Josephine Wise JWAAD director and belly dance teacher. Josephine teaches belly dance classes, workshops and professional belly dance courses in London, the UK, and worldwideJosephine Wise - Director/Tutor/Assessor

Josephine is one of the world’s top exponents of Egyptian Dance. She is in demand internationally for her teaching style and her commitment to the development of each dancer’s talent and ability.

In 1990 she set up the Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance (JWAAD) to promote the highest standards in Arabic dance, the JWAAD Summer School and the JWAAD Teacher Training Diploma Course. After her partner in the creation of the course, Maggie Caffrey, retired, Josephine invited five of her senior teachers to deliver the course with her, and Kay Taylor to head the Professional Training department of the Academy. The Academy now runs two Diploma Courses, a Teaching Diploma and a Performance Diploma, and JWAAD professional courses are now being accredited by the OCNNER. As the accredited courses have continued to become more popular, to ensure focus was given to developing these, this area of JWAAD activities has become a separate limited company:
JWAAD Belly Dance Training Ltd. Josephine is one of our four Directors.

Calling on her extensive career as a performer, Josephine has developed a very distinct and accessible method of teaching both the physical technique and the cultural intricacies of Belly Dance. Josephine is a teacher of the Alexander Technique and she uses Alexander principles in her dance teaching, particularly alignment of the spine and release in the muscles. She is also trained as a Pilates teacher and uses Pilates style exercises when needed for core strengthening for dancers.

Alongside her other teaching work of classes and workshops around the globe, Josephine is Artistic Director of Johara Dance Company and runs the Fantasia Festival in London.

Josephine teaches on the Safety, History, Music and Teaching Methods courses as well as being a National Assessor.

For more about Josephine click here

Area: London, Countrywide
Telephone: 0207 502 0934

Kay Taylor JWAAD belly dance teacher and head of JWAAD professional training. Kay runs Farida Dance and Farida Adventures.Kay Taylor - Director/Tutor/Assessor

Kay Taylor is one of our Directors and Head of the JWAAD Professional Training Program and is responsible for having achieved accreditation for the units of the Diploma Courses. One of the senior JWAAD Tutors, Kay is in demand throughout the UK to teach workshops and perform. She is recognised internationally both as a teacher and promoter of specialist belly dance events such as the Farha Festival in Luxor, which is based on working with live music. Kay is passionate about people's development as dancers. She is responsible for both Farida Adventures, her holiday business, and Farida Dance, purveyor of all things to do with belly dance.

Kay teaches on the Safety, History, Music and Teaching Methods courses as well as being a National Assessor.

Area: Newcastle, Countrywide
Telephone: 0191 565 2920
Website: &

Yvette Cowles JWAAD trained Belly Dance Teacher, JWAAD teacher training tutor and jwaad national assessorYvette Cowles - Director/Tutor/Assessor

Yvette Cowles is one of our Directors. She was a founder member of Josephine Wise’s Masriat Dance Company and is now a soloist with Johara Dance. She has taught and performed bellydance for over 15 years and her background is in Egyptian style dance, although she now specialises in theatrical bellydance. She is a senior JWAAD Tutor and trains bellydance teachers on the Safety, History, Music and Teaching Methods courses as well as being a National Assessor.

Yvette has taught extensively across the UK. Events include London Fantasia, the International Bellydance Congress, several Farida Dance weekends at Ford Castle and the Jewels of the Nile show. She also teaches at the annual JWAAD Summer School. While living in South-West France, she taught regularly in Bordeaux and Marmande and performed as a soloist in La Nuit de la Danse Orientale at the Casino Municipal in Biarritz.

Yvette's work also focuses on the healing power of dance particularly with women who, like herself, have suffered from or are living with cancer.

Area: London, Countrywide
Telephone: 07836 503373

Gwen Booth JWAAD Belly Dance Teacher, JWAAD professional training tutor and JWAAD national assessorGwen Booth - Director/Tutor/Assessor

Gwen Booth is one of our Directors and was heavily involved in setting up the independent body: the JWAAD Teachers Association (JTA). She specialises in the use of props (sword, stick, veils, fans, shamadan) and in the fusion of Egyptian dance with ballet and theatrical Western styles. Gwen is known for her elegant and dramatic style. She has performed and taught at national and international events including the International Bellydance Congress and Bellyfusions Festival Paris, and is a member and soloist with Johara dance company. Gwen is based in Oxford, and is available for workshops, performance and private tuition throughout the UK and abroad.

