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A Class with Maia Amani | #bellaraqssharqi

Hello everyone! I hope you guys are having a great start to the week. I haven't been dancing regularly for a while, so it felt really nice to explore oriental dance the other day with Maia Amani from Bella Raqs Sharqi.

Bella Raqs Sharqi is a Middle Eastern Oriental dance ensemble, established by Maia Amani in 2012. Maia is one of Singapore’s prominent Oriental Dance artistes, instructor and choreographer, with over 15 years of experience. With her extensive dance background ranging from Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop and local cultural dances, Maia has found her current passion in Oriental Dance. She hopes to inspire and showcase this beautiful feminine art through the formation of a dance ensemble. Bella Raqs Sharqi comprises a group of talented dance enthusiasts who are passionate about the art of Middle Eastern dance and has blossomed into an accomplished dance group.

I attended their performance a few weeks back as well as it was very interesting! Unfortunately I wasn't able to post it on my IGTV for you guys and I didn't manage to take photos for a blogpost since I was trying to capture as much as I could for the IGTV video :')

However, Sumini had kindly arranged a private lesson for me with Maia! I was definitely super excited because it's nothing like the dance genres I'm familiar with, and I've seen some oriental dance performances with professionals or seasoned dancers, and I've also seen performances by others who have assumed the art form is just a series of body rolls - which it really isn't. Oriental dance has been commercialised quite a fair bit, and most of us just call it belly dancing and I suppose a lot of us don't know much about it apart from it being rather sexy. I've come to realise that it's quite an empowering dance genre for women because it just boosts your confidence and it makes you move in ways you didn't know you could.

My class with Maia was all about the basics! And I was already having a tough time adjusting because of all the little nuances that I'd to catch! Apart from that, I've always been terrible at smiling, especially when I'm concentrating. You can pretty much guess that my face was left straight the whole way until Maia reminded me to smile!

Maia guided me through everything, so I'm grateful for her patience as well as her open-ness to my embarrassing laughter! Sumini joined the class too and that was just a whole lot of fun! If you're wondering about the pretty scarf around my waist, Maia lent it to me for the class so that I could see my hip movements better! Also, it jingles a fair bit so when you're doing shimmies, you definitely will hear it jingle!

Bella Raqs Sharqi is also available for event engagements. Its repertoire ranges from classical and modern alluring styles, folkloric dances to Oriental fusion performances, occasionally accompanied by musicians. Beyond the captivating performances and dazzling costumes, what makes Bella Raqs Sharqi different is its flair for audience interaction. Its talents range from professional dancers to student groups, catering to different clientele and event themes. Engage Bella Raqs Sharqi for your next event and be transcended into the mystical world of Middle Eastern Oriental Dance! For performance or instruction, kindly contact Maia at

I hope you enjoyed this little blogpost about my first ever experience with oriental dance! I'll see you guys in my next blogpost!



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