Read more about our fantastic five Directors or scroll down to find out more about how it all began…

Josephine Wise set up the original Teacher Training Diploma Course with Maggie Caffrey under the JWAAD banner in 1990. Their original vision was to raise the level of the dance in the UK by providing a training for teachers, who could then pass on good technique and authentic dance styles. Both were dancers and teachers who were passionate about belly dance. Both had trained in Contemporary dance and in dance teaching, so they transferred their skills to the belly dance world. The original course ran for over twelve years before Maggie retired.

In 2002 Jo invited Kay Taylor to help develop the course into the four-module design we have today. Kay also worked with the One Awards (formerly the OCN) to gain external accreditation. JWAAD Training is now proud to award externally accredited qualifications.  For several years the four modules continued to be developed and taught by Jo and Kay, with Yvette Cowles and Gwen Booth joining the team.  Jo decided that the administration of the accredited courses would benefit most from a team approach.  She asked Kay Taylor, Yvette Cowles and Gwen Booth to join her as directors of the academy, and JWAAD Training was born.

Over the years many teachers have been involved in developing and delivering the courses, particularly the Safety course as this was launched first.  These include:  Margaret Krause, Raphaelle Masson, Trish Rapley-Giles, Anne Kingston, Beatrice Curtis & Hilde Cannoodt. In 2017 we also added Catherine Bartholomew, Dorte Evelyn and Yasmina of Cairo to the team and Charlotte Wassell.  Our percussion specialist was Adam Warne and we have now been joined by Joelle Barker.

Josephine Wise relocated to Bristol and decided to focus her attentions on Summer school and Kay Taylor became the managing director of JWAAD Training.  Lockdown brought it’s own challenges and the team focussed on launching the music course online.  ‘Bellydance Music Explored’ was launched.  

Kay Taylor recognised that the organisation needed to change to develop and grow.  A new team with new energy was required to meet the challenges ahead and so ‘Bellydance Now’ was born.  Kay, Yasmina of Cairo, Dorte Evelyne, Carmen Tormo and Abeer Will have all been involved in developing ‘Bellydance Now’.
The new company will continue to deliver the JWAAD courses – and to ensure they are updated and develop new ones.  This academic part of our venture is really important.  We will continue to offer a teacher training course as part of what we do.  Bellydance Now offers a year round programme of workshops, lectures, courses, Fantasia festival and our competition the ‘Bellydance Now International Challenge’.  We have also added a dancers tour of Egypt which allows dancers to experience first hand aspects covered in our courses.  Our aim – to enable dancers to develop their full potential through a combination of learning, self discovery and dance.
Josephine Wise continues to have an overview of the courses and run the JWAAD Summer School.

Over the years we have trained a large number of dancers and dance teachers (see Our Teachers page), and we are dedicated to helping dancers to realise their potential. Teacher who have completed or will study with us in the future become a part of the ‘Bellydance Now’ teaching community.  

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