. It's a great way
to revisit those taken-for-granted movements and make sure they're not getting
sloppy; or just for a fun workout. All classes always include proper warm-up,
attention to posture, movement technique, guided improvisational dancing, cool-down,
Classes typically feature a mixture of classical Arabian dance music (Egyptian
classics such as Mohamed Abdul Wahab, Om Kalsoum, etc) and modern eastern pop
numbers (mainly Lebanese and Egyptian pop hits, such as Hakim or Amr Diab, or
Turkish singers such as Tarkan) to help students learn to appreciate
of Middle-Eastern music in all its forms.
Wherever possible useful information on historical and cultural context as well
as other interesting items are also included (though, it is always guaranteed
students will get to dance, and not too much time will be taken up with listening
to the teacher talking!).
Jehane sometimes organizes or attends events where students who are interested
can perform for others, but no students are ever pressured to perform if they
don't want to. Performing is an entirely personal choice, and some dancers’ preference
to keep their dancing as something they do solely for themselves and not for
the public is completely respected. Gentle encouragement and a safe supportive
environment is provided as appropriate for students who do wish to perform and
just need a little help; Jehane will never, ever, demand or push anyone to perform
if it would make them uncomfortable.
Jehane does not encourage students to perform in professional venues before they
are ready to actually become dance professionals. Professional gigs should be
reserved only for those who are ready to make the transition to becoming a true
dance professional. To endorse anything less would diminish the professional
dedication of Jehane's dance teachers, mentors and colleagues. There are plenty
of excellent venues for students to gain performing experience without jumping
realm before they are ready. For those who are ready for the transition to professional,
Jehane can offer guidance and coaching to introduce them to the standards required
to be a professional Oriental dancer.
Though Jehane does not claim to teach pure Egyptian style, this is the style
that has most influenced her dance training to date, thanks to her training with
Egyptian dance masters and membership in the Enan Egyptian Folkloric Troupe.
Because she has some previous experience in other dance forms, and has also studied
from various teachers who teach different styles, her own style has been influenced
by all of these. Jehane hopes to inspire students to develop their own personal
style, based on a foundation of solid technique, knowledge, and cultural respect.
Jehane does encourage her students to try other teachers, not only to help in
the development of their own individual styles, but also to support the professionalism
of her colleagues in the dance community. Please feel free to discuss other classes
or workshops with Jehane to have her recommendation on teachers who would be
beneficial to study with.