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Formerly one of the top belly dance performers in Brisbane restaurants, Ainslie relocated to Melbourne in 2011. She is not currently teaching, but is available for performances and will resume classes shortly.
In this clip, she’s performing to shaabi/beledi:
Interview with belly dancer Ainslie
How did you get started with belly dancing?
I started to learn bellydance in 1996 through an adult education class, then as a student through the Academy of Middle Eastern Dance, Brisbane. I started performing in restaurants in 2002 and then joined the academy’s professional troupe in 2003.
What is your favourite belly dancing style and/or prop?
I have learnt many different styles of bellydance, both ‘cabaret’ and folkloric, though particularly attracted to the Egyptian styles. This was solidified by several study and culture trips to Egypt, which gave me a much better feel and understanding of the style; after witnessing, studying, breathing in and living the culture of Egypt and Egyptian dance. Although I do also love performing many different styles from various regions, props such as veil, zils, cane, and especially with sword, which isn’t Egyptian at all!
What advice would you offer an aspiring belly dancer?
Anyone who is interested in learning bellydance will be surprised at the depth and breadth of different styles and technique. Bellydance is not only a fun way to get fit. Most students get hooked on it very quickly and welcome the strong sense of self and individuality it encourages within themselves. The study of belly dance is neverending, and most, including myself, become lifelong students, acquiring as much technique and inspiration as they can absorb.