The Rachel Bennett School of Bellydance

Student Testimonials

“Thank you for being such a ray of sunshine at every class xx” – Melinda, Wokingham



Why join our bellydance family? Sammi Rose from our Wokingham intermediate-advanced Princess of the Orient class tells us why....



"I am a very passionate person and dancer, therefore always wanting to learn new things and broaden my dance knowledge, I recently decided that I would like to use props such as Isis wings and fan veils more in my performances. I performed with Rachel in the Dance Queens of the Nile at the Bloomsbury theatre, London and after seeing her phenomenal performance with Isis wings, I thought: who better to ask to than her? I booked a private session with Rachel and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Although myself and Rachel have been friends for years, she was very kind and professional. Rachel had carefully planned our session; she offered a wide repertoire of moves, poses, frames and combos and explained and demonstrated each one with such clarity and grace. I feel I have a lot of exciting new things to work with and I am truly looking forward to it. Rachel is one hell of a teacher and friend and she definitely has a gift, not only as a fabulous dancer but as a fantastic teacher and events organiser."
- Cherie Leigh Marshall, Henley - Bellydance Teacher, Professional Performer and Zumba Instructor



“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for your help and support in my lessons. I feel really pleased with how my solo went and enjoyed doing something different and more emotional. I wouldn't have had the confidence to tackle it without your encouragement, so thank you.”
- Cari, Wokingham



"I attended a stage presence workshop with Rachel in 2014 and more recently a professional bellydance hair and make-up private lesson. Rachel is exceedingly knowledgeable and a very warm and generous teacher. I came to her feeling rather nervous and unsure about wearing and applying stage make-up, yet feeling that change was needed all the same. Rachel understood my trepidation and put me at ease straight away, working with my favourite colours to create a look that was stage worthy, suitably 'bellydancey', but still recognisably me. During my private lesson I felt completely supported and empowered to try out everything I was being taught. By the time I left, I felt that I not only had been given loads of fantastic information and knowledge, but I had also developed the confidence to apply and experiment with it, thanks to Rachel's gentle encouragement and positive regard. I recommend her very highly!"
- Katerina, Reading - Bellydance Teacher



"I have been a student with Rachel Bennett since 2011. Rachel's classes are always upbeat and fun with safe and knowledgeable tuition. Rachel is enthusiastic about all of her students with differing abilities and has a way of making everyone feel good about ourselves regardless of size or age. Rachel gives her students plenty of opportunities to shine at shows and events and has taught me many different styles of belly dance. Rachel has helped me to push myself to perform solos at some larger events recently with the help of some private tuition. She has inspired me with my new found love of isis wings and has helped me to be more polished in my performance technique. Thank you so much Rachel for all your support."
- Nicky, Windsor



"Rachel has always been an inspiring teacher, always encouraging her students to excel further. When I decided to start up my belly dance society at the University of West London, to teach belly dancing and increase awareness of this beautiful dance form, I approached Rachel for guidance. Rachel was supportive, understanding and answered all my questions in depth. I was able to successfully launch the belly dance society. I later attended some refresher classes with Rachel and her workshop on stage presence and performance, which were extremely beneficial to me, as Rachel is always sharing her wealth of dance knowledge unreservedly for the benefit of her students. I found my confidence within myself and my dancing improved drastically, just by attending a few dance classes and private tuition with Rachel. I would highly recommend Rachel to all budding belly dance performers, professionals and teachers."
- Tammy, West London



"I have an interest in fusion belly dance (eg samba, bolly etc) and had decided a long time ago to learn some Polynesian! After Rachel performed a beautiful dance at my showcase (The Silk Route Show), I asked her for a lesson, to get me started !! What a super afternoon it was!! Rachel was prepared and organised for me, we discussed the lesson through, worked the moves, corrected them and chatted along the way! She made me feel at ease, taught me in a kind and patient manner and even though we have known each other for several years now, she kept the lesson professional and informative. Thank you again Rachel."
Michelle Kelsall-Singleton (Michou) - Qualified Fitness and Dance instructor, Silk Route Show Organiser



"I have had the good fortune of learning from Rachel on several levels: enchanted member of audience watching a graceful dancer, inspired Princess of the Orient (as a student and teacher trainee), and as a private student. She is thorough, exacting and infinitely helpful, a teacher and coach who demands and elicits much more out of me than I believed possible. Rachel doesn’t teach to a formula, but rather, helps me improve my own dance, performance and teaching skills. She is always prepared to give just that little bit more, allow me to explore a bit deeper, and encourage my creativity. I can’t wait to put into practice all that she’s taught me! I will certainly continue to learn from Rachel, and heartily recommend her to anyone who wants to expand into teaching."
- Feyza, Wargrave.



