Kashmir a dramatic bellydancer

About Kashmir

Any web site is bound to reflect the biases and limitations of its author as well as her strengths and passions. So, you are asking – "who is Kashmir"?

Before Kashmir

Kashmir is built upon a woman who was born in the deep south of New Zealand; nurtured on a mix of Scottish bagpipes and country and western music. Escaping at an early age to study electrical engineering, she was captured by the power of dance that didn’t require a kilt – initially jazz and modern. It was after many years that she found an even more perfect dance form - raqs.

Kashmir Appears

Kashmir - the glamous belly dancer
Kashmir began studying Middle Eastern Dance in 1991 from a wide range of instructors both local and International. In addition to attending workshops in NZ and the Sydney Festival, she was a regular attendee to the Brisbane Winter Warm Up (an 8-day intensive in June/July with a single Egyptian master teacher). This has allowed Kashmir to build up her knowledge in a number of styles, but in particular Egyptian folkloric, (Urban) Beledi and Oriental.

There's more details at the end of this.

For more photos, click here

Officially Kashmir began performing solo in 1995. But it was an earlier debut that gave her her name. Standing backstage at amateur night, the MC asked how he was to introduce her. A total blank – then the track that had been pounding on her stereo in the car came to mind "Kashmir" she said and it was hard to stop giggling. For "Cashmere" is one of the plutier suburbs in Christchurch and one of the least likely to be associated with a "belly dancer". (Much later, the gaff of using the name of a non-Middle Eastern country - and one that is usually a man's name became apparent - but by then it was too late to go back.)

Kashmir - orientale belly dance with attitude.
Oriental Bellydance -
with attitude
It was several years later that Kashmir finally performed to her namesake (the version with Hossam Ramzy of course) – as a very non-traditional sword. Throughout her performances, Kashmir brings her sense of theatre and the absurd with her, whether it is as a sultry beledi bint working the audience or the annoying belly dancer who gets blown up, whether it is the precision of oriental or uniqueness of veil in blackout under a UV spot – she aims to be entertaining. (Kashmir is still performing - for the right event - such as Hens' Nights. Contact Kashmir if you think your event is the right kind.)

It therefore surprises some people that she is so passionate about the origins of the dance, about what costumes and moves are appropriate with what music, and is interested in Arabic music and language. But the reality is most people want entertainment more than a cultural experience and the western sound bite culture rarely wants a long piece to unfamiliar music. The compromise is truth in advertising and a little education along the way.

Kashmir was a founding member of the troupe Kamar and created much of their choreography. Kamar had a folk and fun focus.



Fellahi - folkloric belly dance.
Fellahi style -
one type of
folkloric belly dance
Kashmir began teaching Middle Eastern Dance (MED) regularly in 1997, initially with Gendi in the School of Contemporary Belly Dance. She brought to the school, not only her love of MED but her training and experience of several years secondary teaching.

In 2001 Kashmir began her own belly dance studio teaching both orientale and folkloric belly dance.

In 2002 Kashmir engaged in specific dance teacher training with the Queensland University of Technology. This involved not only a 6-month unit brushing up teaching methodology with a focus on teaching dance, but also units in Safe Dance Practice, Dance Assessment Procedures, and Dance Analysis and History. more details

Then in 2016 she passed Dr Mo Geddawi's Teacher Training course in Brisbane.

MEDANZ Middle Eastern Dance Association of New Zealand

MEDANZ was founded in 1992 as an umbrella group for those involved in Middle Eastern Dance - including belly dance.

Kashmir was elected onto the MEDANZ committee in 1998. She served two terms as President (1999-2000) and one as Treasurer (2001) and is currently secretary. In addition she has been responsible for automating the membership, the Newsletter, the MEDANZ Web Site, and organizing parts of the three Middle Eastern Dance Festivals held in Christchurch (2000-2002). She then foolishly agreed to another term in 2003-04.

She continues to teach at Festival and contribute articles to the newsletter - particularly from her expertise in Safe Dance Practice and Cultural Context.


Kashmir has plenty of those. Some are scattered through this website (along with factual articles). And some can be found on Kashmir's Blog

Some of the videos on Exploring the Heart of Belly Dance may also be considered opinion pieces - but most are factually based.

Kashmir's Training

Dance Study


Napier 2018 (1 day)

Sahra Kent (Saeeda)

Journey through Egypt 1 2017 (20 hours)

Zaghareet Daniela

Christchurch 2017 (2 days)

Dr Mo Geddawi, Berlin (ex Egypt)

Winter Warm Up 2016 (8 days - including 4 days teacher training)
Winter Warm Up 2006 (8 days)
Winter Warm Up 2003 (4 days)
Winter Warm Up 1999 (8 days)

Nerissa, Brisbane

Christchurch 2015 (2 days)

Tanya, Tauranga

Tauranga TaTT 2014 (2 days)
Christchurch Workshop 2011 (2 days)
Christchurch Workshop 2008 (2 days)

Ava Fleming

Auckland 2014 (2 days)

Karim Nagi

Auckland 2014 (1 day)

Jen Allen

Christchurch 2013 (2 days)

