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To brighten up this rainy summer day, allow me to introduce you to Tamsyn:

I first met Tamsyn at a tribal fusion workshop where I couldn’t help but notice that she had a scar that was almost identical to my own. We were scar buddies! So we got talking. Over time I’ve learned that, as well as being an enthusiastic bellydance aficionado and a great dancer she’s a very knowledgeable (and thoughtful) teacher. We share a love of tribal fusion, but also both have broad tastes in bellydance and appreciate lots of different styles. I feel lucky to have her as my dance buddy and friend.

Which is all lovely, but why am I telling you about Tamsyn? Well… she’ll be taking over my classes at The Yoga Room from September onwards! She’ll be coming along to a class or two in my next term so if you’re thinking about continuing you’ll get the opportunity to meet her then.

And to finish off this post, here’s another gorgeous picture of her from a recent performance in her newest outfit (made by her own fair hand – where do her talents end? 🙂 ).


As some of you might have noticed I was in the paper this weekend, this time in the Scotsman Magazine on Saturday. I only found out about it when a friend told me! I had been asked for a picture a while ago by the lovely people at Out of the Blue for something that might appear in the Scotsman, but that was the last I’d heard about it. I gave them one of the fantastic pictures Kaleidoscope Studios took of me and it ended up being used in an article about interesting fitness classes at the newly renovated Out of the Blue. The ironic thing about this is, of course, that I’ve now taken a break from teaching at that venue!

That said, even though the info isn’t quite right, I am at least still teaching some bellydance classes. The current term at the Yoga Room finishes on June 9th (next Wed) and the next term (and my last term teaching for a while!) begins June 30th, preceded by a beginner’s workshop on Sunday June 20th. Online booking is open! (I’ve just realised my new term starts the day before the Musselburgh Hafla – which I’ll be dancing at! See the Facebook event page for more information on this charity hafla.)

This happens to be the second time I’ve been in a paper doing bellydance stuff. This time, although I wasn’t attributed, I like the picture much better 🙂

Hello lovely readers,

Over the summer I will be continuing my Wednesday evening classes at The Yoga Room (beginners from 7.30pm, intermediates from 8.30pm). Both sets of classes cost £40 (£36 concession) for an 8 week block (June 30th – Aug 25th, not Aug 4th).

As usual I’ve got paypal set up so you can go to my site to book classes and/or workshops there. And if you don’t fancy paypal cheques, bank transfer and cash are all fine. There’s more details about payment on the website.

And just so you’re aware this will be the last term of regular classes that I’ll be teaching for a while. My counselling training will be stepping up it’s intensity in September and I’ve had the increased time commitment required highlighted to me on a number of occasions, as well as the emotional drain it will be. So I’ve decided to take a step back from teaching bellydance once Uni starts back. Some of my current students suggested a night out to mark the end this era and I think that’s a smashing idea!

I don’t plan on dropping out of the community, I will still be at haflas, hopefully attending workshops as a student and maybe running one or two myself as time permits. And the classes at the Yoga Room should continue – I’ll put up more information about that as I have it.

My next term starts sooooon!  Both levels start back again this coming Wednesday (the 14th) at the Yoga Room with a sold-out beginners workshop on this Saturday to kick things off and get me back into the spirit of things 🙂

If you’re wanting to book the classes you can do so with a cheque (made payable to me, Shelley Skipper, sent to “Shelley Dance, C/O The Yoga Room, 5 Forth Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JX”) or via paypal on my website ( There are still a few spaces left (and don’t worry – I’ll remove the paypal functionality when I’m full).  You can always fire me a quick email or text if you want to double-check before booking.

I’ve tweaked and, I believe, improved the curriculum for both sets of classes and I’m looking forward to starting a new term with this new-and-improved set of lesson plans!  I’ve tried to take on board the desire I’ve felt coming through, particularly in the Improvers/Intermediate classes, to include more technique that is common to tribal-fusion styles of bellydance, whilst keeping it still interesting to those with more Egyptian leanings.  And as always I’m interested in hearing what my students want out of the classes – we’ll have a chat about this in the first lesson to make sure I take into account the things that my students want to do.

Last night was my final night of teaching bellydance classes in 2009. Both were lovely – the beginners’ class was quite quiet but that allowed those who came to have the lesson really tailored to what they wanted (which turned out to be learning to join moves together and dancing the class choreography several times).

The intermediate class was a different kind of lovely with two of the students dancing for the class (this is something I like to encourage for the last week of term). It was a bit touch-and-go because I’d left my speakers at home, but my lovely husband came to the rescue and appeared with them part-way into the class. It split the lesson nicely as it meant we used the venue’s CD player to play my standby CD for the warm-up and practice part of the lesson and then had my mp3 player and speakers by the time we were ready for the performances.

The student performances were lovely – one danced to “Şımarık” by Tarkan (‘Kiss Kiss’)

and the other to “Unicorn” by Gojira.

Very different pieces of music and very different performances, both beautiful. I’m really, really happy that my students are able to develop their own style, rather than be dominated by mine.

I also danced for the class. It’s so different dancing for people who know something about bellydance! I spotted the look of recognition of the various moves on their faces and quite a different look of appreciation to those who don’t know/study it. I think for a teacher and/or pro dancer it’s a more demanding and challenging audience but for a student it has the potential to be a much more supportive and nurturing environment, partly because your peers know exactly how hard those moves are and can sympathise.

And now it’s time for a break from teaching until Jan 17th!

I’ll be teaching two sets of classes on Wednesday evenings at The Yoga Room: Beginners from 7.30pm and Intermediates from 8.30pm. My Thursday evening beginners classes at Out Of The Blue will continue at 7.30pm. All classes cost £36 (£32 concession) for an 8 week block (Jan 20th/21st – Mar 17th/18th, skipping Feb 24th/25th). I’ve decided that since I’m running 2 sets of beginners’ classes, for those who are super keen they can buy both sets of classes for £65 (£60). How nice am I? J

AND to kick off the term I’ve got a beginners workshop running on the Sunday before, Sunday 17th January 2010, from 11am-1pm at Out Of The Blue. Workshop costs £10 (£9).

Like last term I’ve got paypal set up so you can go to my site to book all classes and/or workshops there. And if you don’t fancy paypal cheques, bank transfer and cash are all fine.

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