Gwen teaches the Safety and Teaching Methods courses and is a National Assessor.


Area: Oxford, South-East, London

Yasmina of Cairo, JWAAD tutor on JWAAD Belly Dance Training coursesYasmina of Cairo - Tutor

Yasmina, sometimes known as 'The English Rose of Cairo', has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of Egyptian oriental dance as a performer, teacher and choreographer. Originally from the UK she spent many years travelling and dancing her way around the Middle East before settling in Cairo in 1995. Here she performed with her orchestra for eight consecutive years, building a reputation as one of the city's best-loved dancers, and appearing at major Cairo venues such as Meridien Heliopolis, Safir, Pyramisa and the Semiramis Intercontinental hotels, the Nile Maxime, Tivoli Heliopolis, as well as hundreds of weddings and parties in Cairo and around Egypt.

Yasmina is in great demand to teach workshops worldwide. She has done solo tours and workshops in: South Africa, Australia, the UK, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, USA, Japan and more...

Yasmina is bringing all this expertise to the JWAAD accredited courses: 'Understanding Music used in Belly Dance' and 'The Influence of History and Culture upon Belly Dance' from July 2017.

Area: Worldwide

Raphaelle Masson JWAAD Belly Dance Teacher and JWAAD Professional training tutor and JWAAD national assessorRaphaelle Masson - Tutor/Assessor

After studying music for 20 years and Modern Jazz Dance for 3 years, Raphaelle started Oriental Dance in London in 1995. She obtained her JWAAD Teaching Diploma in 1999 and has been teaching in Paris and Europe since. She regularly teaches at JWAAD events (Fantasia and Summer School) and was also part of the teaching crew at the International Bellydance Congress in 2007 and 2009). She has been a Tutor on the JWAAD Diploma Course since 2005.

Raphaelle has studied with many Western and Egyptian teachers but her main influences are Josephine Wise, Yousry Sharif, Randa Kamal, Suhaila Salimpur, and more recently Jill Parker and Sera Solstice. She also studied darbuka and req for 2 years with Habib Yammine in Paris.

Interested in 'The Difference' in terms of music, performances and costumes, Raphaelle has performed with artists like Trans-Global Underground, Natacha Atlas, Recycler and Oojami in France, the UK and Hungary, as well as in the opera Oberon. She has also appeared in videos and TV programmes in France and the UK, and has recently collaborated with Beach Bellydance Bablyon as a singer and recorded Oriental cover version of 'Trust in Me' and 'Fever'.

As well as adding her 'French Touch' to her performances, she is known for her work with props and floorwork. She specialises in zills and has developed her own method, which she teaches extensively in Europe.

Raphaelle is also co-organiser of BellyFusions fusion festival in Paris and is a founder member of the Oriental Dance Circle (ODC) - an association created to promote and develop Oriental dance France.

Raphaelle teaches on the Music course and is one of our National Assessors.

Area: Paris, France
Website: & &

Claire Novis JWAAD Belly Dance Teacher, JWAAD teacher training tutor and JWAAD national assessorClaire Barnfather - Tutor/Assessor

Claire first fell in love with Egyptian bellydancing in 1999, and has since studied extensively to develop her own style. She is known for her musicality and expressive quality of her dancing. An experienced performer, her personal career highlights include performances at the Edinburgh Fringe, Glastonbury Festival and in Algiers. She is a senior member of the Tarab Dance Company. Claire started teaching in 2003 and has a friendly and approachable teaching style; constantly developing ways of breaking down material to help her students learn. Claire is a Tutor on the Safety and Music courses as well as being a National Assessor.