Ranya Renee, NYC

Christchurch 2012 (2 days)

Momo Kadous, Frankfurt (ex Egypt)

Winter Warm Up 2011 (4 days)


Christchurch 2010 (1/2 day)

Aida Nour, Egypt

Winter Warm Up 2010 (4 days)
Winter Warm Up 2007 (8 days)
Winter Warm Up 2004 (6 days)
Winter Warm Up 2002 (8 days)

Caroline (Evanoff), Cairo/Australia

Christchurch 2009 (2 days)
Christchurch 2007 (2 days)

Yasmina, Cairo/UK

Cairo 2009 (private lessons)
Sydney 2008 - (Farha Tour) workshops

Lubna Emam, Cairo

Winter Warm Up 2009 (2 days)

Mohamed Kazafy, Cairo

Winter Warm Up 2009 (2 days)
Sydney 2008 - (Farha Tour) workshop

Randa Kamel, Cairo

Sydney 2008 - (Farha Tour) workshop

Belyssa, Perth

Sydney 2008 (Farha Tour) lecture
Auckland 2003 (2 days)
Sydney Festival (various 2-3 hour workshops)

Amera, Sydney

Christchurch 2008 (2 days)
Auckland/Tauranga 2006 (4 days)

Denise Enan, Ottawa (ex Egypt)

Winter Warm Up 2008 (8 days)
Winter Warm Up 2005 (8 days)
Oasis NZ 2004 (5 half days)
Winter Warm Up 1998 (8 days)

Cassandra, Minneapolis

Oasis NZ 2004 (5 half days)
New Zealand Tour 1997 (5 days) & private lessons

Casual classes 1996

Yousry Sharif, NY (ex Egypt)

Winter Warm Up 2000 (8 days)
Winter Warm Up 1997 (8 days)

Elenie, Gold Coast

Christchurch Workshop 1999 (3 days)

Study from video, casual classes & private lessons

Shareen el Safy

New Zealand Tour 1998 (6 days)

Study from videos & private lessons

Shamira, Adelaide

Christchurch Workshop 1997 (2 days)

Raqia Hassan, Cairo

Minneapolis Workshop 1996 (1 day)

Study from video

Vashti of Vashon, Bint al Waha

Classes 1996

Hadia, Calgary

Christchurch Workshop 1995 (2 days)

Aisha Ali

Wellington Workshop 1993 (2 days)

Leonie, Sydney

Christchurch Workshop 2002 (1 day)

Various (2-3 hour workshops)
including Amera, Azziza, Belyssa, Desiree, Elenie, Gina, Judith Lees, Leonie, Lyndall, Margot McManus, Saffire, Terezka

Sydney Festival 1995, 1996, 1999

Various (1-2 hour workshops)
including Azziza, Fatina, Gendi, Paivi, Sahara, Shamira, Suher, Tanya, Yasmina

MEDANZ Festival 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

Azziza, Brisbane

Casual classes & private lessons

Bairbre Aston, Sydney

Casual classes

Gendi, Christchurch

Classes & private lessons 1996-1999

Farida, Christchurch

Classes 1991, 1993-1997

Dance Corporate, Christchurch

Classes in Jazz dance, modern, contemporary 1979-1987

Safe Dance Practice


Workshops by CatchFitness; Active Canterbury


Achieved high distinction in Safe Dance Practices unit with QUT


Workshops, lectures, hand-on and private consultations with Michael Dalgleish (APA Sports Physiotherapist (BHMS, BAppSci(Phty), MPhtySt(Sports)), and Mark Shoring, Brisbane. (5-12 hours per year)

Teaching Background


Independent studio - Belly Raqs® with Kashmir (initially Middle Eastern Belly Dance with Kashmir)


Teaching belly dance and exercise dancing community classes (ACE)


Completed 4 days teacher training with Dr Mo Geddawi

2018, 2015, 2014, 2009, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999

Teaching workshops at MEDANZ Festival


Completed ASCEA Basic Adult Tutor Training Course


Attended Professional Development courses for Adult Education (ACE)


Teaching and lectures with Attar 2010


awarded Certificate in Dance Teaching (Queensland University of Technology)


Teaching at the School of Contemporary Belly Dance


High School teaching – including extra-curricula classes in jazz dance

Mundane Education Highlights


Certificate in Horticulture (CPIT)


Various BA papers - including sociology, philosophy, religious studies (University of Canterbury)


awarded Diploma in Teaching


gained Teachers College Diploma with Distinction (Christchurch Teachers College)


BE (electrical) (University of Canterbury)



Produced documentaries on aspects of belly dance (Belly Raqs with Kashmir) for YouTube

2017, 2003, 1998-2002

MEDANZ committee (President from 1999-2001)


Awarded Lifetime Membership of MEDANZ for services to Middle Eastern dance in New Zealand.

2007, 2001-2002

Arabic for Beginners (University of Canterbury)


Researcher and presenter for BellyBeat radio program


Studying for Certificate in Dance Teaching (QUT)


Student at Christchurch Drama Centre


Web-mistress, researcher and copy writer for Raqs with Kashmir


MEDANZ web-mistress


Founding member of Kamar

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