Edinburgh has an impressive array of bellydance teachers and performers.  We’ve got less than half the population of Glasgow yet manage to support at least twice as many classes (probably more from what I can gather) and our own high street bellydance shop (Hilary’s Bazaar, see my previous post for more info).  We can claim a former teacher, Lorna Gow, who now makes her living in Cairo working as a bellydancer (if you’re interested, her blog gives an fascinating insight into her life and experiences over there). We have an annual bellydance competition, the Pyramid Awards, that draws challengers from far and wide. I think it’s fair to say we’re punching above our weight.

I’m gonna take a moment here to run through the teachers & classes I know about (and if I miss you out please let me know and I’ll happily add you in!).

  • Caroline Evans – Beginners, Improvers & Intermediates at Dancebase
  • Fereshteh – Classes to start in Jan 2010 but as yet no details.
  • Fiona Grossart – “Mature Movers” bellydance classes, also at Dancebase
  • Susanna aka Habiba Dance – Traditional Egyptian Dance, periodic classes and workshops at the Salisbury Centre
  • Lorne McCall – Intermediates & Advanced classes. Raqs Sharki style at Dance for All.
  • Lesley Skeates/Susan Tonner – Beginners and Intermediate American Tribal Style classes at Drummond High School.  You can find class details is in the pdf booklet here, but not on the website for some reason (thanks to Jane for this info!).
  • Hilary Thacker – Beginners & Intermediates classes . Classic Egyptian style in the Forest Cafe, South Leith Parish Church & the Glasite Meeting house.  She also teaches frame drumming workshops.
  • University of Edinburgh African & Arabic Society – the teachers change from year to year but they offer Beginners & Improvers classes as well as various workshops.
  • There are some bellydance classes on the City of Edinburgh Council ‘Adult Education’ programme for 2010, as well as a couple of workshops, though I don’t know who the teachers are.
  • And, of course, yours truly 🙂

I have and do wonder why bellydance is so much more popular here than in Glasgow.  There are socio-economic differences between Glasgow and Edinburgh – Edinburgh has more wealth, less crime and longer average life expectancy than Glasgow, while Glasgow is more “trendy” (more shops, clubs etc).  Maybe it’s just as simple as you need money to pay for classes… maybe it’s to do with mindsets, with folk in Edinburgh being more willing to get into the holistic/wellness activities that bellydance falls under, maybe there’s something else I’m missing.

Whatever it is, I’m glad to be a part of the rich scene that we have here in Edinburgh.

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