About Elspeth SwishandHips

I started belly dancing in 1997. 

When I was a teenager I studied tap, modern and disco dance, so I turned up to my first belly dance class in a leotard and tights, and got a bit of a shock. Still, I got hooked quickly and performed my first solo to Donna Summer's Macarthur Park shortly afterwards!

In 2000, I started taking classes with Lorna Gow and, thanks to the confidence and opportunties Lorna gave me, I started performing more regularly and made dancing a bigger part of my life. When my children were born I gave up my office job (hard to believe now, but I was a parliamentary lobbyist!) and started teaching belly dance.

I like to take part in workshops with visiting teachers. I'm lucky that so many amazing teachers have been in Scotland in the last few years - Khaled Mahmoud, Yasmina of Cairo, Randa Kamel.

I like organising events, especially events which give my students and others the chance to show what they've been working on, and, hopefully, build a positive, encouraging belly dance community in Scotland.

I love running (I'm a half-marathon girl!) and working out (nothing like The Firm or Jillian Michaels to get me going in the morning!), but there's nothing like the buzz I get from hearing a fantastic piece of music and just wanting to move to it. For me, all the great dancers in all styles GIVE something to their audience, something that only that dancer can really express. I would love to be able to do that.