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in Leiden, NL
August, 5th - 7th 2011
The next
takes place on August, 24th - 26th 2012.
Further informations:

Homepage Anusch Alawerdian:
Graphics & layout: Konstanze Winkler
Photos: "Anusch" - with kindly permission of Anusch Alawerdian,
"Group picture contestants" - André Elbing,
Photo series of contestants - Ronnos,
The Bellydance Lounge on Sunday was the closing party of the three-day festival and held in Leiden’s largest nightclub ‘InCasa’. The Bellydance Lounge was exactly what it was supposed to be:
a lot of fun! Countless dancers and dancers-to-be used the opportunity of the open stage and the crowd just loved it.  Izida, ‘Miss Summer Bellydance 2011’, gave an impressive performance. Without a doubt, the absolute super star of the Bellydance Lounge was star singer Ramy Lapache. He totally rocked!  What a singer! What an entertainer! He captured the huge crowd with his golden voice.
Congratulations, Ramy Lapache!

We already knew that Anusch Alawerdian was a great talented dancer, we already knew that she performs around the world, we already knew that she had organized many dance festivals, but we now know that she can organize a mega international festival: the International Summer Bellydance Festival 2011 was a great success, fantastic, beautiful, elegant, a true first class event. Chapeau, Anusch!!!
Interview with Anusch Alawerdian

by Asha

Will you organize another festival of this kind?

Yes, yes, absolutely!!  I announced that I will organize an International  Summer Bellydance Festival 2012!  Yay! Wish me luck! Hope to see you next year! Oh, and don't forget the DVD of the Gala Show is  available since end of September. Order your copy now!

How come you organized this one?

You know, I had this idea and it was a dream of mine to organize such an event.  I travel a lot and dance around the world and everywhere I meet wonderful dancers and I thought it would be great to bring them together at one festival.  I wanted to set the bar high and have a high quality event. I rented the most beautiful theater hall in Leiden, the Stadsgehoorzaal, and found really good sponsors.  

It was a lot of work – very hard work but we did it!!  I had a fantastic team who supported me.  Without them, I could not have done it.

Are you happy with the Festival?

I am extremely happy with the festival.  Every part of it was just great and exceeded my expectations.

Was this the first festival you organized?

No.  I have been organizing dance events for many years – but this was the first 3-day International Summer Bellydance Festival.

3rd place Hana Yi (South Korea

For me this was not just a contest. It was the sort of contest which means a challenge to me. Because I started to learn the belly dance just two and a half years ago. I started with 27 years and in Korea this means starting late and this leaves you only very short time to learn.

Moreover, I had a car accident in February of this year. So, I had been in a slump this year and always had these questions in my head: Can I become a good dancer? Do I have a good potential or ability to dance? Is it kind of waste of time to learn? Because I don't know if I have the necessary talent or ability.


by Marcel Bieger

The first places of the “International Miss Summer Bellydance” were so kind to give us their impressions. We posed them the same three questions, which are printed here:

1 What does the participation at "Miss Summer Bellydance" mean to you?

2 Who had the idea for your participation?

3 What are your next plans?

The contest winners, from left to right: Hana, Loretta and Izida
1st place: Izida (Germany/Bulgaria)

1 To be honest, I didn’t want to participate at a contest any more. But then I saw a banner for Anusch’s festival in the internet, and I said to myself that it would be a good idea to take part at the Miss Summer Bellydance Contest. At least that would be my first competition abroad. So I didn’t participate in the first line to become No. 1, but so see what an international jury thinks about my dancing, my stage presence and my technique. Of course it is thrilling to have made the first place! I also am very glad to have been to some of the workshops and to have had the opportunity to see the breathtaking show.
2nd place Loretta (The Netherlands)

1 It was a very nice experience and I will never forget it. I am so happy that I won the 2nd price and I’m proud of myself because I was the youngest participant. Also it was very nice to meet the other participants and to see them dancing. To show my dance in front of the international jury was a big opportunity for me.

And not to forget all the preparations for this competition, to chose the music, to make a new choreography, to train a lot.
I love this all so much!
2 As I just said, I saw the promotion for the show in the internet and this made me curious. The city of Leiden is not to far away from Cologne, Germany where I live. And I had a lot of time because it was summer break

3 I’m a trained advertising expert, but today I would love to become a professional dancer instead. I want to perform at shows, travel around the world and work every day with dance. Since a year or so I teach dancing and feel very happy that so many women come into my classes. My dance friend Sundari and I have done our first festival together, the "Art Oriental Festival" in September in Cologne. It was much work, but also very rewarding, and the two of us will go on with this sort of festival on an annual basis. Sundari and I are also the main dancers in the dance theatre show “Aladin und die Wunderlampe” (Aladdin’s Magic Lamp), directed by Dr. Gamal Seif and organised by Martina Houben. We practice very much for this, because we firmly believe that the dance theatre will put new life into the belly dance, not only in Germany but also international. In any case it’s a big challenge for me, which demands all my dancing and acting capabilities.
Best wishes, Izida
2 The organizer, Anusch Alawerdian, told me about her Festival, and I was immediately interested in participating at this competition.

3 I will be performing on the “Bellydance Spectacle 2012”. Further I don't have a lot of plans yet, because I have to finish my school in this term. I'm in exam year so it's a very busy and important year. Unfortunately I can't dance as much as I normally do. But after this I will spend all my time in dancing and I will see what will happen. Certainly I will go to the Ahlan Wa Sahlan and Nile Group Festival in Cairo, and take lessons in Russia (at Natalie Becker’s!).
Best wishes, Loretta
So that's why I made a plan to look around (to join some belly dance Festivals) and let myself be judged. Actually, Russian Master Teacher, Natalie Becker, cheered me up. Many thanks.

After being announced the 3rd winner at Anusch’s, I was surprised and very happy to find my potential - and not failed my challenge. I think.

2 Actually, I made this myself. But, to apply for competition, Natalie Becker had to encourage me to continue my travelling and competition participation. Also Anusch told me “Never think that you are not good at dancing. Don't worry … “ That’s what she told me.

3 A short time ago, I became a finalist in the Newcomer Category of Tokyo International Bellydance Competition. (Newcomer is for dancers within 3 years belly dance experience, After this competition, I don't have any special plans other than to learn and study Oriental dance, I think.

Since this year, I am also a member of the Muse Belly Company in Korea. This company is a very small Oriental dance group. The President of Muse Belly suggested to me to become leader of muse performance team, and I accepted. So I think I shall study and practice with the Muse Belly company.

We are looking forward to the International Summer Bellydance Festival 2012!...
The "Bellydance Lounge"
by Asha