Here are some great belly dance videos to inspire junior dancers – 2 great primary aged dancers and a teenager.
As someone that teaches a lot of children belly dance, I was eager to check out the junior category of the Ultimate belly dancer online competition. This competition boasts a stellar list of judges and while the people’s choice voting has ended – you can still see the finalists here.
I guess one can’t have endless categories but I feel that 16 and under is a bit broad. There is a huge difference between the coordination abilities of a 6yr old to a 16 year old. Some of the dancers in this category looked more developed than I am and yet some were just babes! Not exactly an even playing field.
Having said that I am very glad this competition exists because it means that where one lives doesn’t restrict their participation. Dancers in rural areas, distant countries (like Australia and NZ!!), and remote towns or from poorer families can all compete without the burden and expense of travel. I am not sure about their policy of videos with the top 10 votes in each category going on to the finals. I know judges are busy and can’t review masses of entrants but unfortunately this does bias the chances of making the finals towards dancers from big city schools where the teachers have a large pool of students to encourage to vote.
OK, on to my favourite 3
Hannah – 8 year old bellydancer
Isn’t she sweet? On a technical level there were others better but there are several things I love about this clip. 1) She isn’t in a bra top or other inappropriate clothing for her age. 2) She is dancing in what seems to be a very encouraging and nurturing environment. 3) While she does look like she is concentrating, she also looks like she is having a good time and enjoying herself. 4) Her choreography isn’t all spins, backbends and hair flicks and is APPROPRIATE for her age. (I don’t mind them for a tiny bit of drama here and there but it annoys me when that is all there is too it)
Candice Lee of Taiwan, 10 years old, oriental bellydance with Isis wings
What a little Star! She uses those wings better than many adults I know. She has great lines and thank god – no stupid padded bra. It’s such a pet hate of mine when people put kids in adult’s costumes.
Instuctor & Choregrapher: Yi-Ju Chen
Music: Sarah Brightman-Harem
Tabla Solo – Kholkhal Taheya (Taheyya’s Ankle) Hossam Ramzy
Biró Petra of Hungary – Baladi 2012
I don’t know how old Biro is. She looks like she has to be close to the 16yrs cut off and I will judge her on that assumption. Her costume is very adult but not sleazy. She does a very professional job of this piece. I adore the choreography (except for the back facing, back bend / boob shot) and apparently its her own piece!!! WOW!! I hope I don’t lose face for saying this ..but I would happily take a workshop featuring her choreographical work. She is definitely good enough to be mixing it with the adults.
Do you have any favourite belly dance videos of juniors? Comment below, with your thoughts.