About Xaeda Raqasa

Xaeda Raqasa (Kylie Walter) is the founder and principal teacher of Sacred Lotus Bellydance.

Xaeda’s passion for Middle Eastern Dance started the moment she stepped in to her first lesson.
Since then she has perused every aspect of the dance. From performance, instruction and theatre to TV advertising, DVD’S, music and supporting the community while mastering the different props, emotions and dance styles within this amazing art form.

Xaeda is a popular Instructor and entertainer at festivals and has delighted audiences from all over the world.
With her fun loving approach and understanding of music and movement Xaeda can draw her audience in and take them on a journey.

 As a qualified Masseuse and Personal Trainer,  Xaeda has an extended knowledge of the body and how each movement can be broken down to assist learning.
Also a recognised teacher of the Shemiran Ibrahim
“Bellydance from the Heart” teaching method.
Xaeda teaches weekly classes and workshop for the Sacred Lotus School of Middle Eastern Dance in Toormina, Woolgoolga, and provides private tuition throughout Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas. She also travels nationally for private function and festival performances, presenting  workshops and  assisting other student to learn skills and techniques to enhance their love of Middle Eastern dance. She also co-hosts Bula Bellydance Retreat in Fiji along side her mentor and friend Amera Eid.
Keeping learning fun, Xaeda’s interactive and positive teaching style has encouraged students of all ages and abilities to embrace their spirit and express themselves through dance.


Sacred Lotus Bellydance

Sacred Lotus Bellydance  provides woman of all ages, size and abilities the opportunity to empower their spirit and shine.

Fast becoming one of the most recognised schools on the Mid North Coast, Sacred Lotus Bellydance classes, workshops and performances continue to inspire and captivate audiences.

Principal teacher and director Xaeda, combines the fun and energetic elements of dance with the skill base and technique needed to embrace all that Middle Eastern Dance has to offer.

Sacred Lotus explores the advantages of performance, while building confidence and individuality of movement by way of learning the different skills available and technique needed to tell a story through music, costume and dance. Xaeda encourages students to advance at their own pace, with guidance and gentle direction to grow and bloom.

Not all students are called to the stage. It is within Sacred Lotus that you discover your possibilities with the option to perform when you are ready. 

Join the fun and discover why so many women are enjoying the benefits of this ancient dance!

The Origins of Bellydance...

The origin of the words 'Belly Dance'
The origin of the name 'belly dance' comes from the French Dance du ventre, which translates as "dance of the stomach". Belly dance is also often referred to as "oriental dance" and also sometimes raks sharqi. This is Arabic for "Dance of the east".

Origins of Belly Dance
The type and style of dancing which we now call belly dance, can be traced back over 6000 plus years. The early pagan communities often worshipped a matriarchal deity and extolled the magic and fascination of the ability of women to create life. There is a lot of historical evidence which links the ritual of fertility dances at that time, with symbolic re-creations of giving birth, to modern belly dancing. The sharp hip movements, deliberate muscular contractions and spasms, as well as sinewy undulations, demonstrate strong connections to the body's responses during labour and delivery. The dances spread from Mesopotamia to North Africa, Rome, Spain and India. It is thought gypsies travelled and spread belly dance. This blending can be seen in the use of the neck slides introduced from India and the transformation of hip shimmy to foot stamping in flamenco dance.

Belly dance as form of public entertainment
Belly dance became a form of mainstream public entertainment care of the gipsy tribes who first danced out on the streets and who performed in the theatres. Originally coming from India, the gypsies first travelled west into Afghanistan and Persia. Then some of them migrated North to Turkey and then onto Europe. Others went South until they reached Egypt and other parts of Northern Africa. One of the ways that gypsies supported themselves during their journeys was by providing entertainment for the people of the communities in which they stopped: Belly dancing is especially popular in Turkey and Egypt.

Belly dance in Turkey
In Turkey, after 1453, the gypsies settled in Istanbul and here entertainment was requested for the women, they were amused by female-only dancers and musicians called chengis . The chengis built an artistic style that is the root of many movements in belly dancing today. The complex hip work, shimmies and varied facial expressions, as well as veil dancing and finger cymbal playing, can be linked back to the gypsy chengis.

Belly dance in Egypt
 Performances in Egypt did not only involve women. Gypsies also danced for the public at celebrations, wedding processions and in front of coffee houses and market places. Referred to as the ghawazee , their repertoire was a mix of music and dancing, including improvised performances with veil, sticks, swords and candles. Generally, public dancing was tolerated by the authorities, because they earned a substantial revenue by taxing performers' profits. However, religious complaints finally outweighed the financial benefits and public ghawanzee dancing was outlawed in the city of Cairo in 1834. Between 1849 and 1856 the ban was lifted and dancing was allowed in Cairo again, although the sanction against dancing in public remained. The dance moved inside to a music-hall type environment and Egyptian cabaret-style dancing was born.

Belly dance in the West
The expansion of Belly dancing in Europe and America occured as a result of the flow of tourists into the Middle East. Dance troupes were contracted by foreigners and taken to exhibition forums in London, Paris and Chicago to perform. Their art was appreciated for its uniqueness. Belly dancing's popularity grew tenfold at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with the publicity surrounding a belly dancer named Little Egypt. Little Egypt sparked a wave of controversy. Her pelvic and torso focused dancing was imitated by so many to such an exaggerated extent that she began to protest against the impostors for distorting her performance into sheer vulgarity. The fantasized and often distorted version of belly dancing grew at a rapid pace, becoming a popular subject in books, art and Hollywood movies. But in recent years more and more women have discovered the true elements of this incredibly feminine and self-affirming art form.