Protected: BDB & Friends | “Christmas Project”

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on November 16th, 2013 | Posted in Lesson Summaries

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Upcoming Events & Charity Donations

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on November 15th, 2013 | Posted in News


Super busy here at BDB HQ right now, in fact there’s all kinds of busy happening at the moment, classes busy, hire busy, shop busy, brand new studio busy …super busy doesn’t even cover it! All in the best possible way I might add! Good times :)

As you might imagine, the festive season brings with it lots of glitzy events for bellydancers – performance bookings, party bookings and the odd private tuition lesson for those who’d like to entertain their friends and family themselves!

I’m currently working on a choreography for a major community event in the ‘Edinburgh’s Christmas’ calendar and at the same time glancing over the remainder of the year and early into next to pencil in our annual BDB Girls Christmas Get Together and …a bellydance hafla! ;)

Also, over the coming weeks I’ll be planning my main charity donations for 2014.
If you or your friends are organising a fundraiser in 2014 and you think Bellydancingbarbie can add something special to help raise the bar eg. a performance, raffle prize etc, check out the Philanthropy tab of the Hire page and get in touch… A friend of yours is a friend of mine. If I can do something for a good cause and there’s still space in the diary & room in the budget, I will.

At present I still have some diary space remaining for Bellydancer Hire at your Christmas parties, family gatherings and girls nights. I could be tempted to perform this Hogmanay since I thoroughly enjoyed myself last year so if you’d like to welcome the New Year with a bellydance performance from Bellydancingbarbie get in touch. Example options are available over on the Hire page HERE



Drum Solo Session with Live Darbuka from Bernard Schembri

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on October 28th, 2013 | Posted in Community Events, Little Egypt, Workshops

Little Egypt Belly Dance Studio Edinburgh Arabic Coffee SetJoin us in this 1 hour treat session at Little Egypt with guest drummer, Bernard Schembri…

We’ll have fun piecing together elements of drum solo and combine baladi rhythm with a finger cymbal pattern giving simple and more complex combination options, all accompanied on Darbuka drum by the tremendous talent of professional musician, Bernard Schembri, visiting us from Malta!

This session will help you take your dancing to the next level through the invaluable experience of belly dancing to professional live music, helping you build on your knowledge and understanding whilst growing your styling and confidence.

You are also invited to enjoy complimentary middle eastern refreshments and a collaborative performance from Bernard and Bellydancingbarbie.

Monday 4th November, 8.30-9.30pm  at Little Egypt 
(3 spaces remaining) 

Join Class: Paypal payment to, over the phone on 07853 197 964 or in person at Little Egypt on Wed, Sat, Sun between 1pm and 7pm.

Dress: Belly bling
: Finger cymbals (class practice finger cymbals are available to purchase in advance and on the day at £6)

Looking forward to welcoming everyone on Monday, our first day of classes at Little Egypt!

PumpkinJam 2013 | Trick or treat?!…

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on October 28th, 2013 | Posted in Little Egypt, Workshops


Join us this Halloween for a freakishly frightful belly dance fitness class at Little Egypt, you wouldn’t want to be seen dead anywhere else, would you?!..

Dress ghoulishly glam and expect an incredibly effective fitness session that’s a bloody NIGHTMARE! …oh, and there’s a treat, or is it a trick?? What’s behind door number 11c/2? Dare you find out??!..

Thursday 31st October | 7.15pm – 8.45pm
£10 (5 spaces remaining)
Join Class: Click HERE to go to PumpkinJam page

No one can resist the fitness of THE THRILLER MWAHHH HAHA HA HA…

Belly Dancing Classes In Edinburgh

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on October 24th, 2013 | Posted in News


warm yourself this winter in our fabulous Winter Term of Belly Dancing Classes in Edinburgh. This will be a spectacular term of bellydancing with lots of exciting new learning, performances, social events & parties…

Each class is brimming full of fun, positivity, exotic fitness & eastern promise!

