Registration deadline 31st May 2022  Book your place here

GREAT NEWS ……. YOU CAN STILL JOIN.  Your first submission is not due until 15th June so, as long as you are happy to work to tight timescales, you can still sign up until the end of May.

The Bellydance Now International Challenge is an exciting new dance competition with a difference.
Bellydance Now International challenge:  Espanol
Bellydance Now International Challenge:  Deutsch

It’s about personal development as a dancer, learning, pushing yourself beyond your boundaries to be the best dancer you can be, with help and thought along the way. Yes, there will be a winner at the end, a chance to perform in front of a panel of professionals and stars of the bellydance world, as well as a live audience. But the most important thing about the Challenge is to take a journey of discovery, delving a little deeper into the choices you make, with the option to seek help and encouragement from mentors as you go along.

The Bellydance Now International Challenge is open to anyone, in any country, who loves the dance. There will be three finalist groups; one group performing live in front of a panel of judges at the Fantasia Festival in London, at the end of November, the other performing live but on Zoom in front of the same panel at the same event. These two groups can be made up of any dancer, teacher, student or professional. The third group is open to non-professional dancers with less experience wanting to develop their skills, and the winner of this category will be given a special award.  
Full information below.

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What to expect and timeline

We will be asking those who sign up for the Challenge to work towards the final through different stages, each designed to bring them closer to their goal of personal development.

Please let us know which category when you book your place:

Category 1:  Dancer, teacher, student or professional – final stage performing live at Fantasia

Category 2:   Dancer, teacher, student or professional – final stage performing live on zoom at Fantasia (ie those that know they cannot travel to London for 26th November, the Fantasia Festival but want to take part in our challenge)

Category 3: Amateur dancers with less experience wanting to develop their skills

“This is a non-petition really – aimed at nurturing talent and creating dancers that can shine in their own right….” – Yasmina of Cairo


Sunday 1st May 12.00:  Deadline for registration
If you want to register after this, contact us direct: 

CHALLENGE ONE – Submit a recording of your dance

Sunday 1st May: there will be a group mentoring session led by Yasmina & Carmen.  They will answer questions and lay out the format and expectations for the ongoing stages.  These will be recorded and, if you cannot make the session live, you can catch up later.

You will then work on your first submission, a dance of your own choice, to music of your own choice, in costume. The recorded dance, not to exceed three minutes long must be submitted by June 15th. You will then receive feedback from our panel, comprising a minimum of two judges from Bellydance Now.

CHALLENGE TWO – Submit recording of dance to given music

You will be given a second piece of music in a different style (from a choice of three pieces) to work on for the next submission.

Sunday 26th June: there will be a group mentoring session with Yasmina to discuss this next stage of the challenge, its aims, and what we are looking for from participants.  If you cannot attend live, this session will be recorded for you to access later.

At this stage, it is optional (but not obligatory) to call on a mentor for help. We have lined up an amazing list of international mentors:

Brenda Diaz (Cairo/Argentina)

Shahrzad (Cairo/USA)

Abeer Will ( Egypt/Germany)

Julia Farid (Ukraine)

Sara Farouk (Cairo/UK)

Lorna (UK/Cairo)

Maelle (Dubai/UK/France)

Zara Abdel Rahman (Cairo/UK)

Serena Ramzy (UK),  Kay Taylor (UK),   Dorte Evelyn / Ishtar Dance (UK),   Carmen Tormo (Spain/UK),   Amera Eid (Australia), Rakiya el Maaza (Belgium)

Lessons given by mentors will be at the competitor’s expense. They are each ready to give you private classes expressly to help you during the Bellydance Now International Challenge. A list of mentors, contact details and prices will be sent to participants. The choreography can be your own or that of someone else however when you submit your video, you should let us know which.

Monday 1st August: deadline for the second submission.

CHALLENGE THREE – Live Zoom performance
First elimination round

Sunday 7th August: Mentoring session

This next group mentoring session with Yasmina is really important as she will explain the process of recording your journey and how the live Zoom performances and elimination round will work. This session will be recorded for participants who cannot join live.

