Josephine Wise set up the original Teacher Training Diploma Course with Maggie Caffrey under the JWAAD banner in 1990. Their original vision was to raise the level of the dance in the UK by providing a training for teachers, who could then pass on good technique and authentic dance styles. Both were dancers and teachers who were passionate about belly dance. Both had trained in Contemporary dance and in dance teaching, so they transferred their skills to the belly dance world. The original course ran for over twelve years before Maggie retired.
In 2002 Jo invited Kay Taylor to help develop the course into the four-module design we have today. Kay also worked with the One Awards (formerly the OCN) to gain external accreditation. JWAAD Training is now proud to award externally accredited qualifications.
For several years the four modules continued to be developed and taught by Jo and Kay, with Yvette Cowles and Gwen Booth joining the team. Yvette had particular interest in the History and Culture course and developing a Performance Diploma, and Gwen Booth developed aspects of the Safety and Teaching Methods courses.
Jo finally decided that the administration of the accredited courses would benefit most from a team approach. She asked Kay Taylor, Yvette Cowles and Gwen Booth to join her as directors of the academy, and JWAAD Training was born.
Over the years many teachers have been involved in developing and delivering the courses, particularly the Safety course as this was launched first. These include: Margaret Krause, Raphaelle Masson, Trish Rapley-Giles, Anne Kingston, Beatrice Curtis & Hilde Cannoodt. In 2017 we also added Catherine Bartholomew, Dorte Evelyn and Yasmina of Cairo to the team and this year, Charlotte Wassell. Our percussion specialist was Adam Warne until last year and we have now been joined by Joelle Barker.
Our team of directors is now three strong, after the sad passing of Yvette in 2017. As directors we have a responsibility to maintain the quality and delivery of current courses, developing new ones and constantly reviewing our portfolio. We still work closely with the One Awards, and deliver fully accredited courses.
Over the years we have trained a large number of dancers and dance teachers (see Our Teachers page), and we are dedicated to helping dancers to realise their potential. All JWAAD teachers have the benefit of the support network within JWAAD, and of belonging to a community whose common goal is to promote the art of belly dance.