I work part-time as a Communications specialist for the Lancashire Environmental Fund, an environmental funding organisation, located within the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, as a teacher of Middle Eastern and holistic dance and as a facilitator of relaxation holidays to Morocco. More recently I have been a volunteer interior designer for an straw bale eco cafe soon to be open in Cuerden Valley Park where I work. Sourcing second hand furniture and learning to eco chic it has been hard work but fun.
When I am not working, teaching or dancing I like to spend time with my husband, Tony, and our two dogs, Molly and Ellie, walking in the beautiful Lancashire countryside.
As well as a life long passion for dance I enjoy honing my skills as a photographer and am currently studying on an online photography course, Creativity beyond the Camera with professional nature photographer, Jason Smalley. In between all that I am learning to play djembe and tabla, am interested in herbs, herbal medicine and healthy eating and am filling my life with pleasures!
I am currently training to be a Body Groove dance facilitator so am focussing on teaching classes at the Conservative Club in Longridge near Preston on some Tuesday evenings 7.15-8.30 pm as part of Chill Out Tuesdays (other nights you can learn bellydance with Gail and meditation and relaxation with Claire) I teach private bellyance lessons for performers from 8.30- 9.30pm on some Tueday nights (please book). I also teach bellydance workshops and weekend residentials and perform at haflas and festivals throughout the UK. I started training 20 years ago and am a fully qualified JWAAD teacher. Sara Farouk has been my mentor since I started dancing and took me to Egypt for the first time and many times since. Previous dance experience in jazz, tap, modern and contemporary dance and have dabbled in African, Burlesque, Bollywood and anything else that takes my fancy.
Morocco - desert and city adventures
I run and organise relaxing 10/11day desert holidays called Desert Dance Healing with two beautiful friends, Barbara Conroy and Allal Yamine, (the Mad Nomad) and a wonderful team to the Moroccan Sahara for dance, drumming, Sound and Reiki healing, shamanic work, camel riding, star gazing and relaxation. We also organise week long and 3/4 night breaks trips to different parts of Morocco for leisure, dance, cookery, photography, hammam and souk shopping.
Forthcoming trips are:
9th-16th Jun 2018 - Between the Mountains and the Sea (7 days exploring the Atlas Mts and Essaouria)
16-20th Jun - Marrakech Mini break
24th Oct - 3rd Nov - Desert Dance Healing at the Taragalte Music Festival and the Bab Rimal desert camp.
My other big passion is photography and in particular nature photography. I am on a continuous learning path with this sometimes doing very little, sometimes obsessive, but always free and without the constraints of hundreds of lens and tripods if I can help it, just me and a camera on the lookout for anything that catches my eye.
In August 2017 myself and Abi Hopkins had an exhibtion in the Henna Art Cafe in Marrakech, Morocco. The 3 month exhibition has finished now by images from the exhibition, Desert Memories, are still viewable on the Desert Memories Faceboook page and can be purchased form myself and Abi.
In Feb 2017 I was commissioned to photograph the Randa Of Course dance week in Cairo which included individual portfolio shoots as well as photographing the evening shows and dancer's live performances and will be covering the course again in Feb 2018.