"Bellydance lessons with Rachel Bennett are perfect for ensuring that I get a good workout while enjoying the dancing. I love keeping fit while enjoying and expressing myself - a great combination!"
- Emma, Wokingham



"Rachel's sparkling personality, energy and enthusiasm inspire me to become a better dancer and to explore the magical world of belly dancing. Rachel particularly pushes me to improve my performance , which is not something that comes naturally to me, in particular my stage presence and facial expressions."
- Jo, Wokingham



"There's a fabulous atmosphere during the classes. Rachel is always welcoming, enthusiastic and upbeat. Very well thought through lesson plans with a clear structure and progression. Complete and reliable backup materials sent through in a timely way for choreographies. Plenty of variety from one term to the next and great layered teaching so there is always something else to take from a lesson whatever level you're at. Rachel's passion and enthusiasm really come through in her teaching."
- Ellen, Maidenhead



"I have had the pleasure of being a PRIVATE STUDENT of Rachel's as follows...

...as a beginner taking private classes alongside Rachel's weekly classes.
...then to assist me with personal dance studies (Hossam and Serena Ramzy School of Music and Dance).
...as a fellow performer at bellydance showcases and charity events.
...and finally helping me to become a bellydance teacher myself.

So as you can see, Rachel has a wealth of knowledge to help you along every step of the way. I am now more confident and knowledgable (even with the boring stuff...tax/insurance/forms etc). Rachel is brimming with positivity and enthusiasm and is a joy to be around. I can't recommend her enough."
- Jem, Slough



"I would just like to say that your classes have been the best form of exercise for me, apart from my horse riding, the incentive is there to keep going as we are learning a dance routine and reaching an end product rather than just going to the gym and doing same old, same old. Thank you for all you do for us."
- Liz, Maidenhead



"Rachel is a British bellydancer, with a captivating, warm and fluid style, rooted in strong Classical Egyptian /Golden Age tradition. She is known amongst Arab/Middle Eastern for her authentic takes on Classic Egyptian songs and music, which has got to be one of the best compliments for an Egyptian style. Her knowledge of Egyptian dance is very thorough. Her enthusiasm and passion for this dance is very infectious, which gives her students much encouragement and motivation. I've known Rachel over the years, and have watched her evolve in dancing and teaching."
- Maureen Pemberton, Tribal Bellydance Teacher, Birmingham and Private Student with Rachel Bennett School of Bellydance Photo by Donna Gardner/ Urban Tarab.



"A couple of years ago I had to put together an important performance with only a few weeks' notice. Although I normally prefer to choreograph my own numbers, as I was pushed for time I decided to book a session with Rachel and explained to her that I needed a tasteful and elegant choreography that I needed to be able to learn very quickly. She really took the time to understand my needs, and as a result the music and choreography she chose were just right. She was a very warm, supportive and encouraging teacher, and her ability to break down the moves and - in some instances - slightly adapt them to best suit my own style and body shape on the fly meant that not only was I able to get ready for my performance despite having very little time to practice, but the audience was absolutely delighted and I received many compliments for it. I would definitely recommend Rachel's tuition to all dancers regardless of their level of development."
- Elisa - Professional Bellydancer and Bellydance Teacher, London



“Thank you Rachel and Ellen for your inspiration and fun-filled teaching - so pleased I started to belly dance.”
- Karen, Windsor



"I joined Rachel Bennett School of Bellydance, “Princesses of the Orient” class, in 2012 after attending a Bollywood fusion workshop with Rachel that summer. I really enjoyed the energy and positivity of the workshop. Rachel's endless enthusiasm guaranteed that I was smiling from the moment I walked into class and I knew that I would learn a lot from her wealth of knowledge and experience!

In addition to group classes, since summer 2014, I've also had private classes with Rachel on stage presence and classical Egyptian choreography. Thanks to Rachel's guidance, I was able to piece together a solo choreography to the Cairo Orchestra's arrangement of “Ana Fi Intizarak” – a style of music that, to begin with, was totally out of my comfort zone! I was then given the opportunity to perform the choreography at our end of term show in December 2014 which, as well as being so much fun, gave me a real sense of achievement!

Bellydancing has really changed my life. Not only have I made lots of wonderful friends, I've also gained some real insight into myself. I've learned to accept my body as it is and feel more confident in my own skin. What I love most about bellydance is that the students and teachers come from all walks of life, are of different shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds and always very encouraging and very supportive!

