Jacqueline Chapman in traditional costume and shamadan

Raqs Orientale,

(literally "oriental dance", in Arabic) has always been danced in the Middle East.  It is a wonderful pot-pourri of myth and magic and has been handed down in families as a social grace from mother to daughter, elder to younger sister.
It is a graceful, skilful, high art-form, admired and respected by those who understand it.  The whole gamut of emotions is called upon whilst performing: sad, happy, sensual, powerful, giving, caring.  The joy for Jacqueline is that she can teach a dancer to perform an authentic move such as a Camel Walk or Hip Drop, but will encourage the dancer to retain her individuality, so that her own personality shines through. Each dancer develops her own style whilst enjoying the journey, learning the magic of Middle Eastern dance.

It is a significant form of self-expression at all ages and stages of womanhood; slow or fast, soft and sensual, controlled and commanding, passionate and powerful, assertive and addictive.

It is also an exciting way of keeping fit, reducing tension and inducing a feeling of physical and spiritual well-being.

"Love can evoke emotions, as can nourishing your soul with song or dance."

The name for Middle Eastern dance changes from country to country:


Oriental Dance. Covers all styles including Egyptian, Turkish, Lebanese, Armenian, Greek and Algerian.


(Egyptian). Oriental Dance, with three main forms: Folk, Classical and Baladi.


This name dates from the 1893 Chicago World Fair's "Algerian Village" display. Finding that the lure of "Danse du Ventre" was minimal, the promoter coined the term "Belly Dance" and, in those Victorian times, was swamped with audiences. Jacqueline's personal view is that corrupting the name paved the path to corrupting this ancient art-form. Purists prefer the traditional titles, but the whole world now uses the all-embracing "Belly Dance".

Raqs Orientale will set free the inner mind and body with wonderfully stimulating movements allowing self expression of the soul and flexibility of body. Jacqueline's approach is to teach Raqs Orientale technically, providing the dancer with training but also giving confidence to dance with the heart and not just with the feet.

"To see Jacqueline dance or teach is to know that she is in love with her art-form"

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