Josephine Wise

Jo is now a part of the International Bellydance Summer School team.  Jo ran it by herself for many years but has now handed the organisation of it over to Kay and the team.  Jo, of course, is there every year to keep her eye on things as well as continue inspiring students in her classes.

Josephine Wise has been a professional dancer and teacher since 1978, and has danced extensively throughout the UK, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East. During the 1980s she danced in the famous London nightclubs including the Omar Khayam, and at private functions and weddings for several members of Arab royal families.

Over the years Jo has choreographed full length works for, and toured the UK and Europe with her dance companies Sharqi, Masriat, and now Johara Dance. She has also choreographed works for the theatre and opera in the UK and France.

Jo’s professional training in Contemporary Dance, the Alexander Technique and Pilates have all informed the way she teaches Belly Dance, and have given her a well-rounded understanding of the intricacies of training dancers. Her musical training in singing, clarinet, percussion, world music and jazz have given her a wide understanding of the structure of music and how to express it. Jo is also a professional singer/songwriter.

Jo has run Belly Dance events and festivals since 1990. These include the JWAAD Summer School, the Fantasia Festival and the International Bellydance Congress.

She has performed and taught at many major festivals in cities around the world, including the Ahlan Wa Sahlan in Cairo, festivals in Europe including Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Denmark, in the USA and around the globe.

Jo’s weekly classes in London ran for over 30 years, and she has trained hundreds of dancers, from complete beginners to professionals, teachers and award winning performers. Her book explaining all the basics, ‘The JWAAD Book of Belly Dance’ is used as a handbook by dancers worldwide.  It can be purchased on Amazon.

At present, Jo rehearses Johara Dance Company in London, teaches her Professional Performance Course at the Summer School every August and teaches private one-to-one lessons in her home or on FaceTime & Skype. Jo is also a writer, songwriter and singer. Click here for more information about Jo, her writing and her music.


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