Rachel has always been a warm and generous teacher, sharing her passion for bellydance with all of her students. She's been a real inspiration to me, both as a dancer and as a teacher, and I'd love it if one day I too could inspire other women to join bellydance and see it enhance their lives in the same way it did mine!"
- Ayten, Reading

"Bellydancing was something I'd always wanted to try. For me it is part social, part learning and improving; a new form of dance and part exercise. Rachel's enthusiasm is infectious and I always feel 10 years younger and half a stone lighter when I leave!" - Jacqui, Wokingham

"Bellydancing classes with Rachel are so completely removed from my 9 to 5 and allow me to switch off from work as they demand my full attention." - Gill, Wokingham

"I enjoy the interaction with the whole class and Rachel's constant words of wisdom help me remember the moves better. The classes are fun, yet informative which is most important for me. Bellydancing is enjoyable and exciting. It lets you be an individual and brings out creativity that you never thought you had. It is also a great way to keep fit and healthy" - Geeta, Windsor

"I enjoy dance of any kind, but this is so different. It incorporates toning up the body, which is no bad thing!" - Kim, Wokingham

"I love being able to learn bellydance in a friendly atmosphere. Having things 'tailor-made' for each student means everyone can feel fabulous no matter what their abilities. Learning new moves and having a choreography in which to use them makes it easier to learn routines and fun as well! Coming home and 'belly grooving' to music without realizing you are doing it is so much fun! I really appreciate being treated as an individual even though you are part of a group; it is something I find makes me feel special and fabulous. I like the fact that there is no snobbishness because you are not 'doing things the right way'. Rachel makes sure she knows each student's abilities or 'disabilities' due to injuries/health issues and makes sure they can join in despite their limitations." - Pauline, Wokingham

"Rachel's enthusiasm and energy are hugely motivating; they keep me coming to class and I hope that some of it rubs off on me! Rachel's comments on the origins of bellydancing and the personal experiences she relates to us make the class informative as well as fun! I joined with a friend to keep us both motivated to do something different, have some fun, dance to some music, and hopefully benefit fitness-wise as well. I have felt that my balance and co-ordination had waned in recent years, so doing something like this give me more confidence." - Linda, Wokingham

"I love coming away from a class feeling that we have really achieved something during the lesson. There is a lot to learn from Rachel and I find her teaching style very motivating." - Karen, Wokingham

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for the teaching I have really enjoyed myself and you are a fantasic teacher! I am really looking forward to next term." - Olivia, Maidenhead

"Just wanted to say again, really enjoying the bedouin dancing we're doing, and the challenge and pace of the lessons, and feedback on technique for the moves" - Cassie, Crowthorne

"I have to thank you for introducing me to this beautiful art form and inspiring me with your infectious enthusiasm" - Gem, Windsor

"I think you are a fabulous teacher and I am so glad that I came to your classes; it's been an amazing confidence booster" - Sherry, Maidenhead

"Thank you for all the teaching, learning and fun, you are very patient with us all." - Aran, Maidenhead

"I love your classes and the camaraderie with the other girls" - Sunitha, Maidenhead

"You are the most friendly & smiley dance teacher I've met" - Sevinc, Brighton

"I absolutely love your lessons and style of teaching. It’s so nice that you correct and praise everyone" - Fiona, Maidenhead

"Rachel creates a happy environment and bellydance routines are great exercise. We're getting fit in a fun way." - Jacqui, Maidenhead



Professional Testimonials

"Having been pleasantly surprised with a solo gig offer, I felt the need for some coaching on the practicalities of performing professionally; what do I charge? How long do I dance for? How much costume and make up do I arrive in? And many more questions swam round my head, so I contacted Rachel to arrange a professional performer coaching class... and I am so glad I did! Rachel clearly put a lot of thought and care into preparing my lesson. I came away armed with all the practical information I needed, learnings and advice she has gathered through personal experience, as well as answers to my individual questions that had been bothering me. My lesson was well organised and most enjoyable as Rachel is such a lovely warm character. I am very grateful for her help and all that she shared with me." - Katerina, Reading



"Eek! I'd just booked my first paid gig and I was terrified! I knew my success wasn't just about how I danced. Fortunately I knew just who to call, Rachel talked me patiently through everything I needed to know. She can help you with everything you need to know including:

  • what music to play
  • what order to play it in
  • what to wear
  • what to charge
  • how to make sure you look professional at all times

Rachel can be your coach, but also your cheerleader, which is what you need before your first gig!" - Feyruz, Professional Bellydancer, Guildford



"I had my first paid gig lined up and I was nervous, excited, and really unsure what to expect. I had danced at many events before, but never in a restaurant setting for a whole evening. I needed to know how to plan my music, how to arrange my costumes, how to put myself across to the audience and how to be an entertainer in addition to being an improvised dancer. Rachel was able to talk me through all of these aspects, sharing her insight into what works best musically, and gave me some very helpful and practical tips on how to really wow the audience. Seeking her knowledge and experience was well worth it as it landed me a regular slot! I would recommend Rachel to anyone seeking coaching about professional performances as her extended knowledge and experience allows her to create a bespoke package just for you. Good luck!" - Laura Jane, Professional Bellydancer, Reading and London



