Monthly Egyptian Dance Workshops in Manchester

For dancers of an improver/intermediate level or above, these monthly workshops in Didsbury Village are designed to help you challenge yourself, and take your dancing to the next level.  We’ll explore fun technique variations, and develop musical interpretation skills in a relaxed & friendly environment.

Numbers are limited to 10, so it is a small, welcoming group and you will get plenty of individual attention.

Fun with Finger Cymbals.png

Autumn 2018: Fun with Finger Cymbals

In this series of four workshops, you’ll learn all you need to start playing finger cymbals with confidence whilst you dance! You’ll also add to your Egyptian dance technique with new skills, combinations and stepping patterns.

Rachael’s approach to cymbal playing will give you tools and techniques to accent and enhance the your dancing, whatever your current level of cymbal technique (and even if you have never played them before!).

Why finger cymbals? Finger cymbals (sagat in Arabic, or zills in Turkish) are a classic traditional part of Middle Eastern dance – yes, even in Egypt! They add an extra layer to the music, and allow the dancer to accent movements – and they can give your performance an exciting ‘live music’ element even when dancing to recorded music.

As a dance student, learning to play cymbals helps you develop a good ear for the music, builds amazing co-ordination skills, and exercises your brain whilst dance exercises your body!

Please bring your own cymbals if you have some – a few sets will be available to borrow, but not enough for everybody. Please also bring something to muffle two of your cymbals during the class – e.g. baby socks, toes cut off of old adult socks, or specially made zill mufflers!

Workshop dates: Workshops in this series are mostly on the second Sunday of the month, from 11am – 1pm (with the option to come for lunch in a local cafe afterwards). The dates for our Autumn 2018 finger cymbal workshop series are:

  • Sunday 9th of September
  • Sunday 14th of October
  • Sunday 18th of November
  • Sunday 9th of December

About the venue: Workshops are held in a small, beautiful studio with a smooth floor, ballet barres and mirrors, located a 2 minute walk from the Didsbury Village metrolink station. There are several P&D car parks nearby, as well as some on-street parking in the surrounding area, and parking at Aldi on Wilmslow Road.

Full venue address will be provided upon booking – please email Rachael on  for more information, or if you would like to use an alternative payment method (cheque or bank transfer).

Book Now

Pricing: Each 2-hour workshop costs £15 if booked in advance, or £18 in cash on the day. Block booking deal – book all 4 Autumn workshops in advance for just £50 (save £10).


Autumn Finger Cymbal workshops – block booking

Book all four workshops in advance for just £50 (£12.50 per workshop instead of £18 on the day!). This booking is for workshops on September 9th, October 14th, November 18th, and December 11th.



Autumn Finger Cymbal workshops – single workshop

This booking is for an individual workshop on either the 9th of September, the 14th of October, the 18th of November, or the 9th of December. You will receive an email after payment to ask which dates you are booking for.


More about these workshops, from Rachael

Not your average technique class… When we think of bellydance technique, we sometimes think of the dancers who can layer five movements on top of each other, whose hits and isolations are harder! stonger! faster! and whose dancing leaves the audience awestruck with their sheer physical skill. That’s not quite what we’re doing here.

This is a technique class, but our purpose is different. It’s not technique for the sake of technique. It’s not technique for the sake of impressing people with what we can do. It is technique for the sake of infinity.

What do I mean by that?

Egyptian dance is a dance of infinite possibilities. Within each family of movements, their are more possible variations than we could ever count. What seems like a mere handful of basic moves to a beginner can blossom into a whole universe of subtle movements when a skilled dancer uses them. So we aren’t going harder, faster, stronger, and we aren’t looking to invent fancy new moves – instead we are going deeper.

Going deeper… and deeper…

In this class, we will be working to unlock the potential of our  movements, so that every one allows us a rich palette of expression and texture. Instead of just using more and more complicated combinations of steps and isolations to make our dancing more ‘advanced’, we’ll work to find richness and subtlety in even the most simple movement.

Think of a fractal (like that hypnotic zooming Mandelbrot Set gif just there…) – the closer you look, the more detail there is to discover. Our dance can be like that! Well, maybe not quite like that – but we do have an infinite range of movement to play with, even within the moves that are already familiar to any improver-level dancer, and we gain access to that infinite range by working on our technique.

What’s the point? In this class, we’ll take the ‘point’ as music. It’s all about the music! Classic Egyptian music is like the dance, full of more and more subtle detail the harder you listen. Once we’ve filled our artist’s palette with colours by working on our technique, we’ll have more ways to highlight those gorgeous nuances in the melody, and we’ll begin to be able to effortlessly match our movement quality to the music.

So there you have it! Technical skill, harnessed in service of delicate musicality. That’s what we’ll be aiming for here 🙂

If you’re up for it, drop me a line at for the booking info 🙂