Area: Newcastle, Jesmond, West Moor
Telephone: 07801 276015

Hilde Cannoodt, the latest addition to the JWAAD Belly Dance Training team of teachersHilde Cannoodt - Tutor

Hilde Cannoodt is a performer/teacher/choreographer/lecturer specialising in fusion dance. She holds a BA(hons) in Dance And Visual Arts from Brighton University, a Diploma in Dance Studies from the Laban School of Dance and a specialist Diploma in Choreological Practice (Movement Analysis) from the Laban School of Dance. She is also an IYN accredited yoga instructor from the Unity Yoga school (200hrs). She has over 20 years of experience in various styles of dance from hip hop to classical ballet, and she specialises in Tribal Fusion belly dance. As a teacher, she strives to bring out the best of her students by catering to their individual needs and their specific interests and focus in dance. Originally from Belgium, Hilde moved to Brighton in 2004 and recently relocated to London, where she currently focuses full time on contemporary dance and Tribal Fusion.

In 2012 Hilde founded the Tribal Remix festival, an annual event that celebrates the art of Tribal Fusion dance. Each year she strives to invite masters in the field of Tribal Fusion to share their knowledge, and participants travel from all over the UK and Europe to attend this event. She has been a huge influence on the growing Tribal Fusion arts scene in the UK.

Photo by Liese Lotte

Area: London, Countrywide


Meet our team of assessors, who hold Technique Reviews around the country. All our Tutors above are assessors as well as the girls below:

Catherine Bartholomew JWAAD trained Belly Dance Teacher and national assessor for JWAAD professional teacher training coursesCatherine Bartholomew

Catherine has been studying Arabic dance since 1998 and is a JWAAD teacher based in Kent. She has been dancing all her life, learning ballet and tap from the age of 4 until discovering her passion for Egyptian dance at 17. She has a background in Theatre Studies and loves to use this to create fun and entertaining performances.

Catherine is also a member of the Johara Dance Company, which is lead by Josephine Wise. She teaches regular classes in Rochester, Kent.

Area: Kent
Telephone: 07840 963036

Sandra Thompson JWAAD trained Belly Dance Teacher and local assessor for JWAAD personal development programmeSandra Thompson

Sandra is a qualified JWAAD dance teaching, holding regular weekly classes in the Hull and Humber region together with regularly travelling to teach dance workshops in the UK. An experienced belly dance teacher and performer, Sandra has over 25 years experience in other forms of dance including jazz, ballet, contemporary modern, tap and Latin American. Her classes and workshops are varied and fun, and styles taught range from Egyptian Oriental, Baladi, Saidi and Khaleegy to Folk, Pop and Fusion.

Telephone: 07730 309429


Maelle Roger is an assessor on the JWAAD Teacher Training programmeMaelle Dubeaux Roger

Maëlle is a teacher and multi-award winning performer. She was the winner of the UK Belly Dance Trophy 2011-12, and got 3rd place in the Fantasy/Fusion category at Bellydancer os the World in Germany, 2013. She started her stage experience at the age of 4, being in a musical for children. She did this for 10 years while she was training as a rhythmic gymnast.

Competitions have been part of her life. She competed for the first time at the age of 7. She has developed her own techniques for preparing and handling the pressure of competition, and she will be sharing these during the workshops.

Maëlle has been professionally working as a belly dance performer since 2009 in restaurants, clubs, weddings and corporate events in the UK and Europe. She is a soloist in Johara Dance Company, a principle dancer in Company of Dreams, and a soloist in Ozgen's show 'Ask'.

Maelle has just joined the JWAAD Faculty as an assessor, and can now be booked for Technique Reviews as well as workshops and performances.

Area: London and the South East

This is Desna, a belly dancer who has gained the JWAAD Diploma and is a JWAAD Teacher and AssessorDesna

Desna became smitten with the expressiveness of bellydance over 15 years ago and since then has dedicated herself to learning and sharing as much as possible about this beautiful art form and its history. She has been teaching since 2002 in a wide variety of situations including weekly classes in her home-towm of Lancaster, and workshops for schools and community groups. She is a friendly and supportive teacher who loves nothing more than when something 'clicks' for a student! A charming dancer with a cheeky smile, Desna has performed at weddings, at parties, in restaurants, in theatres and at haflas. She particularly loves to dance to live music, and takes the opportunity to do so whenever she can. As a teacher and an artist, she strives to be as true as she can to the roots of the dance form, and is committed to making it as accissible as possible to everyone.

