Maysa Ismael


My Story

My name is Maysa and I’m a Syrian dancer, human rights advocate, and founder of the Shik Shak Shok school of belly dance.

I began belly dancing in 2014 in Syria, where I was working in the field of forced migration, with a particular focus on gender. During this time, belly-dancing became much more than a hobby to me, as even travelling to the dance studio was a dangerous journey. However, the studio was an escape from the troubles outside and a place of calm for me. I began teaching dance in London online in 2020 during COVID realising the positive impact of bellydance on mental health.

My Business

Through Shik Shak Shok I offer community belly-dance classes, beginners and intermediate courses, private classes and events. My classes are culturally informative and gender inclusive, celebrating all people’s access to the art form. I aim to transform my students’ relationships with their bodies as well as decolonise and dismantle negative connotations associated with this style of dance. Shik Shak Shok is a safe place to explore the beauty of belly dancing and the authentic, joyful, and empowering healing it offers to all.


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