Mondays | 7.15-8.15pm | at Little Egypt
BellyStretch | shaping a leaner, elegant, more relaxed silhouette
Best for: Flexibility, strengthening, toning, relaxing
6 Classes £37 | ★ FULLY BOOKED ★
Tuesdays | 7.15-8.15pm | at Meadowlark
BellyBasics | All the basics, technique & conditioning
Best for: Learning, strengthening, toning, flexibility
6 Classes £43 | ★ FULLY BOOKED ★
Tuesdays | 8:30-9:30pm | at Meadowlark
BellyDance | Layering, choreographies & improvisation
Best for: Learning, styling, confidence, expression
6 Classes £43 | ☆ 2 SPACES REMAINING ☆
Wednesdays | 7:15-8:15pm | at Little Egypt
BellyDance- A-Long | Dance now, think later!
Best for: Fun, transitions, grace, poise
6 Classes £37 | ☆ 1 SPACE REMAINING ☆
Wednesdays | 11:00-12:00pm | at Little Egypt
BellyMummas | Pregnancy bellydancing
Best for: Fun, gentle exercise, easier & calmer birth
6 Classes £56 | ★ FULLY BOOKED ★
Thursdays | 7:15-8:15pm | at Meadowlark
BellyJam | Energising aerobic bellydance class!
Best for: Fitness, toning, calorie burning, flexibility, energy
6 Classes £37 | ★ FULLY BOOKED ★
Saturdays | 10.00-10.45am | at Little Egypt
BellyBubbas | Mother & child bellydancing
Best for: Fun, early learning & development, bonding together
6 Classes £43 | ☆ 4 SPACES REMAINING ☆

Both Meadowlark & Little Egypt offer a warm, cleansing studio experience with refreshments & souk shop browsing available between classes.

Visit the LEARN PAGE to secure your spaces, alternatively book over the telephone on 07853 197 964 or in person at Little Egypt Mon, Wed, Sat, Sun 1pm-7pm. For your convenience all major credit cards are now accepted as well as cash payments in person. Our last 3 terms have fully booked out in just days so it’s advisable to book your spaces asap if you’d like to join the fun!

Ladies of all ages & abilities are welcome to join us for bellydance fun, fitness and friendship so invite your friends, sister, mum anyone you think is fabulous! Here’s the facebook event page

★★★★★ – yelp
“She’s a fantastic teacher highly reccommend! Its a great way to meet new people. i have gotten so much out of doing the belly basic course and the improv i can’t speak highly enough. she’s not just a dancer as she’s scientifically studied belly dancing so she’s really good at teaching good posture :) this is the best way to keep fit, socialise, have fun, confidence build and let your hair down after the stress of work!”

See you soon,
Shimmies! Xx.

Little Egypt Bellydance & Holistic Health Studio

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on October 23rd, 2013 | Posted in Little Egypt, Workshops

LittleEgypt_logo-1-1 copy 2Little Egypt Bellydance & Holistic Health Studio opens this weekend!

We’ll be celebrating with…

Saturday 26th October, 7-10pm – Launch Party with music, dancing, bellydance performances, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods, drinks and of course, cocktails! This event is by invitation only check your email inbox & folders.

Sunday 27th October, 12-2pm – Launch Taster Workshop Give the studio a spin and sample elements of BellyBasics, BellyDance, BellyDance-A-Long, BellyJam & BellyStretch. Then relax and enjoy complimentary Middle Eastern refreshments and a professional performance. Details and booking are within the Learn – Workshop Page HERE

Sunday 27th October, 3pm-7pm - Holistic Health Sessions 30 minute taster sessions offered at the treat price of £10. These are delivered by me, Lindsey, your fully qualified health & fitness professional. Choose from: remedial massage | aromatherapy massage | sports massage | myofascial release (foam rolling) | applied nutrition | personal training.
Appointment times are: 3pm – BOOKED | Available: 4pm | 5pm | 6pm | 7pm
To book in your session just call, text or email with your chosen session type and preferred time.

