Putney Dancer Takes Therapy Workshops To Cambridge

Thanks to funding from Cambridge City Council


Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A dancer from East Putney is taking her unique Kush concept to Cambridge thanks to funding from Cambridge City Council. Top Turkish dancer Melisa Yavas launched Kush (Turkish for “bird”) at Sadler’s Wells last year, combining bellydance with complementary activities such as yoga, meditation and sound therapy to help “inform, invigorate and empower” women.

Various women’s and community arts groups have shown an interest in the innovative workshops following its successful three-month run at Sadler’s Wells, including Cambridge-based Balik Arts. They teamed up with Melisa to put in a proposal to their local council, who agreed to fund a month-long series for Cambridge women to attend at subsidized prices.

Every Kush workshop involves a different theme. The Cambridge series starts and ends with Relationship, with Acceptance, Womb and Naturally Balanced Female in between. They each home in on a different aspect of the feminine being, both emotional and physical. Women leave sessions feeling more enlightened, invigorated and empowered through their improved understanding of, and relationship with, their minds, bodies and each other.

Melisa Yavas said: “I’m delighted Kush is spreading its wings beyond London. Bellydancing is no longer the preserve of those living in Turkey and the Middle East. Its popularity is growing worldwide. It celebrates womanhood: we dance, laugh, and live in the ‘here and now. Funding by the council means Cambridge women on all income levels can come along, have fun, keep fit and enjoy new cultural experiences.”

The Cambridge series runs weekly on Wednesdays evenings at the Mill Road Baptist Church in the city centre until Wednesday 2nd April. Melisa Yavas leads each one, accompanied by renowned drummer Sallam Al-Sheikh who provides live rhythms, with Cambridge-based Rosanna Gordon the meditation and yoga instruction. For more information, visit .

March 20, 2014