‘As a training organisation, we want to encourage learners to continue their journey whether with us or by studying elsewhere.  Whatever path you choose, it is the ongoing commitment to learning that is essential.’

Encouraging New Learning:  

We offer the ‘Yvette Cowles Scholarship’, twice a year, in memory of our late Director, Yvette Cowles.

Yvette believed that we never stop learning and we want this prestigious award to encourage dancers to continue their development through our accredited courses that Yvette helped design.

Yvette wrote and starred in her one-woman show ‘Sequins on my Balcony’ about her experiences with breast cancer, as well as writing a book ‘Belly Dance and Beating the Odds’.  Both of these gave many women hope and helped people see that you can live a full and rewarding life whilst living with cancer.

This will only be awarded when there is a ‘deserving’ candidate.  If no one demonstrates the requested attributes then we will hold over until the next time.

Our Yvette Cowles Scholarship has been awarded to many dancers over the years from differing Bellydance disciplines.

Successful candidates for the Yvette Cowles Scholarship July 2022:
We have 3 successful candidates.  Our first is:

Lucy Bailey

Lucy says ‘I am delighted to receive the Yvette Cowles scholarship to allow me to participate in the Bellydance Safely course run by JWAAD/Bellydance Now. I have been bellydancing since I was 11 years old when my mum started taking classes and performing at events locally. As a teenager, all my artwork at school included bellydancers! In my twenties my life took a bizarre twist and I ended up living in Cairo, Egypt. I have been here for nearly three years training with amazing teachers like Dandash and Safy Akef. 
Most recently, I performed my first paid show to 500 people in Dahab, Egypt during the Eid celebrations. I am starting to both perform and teach dancing and the bellydance safely course will allow me to support others to learn about and practise this wonderful dance. As someone with endometriosis, I know how important it is to respond and train your body in a way which respects your body’s needs training to reach your full potential, whatever your level. 

Thank you for this opportunity. It is a real sign to me that I am on the right path.’

Natasha Lolia

I feel privileged to receive the Yvette Cowles Scholarship for the Bellydance Safety course run by Bellydance Now. My belly dance journey started in 2016 when I found the courage to start going to dance classes regularly after years of wanting to give it a go. Belly dance has been a major part of my life ever since and I can’t imagine life without it. As someone who is neurodivergent and has chronic illnesses, finding accessible, safe forms of exercise is important, and belly dance has taught me to feel more at home within my own body and to celebrate its natural movement. Belly dance has brought so much joy and confidence to my life, and I would love to support other dancers in the same way, especially those who feel that they just aren’t cut out to be dancers like I used to!  My hope is to start teaching and performing, and this scholarship will give me a wonderful opportunity to learn how to practise safely and to embrace being part of a supportive community of other dancers. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.

Kelly Teasdale

I am so excited to start belly dancing in the UK! I emigrated from Zimbabwe 3 years ago and can’t wait to connect with dancers here and develop my skills as a dancer and teacher. I am so thankful for the opportunity to take part in this foundational course offered by JWAAD to set me on my path. I have grown up on stage in the world of theatre and dance and have danced in a variety of styles since the age of 5 until discovering belly dancing in 2009.  Since then I have been attending workshops in South Africa, with fantastic teachers such as Yasmina and Jillina, dancing and choreographing for local events (which is one of my favourite things to do!) and teaching classes. I have loved the personal benefits of belly dancing in my life and I’ve found it wonderfully supportive through my pregnancies and with post-natal recovery. Both my boys have grown up in a belly dancing tum, surrounded by drumming and rhythms and a gorgeous group of ladies! For me belly dancing is a beautiful route to self confidence, health, joy and self-expression and I love sharing my inspiration with others in a dancing community.

  • Watch this space for our next YCS
  • We welcome applications from committed dancers worldwide.
  • Scholarships of up to 50% of course fees will be awarded.

Qualities we look for from applicants:

  • Evidence of ongoing Bellydance training
  • Evidence of a commitment to the wider dance community
  • Additional commitment to health and well-being is desirable but not essential
  • To Apply
  • Send an email to which includes:
  • Your name, address, contact number
  • Details of your personal dance journey: who you have studied with and your current situation.
  • Include any examples which illustrate the qualities we are looking for mentioned above.
  • Please specify which course you are interested in and what use you hope to put it to.

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Go to Bellydance Safely for full details on this course.

Go to Bellydance Music Explored for more details about this course

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