Thursday 31st October, 7.15-8.45pm - PumpkinJam 2013 on Halloween night! Back for another year, this crazy wild dark and gory aerobic bellydance fitness class is so good, it’s wicked!! Details and booking are within the Learn – Workshop Page HERE

Monday 4th November, 8.30-9.30pm – Drum Solo Session with Live Darbuka from professional drummer, Bernard Schembri. We’ll have fun with drum solo elements and combine with a finger cymbal pattern giving you simple & complex combination options. Dancing with live music is an invaluable experience to further your dancing knowledge, understanding & ability. See above post for details and booking.

I hope you can join us for what will be the start of something pretty special!

Lindsey Xx.

Recipe | Mmm …Spicy Moroccan Meatballs

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on September 19th, 2013 | Posted in Food & Recipes

moroccan meatballs recipeIngredients

  • 450g/ minced lamb ( or beef if preferred)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Low calorie cooking spray


1.   Place the mince in a bowl and combine with parsley and half the cumin and paprika, and season well. Using your hands, shape into roughly 16 small meatballs.

2.      Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and brown the meatballs. Set aside.

3.      In the same pan gently sweat the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining cumin, paprika and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.

4.      Return the meatballs to the sauce and heat through. Stir in the coriander and serve.


Very easy, very inexpensive, and it only takes around half an hour to do. You can also experiment with the amount of spices, if you want to turn the heat up little ….delicious

As extras, I would usually rustle up some cous cous in vegetable stock and simply stir in my favourite herbs, I like to use mint, very aromatic. and/or warm up some flat bread for a feast, it’s great for mopping up the spicy tomato sauce.

kasbah lanternsSet the mood

Set the table – on a low coffee table or  clear some space and lay down a picnic rug , sit amongst friends on the floor with lots of cushions, and some fabby lighting and cue the moroccan bellydance music

Tribal Bellydance Music Review | Tribal Soup v Raquy And The Cavemen

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on September 5th, 2013 | Posted in Movies & Music

Tribal Soup

Before this review I had never heard of Tribal soup. They’re fairly new on the scene and still building their core audience. The most enjoyable element of the music produced by Tribal Soup is, in my opinion, by far the drumming.

The jazz influenced songs I personally did not enjoy. I found the musical elements took away from the drum rhythm and, for me, did not mesh well. I found it difficult improvise to these songs. I also found it difficult to get a sense of place or feeling. Is this something that should be considered important or should a dancer be able to just dance?

My favourite songs from Tribal Soup included Lolo, Masmoudi Dub and Moroccan Strut. I loved how the fusion of different musical style did not take focus away from the drumming. I felt the beat to these songs was much easier to move to. I was able to get into a rhythm and enjoy the music.

Overall I thought that Tribal Soup were unique and enjoyable to listen to. Look them up and see what you feel.

Raquy and the Cavemen

The second artist I have chosen is Raquy and the Cavemen. A dynamic duo who are known for fusing Middle Eastern drumming with hard rock energy and melodic tunes.

Not only is the pace of drumming and ability outstanding, the variety of songs is amazing. Each song takes me to a different place. The instruments and rhythms used are very influential.

My favourite songs include The Green Lover, Kurdish, Cabaret Macabre and The Mad Marionettist. I feel their music is quite theatrical and could be interpreted through ‘dancing a story’ as well as improvising choreography, a key aspect in belly dancing.

The various instruments and rhythms in their music not only give scope for variation in style but also how a dancer interprets the music. Each of their albums is one I cannot listen to without having to get up and dance.

It is so easy to get lost in the music, in fact, if I do get lost don’t come and find me :)

Lisa x

Meanings, Origins & Stories Surrounding Props | Veil & Zills

Posted by +Bellydancingbarbie on August 29th, 2013 | Posted in Articles, Props

Various props have been used by bellydancers to enhance their dance and give it new quality through decades. I investigated two of the most popular ones, veil and zills. The meanings, origins & stories surrounding props are completely different, yet all colourful, fascinating and giving lots of field for discussion.

Veils and zills

Swirl, swoosh and wrap around a colourful silk veil!

It’s fascinating how different, sometimes conflicting, stories about veil in bellydancing and it’s history I found online! I completely sank while digging into stories and discussion and the question “Is the veil dance actually ancient or contemporary?” still can’t be answered with one sure and simple sentence.

