Sara Shrapnell first appeared on stage as a bump during “Songs from the Shows” in Bridgwater, UK. She studied ballet from three and spent her childhood weekends touring East Anglia as part of a disco dancing troupe. She attended her first belly dance class in 1992, training at first with Tina Hobin and then Afra Al Kahira. In 2000 she graduated from the Al Kahira school of Middle Eastern Dance teacher training course which included a City and Guilds qualification in teaching adults. She then mentored others as they completed the course.
Her classes are known for their humor, detailed breakdowns and cultural context. She adapts her lessons to suit the dancers, their needs and aims. Over the years she has taught more than four thousand lessons and performed as a soloist in a huge variety of settings. She has organized workshops, dance days and theater shows in addition to managing three troupes. Students who have studied with Sara have gone on to teach and perform in all styles of belly dance and many have made their living through performance or teaching. Sara is a popular workshop host covering a wide range of topics from teaching belly dance to stagecraft, Golden age choreography to dancing with emotion.
In 2014 her first book “Teaching Belly Dance” was published. It was followed in 2016 by “Becoming a Belly Dancer”, co-written with Dawn Devine, Poppy Maya and Alisha Westerfeld. Her personal blogs cover a wide range of subjects and she regularly guest writes for popular belly dance magazines and blogs.
In 2011 Sara moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and now teaches classes in Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore. She is thrilled to be part of the Belly Dance Business Academy team and is looking forward to teaching, learning and meeting new friends.