Qualifications and artistic achievements

I started dancing at the age of 2 and by the time I was 16 I had won my first Junior Ballroom Championship. My weekly training included Ballroom, Latin, Jazz and Street Dance. From the age of 15 I became an assistant dance coach at the local dance academy where I also trained.

From the age of 8 until I was 16, I studied music and musical performance at the Reboell Music Centre in Southern Denmark.

At the age of 17 I joined the Toender Theatre group as an actress and choreographer. I have also worked for the theatre company Moellen and Aarhus Theatre in Denmark. I later went on to study at the Danish School of Musical Theatre.

On a tour of the Middle East, when I was 19, I first discovered Belly Dancing. I decided to learn the art at the source and went on to live in Egypt and Israel for a couple of years. I soon started performing, encouraged and inspired to do so by my first regular teacher, who also gave me my stage name Ishtar.

In 2001 I returned to my home country Denmark and started teaching regular Belly Dance classes and workshops in and around Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. In 2002 I set up the Arhus Oriental Dance Society, Denmark’s second largest organisation for the promotion and safe teaching of Middle Eastern dance.

Alongside my dance career I was also involved in various theatre and tv productions. I also studied at the European Film College in Ebeltoft.

In 2004 my career brought me to London, where I took time to learn with various Master Teachers, such as Serena and Hossam Ramzy, whilst completing a BA first class honours degree and later a Masters in communication at University of the Arts, London. I also began studying at the Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance (JWAAD) and in 2009 I completed my Belly Dance Teacher Training and joined the JTA (JWAAD Teacher Association). Having already studied anatomy I also began studying pilates and yoga to support my own dance development and to incorporate in my teaching.

In 2012 I launched my Hafla at the Hall event; a bi-annual showcase celebration of all things dance and known as one of the friendliest and best hafla’s in South East England.

A few year’s later I was invited to join the acclaimed dance troupe Johara, and also performed with the Company of Dreams at theatres in London.

In 2015 I officially began studying and teaching Bollywood. I also became pregnant and therefore started exploring the principles around safety for Pre and Postnatal Dance. I continued performing until a few weeks before giving birth and you can see me dancing with my bump here.

In 2016 I was invited to join the JWAAD Tutoring Staff, and am now teaching courses in Safe Delivery of Belly Dance Classes, Understanding Music, and the Influence of History and Culture. You can read more about the courses here. I also started studying the principles behind myrofascial release and body awareness, which I incorporate into my dance teaching.