From Elizabeth Artemis Mourat’s article “Veil Dancing In North Africa and Middle East” I found out that in ancient Greek and Roman periods women used to dance with a beautiful piece of fabric which at that time wasn’t known as a veil as we use this term referring to a bellydancing prop nowadays. It could be various sizes shawls and scarves, or one or two handkerchiefs, used to introduce some elements of storytelling and make the dance more interesting. Various scarves and veils were used in old dances among some North African, Caucasian and Gypsy tribes. For example flamenco dancers are still using large scarves called “mantons”

However, what Artemis Mourat emphasizes is that there’s no documentation on veil dance after ancient Greek and Roman period until late 1800′s. This might be connected with veil being worn by Muslim women for modesty and/ or with a culture not allowing usual women to be photographed. In late 1800′s with the Orientalist movement pictures depicting Arabic women using veils to emphasizes their beauty came to Europe. However, nowadays we know that these photos were rather creation of French Orientalists than a documentation of real Arabic world.

In contemporary veil dance history I have to mention Oscar Wilde and his play “Salomé”, in which the title character is performing the infamous seven veil dance, and also Samia Gamal, an Egyptian dancer walking on the stage with a veil to hold beautiful arms posture. Samia was trained by Russian ballet instructor Anna Ivanova in 1940′s who introduced this prop to make dancer’s arms stronger and posture more elegant.

Wilde’s play however brings some controversy and provokes lots of discussion around veil dancing. The main character, Salomé is performing there a very sensual dance, wearing nothing but the seven veils which she removes one after another. And here it comes, a veil worn for modesty can be used for striptease! Although the Bible, where the story about Salomé and John the Baptist comes from, doesn’t specify the dance she performed, nor even mentions the girl’s name, the play and its adaptations created quite a controversial context for veil dance.

In addition to this in discussion with Lindsey, she has found through her research that “there appears to be a correlation between the advent of air travel and the fascination of golden era hollywood with the middle east. Early Hollywood movies indulged audiences with the idea of the exotic veiled woman, in parallel with the two piece costume set, the west in part influenced the east. Audiences then expected to see a flowing veil as a belly dance prop and early tourism sought to please”

Colourful, beautiful and mysterious veils have become very popular in the West, in particular in American Cabaret, but not only. Belly dancers around the world enjoy swirling and swooshing a beautiful piece of silk or chiffon and whatever the stories are I can just say that a veil dance is so pretty and so fun!

Let’s grab zills and play the rhythm while dancing!

“Zills” in Turkish and “Sagats” in Arabic are the names for finger cymbals used by bellydancers around the world. They have ancient origin. Similarly to other percussion instruments have been used as an extension of stomping feet and clapping hands to express the rhythm and became popularised in the advent of the Bronze Age. The name “cymbal” comes from the Greek word “kymbala”

In ancient times, it is believed that, finger cymbals were used by dancers mainly in ritual and religious ceremonies. They could play rhythms to express the atmosphere of both celebration and mourning.

An important figure in zills history is undoubtedly Avedis Zildjan, an Armenian alchemist from 17th century, who while trying to create gold out of base metals, discovered that an alloy of copper, tin, and traces of silver had unique sound qualities. And that’s how he started making zills and other percussion instruments, which shortly became very popular in Turkey. The Zildjan cymbals were first used in Turkish military bands in Ottoman times and nowadays are very popular among modern rock bands. Zildjan Company is now based in America and is one of the family businesses with the oldest tradition.

Another famous contemporary zills producer is Harry Saroyan, so popular within bellydancers communities around the world. Very recently, in January 2013 sad news arrived to the Bellydance Community – Harry Saroyan is going to retire and his company won’t continue. Dancers started searching for distributors to grab the last sets of Saroyans. Luckily, Harry Saroyan announced that after 50 years of serving Bellydance Communinty he’s planning to sell his business and in the meantime will continue on a smaller scale.

Although there’s not so much controversy around zills comparing to veil, there are still news and stories like the one above bringing zills as a topic of discussion. And zills themselves are such a beautiful and expressive addition to bellydance!

Love and shimmies