My name is Zahida Palma and I'm a belly dance professional. Bellydance is also known as arabic or oriental dance but anyway, dance is the important thing here so feel free to choose the name you prefer.
If like me, you also believe that movement is life, emotion is essential and beauty is a necessity, I sense that we are going to get along well.
Since this world if full of cruelty, I am on the mission of making it a kinder place. That's the reason why I work hard on my blog, my online school and my face-to-face classes. I'd rather be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem.
As a complement to the artistic side I can also help you to re-connect with you body in my Body Awareness and Pilates classes.
I am a disciplined person and I don´t usually beat around the bush.
My nature is quite creative and free. I am not a friend neither an enemy of pureness, in the meaning of "this has to be like that".
I embrace innovation as much as tradition.
What I enjoy most in life is to experiment, research and create explanations and tools to help you to re-own your body and movement while you enjoy on the way, of course.
From my classes and courses you can expect clarity, professionalism and inspiration. Always with a cheerful attitude, vital energy, and strong discipline -the good one.
After a crazy childhood - I am a proud domestic abuse and bullying survivor - I grew up completely disconnected from my body until, thanks to belly dance and some other body techniques I started knowing my body and healing my soul. I use my experience and knowledge to help you and I pull out all the stops to make it happen.
It makes me specially happy to work with people who enjoy challenges and take action to overcome them. I love people who are eager to learn, experiment and question everything, including themselves.
We all have something important to tell to the world -you as well!. Dance is a very powerful communication tool. Let me teach you how to use it.
Hey, but don't worry if you tend to feel smaller in front of difficulties, I also love to encourage and activate those ones who think they can't.
Where there is a will, there is a way. You just have to find your own way and take action.
And for example, you can take your first step right now, from here.
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Certified Pilates teacher in 2011, Zahida started her way in dance in contemporary dance when she was only 12 years old.
From the 2000 and for 5 years she received belly dance group and private lessons from her first teacher in Madrid. Requested and mentored by her teacher, she started teaching belly dance in 2001 in different cultural hubs and associations.
From 2005 and from that year onwards, as an independent professional, Zahida teaches workshops and seminars belly dance related. She has worked for universities, dance schools, councils and cultural centres.
It is said that her classes are full of joy and creativity, and that everywhere she teaches she creates an inclusive, close and welcoming environment.
Always evolving, Zahida has learnt from different sources. So back in 2009 she was part of a very successful production directed by Cristiane Azem -Galata. Amongst more than 50 dancers and with 4 dates sold out, Zahida danced in the amazing and yet inexistent Teatro de Madrid. She was also a dancer in Luna de Oriente Dance Company and Tres patas pa un banco Circus Company.
Between 2010 and 2014 she was an eager learner from her favourite teacher, Sonia Sampayo. With Sonia, Zahida studied african dance, turns and balance, veil, stage presence and body awareness. Sonia's lessons were a turning point in how Zahida were going to understand movement from then onwards.
Still in Madrid, she learnt Gothic and Tribal Fusion with Morgana for 5 years, african dance from alboury Dabo (Senegal) and belly dance from Gloria Alba.
When Zahida moved to London in 2014 she kept learning ballet with Franziska Rosenzweig (Holistic Ballet) and african dance with Yaye Dib Sabar and Aida Diop.
But without any doubt Zahida's most important accomplishment is to be invited to be a dancer of Company of Dreams, in the beginning of 2017, directed by Charlotte Deshorger.
Company of Dreams is the first dance company related with Belly Dance taking part on the program of prestigious theatres in United Kingdom.
In 2018 she toured the UK with Company of Dreams, reaching cities like Bristol, Manchester and Telford.
Also thanks to Company of Dreams, Zahida has got the chance to bring her Belly Dance classes to women in very difficult and vulnerable moments of their lives. Rape, domestic abuse, prison, trafficking and slavery are very violent experiences with a big impact in the sufferers. Thanks to the belly dance classes the healing process for these women is hopefully being softer and kinder.
Through this project -Belly Dance for Joy- Zahida has worked, and still works, for very important organizations in United Kingdom such as Migrant Help UK, Women's Aid and Hestia, amongst others. If you would like to know more about this project and donate to help us reaching more and more women, you can follow this link.
Zahida studied a Biology degree at Uni until the third course, leaving it because she started dancing full time.
As a self taught she constantly learns, specially from Tom Myers -Anatomy Trains- and Blandine Calais -Anatomy for the movement methods.
If you are keen to try a change in the way you understand and experience your body while you enjoy on the way, you can start right here.
- I think I will never get tired of teaching. I was born in 1983 and I've been more than 15 years teaching amazing people how to dance and move their body.
- I am a natural self learner and I know how to do many things - for example, this very web I did it myself!. When I don't know how to do something, I just sit down and learn.
- I love swimming, yoga, running in the parks and walking in nature.
- I melt when I see animals. If I am lucky enough to get to touch them, my knees weaken.
- I am also a singer and I am always involved in some sort of musical projects. So far I've sung in a big band, in a tribute band to Amy Winehouse and in an a capella choir.
- I write a lot and I also enjoy taking pictures. Writing is my scape valve when something is not going as I would like to. I enjoy inventing tales and telling stories.
Thank you very much for taking the time to visit my digital home. I hope to see you soon here.
With lots of dance and love,