Desna has recently gained her JWAAD Diploma and become a JWAAD assessor, and is available for Technique Reviews. Desna is also a Professional Member of the Foundation for Community Dance.

Area: Lancashire
Tel: 07966 504931

This is Desna, a belly dancer who has gained the JWAAD Diploma and is a JWAAD Teacher and AssessorDorte Evelyn

Dorte Evelyn - stage name Ishtar - is a Surrey based JWAAD teacher. Having studied music, darama and dance since the age of two, she is renowned for her fabulous performances and strong stage presence. Her extensive training in Middle Eastern dance, as well as Ballroom, Latin and Jazz, gives her an elegant intensity and energy which captivates the hearts and minds of her audience. Ishtar has been featured on British television, as well as in national and international belly dance magazines.

She runs regular classes and workshops throughout the South East, but also teaches, trains and performs internationally. She is a member of both the Johara Dance Company and Oriental Dreams, and has now joined the JWAAD Factuly as an Assessor. Ishtar is available for Technique Reviews as well as workshops, talks and performances.

Area: London and the South East

Maelle Roger is an assessor on the JWAAD Teacher Training programmeAbbie Mason

Abbie Mason - stage name Alanya - has been studying Arabic dance since 2003 and became a professional tutor in 2009 having obtained the JWAAD Teaching Diploma. She teaches regular weekly classes across Herefordshire, and one-off workshops around the UK. Abbie performs at shows, haflas, parties, charity and community events, and leads her student performance troupe, Odalisque.

Trained in ballet and jazz dance, she is particularly interested in choreography and staging, while continuing to develop and absorb an understanding of the roots and traditions of the dance form.


Area: Herefordshire
Tel: 07962 161081

Galit Mersand - JWAAD Assessor on the JWAAD Personal Development ProgrammeGalit Mersand

Galit started bellydancing in 1996. She holds the JWAAD Teacher's Diploma and has been teaching and performing for over 17 years. Galit teachers regular classes and workshops in Brighton and Haywards Heath and runs occational courses in London. She also travels around the country teaching workshops and performing.

Galit's passion for dance and movement encourages her to keep exploring other forms of dance. She trained in Ballet, Jazz and (currently) Tango. A keen Yoga practitioner (and trainee Yoga teacher), she uses her understanding of Yoga to enhance the quality of her movements. This has led to the development of her inimitable unique dance style and her Body Awareness System.

A seasoned performer, Galit is known for her versitility and originality on stage. She teaches performance skills and mentors professional dancers, helping them find their voice, individuality and unique way of expression. She has produced five instructional Belly Dance DVDs and continues to teach, inspire and entertain all over the world.

Area: Brighton, London and the South East

Music Department

Rhythmic Ginger Adam Warne Arabic Drummer PercussionistAdam Warne

Adam Warne is a UK based multi-percussionist specialising in the drums and rhythms of Egypt.

Adam performs internationally as a member of Guy Schalom's Baladi Blues Ensemble and Glenn Sharp's Jadid Ensemble as well as adding a touch of Egyptian rhythm to the Indian and jazz influences of Olivia Moore's Unfurl. Adam also works extensively in dance, teaching and performing with members of the Banat Eshorouk troupe in Leeds, as well as with many other teachers nationally and internationally.

Not just a tabla player, Adam is one of the few UK percussionists to specialise in the Riq, as well as performing, teaching and recording with the Duf, Doholla, frame drums and an array of different drums from musical traditions around the world.

As a drum tutor, Adam is known for combining a fun approach with a clear, in-depth presentation of technique and rhythms.

We are devastated that Adam Warne, aka Rhythmic Ginger, passed away on Tuesday night, 4th April 2017. He has been a great supporter of the JWAAD music course as well as being an inspirational percussionist and tutor. We have loved working with Adam over the years and his expertise, quirky humour and passion for music will be much missed.