Gütlinn Goncalves: Owner and teacher

I started belly dancing in 2006 and my life has never been the same since.    It is one of those stories to discover myself and fill the empty spaces in my heart. That is just what happened. It was and is still filled with so much more than just dancing. 

It was through Belly Dancing that I found the woman I was born to be again.  She was inside screaming to come out and through the feminine movements of the dance she slowly came to the surface.   Today I am the proud mother and wife I always wanted to be. I have made some awesome friends and am grateful for the sisterhood that is formed.  I want to share my experience with ladies of all sorts of walks of life. There is so much more to being a woman.

I started my training with Shan Basson and joined Mandy at Belly Free Dance Studio in 2009. I took over Belly Free in 2012. I am currently busy with my SADTA Teacher Training Level 6&7. I have also been to workshops with Anne Knowles, Ansuya, Sylvia Salamanca, Danisa, Yasmina and Bezenka, Mohamed Kazafy, Heather Aued, Kami Liddle and Michelle Joyce..  In 2012 I traveled to Cairo with Senta to train with Master Teachers..  I have entered Miss Belly Dance South Africa and 3rd in the Veil Division..  In June 2011 I had the honors to dance with Yasmina from Cairo and Mohamed Kazafy at the iZulu Theatre and my highlight is being involved in Shall we Dance for last few years..

Life begins in the belly.  The belly dancer tells us this.  Though she remains relatively stationary she is always in motion.  Undulating, twilling shimming and swaying, she can express the range of human emotion with dignity and grace. 
She dances to show the beauty of the female form; to interpret the mood of the music, to fascinate her audience

* Be the women you were born to be *

Mandy Ivey: Founder




Life is beautiful here as we stir up the beauty within each woman as they discover the rhythm of their soul and being the woman they were born to beset free to dance through life.

Belly Dance History

‘The dance which Americans know as "belly dance" has gone by many names. The French who found the dance named it "dance du ventre", or dance of the stomach. It is known in Greece as the ciftetelli (also the name of a Turkish rhythm), in Turkey as rakkase and in Egypt as RaksSharki. Middle Easterners also call it "danseorientale" to distinguish it from the "balady", or country, dance. It developed through the influence of many different areas and continues its long process of development today. After its appearance at the Chicago Exposition at the turn of the century, Americans discovered it, and the French name, danse du ventre, was translated into the "belly dance". In this report, "oriental dance" and "belly dance" will be used interchangeably. "Eastern dance" as used here can include belly dance, Indian dance, or Persian dance’

It is hard to say when and where “Belly Dancing” started, though it may be as old as woman herself. Primitive rock engravings of fertility dances date back as far as 15,000 B.C and 5,000 B.C woman resembling the belly dance appear in Egyptian tomb paintings.
Many countries have claimed the belly dance as their own. Certainly it has origins in the Middle Eastern cultures, with different styles from Arabia, Turkey, Greece and Iran. It takes on many different forms depending on country and region, both in costumes and dance styles and new styles have enrolled in the West and are spreading globally.
People use belly dancing for varying purposes. The Awalem are dancers who perform at weddings for the purpose of sexual instruction. In Northern Africa young woman would dance for coins, which they sewed to their costumes.  Their costumes then became their dowry. For many centuries belly dancing was considered a sacred dance and was performed in religious rites.  The dance symbolizes childbirth.  There are many stories of woman performing the belly dance as an aid to other woman in labour.

It is traditionally danced barefoot. Most Flamenco dance is done with shoes on, but the long history of domination by the Moors, an Eastern conqueror, left a dance form was performed barefoot. In modern times, some famous Egyptian dancers perform in high heels as a way of showing their audiences in a very poor culture that they can afford to wear shoes. This does not affect the traditional reason that dancers danced barefoot: namely, because it connects one directly to Mother Earth.

Belly dance grew out the traditions of eastern music. Although modern belly dancers use music which is western-influenced to varying degrees, the rhythmic influences of near and middle eastern music created a music form that is fundamentally different from that which developed in the west..The dancers often use some type of rhythm instrument to aid the musicians, or as the sole accompaniment to their dance. Spanish dancers also do this, but there is evidence of a common heritage for these dance forms through association with Gypsies and early Phoenician traders. The earliest dancer's finger cymbals made of metal are those found in the area of Thebes.

Scholars have tried to say that all of these ancient crotales were mounted on a stick if they were not of the type which had a raised portion for holding them on top (to be struck with two hands). However, by actually connecting a pair of cymbals in this manner it is apparent to any dancer that by placing the string over the middle finger, or middle two fingers, one can shake them rhythmically. I have found no surviving ancient pictures to support this theory, but it is known that castanets, with references to metal castanets, were used in ancient Greece. Some pictures are available of Roman style dancers with a type of rhythm instrument worn in pairs on the fingers, as in fig. 1.

It is said that Spanish Gypsies, who are traditionally associated with the spread of eastern dance, did not originally use castanets, moving with "easy, undulating 'filigranos' (soft movements of the arms and hands), reflecting his eastern ethnic heritage. The early gypsies felt no need for devices beyond their own innate, rhythmic hand clapping (palmadas), finger snapping (pitos), clicking of the tongue, and often tapping of a stick (b culo). These sounds were further embellished by the shouts (gritos) and expressions of animation that conjured the magic (duende) of the moment." However, even though gypsies have taken up the use of castanets, many still play them in the primitive manner, on the middle finger instead of the thumb. Thus, references to "metal castanets" are more logical than it might appear at first; and they leave serious confusion as to exactly what these instruments were and how they were played. Modern finger cymbals are played with a cymbal on each middle finger and thumb, as in fig. 8.

Oriental dance is uniquely designed for the female body, with an emphasis on abdominal muscles, hip moves, and chest moves. It is firm and earthy, with bare feet connected to the ground. It is a dance characterized by smooth, flowing, complex, and sensual movements of the torso, alternated with shaking and shimmy type moves. Eastern dances are considered to be different because they are "muscle dances", as opposed to the European "step" dances. In traditional belly dancing the knee is never lifted higher than the hip, (not including ancient "phyrric" or leaping dances which were also considered fertility dances). Level changes do allow for dancing while sitting on the floor

Life begins in the belly. The centre of activity and emotions is the belly.  The belly dancer tells us this. Though she remains relatively stationary, she is always in motion. Undulating, twirling, shimmying and swaying, she can express the range of human emotion with dignity and grace. She dances to show the beauty of the female form, to interpret the mood of the music, to fascinate her audience.


Gütlinn (Owner)
Cell: 083 611 6464




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