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Belly dance Idol Feature 2009

by Salome

In 2009 BellyDanceForums.net sponsored a contest wherein the public nominated their favorite dancers in novice, enthusiast and professional categories for Oriental dance. In contrast to traditional competition, judging criteria was not imposed. Instead the friendly contest was driven by people's choice. "Belly dance Idol" and "Tribal Idol" had nearly 19,000 collective views and many nominees from around the world.

Congratulations to the winners:

Lena Astrid of Denmark
Belly dance Idol - Professional Category

Lena Astrid has studied and performed oriental dance for more than 20 years, with prior training in classical and modern ballet. Lena has performed professionally and taught for over 14 years.

Lena won the Denmark Championship belly dance in 1999. In 2005 she won 3rd place in the Amani Oriental Competition in Lebanon, and in 2007 she received 3rd place at the Stockholm Bellydance Awards.

She teaches daily at the Ninna Holbek dance studio, and doing workshops in Denmark and abroad. Lena has studied many different styles, and has received training from over 30 different foreign teachers.

Lena Astrid is the president and co-organizer of Oriental Dance Festival Copenhagen. Lena has produced and choreographed dance performances, and has her own ensemble; Sirocco, - Copenhagen Oriental Dancers, which won 1st place in 2005 in "Raqs Sharqi - The Contest" in Berlin. Sirocco and Lena can be seen in the annual Oriental Dance Festival Copenhagen, The Association of Oriental Dance Annual Power Show, Stockholm's annual "Belly Dance Festival and annual Oriental Brighton Festival.

Sirocco and Lena can be seen in particular to the annual Oriental Dance Festival Copenhagen, The Association of Oriental Dance Annual Power Show (Nov.) Stockholm's annual "Belly Dance Festival (May) and annual Oriental Brighton Festival.

Yame of New Jersey, USA
Belly dance Idol - Experienced Category

"From the moment I started to learn this dance, I've been hooked. I can't go through a day without some belly dance-related activity (dancing alone, taking a class or following a DVD, reading about dance, or watching a performance live or on video).

Belly dance has become more than a hobby, it is now a true passion and an important part of my life.

I'm not sure where I'll go with it. All I know is that I can't get enough. My "plan" is to give it the best of me and see where that takes me.

Thank you so much for the nomination, the votes, and the feature on this page alongside a lot of wonderful dancers."

Halah Dahab of Shropshire, England
Belly dance Idol - Novice Category

"I'm Halah Dahab, better known as Holly (or Oona on OrientalDancer.net's forum) and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to enter the competition. I can hope that the future competitions gain more popularity and that other dancers can enjoy sharing their achievements with others in this way. I appreciate all the support and sharing of knowledge that takes place on BellyDanceForums.net.

I am a fusion of both my background and my inner spirit. In my dance, the charm of my home state of Kentucky blends with the warm friendliness of my now-home Shropshire, England and together these mix with the joy and sparkle of my love for Egyptian dance styles. I am a natural dancer who began belly dance training just over two years ago when I saw a flier on a bulletin board at the local arts-and-crafts centre. From my first class in January of 2008 I began a journey that would change my life in so many ways.

Never having taken a dance class in my life, save for a summer of Renaissance dancing with the Society of Creative Anachronism, I took to belly dance like a duck to water. With the support of my lovely teacher, Katherine Caddick, and our dance groups Khalila and Kinza, and with my own strong desire to better my dancing, I started practicing almost every day, performing when I could, and have progressed quicker than I could have ever imagined. Since my video was posted I have joined Taste of Cairo Bellydance Agency and look forward to my first gig with them.

When I'm dancing my best, I let my soul out to play, hoping to share some of my joy, warmth and raw emotion with my audience. I want to see the sparkle in their eyes and the music captivating their hearts as it does me. I am moved most by the Egyptian music and styles of dance, both classic and modern, and enjoy other Middle Eastern styles as well. I am ever thankful for those who have taught and inspired me along my way so far you know who you are. I believe that the key to a positive future for bellydance is to show respect for, and try our best to understand, the myriad of cultures from where the dances originate. And when all else fails, listen to and feel the music, as this is what binds us together."

Hanan Samar of Germany
Belly dance Idol - Novice Category
Novice Category tied!

"Hanans' dance style is characterized by drama, sensuality and emotion. Her face reflects nostalgia, melancholy, joy and pride. She enjoys transporting her audience from everyday life and giving her dance with the message of the music.

Her special love belongs to the Egyptian style and Balady. Hanan places special emphasis on musical interpretation and expression.

Her role models include the great Egyptian dancers from the 40's to the 90's, in particular Fifi Abdou.

Hanan has danced since 2003. She polishes in regular private sessions with Sahela on technique and personal style. In addition, she attended lessons from Magda Kadous and workshops with other renowned instructors such as Reyhan, Djamila Hassan Afifi, Magda Kadous, Sharazad, Magdy El -Leisy, and Leyla Jouvana."

Belly Dance Idol 2010 is on! Go to Belly dance Idol competition for details!