Jacqui first began belly dance with her mum as a fun way to spend time together. What started as a mother-daughter past time soon turned into an all-embracing dedication to the dance, inspiring the establishment of her own dance school, overseas travel to learn with master teachers and the production of belly dance performance. Jacqui is now an established, leading belly dance artist and expert in the Canberra region.
Specialising in Arabic and Turkish styles of belly dance, Jacqui is recognised as a polished and skilled performer. Debuting on the stage in Totally Turkish (2007) with international Turkish dancer Hale Sultan, she has appeared as a guest artist in numerous shows, including Sydney Middle Eastern Dance Festival Concert with Tanyelli (2009), Ghawazee Moon Annual production (2013) and Hadia Dance Showcase (2014).
Hailing from a mix of Lebanese, Italian and Scottish heritage, Jacqui has just over 10 years performance experience, cementing a comprehensive knowledge of Middle-Eastern music and culture. Her performance style is vibrant, feminine and polished, incorporating creative and clever use of props including assaya (stick), wings, veils and fan veils, zills, swords, tea tray and shamadam. Her warm and engaging style has established her as the resident dancer in numerous Middle-Eastern restaurants in Canberra and the choice performer for birthdays, weddings, engagements and other celebratory occasions.
Jacqui is the co-founder and director of recently established Raks Zahirah, Canberra’s professional belly dance troupe that has showcased at large scale events in Canberra such as: Floriade (2014), National Multicultural Festival (2015) and Holi (2015) and Wollongong National Bellydance Festival (2015).
Since establishing Bedazzled Bellydance in (2012), Jacqui is now the proud owner of one of Canberra’s largest belly dance school’s dedicated to teaching, safe, authentic and enjoyable Middle-Eastern dance for the wider Canberra community. With extensive teaching experience in all levels from beginner through to advanced, Jacqui provides opportunities for students to develop and express themselves in both class and in performance showcases in a fun and safe environment; while facilitating learning of Middle-Eastern culture and music. Her fun and bubbly approach to teaching combined with a focus on inclusiveness and community, has allowed Jacqui to develop strong relationships with the wider Canberra and national bellydance community, appearing as a guest teacher and performer for other dance schools.
Jacqui’s own dance tuition began with Shimmy Bellydance where she gained a solid technical base and movement vocabulary. Under tuition of Kirrily and Angelina of Bahirah Bellydance, Jacqui flourished as she progressed quickly from student, to performer, to teacher. Travelling regularly to expand her skills and refine her style, Jacqui has learnt from Australian stars Jrisi from Sydney, Rose from Perth and Nerissa from Brisbane. Her experiences both in Australia and overseas with international greats Jillina, Bozenka and Tamalyn Dallal from the United States, Seda, Ahmed and Hale Sultan from Turkey, Caroline of Cairo from Egypt, Hadia from Canada, and Marta Kouzum from Ukraine, have taught her much of the various cultural associations and the breadth of bellydance styles – cementing her connection with and passion for the dance. Jacqui still places strong emphasis on her own learning and development, consistently seeking opportunities to learn with master instructors both in Australia and abroad.
Jacqui continues to be captivated by the many forms of Middle Eastern dance and culture and loves to share her appreciation through teaching and performance. You can catch Jacqui performing regularly on Saturday nights as a resident dancer of Pide House Jamison, Turkish Delight Belconnen, Harem Turkish Restaurant Kingston and Petra Palace Phillip. Or you can learn with her through Bedazzled Bellydance classes or private and semi-private tuition.
Contact: 0401 606 723