Meet the Team
Shimmy school came about as a way to bring together dancers in the community of Sheffield.
It has resulted in the formation of many great friendships from people who have found a love of belly dance and the deep culture and meaning behind the dance.
By coming to classes you can just dip your toe into the waters of belly dance and use it as a fun way to get fit or (as is usually the case) get as involved in the belly dance community as you like and fall in love with the dance and everything that comes with it.
Founding director of Shimmy Shows and Shimmy School
Eleanor started her belly dance journey at just 10 years old in an after-school club. She then went on to learn from Jenny Muhlwa at age 14 and started teaching Belrobics classes for Jenny at age 16. Eleanor found a passion for performance and began to perform belly dance professionally in local restaurants at aged 18.
During her time at university and and whilst still performing in restaurants, Eleanor started teaching her own class. This class became popular and Shimmy School was born!
When Eleanor graduated university in 2015, Shimmy School moved with her to Sheffield where classes grew and the number of sessions in the week exploded! Today Shimmy School teaches an average of 110 people per week from all walks of life!
Eleanor’s most recent achievement is directing and choreographing the 90 strong cast production of Aladdin the Belly Dance. The motivation behind the production being Eleanor’s desire to raise the profile of belly dance, to develop the community of dancers here in Sheffield and to connect with different groups who would not otherwise have the chance to work together.
Taste of Cairo Performer and Shimmy School Instructor
Julia is an experienced teacher and performer at Shimmy Shows with 15 years of dance under her shimmy belt!
Dancing as part of Shimmy Shows, Julia performs in restaurants, weddings and other performances as both solo and as part of the troupe enabling her to connect with her audience through energetic and entertaining dance. Her love of Oriental dance has blossomed over the years and she continuously works on developing her dance style and technique through 1-2-1 private sessions, attending workshops and being inspired by other dancers across the globe.
Nat began belly dancing for fitness in 2016, she had always loved dance and used to enjoy social Salsa and Ballroom dancing in Woodseats. She fell in love with Belly dance and since then she has joined the Shimmy School community dance troupe and began performing with them in 2018. Nat says “Being on the bigger side, I’ve never felt like I fit dance ideals. Belly dancing and Shimmy School have helped immensely in building my confidence, after all you need a belly to belly dance!” Nat loves the confidence that Belly Dancing gives her and wants to help other people feel the same so has recently begun to teach.
Nat is an incredibly important cog of the Shimmy School team and keeps us all in check with her fabulously organised ways.
Helen moved from Latin dances to bellydance in 2010 and has worked as a professional bellydancer in restaurants for several years. Helen especially loved teaching her own classes and choreographing performances for dance festivals. She has now retired from bellydance performance but is delighted to be able to contribute to Aladdin by writing and performing the script as the Narrator. The highlight of her bellydance career was dancing on the same stage as Didem at Sultana’s in Istanbul!
Sarah ‘SHE’ Hobson is a professional dancer, choreographer and tutor. Originating as a Hip Hop artist, Sarah has spent a great deal of time honing her craft; training in styles such as contemporary, jazz, commercial, dancehall and now, Belly dance. Sarah holds a BA (Hons) degree in dance and still regularly trains to stay knowledgeable within her field. Working as a freelance artist Sarah spends a great deal of her time choreographing for different companies and events across the UK, as well as performing regularly within the theatre and commercial industry. She has created award winning choreography and has worked with many people in the industry. Her credits include Jonzi D, Boy Blue Ents, DecaDance, Rationale Productions, Balbir Singh Dance, MTV, Corinne Bailey Rae Britain’s Got Talent, and The Clothes Show. Sarah’s biggest passion comes from being able to share her love of dance through the joys of teaching, which she has been doing for over a decade now. She is eager to encourage children and adults to become dancers at any age!