BAMBA Belly Dancing Patrons
BAMBA Committee Members
Birmingham And Midland Belly Dancing Association 'BAMBA'
Belly dance classes in Birmingham, over 50 to choose from plus free online classes for you to try at home or practice between classes.
If you are looking for skilled and experienced bellydance teachers or performers, then you’re in the right place — we have hundreds of years of collective experience!
In fact, our patrons were the first to bring this wonderfully feminine dance form to the area.
BAMBA was formed to acknowledge this and is a supportive network within the dance community. We’re working together with a spirit of integrity and consideration, acting ethically and responsibly.
Come to us for classes, workshops and bellydance events in Birmingham and the Midlands. You can be safe in the knowledge that all of our teachers are skilled, professional and highly experienced.
BAMBA is passionate about bellydance! We would love to pass that passion on to you. Nothing is better than coming to class because of the feedback and help of your bellydance teacher aiding your learning. But you can try a class first at home if you like for free Yes for free or if you go to class already you can add it to your belly dance practice to learn more styles in a quicker time frame. Drum solos are on line now with more to follow
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Want to book a Birmingham Belly Dancer or Troupe? click here; Performers
Also known as ‘Raqs el-Sharqi’ (Dance of the East), bellydance is said to be the oldest form of dance in the world. This most ancient of feminine art forms is thought to be the source from which all other dances evolved. Scholars say traces of it can be found in India, Africa and Polynesia. Read more...
American entrepreneur, Sol Bloom, coined the name ‘bellydance’, (a direct translation from the French Danse du Ventre), to publicise a performance at Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. The dance, with its faint hint of scandal, cast its spell and proved to be a great success. Read more...
There is a huge variety of bellydance styles and, as its popularity grows, it has been influenced by other dance forms, such as ballet, jazz and salsa. San Francisco, in the late 1960s, gave rise to the very popular and empowering ATS (American Tribal bellydance Style) and its newer, dynamic offspring, Tribal Fusion. Read more...
Bellydancing suits all ages and body types. Express your creative self spontaneously through this timeless women’s dance. Align your body, spirit and soul in movements that have evolved through the ages. But most of all — have fun! Read more...
It was actually once widespread throughout the world, at any one time. Its existing form, as we know it, survived, for some reason, in the Middle East and Northern Africa . Bellydance, because of its obscure origins, has links with childbirth, fertility, sexuality/eroticism, spirituality, freedom of expression and emotional release ( i.e zaar/trance dancing, many "Gypsy" Rom dances), community and communal dance, joy and happiness. This dance has so many facets, so it is difficult to pin it down, as many belly dancers in Birmingham discover! Everyone dances for different reasons....
He brought many dancers from North Africa to the USA, in time for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Many countries in Europe, particularly those with empires, had very similar World fairs, showing off produce/culture/artefacts from many corners of the world ( London had the first World Fair in 1851, at Crystal Palace, setting the precedent for the Expos of today.) The Chicago World Fair , like a lot of these exhibitions , lasted for about six months, or more, with thousands of participants, including (paid) dancers, actors, entertainers, etc living in specially constructed villages, buildings, palaces, spaces from Africa and Asia to show different cultures and arts, for example( see Donna Carlton's book Looking for Little Egypt).
It was here, in Chicago, that belly dance was seen for the first time, ever, by Westerners, outside her native lands. Of course, the dance appeared so different and scandalous , that it spawned the Legend of Little Egypt ( See Donna Carlton's book Looking for Little Egypt) - an apparently free- spirited and immoral belly dancer, who may or may not have existed. In turn, belly dance on American soil, saw the origins of the "hootchie-kootchie" (Donna Carlton) and gave additional influence to the evolving art of burlesque ( Carlton and others).
Although primarily seen as a woman’s dance, men in the Middle East dance this dance too ( at weddings and festivals), and very well too, which is why bellydance can be seen as folk-dancing, or “Dance of the People” or “Dance of my Country”(Raqs el- Baladi). In the past, as is now, there have been professional male bellydancers, in the Middle East( for example Ottoman Turkey ) who could dance in public, when women were not culturally or socially expected to.
Male dancers today such as Ozgen ( Cyprus , now UK–based) and Khaled Mahmoud ( Egypt , now UK based) are some of the best known examples of performers and teachers, to date.
In the Middle East, women danced, as they do now, with each other and also then, as now, in private. One of the reasons, we know what this dance, historically, looks like and can now learn and dance it( apart from evidence seen from Sol Bloom’s World Fair in Chicago, in 1893) is the role Roma (“Gypsy”) female dancers played, in dancing public. They went beyond cultural and social boundaries( such as the Ghawazee of Egypt and the Gitanas of Spain did regarding , Egyptian bellydance and flamenco, respectively) so their dancing have kept this art form very much alive. So belly dancers of Birmingham, get together to dance the variety of styles of bellydance. ATS and tribal fusion bellydance is , for example, increasingly popular in and around the Birmingham areas- but the more traditional styles of Turkish, Egyptian, Saidi, Classical etc all attract devoted bellydancers. There are DVDs and Videos which help supplement classes ( many on sale on this BAMBA website).
Many of these mentioned styles are already being taught in Birmingham and its surrounding areas. Knowing these forms of bellydance, in depth, helps with dancing a fusion of styles , extremely and convincingly well. So, yes have fun, exploring the different styles, expressing yourself, seeing how beautifully, fluidly, powerfully, elegantly you move....... and keeping fit, safe and healthy all at the same time.
Written by Birmingham based belly dancer and teacher Maureen Pemberton
Patrons: Sandra Newey, Lorraine Frew, Janet Keates | Founders: Debbie Williams, Dawn O'Brien
Fellow Founders: Maria D'Silva, Val Rainbow, Diane Cox, Barbara Street, Lisa McKain, Maureen Pemberton,
Sheila White, Jacqui Bryan, Tracy Griffiths, Nicola Coote, Claire Dutton