Meet the Dancers
Kay Taylor set up the ‘Helwa Belly Dance Company’ as a development ground for her belly dance students. Kay is passionate about developing dancers. She is one of the directors of ‘JWAAD Training Ltd’, the only provider of accredited training courses specialising in Belly Dance.
‘Helwa’ has had a range of different dancers through the years. Kay creates the opportunity for dancers to work on a semi professional show. All Helwa members commit a huge amount of time to the company - both in terms of rehearsals and ongoing development of their own dance.
Kay Taylor is a high profile figure in the UK dance scene and teaches throughout the UK at various festivals and events. Kay also teaches and performs internationally at events and festivals: Cairo, Japan, Greece and USA. For more about Kay click here.
Ellie (Eleanor) is a belly dancer from Northumberland and has danced since her teens. After she took a break from dancing for a few years she has come back and loves every minute.
She is currently studying to teach and was the first ever winner of the Yvette Cowles Scholarship award. Ellie loves the Egyptian Orientale and Shaabi styles as they are such contrasting genres on the same art form. She also loves modern pop be that Turkish, Greek or Egyptian and she has a particular soft spot for anything sung by Amr Diab.
Kim has been dancing for 8 years and joined Helwa in 2012. She has developed an elegant style over the years, taking inspiration from both traditional and modern dancers. Kim enjoys the use of various props to add excitement to her performances, with the addition of the graceful fan veils being a particular favourite. Visits to Luxor and Cairo to experience and explore the Egyptian dance scene have remained a highlight of Kim's dancing journey over the last few years and one which she hopes to repeat soon. Kim has danced at restaurants, weddings, shows and fundraising events as both a soloist and as part of Helwa.
Joanne is one of the original members of the Helwa Dance Company. She started dancing about 9 years ago as a way to keep fit...what she didn’t realise, was the amazing journey that Middle Eastern Dance would take her.
Joanne loves to perform and entertain an audience. Having danced across the UK at shows, festivals and haflas, as well as weddings, parties, restaurants, and corporate and charity events. Her most special moments of dance would be performing in Cairo and Luxor with live music.
Joanne is a fully qualified JWAAD teacher. She has taught at many prestigious UK events such as Glasgow Festival of Arabic Dance (GFAD), Borwick Hall residential weekend and JoY.
Seraphina is an experienced performer living in Edinburgh. She discovered her love of bellydance when she joined a local class during her time at University. From there she has had the opportunity to study with international stars as well as local mentors.Throughout her dance career she has practiced many styles including Egyptian, American Tribal Style and Tribal Fusion bellydance. She now focuses on Egyptian bellydance and has a particular love of folkloric styles.
Seraphina joined Helwa Bellydance Company in March 2017 and has been performing regularly around the UK with them ever since. She is delighted to have the opportunity to learn from Kay Taylor and perform alongside the talented dancers within the company.
Sam has been dancing for 10 years now, starting off with classes for fun in Northern Ireland for a year before moving to England and travelling to Kay Taylor's classes in Newcastle where it became addictive and jumped at the chance to be a part of helwa which she loves! Sam enjoys all aspects of Egyptian bellydance and loves to perform within a group as well as solo. Sam particularly enjoys the use of silk veils and wings and anything oriental fantasy!
Sam has recently completed her JWAAD teaching diploma and her workshops on wings and veils are particularly popular.
Moyra is based in Edinburgh and joined helwa 2 and a half years ago. Moyra discovered an instant connection with the music when she saw her first belly dancer and has been hooked ever since. She loves to share her joy and love of the dance through teaching and performing in Scotland and further afield. The highlight so far has been performing to a live band in Cairo.
Moyra is a fully qualified JWAAD teacher and as well as running regular classes in Edinburgh, teaches at many UK festivals: Glasgow Festival of Arabic Dance (GFAD), Borwick Hall residential course, Fantasia Festival in London and Alba Orientale in Edinburgh.
Amanda is a belly dancer from Glasgow. She went to her first belly dance class in 2006 and has been dancing ever since. In 2014, she took part in Claire Barnfather's performance course and realised what an important part belly dance plays in her life and how much she had to learn.
Amanda is working towards her JWAAD teaching diploma and teaches regular classes in Glasgow and Stirling. She has had the good fortune to learn from local and international stars and teachers and loves to share her knowledge and joy in the dance.
Amanda joined Helwa in 2019 and is excited to be working with such talented and inspiring dancers.
Nicole’s first belly dance performance was at age 14, in a pantomime where she played princess jasmine, who entered (and won) a belly dance competition in disguise! This sparked her interest, but it wasn’t until 8 years later, in 2014, that she discovered Kay Taylor’s classes and realised how much she loves belly dance. Nicole has recently completed her first JWAAD course, and enjoys learning about the different styles there are within Egyptian and Middle Eastern Dance. Nicole loves performing as part of a group, so is excited to be joining the amazing Helwa in 2019.
As well as our fabulous dancers, we have some amazing support crew.:
Louise Gregory: Lighting design and technician. We love her work and she is just fabulous. The Fringe would not have been the same without her. We love the fact that she is happy to travel on all our tours and makes the best of whatever each venue has to offer in terms of lights.
Anne Kingston: Our photographer. Anne takes amazing live pics of Helwa and did an wonderful photo shoot out and about in Edinburgh. Always happy to muck in and help out, Anne is an integral part of the team.