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  1. #1
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    Default How can I start learning belly dance in Middle East?

    Hi there,

    I am new here, my name is Chi, nice to meet you all here.

    I started learning belly dance (3-4 lessons per week) in Australia for half year and will continue until mid-2007, because I will finish my university study (not related to dancing) in Australia at that time, then I will go back to my home country (Hong Kong).

    Just now, I am planning to have some belly dance intensive training in Middle East for a few months after my university graduation, as I read some of the post here saying that its a good idea to learn and immerse myself in Middle East, I agree so. I really like belly dance after I started learning it, the feeling is amazing!!

    Could anyone give me some suggestions about where can I learn? And as I am just a student, I haven't got lots of money, how can I learn it in a cheaper way in Middle East? Which country? Actually I dont mind if the dancer is famous or not, just in case she is willing to teach me and I really want to learn in the origin area of the dance. I do prefer learning from "local" rather than "star". How's the budget I need prepare? Do you think that is possible to have such intensive training for not a professional like me?

    Thanks a lot!!!!

    Chi

  2. #2
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    Hi Chi!

    I actually can't help you much, but I thought I'd say 'hi' and nice meeting you.

    Can I ask a question though? What style of dancing are you learning? Like Egyptian, Turkish? etc? Cause that will help you chose a country. I think..


    Cyas
    Sara

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Learning in the Middle East

    Dear Chi,
    If you are going to be in Cairo, go to Hala Mustafa (she has a website with contact info) and tell her A'isha Azar said you should contact her. She lives in Cairo now and costumes for some of the stars there and will have loads of info, I am sure.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  4. #4
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    Default

    Hi Sara,

    Nice to meet you! I am learning Egyptain style and a little bit Turkist style. Because I am learning in a bellydance school with a few teachers there, I learn from 3 teachers a week actually, though they are running the same syllabus, they have their own culture background, so their dance style are quite differnece.

    Hi A'isha,

    Thanks for your reply! I will contact Hala and ask her some info. By the way, you know how much I need to budget for? and I am quite new to bellydance, is it possible to learn in an intensive way?

    THANKS FOR ALL!!!

  5. #5
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Learning etc.

    Dear Chi
    Hallah's info is
    www.hallahmoustafa.com
    I spelled her name incorrectly before. Sorry!
    Regards,
    A'isha

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Hi there
    Another good idea since you can plan for Egypt is to participate in a festival.
    I highly recomend The Nile Group festival, for this year the dates are from 20 - 28 November www.nilegroup.net for more details. Read also my review about it in the first page of www.orientaldancer.net
    You can be in 3 workshops every day (wow its excausting lol) and its really massive massive amount of dance.
    In any case, take care and be safe, a woman in an arab country have to be carefull always.

    Maria Aya

  7. #7
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    Default

    Thanks Maria,

    For the Nile Group Festival, is it possible for non-professional dancer to join?

    Chi

  8. #8
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    Hi there ,

    Actually my target destination for learning the dance is Turkey. Is there any recommendation? And I heard that the scenery there is also good.... Anyone from Turkey or familarize with Turkey could help??

    THankSS~
    Chi

  9. #9
    V.I.P. Maria_Aya's Avatar
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    Hi there Chi
    Yes in Nile Group its possible for non-professionals to attend. Just keep in mind that its hard work
    As for Turkey i would recomend Nesrin TopKapi the top dancer in Turkey for the last 25 years, for teaching. She is a great sweet lady, but keep in mind that right now she have more than 6 months students in list waiting.
    Another option is our member Hale Sultan, a sweet dancer and teacher, she also have great costumes. www.halesultan.com.
    Since you are gonna be around, if you pop in Greece keep in contact, I can always walk you around Acropolis and I know all the inside of the greek bellydance.
    Maria Aya

  10. #10
    Member Freya's Avatar
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    Hi Chi!

    I just thought I'd follow up on Maria's suggestion of attending a festival. I think it's a great idea because you will have a chance to try a wide range of teachers and see which one might be a good fit for you. Finding the right teacher is so important, especially if you plan to work with this person for an extended period of time, and invest a lot of effort and money. Speaking from my own experience, I finally found a great dance school and a wonderful teacher (Zeina/Suzanne Abou Shebika). I just wish I had started dancing with her years ago: I would have been a much better dancer, as it is I am steadily improving!

    Although I have not been to the Nile Group Festival myself, I would recommend it based on my experience from the Stockholm Bellydance Festival which featured several Nile Group teachers. www.bellydancefestival.se The Stockholm Festival is an annual event organized by Suzanne and Mohamed Abou Shebika, who are also co-organizers of the Nile Group Festival. I am a student of Suzanne (dance) and Mohammed (drums--just started!) and I adore them both! The Stockholm Festival was such a good learning experience for me, and a great opportunity to dance with several outstanding teachers. There was also about 10 solid hours of dance performances (3 gala events) which was an education in itself, and a chance to see many Nile Group teachers in action. The Stockholm Festival was a blast and I would just love to go to Egypt for the Nile Group event!

    In any case, if long-distance travel is not within your budget at the moment, try to find festivals or workshops within your area featuring ME teachers or teachers that are solidly invested in the style you want to pursue.

    Best of luck!
    Freya
    Last edited by Freya; 09-21-2006 at 10:06 AM. Reason: spelling

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