You will work on your own development, with or without your mentor, and prepare a short summary for the panel about your journey so far. This can be written or recorded, and include your thoughts about what you are learning, the challenges you are facing, your sources of inspiration etc.

First week of September: there will be Zoom sessions tailored to different time zones, in which each competitor will improvise to a piece of music given to them an hour beforehand.

All three submissions will be taken into consideration when deciding who goes through to Stage 4.  Everyone will receive feedback and evaluation from the Bellydance Now panel on their work so far to support their own further development.
Participants who do not go further will receive a ‘Bellydance Now International Challenge’ certificate.

CHALLENGE FOUR – Recorded submission of journey + performance
Second elimination round

Sunday 25th September – Group mentoring session 

Your group mentoring session with Yasmina to discuss this next stage is only open to those who have been successful in the elimination round.  

Sunday 16th October: There will be a Zoom lecture given by our star judge for this year’s competition, Kareem Gad, about ‘The dancer in competition’ to help support the contestants in the next stages. There is an additional fee for this (optional) lecture, which will also be open to non-competitors; £15 for competitors, £25 for non-competitors.  Competitors will receive a discount code.

You will begin to prepare your final stage piece (maximum length four minutes), while at the same time continuing to record aspects of your dance journey.  The choreography should be the dancers own though their mentor can help guide it.

Sunday 30th October: Deadline for submitting your final performance piece, along with a short video presentation of your journey and experiences. 

The panel will select five finalists in categories one and two, plus a winner for category 3, the development category, who will perform at Fantasia Festival on November 26th

CHALLENGE FIVE – Live performance at Fantasia Gala show

Sunday 6th November: A group mentoring session with Yasmina for the finalists.

Saturday 26th November: Our finalists will perform their piece for the opening of the Gala show. The music must be under 4 minutes.

Our panel of judges includes:

Kareem Gad (Egypt/France)

Yasmina of Cairo (Egypt/UK)

and 2 more judges to be announced

Before you sign up for our ‘Bellydance Now International Challenge’, what do you win?

Category 1:
1st Prize:   Full Fantasia festival package and performance in our Gala show, London 2023 (the link is to 2022 so you can see what is happening this year)  
+ a Festival workshop pass, perform with live music and teach 1 class at Camp Negum in Cairo 2023.
2nd Prize:    Weekend pass to our ‘Inspire’ weekend.  Workshops with an international star plus the chance to perform with a live band in our show.  London, April 2023

Category 2:
1st Prize:    Full Festival pass for ‘Etoiles d’Orient’ run by Levana in Majorca + performance at Gala show.
AND a Full Festival pass for the Orientalism festival in Barcelona + performance at Gala show
2nd Prize:    Weekend pass to our ‘Inspire’ weekend.  Workshops with an international star plus the chance to perform with a live band in our show.  London, April 2023

Category 3:
1st Prize:    Perform at Fantasia Festival, London 26th November 2022 either in person or on Zoom.
Weekend pass to our ‘Inspire’ weekend.  Workshops with an international star plus the chance to perform with a live band in our show.  London, April 2023
2nd Prize:   2 tickets to our BDN Inspire show April 2023.

To join our challenge, book your place here

Questions you may be asking yourself:

How much is it going to cost me in total?
This partly depends on your budget:  £55 to register, £15 for the lecture with Kareem Gad and the private lessons with whomever you choose to mentor you.  You can ask your own teacher or you can work with one of our mentors or you can choose to work on your own.  A 1 hour private lesson costs from £35 to £75 per hour (depending on whom you choose).  Most teachers do discounts for block bookings for our participants.  We send you the prices and contact details when you start the second challenge.

What will I get from it?
Specific feedback designed to help you develop your dance across 3 challenges to give you time to develop as a dancer.  The chance to work with some amazing mentors.  Engage with other participants, make new bellydance friends and widen your experience.  All participants will receive a ‘Bellydance Now International Challenge’ certificate.

We are passionate about bellydance, we love to help dancers develop their skills and provide new opportunities and different ways of building the bellydance community..

Get in touch for more information

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