Josephine is one of the world’s top exponents of Egyptian Dance. Her style is known for its authenticity and expression. As a teacher she is in demand around the world for her high technical standards and her knowledge of the interpretation of Egyptian music.
Josephine has danced extensively throughout the UK, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East, including regular functions for Arabic royal families. She has toured the UK with her dance company MASRIAT, and has choreographed works for the theatre and opera in England and France.
Josephine has developed a very distinctive and accessible method of enabling students to understand both the physical technique and the cultural intricacies of Egyptian Belly Dance.
Josephine has been a professional dancer and dance teacher since 1978. She first trained in contemporary dance, which she both performed and taught for several years. In 1981 she discovered Middle Eastern and Arabic Dance and trained in England and Egypt over the next 4 years. She began performing in cabaret in 1983 and over a period of many years danced extensively for both Western and Middle Eastern audiences. She has performed to audiences throughout the UK, Europe, Egypt and the Middle East, including private parties, celebrations and weddings for several Arab royal family members.
Over the past few years Josephine has also been invited to perform and teach at many major festivals in cities around the world, including the Ahlan Wa Sahlan festival in Cairo, festivals in Europe including Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Norway and Denmark, in the USA and around the globe.
In 2007 Josephine started a new dance company, Johara Dance, with a repertoire that ranges from the highly dramatic to witty and light-hearted. She has choreographed two full length dramatic shows for the company; 'Elemental' and 'Hoochie Coochie Girls'. These shows include sections of authentic Egyptian style dance, and sections of fusion choreography in different and unique combinations, calling on Josephine's extensive understanding of different dance styles and the possibilities of musical interpretation.
Calling on her extensive career as a performer, Josephine has developed a very distinct and accessible method of teaching both the physical technique and the cultural intricacies of Belly Dance. Josephine is a teacher of the Alexander Technique and she uses Alexander principles in her dance teaching, particularly alignment of the spine and release in the muscles. She is also trained as a Pilates teacher and uses Pilates style exercises when needed for core strengthening for dancers.
Josephine's own teaching includes weekly classes up to professional level, weekend workshops and festivals, her Professional Performance Course, private one-to-one lessons and teaching at JWAAD events.
In 1990 she set up the Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance (JWAAD) to promote the highest standards in Arabic dance, the JWAAD Summer School and the JWAAD Teacher Training Diploma Course. After her partner in the creation of the course, Maggie Caffrey, retired, Josephine invited five of her senior teachers to deliver the course with her, and Kay Taylor to head the Professional Training department of the Academy. The Academy now runs two Diploma Courses, a Teaching Diploma and a Performance Diploma, and JWAAD professional courses are now being accredited by the Open College Network (OCN).
Josephine has run dance events and festivals since 1990, when she started the JWAAD Summer School, an intensive and exhilarating dance experience - a week long course with over 40 hours of dance and activities, parties, a show and much more. The fantastic FANTASIA festival in London is the UK's most prestigious bellydance event, which includes two days of workshops, three competitions and a Saturday night showcase. In 2007 and 2009, Josephine also ran the International Bellydance Congress, a huge event in the south-east with a galaxy of star teachers and amazing international shows.