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Judith Cisneros/Sahirah

Instructor of ZUMBA, Bellydance

Judith Sahirah has been a Belly Dance instructor at the CoffeeMill Dance Studio for over 3 years, and leads a troupe called the Southernmost Shimmies of Key West.  Judith dances all kinds of dance, but belly dance, or raqs sharki, as it is called in Arabic is her favorite style of dance...along with the various traditional dances of North Africa and the Middle East. Belly dance is believed to have originated in Egypt, North Africa and then spread to parts all around the Mediterranean, the Middle East and even the Baltic and Central Asia. In the past hundred years the art of belly dance was introduced to Europe and the Americas and has been evolving ever since. 

She studied different styles of Belly Dance ever since she started to dance professionally in 2000 with many amazing teachers: Omaima of Sudan, Rakia Hassan of Egypt, Jamileh of Portland, Maine, Shadia of Boston, Habiba and Khuzama of Philadelphia, Sahra Saeeda of California and many more.  

About belly dance: it can be many things "feminine": sensual, luxurious, joyful, powerful, graceful and earthy.  It is such a "feel good" dance and students leave her classes feeling that power, confidence and grace.   It is not a partner dance, it is a very individualized dance, seen as a celebration of each woman - no matter her age, her shape, her color or ethnicity.  Interestingly, during the centuries men have also danced Belly Dance – right now some of the most important dancers in the genre are male dancers like Tito of Egypt! Male dancers are allowed by permission of the instructor. Though the graceful moves are typically feminine, they are not as easy as they look and this is something that women taking the class start to realize at the very beginning! It is a workout!! 

Classes consist of isolating movements of the body, and then putting them together or "layering" in order to make the movements typical of belly dance. Students learn everything from shimmies, undulations to lyrical movements and how to improvise to the rhythms of this spectacular dance. In class students wear yoga clothing or anything that is comfortable and allows free movement; there is no need for shoes or sneakers, but ballet slippers or even socks may be a good idea. 

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