Jade Belly Dance was again proud to be involved in World Belly Dance Day activities for the 5th year in a row! For those of you that are not in the Belly Dance scene or are yet to hear about it, World Bellydance Day is an event started in 2008 by the lovely Lydia Tzigane (Dubai) to promote “the idea that belly dance is an ART form, a cultural event, a sport, and a social and family entertainment.”, “Our task is to show how nice it can be, that it is a lovely dance not necessarily done only in nightclubs or restaurants. It is an art form that brings lots of people together, of different ages, nationalities, countries, backgrounds, religions.” It is always the second Saturday in May and all money raised from events is to go to charity.
When I stumbled across the World Belly Dance Day website back in 2008, I just knew it was something I had to be a part of. I went to the other dance teachers I worked with and the first World Belly Dance Day Bellingen was born! Since then the organising has been taken over by Shekhinah but my dancers are always happy to join in.
We have been blessed with outstanding weather for the last 4 years and it has been a predominately outdoor event working in with the local produce market. Last year it was so hot (despite being late autumn) that I actually got a sunburnt belly!
This year it couldn’t have been more different. It was cold and rainy and we huddled under the grandstands trying to stay dry. The parade got replaced with a mini jam inside the nearby Hall. The performances all went off without a hitch though and a good time was had by all despite the last minute relocation.
Some of the girls from my Bellingen kid’s class got to perform their Khaleegy dance wearing the costumes that they won from last year’s World Belly Dance Day. The photo of the finale of their dance to Abl Ma Anam won them best group photo and a set of child sized Khaleegy robes.
Thank you again Lydia! They are all so proud of themselves.
Some of my senior girls from Dorrigo danced a Tajik piece and the lovely Lyn performed her comedy solo – a piece that starts off as a very old school classical Egyptian piece and somehow ends up as Gangnam Style!
Much to my delight, last year’s bellynesian piece generated so much enthusiasm that we did it again – but this time with more students and fancier costumes. The costumes were thanks in part by the work of the wonderful Joanne Ware that made 12 modified grass skirts while suffering pleurisy. Jo we love you! We were asked by many audience members to do a longer piece so rest assured we have a much bigger bellynesian piece in the making (this time to live music!!).
As always when you perform at these events you inevitably miss the opportunity to watch many dances (while changing costumes etc). I loved all the dancing and enjoy watching anyone that gets up and has a go. Of the dancing I saw there were some great pieces performed by members of different schools, 3 were particularly memorable for me – including Houda’s Arabesque Belles who performed for the first time ever!!!!! Yep, they are a non performance based class but they decided to dance this year and were sensational to a live version of Lamma Bada. All in white with well timed sufi twirling, simply hypnotic.
Susan’s stick solo – OMG! I tried so hard to get a good shot of her but she was moving so much the camera couldn’t focus on her. Thankfully I have gotten permission to use photos by Raqs Reflection to illustrate this comment. Talk about being in the zone. I have known this women for 10 years or so and always thought she was a lovely dancer but this was the best I have ever seen her dance – actually I would say that she was the stand out dancer of the day. So much energy and joy.
My third pick of the day was the bollywood fusion number by Ruth Maitland’s Awalim class. I have also known these ladies for well over a decade and danced with them many times. Their piece was not strictly belly dance but so colourful and so much fun it was my favourite piece I have ever seen them dance. Truely inspired choreography.
A big thank you to all the people that made World Belly Dance Day Bellingen possible – the schools, teachers, organisers, videographers, photographers, parents, partners, children and audience. Also, G’Day and thank you to all the beautiful people that joined in with events around the world. I can’t wait to read about your performances, so don’t forget to send Lydia your reviews. Without all of you there would be no World Bellydance Day.
Finally I have to thank my glorious dancers for all they give to me. You are such a wonderful caring group. I am honoured to know you all. You will always be my ultimate favourites. I have loved watching each one of you grow and develop in this wonderful dance form.
Love to you all,
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any photos or video of World Belly Dance 2013 in Bellingen. I would love to see them. Did you participate in World Belly dance Day? Please comment below.