Sabylla (aka) Sally Boyd is a professional Middle Eastern Dance artist and teacher from Knoxville, Tennessee who has inspired and instructed many of the area's most sought after performers. Indeed, Sabylla's students are given the tools to be successful soloists and group leaders/teachers.
Sally sees the beauty in the soul of every student – new or experienced – and respects the drive, motivation and reason the person has walked through her door. She’s fond of calling herself a bellydance geek, and the realty, is the amount, content and quality of what she has to share to enrich your dancing is a honor and responsibility she takes seriously-
“I remember just being shown steps and being told to get certain costuming and none of us students, and I suspect even the teacher may not have known WHERE the dance came from culturally, what the lyrics were about, and what nuances we needed to be aware of. It is also a BIG no-no to flat out steal or use another’s choreography without asking the choreographer permission, and without letting your students know where the creative steps really came from.”
“ Musicality, rhythm, context, instrumentation, theatricality, authenticity, stage presence… a student may not know that is what I’m teaching them in a bellydance fitness class, or an hour-long bachelorette party, but because I make it fun, I find a way to slip it in!”
“As I was coming up in the dance in Knoxville, I already had a background in musical theatre, and knew how to play several instruments. I realized that when my teachers avoided teaching certain cultural specialties (Maghrebi, Khaleegi, Debke, Saidi, etc.) or couldn’t name or teach rhythms which are vitally important, I needed to go exploring for a Master teacher who could. If a teacher 1. Can’t tell you where a Middle Eastern dance style came from and be specific about technique, rhythm and etiquette, 2. Can’t deliver more complicated choreographies as you progress 3. Doesn’t encourage you to FIND YOUR own expression and give you a tool box of moves and combinations, MAYBE it’s time to find other teachers to add to your teacher toolbox!
But most importantly! Kindness, Joy and love of the dance…the teacher MUST listen to what you hope to derive. Girls night out together – cool, lets DO IT! Fitness or facing body-image issues--- I respect your courage to walk through the door and try something entirely new even though you may be afraid- and if you are coming to tone things up… you are ALSO going to learn that it is fun to let things jiggle!
At different times I will personally change up focus – Maybe this is the year of getting sexy (within the range of family-friendly sexy—you never know who will be in the audience. Or maybe I’ve decided that we are going to learn how to enjoy impromptu live drum solos. And there is every chance I’m going to give you the down-low on using props correctly, and talk about authenticity…and maybe for those who really want to get a little deep and talk about cultural appropriation we explore that amoung other topics.
I have found that ALL of my Middle Eastern teachers are gracious to those who show true interest in their culture and music and food and dance.
If you are at that point, you have become an official Bellydance Geek.
Love and Respect, Mindfulness and being in the PRESENT….that is my motto and as a breast cancer survivor who has seen her physical appearance changes numerous times over the course of treatment (8 years ago)...I have empathy AND POSITIVITY. I have taught women who have experienced stroke, cancer, domestic violence, severe burns, and battled every kind of body image issue.
I am not looking for Barbie dolls to mold into a dancing army of Barbie dolls. That just made me laugh out loud.
So when you call me, let’s just figure out what you want to do or get out of a group class or private.
THERE will be NO HARRASSMENT, or EXPECTATION that you perform or sign over your soul to me.
There will be opportunities created if performing as a beginner or advanced beginner really intrigues you and you are willing to commit.
Want to be a member of a dance troop? Let’s discuss!
But no coaxing, just positive reinforcement and fun. We learn to honor our bellies and our WHOLE selves in my classes.
I continue to invest in my own learning, and explore new and better ways to teach given we all have different learning styles, various ways of taking in information.
Come over and get moving! THIS is YOUR time. Time to escape, not worry about anything but whether your hip is dropping and lifting correctly 😊 Please visit my website https://www.sabyllabelly.wix.com/bellydance-bliss
Her professional dance company, Dendarah has been recognized for its unique commitment to the cultural nuances of the dance, appealing to broad audiences with its family-friendly authenticity, and the perfect balance of elegance, earthiness and theatricality.
Family-friendly and available for hire as a company or as individuals, members (past and present) of Dendarah have performed for community and corporate events, weddings, parties, and are regularly featured at the Knoxville Zoo and Mirage Knoxville. Sabylla has been a guest speaker and presenter at book clubs, universities and organizations such as the Girl Scouts and breast cancer support groups through Covenant Health and the Thompson Cancer Survival Center.
BellaBelly Entertainment has more than 10 years of specialized experience customizing Middle Eastern-themed entertainment for all occasions. For more information, or to hire a dancer or musician, please visit our contact page.
With a commitment to the local dance community, Sabylla has sponsored and hosted Guest Classes, mini-seminars and full-fledged workshops with renowned leaders/instructors in the regional/ national/international realm of "bellydance" including:
Momo Kadous, Karim Nagi, Amani Jabril, Morwenna and Walid Assaf, Gina Weatherman, Sharifa Asmar and Linda Riyad. She has consistently sought to create collaborative opportunities by facilitating talent for such events as Boo at the Zoo and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Knoxville.
From my clients and audiences:
"Sabylla, we want to thank you for making our reception the best night of our life. The reaction from the crowd was priceless and you were wonderful." --- Amber and Sami
"awesome and very professional. It was a unique experience for all involved." ----April Cox
“You were beautiful and elegant and really helped to make the evening
magical. The entire night was a dream and you were fabulous. We had so many compliments about you from the crowd. Anyway, thank you for your kind words and your awesome bellydancing! We won't ever forget it. Best of luck in everything!"
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