Tag-Archive for » belly dancing legends «

The Art and Science of Middle Eastern Dancing

{lang: 'ar'}

I have had the pleasure of meeting a vast variety of Middle Eastern dancers throughout my dancing career.  Many of whom are technically brilliant yet lacking emotion, while others are captivating in every way. I think what makes this dance form unique in every sense of the word is the uniqueness of each dancer; the uniqueness of each interpretation of the music and of course the delivery of the emotion through the dance. Not one dancer is the same, not one costume is the same; yet we are all “moved” by one powerful aspect: the Music.

In April this year the opportunity presented itself for me to attend some workshops with local extraordinaire, Ava van Aarde, the fabulous internationally acclaimed Turbo Tabla native Egyptian drummer, Karim Nagi and the legendary dancer of ALL dancers, Bozenka.

All three artists have such a passion for what they do and seeing them in action is such an inspiration. I think the most profound ‘lesson’ I took from these memorable experiences was that dancing is not just about the melody but the emotion.  Melody brings about movement and most importantly: Emotion. Certain instruments for example the accordion in a baladi taqsim and certain melodies/rhythms for example the Saba convey a specific emotion.  To dance to a melody and simultaneously portray the emotions of the music to your audience are the key elements that differentiates a good dancer from a great dancer.

The challenge for western dancers like myself is to shift our focus from being mechanically perfect and technically correct but rather to embrace the nuances of expressive imperfection. It is this challenge that makes belly dancing an art form and not a science.

** Therein lies the reason why we keep coming back for more**

Danisa of Argentina in Durban, SA by BellyFusion and The Hip Circle Belly Dance School

{lang: 'ar'}

Danisa’s credentials run into pages as she has devoted most of her life to dancing, starting with ballet and traditional folk-dance and then teaching and performing the merengu in Argentina.  She has traversed India, Spain, the Middle East, Egypt, Japan and China perfecting the art of belly dancing and learning different styles, together with performing and teaching. She has trained under all the great teachers & performers of belly dancing and is presently performing throughout the United Arab Emirates with a distinguished agency.

You can read more about this beautiful belly dancer in the next quarterly issue of the RaksAfrica Magazine which is due out in April!

Danisa Workshop Registration form for Durban

NOTE: To ensure that everyone has a pleasurable experience and gets the most out of each Workshop,
space is limited to 25 dancers per Workshop – so PLEASE BOOK EARLY to avoid disappointment!!!

For further information please do not hesitate to contact myself, Alison at:
cel:  082 824 0908
(please note Danisa’s website is under construction at the present time – see Facebook – Danisa Bellydance)

Dancing Queen – BOZENKA

{lang: 'ar'}
Beatriz Marta Arencibia aka BOZENKA

I was privileged enough to attend two of Bozenka’s workshops held in JHB at the beginning of October. I thought to myself what a pity that I could only attend two workshops and for such a brief time. Watching Bozenka dance and being thought by her I can best describe as like a drug [there is really no other way of describing this] you just can’t get enough – the more you see and get the more you want! I was amongst quite a big group of fellow SA dancers and even so felt that Bozenka gave a lot of personal attention during the workshops and I do believe that each and every one of us have benefited from her workshops in a HUGE way. Her love for the dance and her unconditional commitment as well as her willingness to share and teach her knowledge of this dance form is so admirable.

Bozenka was not only involved in the crowning of our Miss. Belly Dance SA 2010 but participated in the Belly Dance Fantasy Showcase. I was in the second row from the front [really really close J] and can I just say that I have NEVER EVER seen a live belly dance performance like that. Bozenka is by far the most graceful and elegant dancer! Her performance was breathtaking!!! If you happened to miss this, then ‘shame on you’, it was absolutely brilliant and such an inspiration. Bozenka is truly a dancing Queen !!

After the show I sent Bozenka a Facebook mail to congratulate her on this performance and to ask her for some feedback about her South African experience and her views on the South African Belly Dancing Community. She gave me permission to publish this and I would like to share her reply.

Bozenka Arencibia October 23 at 5:52am

“Dear Bernice,

First of all let me thank you for your kind words. It was really a joy for me to perform for the audience members in Johannesburg. It was always a dream for me to travel far but I never imagined that dancing would be the vehicle to take me to such exotic places. I truly enjoyed working with the ladies that attended my workshops. In general, I was met with smiles, excitement and respect. I felt that the dancers have an immense desire for more knowledge and they are ready to take it on! I’m very impressed with Angela for taking it into her own hands to bring teachers from abroad and to give her students and local dancers the platform (literally speaking too) to perform in such a lovely theatre. I wonder if some of the students realize that it really isn’t that way all around the world. Some bellydancers never get the chance to experience that.

Next time I visit, I’d like to teach in another city to get a bit of contrast and “taste” other grounds. It was a beautiful and very positive experience judging the Miss Belly SA Competition, teaching my workshops and performing for an audience that was so welcoming. I shall return!

Bright Blessings,


I have to agree with Bozenka, Angela, a thousand thank-you’s for your commitment and your courage to organise for a dancer of this magnitude to come to South Africa and share her knowledge with us. Such a boost for the industry. Keep up the good work !!

To Bozenka you have officially become my idol :-). Hurry back to SA soon!

Samantha Emanuel Performance Showcase

{lang: 'ar'}

Soma Fusion Belly Dance proudly presents a belly dancing legend and superstar, Samantha Emanuel.

Samantha will be in South Africa and presenting a few workshops in Cape Town and Johannesburg, the details on which you can find here.

If belly dancing is not your thing, but you love watching this incredibly graceful art form; why not come and watch this legend of belly dancing on the 26th of November at the Promusica Theatre, Roodepoort.

Samantha will be performing along with other local belly dancing talent including  :

Fuse Dance

Gypsy Rythms

Dancing Divinity

In Harems Way


Bellydance Goddess

Soma Fusion Bellydance Company

Dancers of the Sheikh

and other special guests

Tickets are only R 100 per person! To book, contact Natalie directly on natalie@dancingdivinity.com

What is Belly Dancing Legends?

{lang: 'ar'}

This site is specifically dedicated to the wonderful art of belly dancing.

Belly Dancing Legends will be posting and uploading information on all of the world class workshops that you can attend throughout South Africa which will definitely aid you on your road to becoming a belly dancing legend in your own right.

The allure of a belly dancers tummy

Each workshop that is posted will provide you with the option of downloading the registration form so that you can attend. For each workshop that a member of Belly Dancing Legends attends, there will be a short write up on that workshop so that you can get a feel for how each different studio runs and operates their workshops.

There are so many different belly dancing styles that there is bound to be one which speaks to you and resonates within you.

I encourage you to express yourself through dance and to allow yourself to be free! Belly dancing is the ideal opportunity to do this in the sanctity of a studio where each person is on their own personal journey and can empathize and relate to you.

Please follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our RSS feed to be kept in the loop each time something new and exciting is posted to Belly Dancing Legends!

I promise you will not be disappointed! I look forward to sharing this information and journey with you!