Tahira had no way of knowing that a curiosity about finding a new way to exercise through belly dancing was to set her on a path that would change her life completely. The very first class had a profound effect on her, and the music and movements felt so ‘right’ she didn’t want the class to end! The classes helped her attain a new self-esteem, and greater confidence in herself.
Looking back to that time, she knows that she was guided to this most ancient of dances… to give her the inner strength she would need to help her face the challenges to come… the complete upheaval of her world and ultimate end to a 21 year marriage. She became strong, she began to feel, and she was free!
Tahira began her studies in 1983 at the pioneer Middle Eastern Dance school ‘Freddy’s Dance Academy’ in Toronto, run by husband & wife team Eddy and Samia Manneh, from Beirut, Lebanon. Tahira was a member of Eddy Manneh’s professional troupe — ‘The Arabian Sahara Dance Company’ — for 17 years. She honoured the experience of being in an authentic Middle Eastern troupe, absorbing the Arabic culture and heritage with her ‘dance family’. Tahira also trained with Royal Jordanian Dance Troupe choreographer Marwan Jarrar, as well as drumming lessons with Dr. George Sawa, Middle East Music Director for the University of Toronto.
Tahira has had numerous television appearances, has participated in many shows and multicultural festivals (Ontario, Quebec and U.S.), and was a regular featured performer at Toronto’s Al Khaima Middle Eastern Dinner Theatre for three years. The Arabian Sahara Dance Company performed at the Ontario and Canada Pavilions in Vancouver’s Expo ’86, and hosted the Arabian Pavilion in Metro Toronto Caravan, Carassauga and Carabram for many years. Check out Tahira’s videos.
Tahira began teaching at senior recreation centres in Oakville, Ancaster, Hamilton and Burlington, eventually forming an enthusiastic amateur troupe “Tahira’s Desert Gypsies”. They performed for 3 years at the RBC Seniors’ Jubilee at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, as well as festivals and senior residences. Tahira’s Beginner Bellydance Fitness DVD was created especially for seniors and has 80 & 81 year old participants.
Tahira is a Certified Reflexologist, 5 Tibetans Yoga Instructor and Usui Reiki Master.
Bellydance transformed Tahira Badre’s life from one of existing in an oppressed, depressed and abused state to one where she was alive, joyous, peaceful and thriving. Take a moment to listen to Tahira describe the release Bellydance provided her through the movement and the music in these following videos recorded by the Inspirational Transformational Network.