"Rachel is an encouraging, warm, and friendly teacher, who champions new dancers as well as advanced. This is why I chose to participate in her teacher training and professionals private tuition. She was honest, and informative - answering any questions I had and showed herself to be a treasure trove of knowledge. I left my class with her feeling not only confident within myself and my teaching abilities, but also with a wealth of new tips and tricks to help me with my coaching. I would highly recommend Rachel for fledgling teachers, or teachers wanting a new perspective and new teaching ideas. Thank you so much Rachel, I look forward to taking more classes with you in the future." - Louise Brooks, Professional Bellydancer and Teacher, Reading & Thatcham



"Rachel has always been an inspiring teacher, always encouraging her students to excel further. When I decided to start up my belly dance society at the University of West London, to teach belly dancing and increase awareness of this beautiful dance form, I approached Rachel for guidance. Rachel was supportive, understanding and answered all my questions in depth. I was able to successfully launch the belly dance society. I later attended some refresher classes with Rachel and her workshop on stage presence and performance, which were extremely beneficial to me, as Rachel is always sharing her wealth of dance knowledge unreservedly for the benefit of her students. I found my confidence within myself and my dancing improved drastically, just by attending a few dance classes and private tuition with Rachel. I would highly recommend Rachel to all budding belly dance performers, professionals and teachers."
- Tammy, West London



"I have had the pleasure of being a PRIVATE STUDENT of Rachel's as follows...

...as a beginner taking private classes alongside Rachel's weekly classes.
...then to assist me with personal dance studies (Hossam and Serena Ramzy School of Music and Dance).
...as a fellow performer at bellydance showcases and charity events.
...and finally helping me to become a bellydance teacher myself.

So as you can see, Rachel has a wealth of knowledge to help you along every step of the way. I am now more confident and knowledgable (even with the boring stuff...tax/insurance/forms etc). Rachel is brimming with positivity and enthusiasm and is a joy to be around. I can't recommend her enough."
- Jem, Slough



"I have had the good fortune of learning from Rachel on several levels: enchanted member of audience watching a graceful dancer, inspired Princess of the Orient (as a student and teacher trainee), and as a private student. She is thorough, exacting and infinitely helpful, a teacher and coach who demands and elicits much more out of me than I believed possible. Rachel doesn’t teach to a formula, but rather, helps me improve my own dance, performance and teaching skills. She is always prepared to give just that little bit more, allow me to explore a bit deeper, and encourage my creativity. I can’t wait to put into practice all that she’s taught me! I will certainly continue to learn from Rachel, and heartily recommend her to anyone who wants to expand into teaching."
- Feyza, Wargrave.



Go back to the teaching page.

Performance Testimonials

"“I call her the “Queen of the Stage”. Let yourself be taken on a journey, as this lady [Rachel Bennett] glides (check if she actually hovers) across the dance floor.” – Sandy, Dance for Clean Oceans Event, Reading

“The team thoroughly enjoyed your performances - thanks to you and the girls for making it so special and memorable. Have a lovely Christmas!” - Elizabeth, Private Christmas Corporate Event hosted at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Reading

"I booked Rachel for a hen weekend recently and she was fantastic - warm, enthusiastic, skilled and a lot of fun! We had a great time and a great work out learning the basics and performing a routine to Shakira at the end. I really liked the way Rachel took the time and care to encourage the girls and compliment them on their technique, so everyone - from the confident ones to the shyer folk - felt included and swept along by the music! The bride had a blast and was very touched at the effort Rachel went to and the kind words she gave her at the end. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her and if I lived locally I'd be going to her classes already. Thank you so much, Rachel - you helped make Louise's hen party perfect and unforgettable!" - Roisin, London

"It was super to see you in action at the Restaurant on Saturday night. You were amazing - such suppleness, rhythm and fitness - wow." - Maggi, Maidenhead

"Just wanted to say that I loved your dancing at the Summer Spectacular. It was one of my highlights. You're beautiful to watch!!" - Melissa, Reading

"I just ADMIRE your elegance and talent. You look stunning in every show I've seen." - Sevinc, Brighton

"...thank you for agreeing to perform and being the highlight of the party.. .We had so many comments about your dancing, and how elegant you were." - Paul, Hurst

"Your performance was the dramatic piece of the night, without a doubt." - Adam, Twyford

"Last night was great, you were both electric and super talented." - Elodie, Windsor

"...the girls loved watching you dance!!! Brilliant show, you made that dinner special to us!" - Sandy, Reading

Go back to the booking page.


To engage Rachel for bellydance performances, classes, workshops and private lessons, please contact her on email .