Nancy Bakhsy from The Middle East Dance Academy gives us an insight into the sexy moves of Belly Dancing. Belly dancers are sure to attract attention from the audience staring in awe from the sexy rhythms and moves the women performs. It is a skill all women dream to have, and Nancy makes it possible for all ages.
Tell us, what is Belly dancing?
The Belly dance is a Middle-eastern dance; the reason for the name is because most of the dance movement in concentrated around the belly.
How long does it take someone to master belly dancing?
During the first lesson a student attends, from her movement I can tell how long it will take her to master the dance. I have one Japanese student who was really good that I immediately moved her to the advanced class. While for another student, it might take 3 months to go up to and advanced class. There is one student, even after 9 years learning, still hasn’t moved to an advanced class.
Your dance studio offers a proper belly dancing syllabus. Tell us a little bit more about it?
The syllabus allows a student to understand the direction they are moving towards. They will want to know how long it will take for them to reach their goal, and understand belly dancing. It takes you up to a year to understand the basic moves of belly dancing like the camel movement, snake arm and shimmy. This is for people who are weak at dancing, as it will slowly help improve and strengthen their dancing.
How would you describe your personal dancing style?
I am Turkish Iranian’ I come from the Turkish side of Iran. That’s why I have Turkish and Persian beats in me. This dance is meant for women. For me, I mix my style together. I believe that every woman should take up belly dancing. It doesn’t matter what size or age you are, you can do it. All women need a work out, and this is a great form of exercise.
Where did you learn belly dancing?
I learned belly dancing from my mother, and now I teach my daughters how to belly dance. I learned from my mother when I was growing up in Iran. My mother also enrolled me in make-up classes, bead work, sewing and dancing. So I acquired many different skills. I am an only daughter, so my mum wanted me to learn everything. I didn’t realize I had this talent, and it ended up being a job.
Is dance a form of therapy?
I think it’s important to dance in a group. I’ve never been a solo dancer; I always danced in a group. I cherish my group and it feels like a family. Those who come to dance have their own individual problems and worries. Sometimes you think a student comes just to dance, but they have depression, middle age crisis or confidence issues. Belly dancing allows them to fix their problems through dance.
Where do you usually perform belly dancing?
For the first 6 months when I was in Malaysia, I didn’t perform. In Iran, I perform for ladies. When I came to Malaysia, I didn’t know the culture. Then I found out that belly dancing performances are quite popular for birthday parties, annual dinners and company functions. We teach the royalties belly dancing, and Nancy’s studio has performed for 5 kings. So it’s all decent, fun.
Do you teach children?
Yes, I have dancers as young as 5 years old, and my oldest student is 72 years old. The older students are not as flexible, but belly dancing is for any age.
What’s the cost?
For beginners, it’s RM150 per month which includes 4 (1 hour) classes a month and they can come once a week. There is also a one-time registration fee of RM50. For advanced classes, it’s RM200. Classes usually last for 2 hours. We have a longer duration because it takes time to perform, master a song and learn dance moves. Classes usually have between 10-20 students per session
MIDDLE EAST DANCE ACADEMY
Solaris Dutamas, Publika,
A3-3-3A, Solaris Dutamas,
1 Jalan Dutamas,
50480 Kuala Lumpur