About Rachael

Rachael (9) croppedRachael Borek is an Egyptian style bellydance performer and bellydance teacher based in Manchester, UK. Here’s what a few people have had to say about her dancing:

“A true delight to watch”

“Lovely lyrical performance”

“Excellent energy and emotional expression”

“A beautiful dancer with an elegant style”

Rachael is friendly, reliable and easy to work with. She’s dedicated to showing Egyptian dance for the amazing, multi-faceted art that it is, by providing you with beautiful shows and high-quality dance tuition.

Dance background

Rachael has a decade’s experience of studying, performing and teaching Egyptian dance, and has worked with top instructors from the UK and Egypt.

She joined her first bellydance class whilst at university, and she quickly fell in love with this expressive and emotional artform. What started as a hobby soon turned into a complete obsession! The complex, textured melodies of Arabic music captured her imagination, and this love of music is reflected today in her dance and in her teaching.

Rachael studied regularly for several years with top UK bellydance teachers Gwen Booth and Josephine Wise. In  2014, Jo Wise invited Rachael to join her highly acclaimed Johara dance company, and she appeared in their theatrical bellydance show ‘The Mirror’.

Rachael bellydancing with live band at the Arab Quarterly in London, April 2016

Rachael with the Arab Quarter band

More recently, Rachael has worked with Melanie Norman as part of her Arab Quarterly study place scheme, which helps dancers develop as artists whilst working with live music.

In addition to her regular training, Rachael enjoys taking workshops and courses with master teachers and Egyptian dance stars at every opportunity, to challenge herself and keep her dancing fresh and creative. Most recently, she has taken intensive courses with Yasmina of Cairo and Mohamed Kazafy in 2016, and with Sara Farouk in 2017.

The most exhilarating part of bellydance, for Rachael, is improvising with live musicians, and trying to inspire her audience to the elusive state of musical enchantment known as ‘tarab’. In recent years she has had the pleasure of performing several times with the Arab Quarter band, and with Guy Schalom’s Baladi Blues ensemble.

Rachael playing the oudRachael is a geek by nature, and she loves researching and writing about the background of the dance, including its history and wider cultural context, when she isn’t performing, teaching or taking classes. She also enjoys learning to play Egyptian music on the oud, having previously studied classical guitar for many years. Since 2014 she has run the popular “Bellydancers’ Music Discussion Group” on Facebook.

Outside of bellydance, Rachael also performs traditional English dances with the Oxford University Morris Men, and is a keen amateur folk singer.

Professional credentials

Rachael has completed the JWAAD ‘Safe delivery of bellydance classes’ course, and is committed to teaching you to dance safely, and without risk of avoidable injury. She has also completed the ‘Understanding music used within bellydance’ and ‘Influence of history and culture upon bellydance’ qualifications, which are accredited by the Open College Network as being of ‘A’ level complexity, and she is working towards the full JWAAD teaching diploma.

Rachael is a full member of Equity, the entertainer’s union, and as such has full public liability insurance for dance teaching and performance.