Category Archives: Belly Dance

new world records – now 134

with the bar set in johannesburg (albeit unofficially as far as the guinness book) at 90, scotland steps up and raises the bar to 134: Belly dancers create world record [bbc, 2005.10.30]

Belly dancers in Scotland have shaken their way to a new world record.

A group of 134 dancers from across the world converged on Nairn where their five-minute routine gave them an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.

The event was the brainchild of local councillor and keen belly dancer Liz MacDonald, 43, who sent DVDs of the routine to a variety of groups.

She said: “It was fantastic. We were all in our sparkly belly dancing costumes so it was really colourful.”

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cerebral palsy and dancing do mix

a very personal, inspirational story, from the arizona republic – Belly dancer shakes cerebral palsy limits

Neena Nour was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy when she was 6. Doctors said she would be unable to dance, roller skate or balance.

Her determination proved them wrong.

Nour, 20, whose real name is Christina Pope, dances in the classical Middle Eastern belly dance tradition, known as raks sharki, and has been practicing her profession for four years.

On Friday, the Mesa resident and several other dancers will perform at Mesa Women’s Club in a benefit for United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona.

“My mission in life is to inspire others,” said Nour, who had to overcome her difficulties and develop alternate paths through various therapies.

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bellydance fitness in asheville

from the citizen times, asheville, nc – Get in shape by doing the belly dance

The work of groups like Asheville’s Baraka Mundi belly dance troupe is helping to bring the ancient dance form into the mainstream.

mostly about suhaila’s workshop… Continue reading

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bellydancing in malaysia

trouble in paradise? perhaps. if you think malaysia is paradise…. from the independent online (south africa), Belly dancing gets Malaysia all shook up

Snaking its way into popular urban culture, belly dancing is becoming a hobby among middle class Malaysians, despite a general perception that the dance is too provocative for this conservative, mainly Muslim country.

“I’m nearly 40, I’m fat… but it doesn’t matter. Size doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter, I’m still hot.”

the same article appears in mainichi (japan) on october 5 – Belly dancers shaking things up in Muslim Malaysia, but this version has pictures. Continue reading

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Redwood coast bellydance festival

a more in-depth article, and definitely worth a few minutes, from great north of california, under the shade of the redwoods, the redwood coast bellydance festival, as covered by the times standard, Raks Sharqi: Dance of the East flourishes in the West

Belly dancing has enjoyed rising popularity in the past several years, both as an art form and a means of self-expression. Classes are flourishing for a variety of reasons. “In the many classes I teach,” said Shoshanna, “I find that most of my new students have never danced before. Many are looking for a good workout, to try something new, to get in touch with their feminine side and dress up.”

The nature of Middle Eastern dance is expressive and sensual, and it can be celebrated as such by both men and women. This dance form also has the effect of bringing people together with a sense of community.

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Syracuse Katrina fundraiser

in the empire state, Syracuse area bellydancers hold Katrina fundraiser

The Syracuse Area Bellydancers Association hosted a fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina last night at Westcott Community Center.

The documentary American Bellydancer was shown followed by a live belly dancing show.

“The thing is that we are here and we seem so far removed from what people are actually experiencing down South. Myself personally, I am from Gulf Port, Mississippi, so for me I have been affected by the Hurricane even up here and there’s so little that we can do from a distance. This is one thing we can do that will make an impact,” said Chelle Naef, bellydance instructor said.

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Hopkins dance uninspiring

in the local scene, from baltimore, in mid-september, we have coverage from the jhu newsletter, with this rough headline, JHU dance showcase fails to inspire.

The Egyptian Sun bellydance troupe followed with a group performance and four solos. Although the members of Egyptian Sun are known for shaking what their mommas gave them to anything from pop songs to beats from the hard-core punk outfit Fascist Fascist, this time their act had a surprising lack of, well, shaking. Great bellydancing is all about “layering” — the synchronizing of abdominal movement and upper-body shimmying — and the Suns’ choreography seemed to reduce this bodacious mix to just belly rolls and shiny props.

Former Hopkins graduate student Brenda Peterson’s cane routine, for instance, featured enough sashaying and cane-twirling to bring a smile to anyone’s face, but resembled a jazz improvisation more than bellydance. Even Egyptian Sun co-founder Dori Witt’s finale, in which she waved around a beautiful set of metallic “wings of Isis” to the beat of a rockabilly tune, seemed short on the lower-body virtuosity for which bellydance is famed. Only the traditional tribal solo really seemed to show off the dancer’s skills.

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baltimore city paper is bored with bellydance

from the baltimore city paper, we get this small item, quoted in its entirety:

Best Trend We’d Like to Throw a Robe On
Belly Dancing

It’s not that we’re inherently anti-belly dancing. We love that you don’t need to be a waif to dress like Barbara Eden and undulate. It’s just that it feels like wherever we go, from rock shows and art openings to fundraisers and corporate cocktail parties, the night is not complete until a couple of barefoot chicks with bells on their fingers have writhed for a while. At first we oohed and ahhed along, but at this point we’ve reached our belly-dancing limit. Are we really so incapable of being entertained by the shaking of our own and our fellow partiers’ asses that our hosts have to hire people to do it? Well, as people who never get tired of our own ass shakings, we say no.

now it’s time for me to editorialize a bit… and i am inherently pro-bellydancing.
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BDSS resident company

looks like the bellydance superstars have landed themselves a resident gig at the monte carlo resort (see “monte carlo resort” then “nightlife” then “le cabaret”).

the site claims:

Sixteen gorgeous dancers will perform to tribal, techno, rock and oriental rhythms reminiscent of the poetic and bewitching world of the Arabian Nights.

Open from Wednesday to Saturday. Bar/Restaurant open from 8:30 pm, with the show beginning at 10:30 pm.

sixteen is an expanded company (i think the superstars have been touring with twelve), and the show opened last week (september 14).

haven’t seen any reviews yet…

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exotic illinois

is it still exotic?

Exercise in the exotic

Cass Strong of Charleston dances under the name of Setarah and has been learning the art for 18 months.

“Empowering” is how she described the dance.

“It doesn’t matter what size or age you are. Most women aren’t Barbie dolls. It’s bonding with other women,” Strong said.

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