About Zumarrad

Zumarrad has studied the art of Middle Eastern Dance since 1998 and taught since 2002.

She is known as a sparkling, engaging and emotive performer. While not a purist, Zumarrad views belly dance as a Middle Eastern cultural expression and art form first and foremost. Her passion is for Egyptian raqs sharqi and good old-fashioned entertaining belly dance. As a teacher, she focuses  on encouraging deeper knowledge, musicality, personal expression and strong technique.

Her first and most influential teacher, and teaching mentor, was premier New Zealand oriental dancer Gendi Tanner,  and she worked closely with Yurie Somerville, as a member of Eshtar Folkloric Dance Troupe. She pursues study via workshops wherever possible with reputable international teachers. These have included Dr Mo Geddawi, Denise Enan, Cassandra, Hadia of Canada, Amera Eid of Sydney, Amel Tafsout, Caroline Evanoff, Randa Kamel,  Jennifer Allen of Glasgow, and most recently, Sema Yildiz of Turkey, Sahra Kent, Ranya Renee of New York City, and the great Mahmoud Reda.

In 2008 she completed New Zealand's first masters-level academic inquiry into belly dancing: Belly dancing in New Zealand: identity, hybridity, transculture. She was invited to present at the International Belly Dance Conference of Canada in April 2010 on the strength of this research, and it formed the basis of her chapter "'I mean, what is a Pakeha New Zealander's national dance?' Bellydance and Transculturation in New Zealand" in Belly Dance Around the world: New Communities, Performance and Identity (2013), edited by  Caitlin E McDonald and Barbara Sellers-Young.

She has also written for the Gilded Serpent and its print publications The Belly Dance Reader (2013) - "Orientalism: Zumarrad's Completely Non-Scholarly Quick and Dirty Guide" - and The Belly Dance Reader 2    (2014) - "A Dancer's Personal Response: Barbara Sellers-Young's Pedagogy, Technology and Consciousness."