Béatrice Curtis - Egyptian Dance

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Dance Training
I started Middle Eastern Dance in 1991, taking evening classes with Reading Adult College.  I started taking classes with Liza Wedgwood, of the Hilal School of Raqs Sharqi, within a couple of years and I continued regular classes, with Liza and with other teachers of the Hilal School, including the principal, Suraya Hilal.

I have attended many workshops with teachers of the Hilal School of Raqs Sharqi, and with teachers of the Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance, (JWAAD- formerly the Josephine Wise School of Dance), including the principals, Josephine Wise and Maggie Caffrey.  I have also attended many workshops with teachers and Master Teachers of international standing, including Mahmoud Reda, Raqia Hassan, Shareen el Safy, Yousry Sharif, Aida Noor, Dandesh, Randa Kamel, Eman Zaki, Nadia Hamdi, Lubna Eman, Leila Haddad, Samasem, Yasmina of Cairo, Beata & Horacio, Professor Hassan Khalil, Magdy el-Leisy, Medhat Fahmy, Gamal Seif, Khaled Seif, Zaza Hassan, Aziza of Montreal and Ava Fleming.

I have attended several JWAAD Summer Schools (weeklong residentials).

I gained my teaching diploma from the Josephine Wise School of Dance, in 1997, and this was upgraded in 1998 to a JWAAD diploma.  I attend JWAAD’s regular Professional Development events.  I also attend Safety Update Workshops, in connection with insurance, health & safety and fitness training matters.

I have been teaching in the Adult Education field since 1994.  I have taught Middle Eastern Dance classes at all levels: -
- Reading Adult College- 1994/5, as assistant tutor for the Beginners Class, and as substitute tutor for the Intermediate’s class
- East Berkshire College- 1995/6 to 2005/6, teaching Beginners classes & Intermediates classes
- Surrey County Council, Adult Education- 1998/9 to date, teaching Beginners classes & Intermediates classes
- University of Surrey- 2001 to 2012, teaching Mixed Level classes

I teach occasional workshops throughout the country & have taught regularly at JWAAD’s Summer Schools, and at Fantasia (the UK’s largest Oriental Dance Festival).

In 2007, I was asked to be a Tutor on the JWAAD Foundation Course, now known as the Safe Delivery of Belly Dance Classes course.

Solo work has included dancing in Theatre Shows, such as Performance Showcases for the Hilal School at the Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadlers Wells, London, for JWAAD at Jacksons Lane Arts Centre, London, for Mosaic Arabic Dance Network at Watermans Arts Centre, Brentford, and at Fantasia; dancing in Studio Shows, supporting performers such as Shareen el Safy, Nadia Hamdi, Leila Haddad and Serena; occasional cabaret work, for restaurants and private parties. Dancing regularly on the London showcase circuit, including Planet Egypt, Saqarah, El Layali, Arabesque Nights, Silk Route, Hafla on the Hill.

I have also performed with the group Desert Flame, of which I am a founder member.  Desert Flame also performed at the JWAAD Raqs Sharqi Showcase, and at several performance platforms.  We were a regular feature at Reading’s Lion Rally, and at Reading’s CamRA Beer Festival.  We also took part in pantomime and other community events.  However Desert Flame’s most regular performances were at their Haflahs (dance parties) and although the group no longer performs together, we continue to organise the Haflahs.

Other Professional Information
I am a founder member of the JWAAD Teachers Association.

I am a professional member of the Foundation for Community Dance.

I was on the Committee of Mosaic Arabic Dance Network (the leading organisation for Arabic Dancers in the UK), from 1994 to 2001.  I acted as Events Co-ordinator, Safety Co-ordinator, Treasurer and Chairman.

I have written articles for Mosaic magazine, for NADA magazine, and for other UK and international dance publications.

I give talks/demonstrations for community groups.

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Updated 30th December 2013